Saturday, November 6, 2010

Physiology and "Goddidit"

Entoptic phenomena occur when you have a visual experience that originated in the eye itself. If you've ever noticed lights flashing when you've rubbed your closed eyes, that's one example. (Not a good idea to rub your eyes that hard. I know you're doing it right now but there's my disclaimer.)

The Wikipedia article has a funny section (with attribution) about people who fell for the old "I personally don't understand it, therefore Goddidit" explanation: "During the 1920s, some theosophists, unaware of the physical explanation, maintained that the moving spots seen in the blue field entoptic phenomenon were 'vitality globules' related to the concept of prana in yoga." Vitality globules? I wonder what Friedrich Wohler would've said about that.

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