Between our birth and death we may touch understanding,
As a moth brushes a window with its wing.
~ Christopher Fry
Skeptic: In your speech the other night you said that the perceptual systems of animals represent the world as their near, or possibly even far, ancestors constructed them based upon natural selection. Can the world evolve faster than the sensory systems of the animals? Are many animals living today in a sensory world that no longer exists, as when the moth flies into the candle flame?
Dawkins: When a moth flies into a candle flame presumably it is responding to the candle flame as if were a celestial object at optical infinity and acting appropriately to that situation, not the one it is in fact currently facing. It frequently happens that the real world evolves faster than an animal's cognitive map of it.
Skeptic: Does that ever happen to human beings?
Dawkins: Human beings are completely surrounded by the equivalent of "candle flames."'