The design in color

20/03/2011| IslamWeb

Color is a concept that helps us to identify the properties of objects and define them more precisely. Reflecting on the colors of objects around us, we cannot help but notice what a variety of detailed colors we are surrounded by. Everything -- animate or inanimate -- has a particular color. Living creatures of the same species have the same pattern of colors everywhere in the world. No matter where you go, the color of the flesh of a water-melon is always red, kiwi-fruits are always green, seas are always the same interchanging shades of blue and green, snow is always pristine white, lemons are yellow, the gray color of elephants is the same in any part of the world as are the colors of trees. They never change. This goes for artificially produced colors as well. Wherever you go on the earth, if you mix red with yellow, you will get orange or if you mix black and white you will get gray. The result is always the same.

How are the colors of objects formed?

We can explain this by an example. Imagine that you walk into a store and see fabrics of different designs and models, the colors of which blend harmoniously with each other. Surely, those fabrics did not come there by chance: conscious people drafted their designs, determined their colors, subjected them to a number of dyeing processes and after putting them through many other intermediate stages, displayed them in that store. In short, the existence of these fabrics depends on the people who designed and manufactured them. This design is manifested in every stage -- from the formation of light to its becoming a colorful image in our brain. This is one of the greatest evidences of the existence of an Owner, that is, a Designer of the design in colors.

Light brings colors to life  

Sunlight is the only source of heat and light on earth, supplying all life-forms with heat by radiating energy and helping plants with photosynthesis. The existence of daylight and a colorful world depend on the rays emitted from the sun.

Light striking matter

Light coming from the sun reaches the earth at a speed of 300,000 km per second. Owing to the speed of light, we always see a world full of color. This leads to the  question: how is this uninterrupted image formed, that enables vision?

Light from the sun passes through the atmosphere at enormous speed, reaches the earth and strikes objects. When light strikes an object at this speed, it interacts with the atoms of the object and reflects at different wavelengths corresponding to different colors. In this way, the view you see when you look outside: trees, buildings, cars, the sky, birds, cats, in short everything your eyes see, reflect their colors.

The molecules enabling these colors to be reflected are pigment molecules and the color reflected by an object depends on the pigment molecules present in it. Every pigment molecule has a different atomic structure, varying atomic number and a different sequence of arrangement of atoms. Light hitting such diverse pigments is reflected in different shades of color. However, this is not enough for the formation of color. In order to be seen, reflected light possessing a certain color quality has to reach a visual apparatus capable of perceiving it.

Light reaching the eye

In order to be perceived as color, rays reflected by objects should reach the eye. The existence of the eye is not sufficient in itself. After reaching the eye, the rays ought to be converted into nerve signals that reach a brain working in harmony with the eyes.

Let us think about our own eyes and brains as the closest example. The human eye is a very complex structure that consists of many different parts. As a result of the simultaneous and harmonious functioning of all these parts, we see and perceive colors. In addition to the extraordinary nerve web that establishes its connection to the brain and an extremely complex vision area, the eye has a very special structure, the existence of which cannot be attributed to mere coincidence.

The perception of color begins with the cone cells in the retina. There are three main cone cell groups that strongly react to certain colors of light. These are classified as blue, green and red cone cells. The colors red, blue and green to which cone cells react, are the three primary colors existing in nature. With the stimulation of cone cells (which are sensitive to these three colors) at different degrees, millions of different colors appear.

The cone cells convert this information into nerve impulses through the pigments they contain. Next, nerve cells connected to these cone cells transmit the nerve impulses to a specific area in the brain. The place where the multi-colored world that we view throughout our lives is formed is this area in the brain, measuring just a few square centimeters.

A colorful world within our dark brain
The final stage in the formation of color takes place in the brain. Nerve cells in the eye convey the images that have been converted into nerve impulses to the brain. Everything we see in the outer world is perceived in the vision center of the brain. At this point, we are confronted with an amazing fact: the brain is a piece of flesh, an organ that is completely dark inside!  External objects create images on the retina of the eye, which are converted into nerve impulses and are deciphered in the brain, which is completely dark inside. Images of objects (with their colors and all other properties) are formed as perceptions at this visual center. How does this process of perception take place in what is essentially, a piece of soft meat?

A lot of questions remain regarding how colors are perceived. Chromatists are still unable to answer certain questions, such as how nerve impulses are transmitted to the brain via optic nerves and what kind of physiological effect this creates in the brain. All they know is that the perception of colors as realities takes place within us, that is, at the center of vision in our brain.

The brain has been fulfilling all its functions perfectly since the moment man came into existence, just as it does today. Unlike other life-forms, human beings experience a three dimensional world in its entirety, with its myriad colors, designs, sounds, smells and tastes due to a 'piece of flesh' weighing one kilogram – an accomplishment that is made possible only by the perfect creation of Allah. Everyone finds this matchless miracle of creation ready at birth. Man has no control whatsoever, either in the development of its functions or in their continuity, or at any other stage.