We spend about one-tenth of our waking hours completely blind. Only one percent of what we see is in focus at any one time. There is no direct fossil evidence for the evolution of the eye. In graceful, accessible prose, novelist and science writer Simon Ings sets out to solve these and other mysteries of seeing.
A Natural History of Seeing delves into both the evolution of sight and the evolution of our understanding of sight. It gives us the natural science--the physics of light and the biology of animals and humans alike--while also addressing Leonardo's theories of perception in painting and Homer's confused and strangely limited sense of color. Panoramic in every sense, it reaches back to the first seers (and to ancient beliefs that vision is the product of mysterious optic rays) and forward to the promise of modern experiments in making robots that see.