Seeing is not Believing

When is seeing not believing? Beginning at about the three minute mark of the video below, Harvard physicist Lisa Randall and architect/designer Chuck Hoberman engage in a brief discussion about what our sense of sight has to do with knowing. As Randall points out, scientific method offers passage beyond our immediate sense of the world. After all, our sense of sight is dependent on a particular narrow wavelength.

It's the mediated experience that ironically, can offer more and better evidence for the veracity of a claim, a proposition that artists and designers continually exploit.

The suggestion also strongly reminded me of the "Science of Magic" session at the 2008 IdeaFestival, where Teller brilliantly demonstrated, first with a trick, and then with an explanation of the trick, how our senses can easily be fooled.