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24 Apr

Sight is based on light waves with a certain wavelength and amplitude hitting the retina (with rods and cones) in the eye. With stereoscopic vision an added perception of depth of field provides more information about the third dimension before us. Colors can be characterized by hue, saturation, and value:

The wavelength carries the information about the hue which is seen as the visible spectrum spanning red orange yellow green blue violet. The amount of other waves with similar wavelengths reaching the eye at the same time determines the saturation. The amplitude carries the information about value spanning darkness to lightness. So with any visual image there is an intricate, precisely timed photon dance moving towards our eyes.

If the journey is God – Physics – Biology – Psychology – Art, than what traces of the divine are carried through into Art? We can start by asking what are the principles and elements of design in visual art?

Then we can ask how are each of these a product of our minds, our eyes, the physical nature of light, and God? God has given these elements understood through Physics and supra-systems of principles understood through Psychology to be used in Art.

Tracing these principles and elements back to their infinite source would explain the transcendent quality of beauty. It would also explain how in applying our intellects to design, like how God’s intellect has designed nature, we can create something that is intrinsically good.

Elements of Design:

  • Space
  • Point
  • Line
  • Shape/Form
  • Color (Hue/Saturation)
  • Value
  • Pattern
  • Texture
Principles of Design:

  • Contrast
  • Balance
  • Rhythm
  • Emphasis
  • Proportion
  • Harmony (Unity/Variety)


8 Feb

Sensation is based on something external, coming from the physical world, passing in through our physical bodies to carry information to our minds. It takes three ingredients: an external world (material), an internal mind (immaterial), and a system (created and sustained). In other words, only by presupposing that nature is consistent and comprehensible because it is contingent on a trustworthy being (i.e. God), can we have a way to trust any of our sensory information. Still because of how “the secret things belong to the LORD”, our senses have limits. All sensory information is revelation from God, but not all is revealed. What becomes a sensation starts it’s journey by divine decree (normally following physical laws), in space-time, and as matter-energy.

Traditionally the five senses are sight, sound, touch, taste and smell, but these seem imprecise as there are other aspects to what we sense as well. What are the different kinds of journeys that end in sensory information reaching our minds? Also what about our sensation of things like balance, acceleration, time, orientation, pain, temperature, and internal systems?

But first for each of these we can ask:

  1. What physical conditions come into contact with our bodies?
  2. What biological structures do we have that are affected?
  3. What sensory information reaches the mind?
  4. How does this information affect us?

Here are some of the different ways to characterize energy (kinetic or potential):

  • Electrical
  • Magnetic
  • Radiant (Electromagnetic)
  • Sound
  • Mechanical
  • Chemical
  • Thermal
  • Nuclear
  • Elastic
  • Luminous

Some biological structures:

  • eyes (cones, rods)
  • ears (eardrum, hair cells)
  • nose (olfactory receptors)
  • tongue (taste buds)
  • skin (nerve endings)
  • nervous system
  • cerebral cortex


Next to explore: What would sensation be like with fewer limits?