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What color is an orange in the dark?

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What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Pseudosyne on Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:30 pm

The question is really that simple, but I'll clarify just in case.

There is an orange. It's in a lit room. In the light, you can see the orange is normal and, in fact, colored orange. You then turn the light off and the room goes absolutely dark. There is not a single photon of light left in this room.

So, in this dark room, what color is the orange?
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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Patcharoo on Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:14 pm

Uh, scientifically, the colour is a reflection of light, so no.

No light, no colour.
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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby spacetime on Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:18 pm

Well... It depends on what you consider color.

Is color what you can visibly see? You can't tell.

Is color the wavelength of light (visible spectrum) the orange does not absorb? The color is that wavelength, and the wavelength correlates to the color orange. (only useful if wavelength is reestablished)

Is color what you think it is? Your imagination limits it.

Is color your memory of what you saw? It is orange.

That's my (probably fail) answer.
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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Patcharoo on Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:59 pm

I'd like to change my answer to 'Yes, yes it is'.

Edit: Oh hell, I'll go the extra yard.

What colour do you want it to be?

What orange?

Why?
Why not?


Alternatively

Why?
For science!

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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Avey on Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:38 pm

I mean when the lights are turned off there isn't any color, but that doesn't change the fact that the orange is orange. . . if that makes sense. Just because you can't see a color doesn't mean the color doesn't exist.

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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Patcharoo on Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:59 pm

But Aveline, colour is a result of an objects reaction to light, in this case, reflecting orange from the surface of its form. Without that light, there is no light to reflect and thus no colour. It's more....

A battery can power an object, right? But without that object, its not powering anything. It's just potential.

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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Edelle on Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:03 am

The orange is still made of the same stuff that reflects certain colours of light, making it appear orange to the human eye. When the light goes off, it's still made of the same stuff, but no light is present to make it look orange to the human eye. The orange is black, but it's still made of the same stuff. I'm wondering if the orange would still be there when the light goes on. Ninjas really like to screw with people like that.
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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Village Alchemist on Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:39 pm

It is black.

When the lights are off, everything is black.

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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby UnderINK on Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:33 am

The first answer is the most fitting answer. It isn't a color at all. Once there is no light (an objective factor, not a subjective/variable factor like color blindness), and you cannot perceive the color, the color isn't there. Because the existence of color requires light refraction, the absence of light automatically nullifies any sort of varying answer to the question.

I mean when the lights are turned off there isn't any color, but that doesn't change the fact that the orange is orange. . . if that makes sense. Just because you can't see a color doesn't mean the color doesn't exist.


Your understanding of color seems to be very limited. I would suggest researching what creates color. The orange is no longer orange with no light refracting off of the object. The orange is, in fact, without any color at all in that instance. That's like saying that if you took a permanent marker and colored the orange black, that the orange would still be orange. But you would be changing how the light refracted off of the object, thereby changing your perception of its color (and therefore the color itself). When the lights go off, it's the same concept, except that instead of changing how the light refracts, you're eliminating that phenomenon all together, which eliminates the existence of color. If you shut the lights off in your room, in terms of science, nothing in your room technically has color if it appears pitch black. Color only comes into existence when light is present. It's hard to grasp, but yes, the pink fuzzy bunny stuffed animal on the bed only technically qualifies as pink when there is light allowing you to perceive that color. Until then, it has no color.
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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Kestrel on Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:03 am

This is basically a "If a tree falls down in the forest, but there's nobody around to hear it; will it still make sound?"-case. Technically seen, it should make sound, but there is nobody around to prove it. Either way, for as far as I'm concerned; the orange itself never had a colour. It has always been light. But, honest question; is this really what the discussion is supposed to be about? I mean, that's kinda pointless if you ask me.
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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Discipline on Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:25 am

I think you can boil this down into two questions:

Is colour the perception of an object, or is it an integral part of the object itself?


Does it matter if there's a difference between our perception and reality, as long as we never realise it?

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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby libcakes on Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:27 pm

Eh, you can get all scientific if you want, and I appreciate it lol, but my problem is that if you can't see it, you can't tell what color it is. And seeing it requires light, and light makes it orange. So as much as I'd like to say it doesn't have a color, for all we know, it does have a color. We just can't see it. All of reality is based of our perceptions and if color is defined as a certain wavelength of light in the visible spectrum, then it has no color because black(darkness) isn't a color. However, if all things had an inherent...color (for lack of a better word), we'd have to change our definition because be have perceived it differently. However, with our limited human eyes, we can't see through the darkness and thus will never know with present technology.
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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tea on Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:03 am

The specific orange in question will remain its own color in any light regardless of whether that light shines into the human spectator's eyes or not. There are too many spectrums of energy which will interact with the orange that humans can not see. This means that for those frequencies, the representation of the orange remains the same.

But this thread does make me think of putting an orange into an air-lock and spacing it with explosive decompression.

"If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?" I agree that this seems to be the rhetoric to which the original question seems to ascribe.
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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Kronos on Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:33 pm

It's still orange. The absence of light doesn't change what parts of the spectrum reflect off an orange.

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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Pseudosyne on Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:47 pm

The slight difference between this question and the tree falling in the forest question is that we currently have no method of recording something's color in the absence of visible light, while we do have a way of recording a sound in the absence of a human observer. This distinction does move it away from being a strictly empirical question and towards the realm of physical practicality (since it involves technology), however.

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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Patcharoo on Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:09 pm

It was never orange to begin with. It was every colour but orange, which it reflects, thus giving us the perception that it is orange.

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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Liquidus on Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:17 pm

Because I like to toss things out of windows, The orange is orange in the dark. Its orange because I need to believe its orange. If I said it was a color I knew it wasn't, I'd feel like I was proving myself wrong, and I am never wrong, well unless I am wrong. o.o
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Re: What color is an orange in the dark?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackbird26 on Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:21 pm

Being colorblind... I find this discussion really funny. Since in a normal day in the perfect light I might look at an orange and I see it pink.
And if it's a really sunny day... I can see a green sky sometimes.

So, on my own personal experience what color something really is has absolutely no meaning if your perception is all messed up. You can show me the difference between orange and pink a thousand times and if I have to pick it out of a box of crayons I'll probably make the wrong choice.

Although... That's just the way I see it.
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