Design In Colours
Colour is a concept that helps us to identify
the properties of objects and define them more precisely. Thinking
about the colours of the objects around us, we simply come to notice
what a variety of detailed colours we are surrounded by. Everything,
animate or inanimate, has a colour. Living creatures of the same
species have the same particular colours everywhere in the world.
No matter where you go, the colour of the flesh of the water-melon
is always red, kiwis are always green, seas are always shades of
blue and green, snow is white, lemons are yellow, the colour of
elephants is the same in any part of the world as also the colours
of trees. They never change. This goes for artificially produced
colours as well. Wherever you go on the earth, if you mix red with
yellow, you will get orange or if you mix black and white you will
get grey. The result is always the same.
At this point, it may be useful to think somewhat differently. First,
let us think by asking the question of how the colours of objects
are made. We can explain this by an example. Imagine that you walk
into a store and see fabric of different designs and models, the
colours of which are extremely harmonious with each other. Surely,
those fabrics did not come there by chance; conscious people drafted
their designs, determined their colours, subjected them to a number
of dying processes, and after putting them through many other intermediate
stages, they displayed them in that store. In short, the existence
of these fabrics depends on the people who designed and manufactured
them. When you see them, you do not say that they came there by
chance, or that their designs were formed by coincidence as a result
of paints spilt over the fabrics. In fact, no man of reason would
make such a claim. Indeed, there is a conscious Will that presents
us the views we see in nature all the time, the butterflies, flowers,
multi-coloured places under the sea, trees, and clouds etc., just
in the way these fabrics are presented to us. The diversity in the
universe is the consequence of a special design. This design is
manifested in every stage from the formation of light to its becoming
a colourful image in our brain. This is one of the greatest evidences
of the existence of an Owner, that is, a Designer of the design
in colours. Surely, Allah, Who possesses an infinitely superior
wisdom and power of creation, creates all the colours and designs
in the universe that man admires.
The stages of colour formation were briefly listed earlier. In this
chapter, the superior design evident in colour will be examined
under separate headings in accordance with the progression from
light to eye and brain.
No one would claim that the fabric seen in the picture came
by coincidence, and has no designer. Similarly, it cannot be
claimed that rainbows, butterflies, flowers, sea creatures,
and clouds, in short , everything on earth has no designer.
The designs of the colors and forms of all these thins belong
to Allah, Who creates without any preceding example
1. LIght, LIfe and Colour
The sun is only one of the billions of medium size
stars in the universe. What makes the sun the most important star
of the universe for us is its size, its relationship to the planets
moving around it and the particular rays it emits. If just one of
these characteristics of the sun were different from current values,
there would be no life on earth. Indeed, the sun has the ideal values
for life to originate and be maintained on earth.1This
is why scientists describe the sun as the "source of life"
Sunlight is the only source of heat, heating the earth
in the most appropriate way, and light, helping plants with their
photosynthesis. It is well known that heat and photosynthesis are
essential for life. In addition, the existence of daylight and a
colourful world depend on the rays emitted from the sun. In this
case, the question of how these rays, the ultimate energy source
for the earth, come into existence comes to mind. Surely, that these
rays, which are the key to life on earth, serve such important purposes
and, at the same time, have all the necessary characteristics for
this, cannot be attributed to coincidence. The reason for this will
be better understood when the structure of light is examined.
The wavelengths of the rays coming from
space may be of very different types, ranging from radio waves,
which have the longest wavelengths, to gamma rays, which have
extremely short wavelengths.
All the conditions essential for the existence
of life on earth, directly or indirectly, depend on light coming
from the sun. In the structure of sunrays, on the other hand,
there is a design dependent on very delicate balances.
The energy emitted by the stars moves in waves through the void
of space. Similarly, both light and heat are emitted by the sun,
which is a star, as energy in the form of waves. The movement of
this energy the stars emit can be compared to that of the waves
caused by a stone thrown into a lake. Just as the waves in the lake
have different lengths, so do heat and light have different wavelengths
as they diffuse.
At this point, it would be useful
to give some information about the different wavelengths of light
in the universe. The stars and other light sources in the universe
do not emit the same kinds of light. These different rays are classified
according to their wavelengths and frequencies. These different
wavelengths are spread over vast areas. For example, the shortest
wavelength is 1025 times smaller than the longest wavelength
(1025 is a very big number consisting of number 1 followed
by 25 zeros)2
In the whole spectrum, the total rays emitted by the
sun are squeezed into a very short interval. 70% of the different
wavelengths the sun emits lie within a narrow interval ranging from
0.3 micron to 1.50 micron. (A micron is 10-6 m) Examining
why sunrays are restricted to such a narrow interval, we come to
an interesting conclusion: the rays that make life, and colour,
possible on earth are only those present in this interval.
British physicist Ian Campbell, who defines this superior design
as "incredibly astonishing" in his book "The Energy
and the Atmosphere", draws attention to this point:
That the radiation from the sun
(and from many sequence stars) should be concentrated into a minuscule
band of the electromagnetic spectrum, which provides precisely
the radiation required to maintain life on earth, is very coincidence.
The greater part of this small range of radiation emitted
by the sun from the electromagnetic spectrum, a spectrum having
a width where the longest wavelength is 1025 times large than the
shortest, is named "visible light". The rays that lie
below and above this interval, on the other hand, reach the earth
as infrared and ultraviolet rays. Let us now briefly examine the
properties of these two kinds of rays.
Infrared rays reach the earth in the form of heat waves.
Ultraviolet rays that contain higher energy, on the other hand,
may have a damaging effect on living beings. Infrared rays pass
through the atmosphere, and provide heat, which makes the earth
a place suitable for life. Ultraviolet rays, on the other hand,
can reach the earth only at a certain rate. If this rate were a
little higher than its current level, it would harm the tissues
of living beings and cause mass deaths, while if it were a little
lower, then the energy needed for living beings would not be provided.
These points are details crucial for life. As understood
from the functions and uses of the rays emitted by the sun, there
is order and control in every existing system in the world. Surely,
it is impossible for such a system, the delicate balances of which
we briefly dwelled upon, to have been formed by coincidence.
Examining another element of this flawless system, we once again
see the impossibility of its coming into existence as a consequence
2. The shIeld protectIng the
earth: The Atmosphere
The atmosphere lets only necessary rays
reach the earth while reflecting other harmful rays back into
In previous pages, we mentioned that some of the sunrays
are harmful for life on earth. In order to avert this harmful effect,
a solution is needed.
Let us put our heads together and find a solution to
this problem by developing an efficient system to filter sunrays.
We should also take cognisance of the fact that this system should
be a multifunctional one, which will protect the world from the
harmful effects of the sun, ensuring that this is maintained permanently,
not requiring maintenance, and also capable of preventing some other
possible threats to the earth. Certainly, in such a situation, several
alternative solutions will surface. Yet, nothing put forward will
be as efficient and versatile as the present filter that now covers
the earth: the atmosphere. The atmosphere of the earth is one hundred
percent successful at filtering harmful rays and has been specially
designed by Allah in order to protect the world.
By means of specific layers of the atmosphere, sunrays
reach earth only in required amounts because the atmosphere processes
the sunrays specifically according to their wavelengths. Our atmosphere
is like a giant refining plant designed for filtering these rays.
This gigantic refining system that has no equal on the earth has
been carrying out these processes because of its special design
by Allah. Allah draws attention to the creation of the skies as
follows, (the Arabic word for 'heaven - sama' is also the word for
The creation of the heavens and earth is far greater than the creation
of mankind. But most of mankind do not know it. (Surah
||The material densities,
that is, the densities of atoms in space and of the atmosphere
are different from each other. For this reason, when light enters
the atmosphere, it spreads out more and becomes diffuse because
it hits more atoms. The eyes of living beings can see a colourful
world only by perceiving these rays that come after being diffused,
or in other words, weakened by the atmosphere. In outer space
environment where there is no atmosphere, light is so strong
as would harm the eyes. Apart from this, near infrared rays
also spread out in the atmosphere and warm the earth.
The rays coming from the sun are quite
specific. It is necessary for them to possess properties enabling
them to pass through the atmosphere and reach the earth. Similarly,
the atmosphere, too, has to have a special structure to allow these
rays to pass through. Otherwise, neither the existence of the atmosphere
nor the structural appropriateness of the rays will be of any use.
Because of the ray-permeable nature of the atmosphere, the rays
coming from the sun easily reach the earth. There is another important
point that needs mention. Whilst letting only visible light and
the near infrared rays required for life pass through, the atmosphere
prevents all other destructive rays from reaching earth. The atmosphere
of the earth serves as a very important "filter" for the
destructive rays coming from the sun or from non-sun sources, that
is, from other zones in space.4Michael Denton,
a renowned astronomer, states this as follows:
Even the atmospheric gases themselves absorb electromagnetic
radiation very strongly in those regions of the spectrum immediately
on either side of the visible and near infrared. Note that the only
region of the spectrum allowed to pass through the atmosphere over
the entire range of electromagnetic radiation from radio to gamma
rays is the exceedingly narrow band including the visible and near
infrared. Virtually no gamma, X, ultraviolet, far-infrared, and
microwave radiation reaches the surface of the earth.
It is apparent that there is a highly developed design in the structure
of the atmosphere. Out of a spectrum whose width is hinted at by
this figure of 1025, the sun emits only those rays that
are useful to us and necessary for a colourful world, and the atmosphere
mainly allows harmless and indeed useful rays to reach the earth.
In addition, due to the properties of the gases present in the atmosphere,
the eyes of living beings, which are directly exposed to sunlight,
are protected against any harmful effects. All these are evidence
that Allah has created everything in due proportion.
He to Whom the kingdom of the heavens and
the earth belongs. He does not have a son and He has no partner
in the Kingdom. He created everything and determined it most exactly.
(Surat al-Furqan: 2)
3. LIght StrIkIng Matter
|The rays coming from the sun consist of particles
called "photons", which move in waves. When photons
hit the electrons of the atoms making up physical objects on
earth, the electrons emit light rays of particular wavelengths,
which "correspond to certain colours". When sunlight
falls on a leaf, for example, this means that the photons of
light have hit the atoms of the pigment molecules existing on
the surface of the leaf. On impact, the electrons of the leaf's
atoms are activated. As a reaction, the atoms of the leaf emit
photons. Thus, the photons representing "the colour"
of the leaf begin to travel towards our eyes.
Light coming from the sun reaches the earth at a speed
of 300,000 km per second. Owing to the speed of light, we always
see a world full of colour. How, then, is this uninterrupted image
Passing through the atmosphere at enormous speed, light
reaches the earth and strikes objects. When light strikes an object
at this speed, it interacts with the atoms of the object and reflects
at different wavelengths corresponding to different colours. In
this way, the book you are now holding, its lines, pictures, the
view you see when you look outside, trees, buildings, cars, the
sky, birds, cats, in short everything your eyes see, reflect their
The molecules enabling these colours to be reflected are pigment
molecules. That is, the colour reflected by an object depends on
the pigment molecules present in that object. Every pigment molecule
has different atomic structures. The atomic numbers as well as the
types and the sequences of atoms in these molecules are different.
Light hitting such diverse pigments is reflected in different shades
of colour. However, this is not enough for the formation of colour.
For reflected light possessing a certain colour quality to be perceived
and seen, it has to reach a visual apparatus capable of perceiving
4. LIght ComIng to the Eye
For rays reflected by objects to be perceived as colour, it is necessary
for them to reach the eye. The existence of the eye alone is not
sufficient. After reaching the eye, the rays ought to be converted
into nerve signals that reach a brain working in harmony with the
Let us think about our own eyes and brains as the closest example.
The human eye is a very complex structure that consists of many
different organelles and parts. As a result of the simultaneous
and harmonious operation of all these parts, we see and perceive
colours. The eye, with its tissues and organelles such as lachrymal
glands, cornea, conjunctiva, iris and pupil, lens, retina, choroid,
eye muscles and lids, is a matchless system. In addition, with its
extraordinary nerve web that establishes its connection to the brain,
and extremely complex vision area, the eye, as a whole, has a very
special structure, the existence of which cannot be attributed to
|On the left, we see the
connections between the nerve cells in the retina. The complex
interconnections between the different layers of cells help
the nerve cells to move together and interact with each other.
On the right is a close-up of cone cells. While short cone cells
help us to see the world as coloured, long rod cells help us
to see shapes and movements.
After a short introduction to the eye, let us also
look at how the event of seeing takes place. Light rays coming to
the eye first pass through the cornea, then the pupil and lens,
and finally reach the retina.
The perception of colour begins at the cone cells in
the retina. There are three main cone cell groups that strongly
react to certain colours of light. These are classified as blue,
green and red cone cells. The colours red, blue and green, to which
cone cells react, are the three primary colours existing in nature.
With the stimulation of cone cells, which are sensitive to these
three colours, at different degrees, millions of different colours
The cone cells convert this information pertaining to colour into
nerve impulses through the pigments they contain.5
Next, nerve cells connected to these cone cells transmit these nerve
impulses to a specific area in the brain. The place where the multi-coloured
world that we view throughout our lives is formed is this area in
the brain measuring a few centimetre squares.
5. A Colourful World In Our Dark BraIn
The final stage in the formation of colour takes place in the brain.
As mentioned in the previous chapter, nerve cells in the eye convey
the images converted into nerve impulses to the brain and everything
we see in the outer world is perceived in the vision centre of the
brain. At this point, we are confronted with an amazing fact: the
brain is a piece of meat that is completely dark inside. Nerve impulses
coming from images created on the retina by objects are deciphered
in the brain, which is completely dark inside. Images of the objects,
with their colours and all other properties, are formed as perceptions
in this visual centre. How does this process of perception take
place in such a piece of soft meat?
||Everything we see in
the outside world is perceived in the brain. Colourful flowers,
birds, the sky, mountains, the people around us, in short, every
single detail in the world is projected to us inside our brain.
In fact, the brain is an entirely dark place. He Who enables
us, in this dark place, to see, to feel, to touch, to hear,
that is, to perceive all the details of the outside world, in
short, makes us watch everything, is Allah, Who has created
the whole universe. Allah has power over all things.
A lot of question marks remain as
to how colours are perceived. Chromatists are still unable to answer
those questions such as how nerve impulses are transmitted to the
brain via optic nerves and what kind of physiological effects this
creates in the brain.6All they
know is that the perception of colours as realities takes place
within us, that is, in the centre of vision in our brain.7(For
detailed information, see the chapter The Secret Beyond Matter)
In fact, most of the processes carried out by the brain have not
yet been elucidated. The explanations of the subject are largely
based on theories. However, the brain has been fulfilling all its
functions perfectly since the moment man came into existence, just
as it does today. People's experiencing a three dimensional world,
along with all its colours, designs, sounds, smells and tastes,
in a piece of meat weighing nearly one kilogram is made possible
only by the perfect creation of Allah. Everyone finds this matchless
miracle of creation ready at birth. Man has no control whatsoever,
neither in the formation of its functions, nor in their continuity,
nor at any other stage.
1. F.Press, R. Siever, Earth,
New York:W.H.Freeman, 1986, p.4
2. Michael Denton, Nature's Destiny, The Free Press,
3. Ian M.Campbell, Energy and Atmosphere, London:
Wiley, 1977, p.1-2
4. Enyclopedia Britannica, 1994, 15th ed. Vol.18,
5. Bilim ve Teknik Dergisi (Journal of Science and
Technics), No: 366, p.81
6. Bilim ve Teknik Dergisi (Journal of Science and
Technics), October 1986, p.6
7. Bilim Teknik Dergisi
(Journal of Science and Technics), October 1986, s.6-9