Why Does Color Blindness Exist In Nature?

Natural selection is the process through which populations of living organisms adapt and change. Individuals in a population are naturally variable, meaning that they are all different in some ways. This variation means that some individuals have traits better suited to the environment than others. Individuals with adaptive traits—traits that give them some advantage—are more likely to survive and reproduce. These individuals then pass the adaptive traits on to their offspring. Over time, these advantageous traits become more common in the population. Through this process of natural selection, favorable traits are transmitted through generations.


Mutations can be harmful, neutral, or sometimes helpful, resulting in a new, advantageous trait.



What Is Color Blindness (CVD)?

The term "color blindness" is misleading, because even if you are colorblind, in most cases, you can see a lot of colors! The correct way to call color blindness is color vision deficiency, that's where the CVD abbreviature comes from.


This deficiency makes it difficult to see red or green pigments (depends on the type of color blindness) and to differentiate between colors with similar brightness or depth, like orange and brown.

To many people with color-blindness, specific colors can appear similar or the same.

*More than 99% of all colorblind people can, in fact, see color.



 

What Causes Color Blindness?

Usually, genes inherited from your parents cause faulty photopigments -- molecules that detect color in the cone-shaped cells, or “cones,” in your retina. But sometimes color blindness is not because of your genes, but rather because of: Physical or chemical damage to the eye.


WHY DOES COLOR BLINDNESS EXIST IN NATURE?

An important part of our everyday lives is being able to see the world in color. Color helps us recognize and distinguish between objects of varying hue and saturation, it attracts our attention, and it serves as a "nonlinguistic code that gives us instant information about the world around us. It enables us to tell whether our steak is medium or rare, or how to match our outfits.


The first thing to understand is that what we humans consider “color” is only a small portion of the spectrum. Fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and even insects are able to see a much wider range, even entering into the UV spectrum. There is a whole world of color out there that humans are unaware of.

The Humans With Supervision



Our society has constructed an environment in which many things we use on a daily basis, such as road maps and traffic lights are color-coded, which certainly does not benefit the small portion of the population that can't use them well.



One might argue that the process of natural selection will eventually weed out those less capable of functioning in our changing environment, but that just doesn't seem fair. Where does that leave the lonely anomalous trichromat, dichromat, or monochromat individual?


Perhaps over time, within the next few million years, color vision will go through an additional metamorphosis and alter the way human beings live. For instance, perhaps color blindness will become more prevalent among individuals in populations over time and the benefits of this condition will outweigh the deficiencies. But until then, it is important to realize that colorblindness is a disability (which is not) from the perspective of individuals living in a world constructed by members of the majority who perceive their shared surroundings in a different way. Perhaps one day, it will be those of us who are capable of seeing color dubbed disabled, as the ones who are selectively disadvantaged to function amongst the rest of the population!



"ARE THERE ANY ADVANTAGES TO SEEING COLORS?"

Someone who is color deficient doesn't necessarily notice any "loss" and therefore really doesn't notice any "gain".


Read this article: 10 Shocking Advantages of Being Colorblind


Are there currently any treatments for color-blindness?

There are no preventative treatments as it's genetic. However colored filters, spectacles, and contact lenses have been introduced that can alter someone's color perception. They might allow the wearer to see a few more colors or colors nearer to how a person with normal color vision would see them, but it doesn't really solve the issue. Color blindness affects so many aspects of our life. You can learn some tips & tricks at this online training course designed for colorblind people. Click on the links below:



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Amir Kosari is a colorblind architect and designer with more than 15 years of experience.

He is the creator of the world's first online training programs for colorblind people. These training programs helped thousands of colorblind people (children, adults, designers) who used to struggle with colors. 

If you have any questions related to color blindness or our programs, schedule a FREE call with us, or send a message using the contact form.

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