What Does The Eye Tell Us About Evolution

I previously cited the eye as an example of an organ that demonstrates irreducible complexity. It’s an old argument in the creation-evolution debate but has never been properly defeated. That is not to say materialists don’t give it a shot.

They will say it came about as the result of a “long and complex pathway.” We are supposed to never mind that nobody knows how “long” and nobody has ever attempted to detail the “complex pathway” in other than storybook fashion.

The evolutionary eye tale goes something like this: light sensitive pigment evolved to light sensitive cells, then to a primitive eyespot, to a deep recessed eyespot, to a pinhole lens eye and finally to the complex eye. The “proof” is that there are creatures alive today that have each of these things. But doesn’t that very fact contain the disproof that any of these sight organs evolved from one to the other? If “precursor” eye organs are fully functional for the creatures that have them, there is no need for them to evolve further.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty of what real proof should be. How did the first light sensitive pigment come into being? By what mechanism, what physical laws, what chemistry? How, by what mechanism (details please) did the complex assemblage required for light sensitive cells and fully functioning eyes, complete with lids, lacrimal (tear) apparatus, mucosal membranes, eye ball, cornea, aqueous humor, iris, lens, a complex array of focusing muscles, automatic neural control (we don’t have to think to focus or to adjust the iris for the amount of light), vitreous humor, retina (rods, cones, etc.), optic nerve and brain to translate the images, come into being?

Look at the simplified graphic here of the eye and some of the biochemistry associated with it. Nobody can imagine, much less describe in detail, how such an array of complexity could come into being by steps. Neither can they fathom a detailed mechanism for creating any single part.
None of this skepticism or questioning holds back evolution-to-the-death believers. When faced with the irreducible complexity argument one evolutionary apologist basically solved the problem by proclaiming that an eye is really not very perfect at all, and by implication not complex! If it is not complex, then reducing it to simple components is no problem.

Referring to the layered configuration of the retina and its connection to the neurons feeding signals to the brain, he remarked: “The world is simply not always so intelligently designed!… For optimal vision why would an intelligent designer have built an eye backwards and upside down?” (Why people believe, p XXI http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0716733870/103-4950061-5008665?v=glance&n=283155) He is here referring to the layered configuration of the retina and its connection to the neurons feeding signals to the brain.
I hardly know what to say to a comment like that. But I will. The first thing that comes to mind is, let’s see you do better Mr. Smarty Pants. He won’t and he can’t. Nowhere in the anatomical or physiological literature is there even one article by any researcher or scientist describing this flawed design and a proposal as to how the eye’s “backwards and upside down” mistake should be fixed. Nowhere in the hundreds of thousands of medical articles on optometry and ophthalmology is there any mention that the eye is defective in this way. (I have only reviewed the medical literature for about the past 35 years but I’ll bet there is nowhere my upside down eyes haven’t looked either.)

Incredible. Humans with all of their smarts, science and technology (not to mention 20-20 eyesight) can’t even create one light sensitive pigment, but this one knows how to make a better complex eye! It’s like not being able to add 2 +2 but then cockily pronouncing how differential equations performed by a Nobel Prize laureate are “backwards and upside down.”

John Ciardi summed it up so well:
“Who could believe an ant in theory?
A giraffe in blueprint?
Ten thousand doctors of what’s possible
Could reason half the jungle out of being.” (7:27)

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