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Why does the apple on the table before you look red? A commonsense answer: You are looking at a red apple in good natural light and you have normal color vision. It may seem hard to quarrel with this statement, but it is not particularly informative. A scientific account might go something like this: The apple selectively reflects more of the longer wavelength rays in daylight than those of shorter wavelengths. As a result, the kinds of light sensors in the retina of your eyes that are more sensitive to longer wavelengths respond more strongly than do those that are more sensitive to shorter wavelengths. This imbalance in response is coded and re-coded, exciting appropriate neural networks in the brain. Properly fleshed out, as it ...

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