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.