Richard Lemmens website

Public Domain

A sensible world view


Here is a small but nice metaphor that compares views of the world around us to the human senses. Smell and taste are excluded because they do not fit into the model, but don't let that bother you.

World view vs. senses


Science explores the edges of our known world. Both physically, with astronomers peering at faraway galaxies and Earth-scientists diving deep into oceans and the planet itself, but also mentally, by theorizing about the nature of the humanity and the world, up to the very what and why of the universe. The scientific frontier is moving forward, expanding our understanding and effectively enlarging our known world.
Because science takes such long ranging views, I compare it to the human sight sense.


Most of the knowledge that science creates is too far away for average people. It is too specialized, to difficult to understand and/or not relevant to our daily lives. Most people take smaller view of the world. For them it is human society and everything that people are talking about. It is the ideas and opinions, the news, the highs and the lows of both famous and common people.
Because of all the noise and the more limited range, I compare these to the human hearing sense.


Another group of people live in a yet smaller world. Some are limited by necessity, for instance because of disease, addiction or simply financial troubles. Others limit themselves by ignorance. For these people the world is about their immediate environment. It is about their daily troubles and accomplishments, their inner circle of people and mostly themselves.
Because their range is so small that it is usually tangible, I compare it to the human sense of touch.


To put his thing into practice: Put up your nose, point your ears, narrow your eyes and ask yourself in which of the above you belong. If you are really honest with yourself, you probably range less far than you would like to claim to do. And if you think really hard on how far your awareness stretches, then you probably range a little further than you think.