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Insight into our sight: A new view on the evolution of the eye lens (Desperate conjuncture)
EurekAlert ^ | September 22, 2005 | Staff

Posted on 09/22/2005 6:58:10 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger

The evolution of complex and physiologically remarkable structures such as the vertebrate eye has long been a focus of intrigue and theorizing by biologists. In work reported this week in Current Biology, the evolutionary history of a critical eye protein has revealed a previously unrecognized relationship between certain components of vertebrate eyes and those of the more primitive light-sensing systems of invertebrates. The findings help clarify our conceptual framework for understanding how the vertebrate eye, as we know it, has emerged over evolutionary time.

The work is reported by Sebastian Shimeld at the University of Oxford and colleagues at the University of London and Radboud University in The Netherlands.

Our sight relies on the ability of our eye to form a clear, focused image on the retina. The critical component in focusing is the eye lens, and the physical properties that underlie the transparency of the lens, as well as its ability to precisely refract light, arise from the high concentrations of special proteins called crystallins found in lens cells.

Fish, frogs, birds and mammals all experience image-forming vision, thanks to the fact that their eyes all express crystallins and form a lens; however, the vertebrates' nearest invertebrate relatives, such as sea squirts, have only simple eyes that detect light but are incapable of forming an image. This has lead to the view that the lens evolved within the vertebrates early in vertebrate evolution, and it raises a long-standing question in evolutionary biology: How could a complex organ with such special physical properties have evolved?

In their new work, Shimeld and colleagues approached this question by examining the evolutionary origin of one crystallin protein family, known as the ß?-crystallins. Focusing on sea squirts, invertebrate cousins of the vertebrate lineage, the researchers found that these creatures possess a single crystallin gene, which is expressed in its primitive light-sensing system. The identification of the sea squirt's crystallin strongly suggests that it is the single gene from which the vertebrate ß?-crystallins evolved.

The researchers also found that, remarkably, expression of the sea squirt crystallin gene is controlled by genetic elements that also respond to the factors that control lens development in vertebrates: The researchers showed that when regulatory regions of the sea squirt gene are transferred to frog embryos, these regulatory elements drive gene expression in the tadpoles' own visual system, including the lens. This strongly suggests that prior to the evolution of the lens, there was a regulatory link between two tiers of genes: those that would later become responsible for controlling lens development, and those that would help give the lens its special physical properties. This combination of genes appears to have then been co-opted in an early vertebrate during the evolution of its visual system, giving rise to the lens.


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KEYWORDS: creation; crevolist; desperation; evolution; id; intelligentdesign
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How could a complex organ with such special physical properties have evolved?

How indeed? Once again, they don't admit to, or confess the enormous problem of eye evolution (which is sort of an oxymoron) until they think they've got it solved. This is where the argument from design comes in most strongly. The eye mechanism is far too complex to have evolved.

Everyone else, give me your feedback, but it looks like what they are saying is, these so-called "simple" forms of the eye in "simple" life forms like sea squirts and invertebrates are more similar to the "complex" forms than previously thought.

1 posted on 09/22/2005 6:58:10 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger
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To: gobucks; mikeus_maximus; MeanWestTexan; JudyB1938; isaiah55version11_0; bondserv; plain talk; ...
(((Creationist Ping)))



You have been pinged because of your interest in matters of Creation vs. Evolution, Creation trumping evolution, and evolutionary fraud. Freep-mail me if you want on/off this list.

Colossians 1:16 "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him."




So how DO eyes evolve?

Maybe they were designed!

Our eye movements and their control: part 1

Our eye movements and their control: part 2
2 posted on 09/22/2005 7:02:26 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (As long as liberalism and I exist, neither one of us is safe.)
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: bobbdobbs

What do facts have to do with this topic?


4 posted on 09/22/2005 7:08:31 AM PDT by SolarisRocks
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To: DaveLoneRanger

You take a potato, give it glasses, stick it in the water and voila - you get eye evolved! Simple, works every time!


5 posted on 09/22/2005 7:13:06 AM PDT by Leo Carpathian (FReeeePeee!)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Here's the actual abstract. A refracting lens is a key component of our image-forming camera eye; however, its evolutionary origin is unknown because precursor structures appear absent in nonvertebrates [1]. The vertebrate beta-gamma-crystallin genes encode abundant structural proteins critical for the function of the lens [2]. We show that the urochordate Ciona intestinalis, which split from the vertebrate lineage before the evolution of the lens, has a single gene coding for a single domain monomeric beta-gamma-crystallin. The crystal structure of Ciona beta-gamma-crystallin is very similar to that of a vertebrate beta-gamma-crystallin domain, except for paired, occupied calcium binding sites. The Ciona beta-gamma-crystallin is only expressed in the palps and in the otolith, the pigmented sister cell of the light-sensing ocellus. The Ciona beta-gamma-crystallin promoter region targeted expression to the visual system, including lens, in transgenic Xenopus tadpoles. We conclude that the vertebrate beta-gamma-crystallins evolved from a single domain protein already expressed in the neuroectoderm of the prevertebrate ancestor. The conservation of the regulatory hierarchy controlling beta-gamma-crystallin expression between organisms with and without a lens shows that the evolutionary origin of the lens was based on co-option of pre-existing regulatory circuits controlling the expression of a key structural gene in a primitive light-sensing system.

And here's my summary. IDers claim structures like the vertebrate lens contain multiple components that had to appear together to make a functioning eye, a putatively implausible occurence. Scientists reply that complex structures evolve, not de novo, but by co-option of pre-existing components which previously had other functions. And gosh, here's an example. Urochrodates don't have a vertebrate lens or ancillary strucutres, but they do have the vertebrate lens protein, which was already expressed for another purpose in the neuroectoderm.

It's not that ID needs to be refuted yet again; the only people who don't recognize it has already been refuted are true believers; but this is yet one more counter-example.

Still, thanks for posting it, Dave.

6 posted on 09/22/2005 7:14:02 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: DaveLoneRanger; rabair
Dave, you've posted a thread or two since my last request to you regarding the IDist position (or, rather, lack of a position) on the biogeography problem, so I'm feeling a little neglected over here. Feeling energetic this morning?

The biogeography problem (post #95)

The IDist trilemma with respect to the biogeography problem (post #98)

another request to DaveLoneRanger for a response to the biogeography problem (post #10)

Nobel laureate James D. Watson on the biogeography problem (see the second paragraph)

a request to rabair for a response to the biogeography problem (post #31)

follow-up request to DaveLoneRanger for a response to the biogeography problem (post #73)


7 posted on 09/22/2005 7:24:07 AM PDT by snarks_when_bored
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To: snarks_when_bored

Snarks -

Since you are so impatient, I'll go ahead and paste some stuff on the biogeography nonproblem. I'm at college, I have a major test coming up, and I simply haven't time that all you unemployed frevolutionists seem to have on hand. As I said, it's about 35 to 1, and in print, that takes a little while. This pertains to an article National Geographic published.




Evolutionists say that only evolution can explain why there are certain creatures in one location, say kangaroos in Australia, but not in another location. However, Darwin claimed that evolution explained the pattern of life on fixed continents, while now evolution is supposed to explain the pattern of life on continents that moved apart from one big one. If evolution is so flexible that it can explain such mutually incompatible distributions, then it explains nothing at all.

Also, there are many puzzles to the observed distribution of living and fossil creatures. For example, kangaroos are not mainly in Australia “because they evolved there.” And evolutionists have to admit that marsupials once lived in Europe, Asia and North America (in profusion in the latter), but now are largely absent (except for opossums in the Americas). Here is a revealing admission from two evolutionists:

Living marsupials are restricted to Australia and South America (which were part of the supercontinent Gondwana); North American opossums are recent immigrants to the continent. In contrast, metatherian fossils from the Late Cretaceous are exclusively from Eurasia and North America (which formed the supercontinent Laurasia). This geographical switch remains unexplained.5

But creationists contend that there are much better explanations of the biogeographic evidence, which flow from understanding the changes in climate and sea level after the global catastrophic Flood at the time of Noah and the fact that post-Flood people would have intentionally (and sometimes unknowingly) taken plants and animals to different parts of the world as they repopulated the earth. See Migration Q&A and chapter 1 of Woodmorrappe’s book, Studies in Flood Geology.

Closely related species in an area, such as the thirteen species of finches in the Galápagos Islands that Darwin explored, have indeed arisen from a common ancestor. But finches changing into finches don’t tell us where finches came from in the first place. Rather, they are a classic example of sorting out genetic information, not generating new information, and far more quickly than evolutionists expected but just what the creation model predicted—see Darwin’s finches: Evidence supporting rapid post-Flood adaptation. Also, recent work shows that many of the changes are really the result of a built-in capacity to respond to cyclically changing climates. For example, while a drought resulted in a slight increase in beak size, the change was reversed when the rains returned.

This argument applies to the other NG examples of anoles, mole rats, ants, pigeons and fruit flies. It’s also important to note that Darwin’s argument was against a compromising view similar to that of progressive creationists such as Hugh Ross: namely, that God created individual species where they are now living.

Contrary to what the NG article implies, informed creationists do indeed believe that new species can arise. But these are the result of the reshuffling or loss of the genetic information in the original created kinds. As explained earlier, creationist scientists do not believe that the original created “kinds” (mentioned in Genesis 1) are equivalent to the modern man-made taxonomic classification of “species,” but more likely approximates the “family” level. Much recent evidence has accumulated to show that speciation can happen rapidly, which has surprised evolutionists but fits perfectly with the Bible’s teachings—see Speedy species surprise.



Naturally, the links don't go through, and HTML goes wacky when I try to post it like that. Click on this link and search Biogeography if you like: http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2004/1106ng.asp

Cf. http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=241


8 posted on 09/22/2005 7:29:47 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (As long as liberalism and I exist, neither one of us is safe.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
It seems these evolutionists just prefer to ignore that the earliest creatures thought to have existed, somehow came equiped with a very complex eyes.

As we travel down the "evolutionary ladder" to examine those creatures which were supposedly among the earliest life forms on the planet, would it not be logical to expect their eyes to be less complex? Contrary to this expectation, among the lowest rock layers are found multi-cellular creatures called trilobites which have an extremely sophisticated optical system. Some trilobites had a compound eye placed in such a way as to allow 360o vision.

Compound eyes are ideally suited for detecting minute motions and some trilobites eyes were specially designed to correct for spherical aberration allowing a clear image from each facet. Even more impressive, each lens allowed for undistorted underwater imaging depth perception. Thus, one of the "earliest" in vertebrate creatures had clear underwater vision through eyes which could detect both depth and imperceptibility small motions in all directions simultaneously. Yet this creature was not at the end of the supposed evolutionary line but near the beginning! Yet no direct ancestor to this incredible complex creature (or its eye) has been found.

The complexity of eyes still argue for the reality of instantaneous formation by an incredibly intelligent designer. There is neither a fossil record showing that the eye evolved nor any testable observations explain how it could possible happen.

With these facts in mind, why do we allow textbook selection which leaves out both the problems with evolution and the evidence for intelligent design? This is indoctrination, not education.

9 posted on 09/22/2005 7:33:14 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: DaveLoneRanger

This is how science works. I see no problems here.


10 posted on 09/22/2005 7:33:22 AM PDT by Paradox (Just because we are not perfect, does not mean we are not good.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Okay, Dave, I read the first paragraph of what you sent and I find this:

However, Darwin claimed that evolution explained the pattern of life on fixed continents, while now evolution is supposed to explain the pattern of life on continents that moved apart from one big one. If evolution is so flexible that it can explain such mutually incompatible distributions, then it explains nothing at all.

I'll be charitable and say that this writer is simply ignorant of the fact that Darwin spent five years on the H.M.S. Beagle investigating places like the Galapagos islands, and brought home hundreds of pages of notes and many specimens, then studied and thought for the next 20 years before publishing Origin of Species. If you'd read the Watson piece I linked to, you would've seen that Watson is remarking on Darwin's amazement at what he found on the islands of the Pacific.

Of course, the other alternative is that the writer knows this very well, but is so hard up for an argument that he has to lie to his readers about what Darwin actually thought and wrote.

Come on, man, have the decency to point me towards arguments by people who either know something or at least aren't charlatans.

11 posted on 09/22/2005 7:36:36 AM PDT by snarks_when_bored
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To: Nathan Zachary

Heh heh, sounds like you need to be on my Creation ping list. 8-)


12 posted on 09/22/2005 7:36:49 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (As long as liberalism and I exist, neither one of us is safe.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

By all means add me. :o)


13 posted on 09/22/2005 7:41:05 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: DaveLoneRanger
The findings help clarify our conceptual framework for understanding how the vertebrate eye, as we know it, has emerged over evolutionary time.

"Evolutionary time"??

Is that supposed to mean the four or five thousand years which has passed between the time that tyranosaur died and the present time when researchers break open one of its leg bones and find what looks like raw hamburger meat?


14 posted on 09/22/2005 7:44:10 AM PDT by tamalejoe
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To: Paradox
What would be the 'trigger' which caused these invertebrates to even need an eye? They couldn't "see",(theoretically) therefore didn't know light even existed.

Some facts to consider:
An eyeball with no retina would be a tumor, not an improvement to be passed on to the next generation. An eyeball without a focusing lens would be worthless except as a light detector.

An eyeball without a functioning optic nerve to carry the signal to the brain would be worthless.

An eyeball without the perfect balance of fluid pressure would explode or implode.

An eyeball without a brain designed to interpret the signals would be sightless.

What developed first, the brain, the optic nerve, the eyeball, the retina, the lens, Rods and cones? How could all of these, or any combination of these have developed simultaneously?
Simply stating the lens formed first, just isn't good enough, because what good would it be without an optic nerve connected to a brain? ( a developed brain with vision processing capabilities no less) The eye is one of those things which, regardless of simplicity or complication, needs all the other parts which make it work to be in place at the same time.
15 posted on 09/22/2005 7:57:27 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: tamalejoe

Gee, I thought it was millions or billions of years, depending which silly evolutionary theory they are trying to prove.

Did they find any bird DNA in it yet?


16 posted on 09/22/2005 8:01:16 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: DaveLoneRanger

A physicist said "In science anything other than physics is stamp collecting"

I'd say he's about right. All opinion all the time.


17 posted on 09/22/2005 8:02:47 AM PDT by bkepley
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To: bkepley
"Physics" is no better. Develop a theory, one that cannot be seen, will never been seen, and therefore can never be proved as real, then create an equation that arrives at that theory.

Hollywood does the same thing with film. In fact they are leaps and bounds ahead of physicists. They have actually flown space ships through black holes and cracks in the space time continuum. :o)
18 posted on 09/22/2005 8:12:04 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: Nathan Zachary

Hadn't heard about any DNA studies. But anybody who thinks that meat is 65,000,000 years old is dillusional.


19 posted on 09/22/2005 8:12:51 AM PDT by tamalejoe
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To: tamalejoe
"Hadn't heard about any DNA studies. But anybody who thinks that meat is 65,000,000 years old is dillusional."

Let them think that, it puts them into a corner. If this meat survived unchanged for 65 million years, then evolution clearly didn't happen.

What did they previously "carbon date" these bones at? It proves their carbon dating "science" (although that has been proven wrong many other ways already)Is garbage as well. They do the same thing with arrow heads they find from "prehistoric man". They don't realize that this "prehistoric man" simply made an arrowhead out of a rock he found, which could have been from a much earlier time. The "cave man" didn't make the rock as well. Walk into any museum where they have these arrowheads neatly arranged and "dated" and point that out to the person running the show.

20 posted on 09/22/2005 8:23:49 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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