Skip to comments.New Scientist: The eye was evolution's great invention
Posted on 05/09/2010 4:25:11 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
THE eye has long been an evolutionary battleground. Ever since William Paley came up with the watchmaker analogy in 1802 - that something as complex as a watch must have a maker - creationists have used it to make the "argument from design". Eyes are so intricate, they say, that it strains belief to suggest they evolved through the selection and accumulation of random mutations.
Recently, evolutionary biologists have turned this argument on its head. They say that the "inside out" vertebrate retina - curiously structured so that its wiring obscures the light sensors and leaves us with a blind spot - can be described as one of evolution's "greatest mistakes".
The anatomy of the retina is indeed good evidence that eyes were cobbled together bit by bit. Surely a creator would never have chosen to construct an eye in this way. In return, creationists have argued that the backwards retina clearly has no problems providing vertebrates with excellent vision - and even that its structure enhances vision.
This week, a study by (non-creationist) neurophysicists in Israel has found just that (see "Optical fibre cells transform our weird, 'backward' retinas"). Their simulations showed that Müller cells, which support and nourish the neurons overlying the retina's light-sensitive layer, also collect, filter and refocus light, before delivering it to the light sensors to make images clearer.
Of course, findings that coincide with the claims of creationists do not mean they have a point - although they may well quote this study. Intelligent design proponents have shown themselves to be adept at speciously quoting peer-reviewed studies that appear to support their claims.
Sure, sending light through Müller cells enhances vision, but that is not an argument for choosing to put the wiring in front of the sensors.
(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...
Yes it was ‘Evolution’, the God of all adnostics and athiests. How convenient!
That evolution guy is pretty smart, eh?
The most intriguing question to me is: how did life begin?
I know what I believe.
As always interesting.
The author has shaky premises. To wit: to wiring which leads to a retinal blind spot “can be described as one of evolution’s “greatest mistakes””.
No. “Mistakes” die. The fit survive.
Evolution naturally selects (pun intended) those adequate, viable and superior shifts in the genome which generate a superior physical structure (i.e., a better eye) because those shifts/mutations (call them what you will) permit more individuals with that altered genome to live, thrive and reproduce.
Just as the Creator envisioned.
Evolution can do anything. It created Itself, it sustains Itself, and it never errs.
Just like the God of the Bible, without all those standards and difficult stuff.
addendum, I know God didn’t create Himself. He exists eternally. Don’t want to get into trouble with the catechists!
None of us are even aware of the 'blind spot' because our remarkable brains fill in the blank.
I have come to believe evolution is a tool of the creator. The real unanswerable question is: Where and when did life begin? I do not believe life originated on earth.
Wiring on the outside ~ ? That’s a touch screen!
Not only did “evolution” come up with the most ingenious idea of a lens focusing by changing its shape rather than moving it along the focal plane as in cameras, this amazing inventor “evolution” also wired it perfectly to the most complex computer know to man, the brain, to process an immense quantity of visual information at an astonishing speed. All this of course happened by trial and error and “natural selection”.
These moron scientists will never admit that some things are beyond their ability to understand.
After listening to the current dribbling idiots in D.C. for the past year, I am beginning to see your point.
With respect to complexity the eye is nothing compared to the DNA molecule, and nothing to date can explain its existence short of Divine Intervention. Oh wait, I forgot, Aliens put it here.
RE: I know God didnt create Himself. He exists eternally. Dont want to get into trouble with the catechists!
You don’t really have to go to catechists.
We have the dictionary definition of God :
In Monotheistic Religions : The supernatural being who is the eternal, perfect, omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe.
Oh, and “evolution” was not happy giving us just one perfect eye, so it gave us two - and both of them identical at that, so we could have perfect stereoscopic vision for better spatial reference. Boy, evolution, or should I say ‘evoluter’, thinks of everything.
RE: No. Mistakes die. The fit survive.
This is how it always sounded to me -— Nature selected and produced each species. The proof is that it did it. How do we know it did it? Because it did it.
Thus we have a question: `Why do some multiply while others remain suitable, dwindle, or die out?’ to which is offered an answer: `Because some are naturally fit to multiply while others remain stable, dwindle, or die out.
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST :
Why do certain individuals/species survive? Because they are the fittest. How do we know they are the fittest? Because they survive.
And Richard Dawkins. I cannot think of a better example of “begging the question.”
So, before the eye was “evolving” everything was stumbling around, blind? And isn’t amazing that the eyes “evolved” differently with each animal/creature that needed to see.
That Evolution is one smart cookie, that’s for sure.
It seems that because of the weird "wiring" aspect, the brain has to instantly and continuously fill in all the incoming visual stimuli: extending lines of perspective, remembering and "coloring in" details lost in the "blind spot," -- in short, every experience of vision is also an act of dynamic, rapid reconstructive interpretation. It's a brain workout.
So it seems the Intelligent Designer introduced an optical "glitch" that isn't a glitch at all: it is an ingeniously engineered system that multiplies the capacity for dynamic neural activity. Or, if you prefer, blind witless evolution did this, just ludicrously stumble-bumbling into both sight and mind. :o)
Lust also invented itself to accompany sex so it wouldn`t be lonely.
As The Great Evolutionist Tina Turner once stated:
"What`s Love Got to do With It?"
oops Forgot- Love invented itself, too.
We are praying for this nation, and lately, I have been praying God would speak to these people in a manner they can understand--"Please, Lord, take 'em down."
That little trick of development was evidenced by Mom when I was little.
The “mistakes” idea is the Darwinist’s “god of the gaps”. They used to tout “junk DNA” as proof of evolution - until it was discovered that it isn’t “junk”. Now they have just moved on to something else.
BTW, there is no reason why God has to create things with features that we find satisfactory.
If life did not originate on earth then you are just moving the issue of creation to a different location...also with out any proof. Since the creation of life really is not a scientific question but a historical question I prefer to go with the eye witness account...read Genesis for more info.
“...Since the creation of life really is not a scientific question but a historical question...”
You’re kidding, right? Try reading a science book, it isn’t a sin to educate yourself about the wonders of this creation.
I wonder how many people die each year due to their blind spot? I'm guessing probably none.
So again, the creation of life, being a one time event that cannot be duplicated and hence not proven scientifically, is actually a historical event. See Genesis for further details.
Silly argument, whatever position one takes on creation vs. evolution, unless one happens to be a True Believer in [whichever]. Right along with:
Of course, findings that coincide with the claims of [the other side] do not mean they have a point
"Well of course not. Because we're right and they aren't."
All these eyed creatures differ in hundreds/thousands or millions of ways .. but the eyes are the same.
(I know, some lids go sideways and bees have octagonal acid trips, but they are still essentially the same ....)
Just curious. How do you know life had a beginning? All the evidence is against it.
THAT is amazing. An amazing design. By an amazing God.
“All these eyed creatures differ in hundreds/thousands or millions of ways .. but the eyes are the same.”
Not really. There are probably as many variations in vision as there are creatures, from multifaceted eyes of insects to telescopic lenses in some raptors. Do a search on insect eyes. Fascinating, actually.
Don’t usually refer to Wikipedia, but this is not bad:
We have several ways of gathering evidence with one of them being eye witness testimony (most of the knowledge people have about science is actually eye witness testimony from scientists) I accept the eye witness testimony that is found in the book of Genesis.
Also curious. Are you saying that you believe life has always been? What would this belief be based upon?
re: “How do you know life had a beginning? All the evidence is against it.”
Can you elaborate on your question? When you say “How do you know life had a beginning?” are you talking about living organisms or the universe in general?
What is your evidence that life/universe did not have a beginning?
Tracing the gradual development of the stupendously complex eye of the trilobite through its evolutionary predecessors is tremendously fascinating.
“What is your evidence that life/universe did not have a beginning?”
All the life I know about came from life. As far as I know, that is all the evidence there is. As for the universe, I know that it is. Since there cannot be “non-existence” how could existence have a beginning.
Are we to believe that God would behave the way that people who don’t believe in Him say He would? That’s just silly.
Are you saying that you believe life has always been? What would this belief be based upon?
No, I would not say I believe life has always been. I don’t know. I do know all the life I know about can only come from life, and without evidence of a beginning, there is no reason to belive in one. So, until someone can demonstrate that life has a beginning, or can have, I’m not buying that it does.
Darwin had no answer as to how the phenomenon we call “life” came into existence. Fortunately, for him, he also was not faced with explaining how the DNA molecule invented itself, or how it is able to replicate itself.
The “purposeful” sorting of optical isomers of amino acids comes into play here, if I remember correctly.
I found the non-polemical, very readable “The End of Darwinism,” by Eugene G. Windchy, to be instructive. 2009, Xlibris Corp (www.Xlibris.com)
In a way that is the same as what I was saying (science cannot prove the beginning of life) except that I have gotten to the point that I believe that God is the Life Giver based on His own testimony found in the bible. That is something that has to enter into the area of faith.
When you take a Peripheral Vision test, you focus on a fixed target directly in front of your eyes.
Eye movement capability renders the “blind spot being a mistake” theory irrelevant. The Brain figures it all out.
These scientists. They should go back and read Chapter 6 of On the Origin of Species by Darwin, entitled “Limitations of Theory.” He states right there that the complexities of the eye are enough to break the theory of evolution. But, I’m sure some evo will pounce all over me (like they always do) claiming Darwin didn’t mean what he said. Whatever.
One fine day believers will never again be vexed by these antichrist people claiming to tell us how the universe was really made. They will be in torment and we will be with the God who made everything!
re: “Since there cannot be non-existence how could existence have a beginning.”
How do you know that there cannot be “non-existence”? Second, I’m sure you are aware that the universe is expanding, growing older and ultimately will run down. A universe that is expanding throughout its history has to have had a beginning. Check out Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin on this topic (just google them and you’ll come up with stuff about them).
Also, the second law of thermodynamics implies an ultimate “heat death” of the universe - that is, given enough time, all the energy in the universe will spread itself out evenly thourghout the universe. The universe will become a featureless soup in which no life is possible. It will be at a state of equilibrium, in which the temperature and pressure are the same everywhere.
If the universe if infinite, as you say, then why, if the universe has existed forever, is it not now in a state of equilibrium? Given infinite past time, it should by now already be in a state of heat death/equilibrium.
The truth is the universe is in a state of disequalibrium, where energy is still available to be used and the universe still has an orderly structure. This implies a finite universe - because it has not yet run down.
As to “life”, even Darwinian evolutionists would say that life had to have a beginning some where. Just because a gum-ball machine has gum-balls in it today doesn’t mean it’s always had gum-balls. Somebody had to make the gum-balls in the first place.
That’s correct. Also notice that almost all creatures, from the tiniest of insects to giant reptiles, have two eyes. Exactly two. No randomness there. And that’s because two is the right number required for stereoscopic vision. Two is not too few, not too many.
It’s fascinating how everything in the biological world has been so meticulously thought out. I wonder how these stupid “evolutionary scientists” would explain the “evolution” of a circulatory system. We have an electro-mechanical pump with perfectly synchronized valves and chambers that pumps away non stop and a vast network tubes that reach almost every nook and cranny of the body. And working in sync with the circulatory system is another system, the respiratory system which filters out the air and blood. And the respiratory system wouldn’t be complete without the digestive system to provide it with energy, and the digestive system without the excretory, or the excretory without the... And all these systems work in perfect harmony despite all the abuse they put up with during the life of .. say a human.
What is breathtaking is not just the wonder of creation, but also the stupidity of people who think all this came about by chance.