Famous British playwright Oscar Wilde once said, “Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.” Now, imagine a world without the existence of color. It would be a sad, dark place to be. However this is a world that many people are forced to live in today. Individuals with color vision deficiency live in a muted world that normal sighted people will never fully comprehend. In order to truly appreciate the beautiful nature of color one must have a general understanding of the history behind the discovery of the function of perceiving colors. Color appreciation also involves thorough comprehension of what color technically is and how it is sensed and perceived. Knowing how individuals with color vision deficiency view the world and what causes their abnormal vision is important as well. Finally, understanding the evolution of color vision allows one to understand the usefulness of being able to perceive colors. After all, the ability to see and use colors gives an organism a clear advantage in evolutionary fitness.
One of the first notable cases of color vision deficiency is John Dalton, a famous chemist and physicist who is recognized as the father of Modern Atomic Theory. In 1793 one of Dalton’s first papers was published. The work was titled “Extraordinary Facts Relating to the Vision of Color”. In his essay Dalton explained that he and his brother Jonathan perceived color differently than others. To them the colors red, orange, yellow, and green appeared to be different shades of yellow. Dalton believed that their abnormal vision was caused by a blue tint to the vitreous humor, the normally clear fluid that fills the eye. His conclusion was difficult to pro…
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