Home » Evolution, Intelligent Design » Trilobite eye “comes as something of a shock”

Trilobite eye “comes as something of a shock”

File:Erbenochile eye.JPG

Erbenochile eye/Moussa Direct Ltd.

In Probability’s Nature and the Nature of Probability, Don Johnson discusses the trilobite eye:

Physicist Riccardo Levi-Setti observes, “In fact, this optical doublet is a device so typically associated with human invention that its discovery in trilobites comes as something of a shock. The realization that trilobites developed and used such devices half a billion years ago makes the shock even greater. ”

The trilobite lens is particularly intriguing since the only other animal to use inorganic focusing material is man. The lens my be classified as a prosthetic device since it was non-biological, which also means the lens itself (with no DNA) was not suvbject to Darwinian evolution. The manufacturing andcntrolling of the lenses were obviously biological processes, with an unknown number of DNA-produced proteins for collecting and processing the raw materials to manufacture the precision lenses and create the refracting interface between the two lenses.

The lenses do not decompose as any other animal’s lenses would, so they are subject to rigorous scientific investigation and determination of optical properties based on the actual lenses, from which infernces can be made as to their use.

(p. 64-65)

File under: If you were a student in Louisiana, you’d be allowed to ask

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3 Responses to Trilobite eye “comes as something of a shock”

  1. further notes from Programming of Life:

    The Optimal Trilobite Eye – per Dr. Don Johnson – Programming of Life page 66-68 and appendix F:

    Trilobites suddenly appeared in the Cambrian (lowest fossil-bearing) stratum with no record of ancestry. The trilobite eye is made of optically transparent calcium carbonate (calcite, the same mineral of its shell) with a precisely aligned optical axis that eliminates double images and two lenses affixed together to eliminate spherical aberrations [McC98, Gal00].

    Paleontologist Niles Eldredge observed, “These lenses–technically termed aspherical, aplanatic lenses–optimize both light collecting and image formation better than any lens ever conceived. We can be justifiably amazed that these trilobites, very early in the history of life on earth, hit upon the best possible lens that optical physics has ever been able to formulate” [Eld76]. Notice these lenses weren’t just good as, but were better than anything modern optical physicists have been able to conceive! ,,, “The design of the trilobite’s eye lens could well qualify for a patent disclosure” [Lev93p58].,,,

    The trilobite lens is particularly intriguing since the only other animal to use inorganic focusing material is man. The lens may be classified as a prosthetic device since it was non-biological, which also means the lens itself, with apparently no DNA inherent within, was not subject to Darwinian evolution. The manufacturing and controlling of the lenses were obviously biological processes, with an unknown number DNA-prescribed proteins (each with a prescriptive manufacturing program) for collecting and processing the raw materials to manufacture the precision lenses and create the refracting interface between the two lenses.

    The lenses do not decompose as any other animal’s lenses would, so they are subject to rigorous scientific investigation,,, Since no immediate precursors of trilobites have been found, Darwinists are without any evidence as to how an organism with an eye as complex as a trilobite could have arisen,,, especially in,, the lowest multi-cellular fossil-bearing stratum,,,

    Appendix F:

    “Trilobites had solved a very elegant physical problem and apparently knew about Fermat’s principle, Abbe’s sine law, Snell’s laws of refraction and the optics of birefringent crystals” [Cla75]

    “the rigid trilobite doublet lens had remarkable depth of field (near and far focusing) and minimal spherical aberration” [Gon07]

    Physicist Riccardo Levi-Setti observes:

    “In fact, this doublet is a device so typically associated with human invention that its discovery comes as something of a shock. The realization that trilobites developed and used such devices half a billion years ago makes the shock even greater. And a final discovery – that the refracting interface between the two elements in a trilobite’s eyes was designed in accordance with optical constructions worked out by Descartes and Huygens in the mid-seventeenth century – borders on sheer science fiction” [Lev93p57].

    “The trilobites already had a highly advanced visual system. In fact, so far as we can tell from the fossil record thus far discovered, trilobite sight was far and away the most advanced in Kingdom Animalia at the base of the Cambrian,,, There is no other known occurrence of calcite eyes in the fossil record” [FM-trib].

    related notes:

    Evolution vs. The Trilobite Eye – Andy McIntosh – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4032589/

    Poster on the Trilobite Eye
    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=h.....0186278779

    Thinnest ever camera sees like a trilobite – December 2010
    Excerpt: An unusual arthropod eye design that maximizes image resolution has inspired the design of the thinnest stills and video camera yet made.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....nline-news

    ================

    Deepening Darwin’s Dilemma – Jonathan Wells – The Cambrian Explosion – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4154263/

  2. The lens my be classified as a prosthetic device since it was non-biological, which also means the lens itself (with no DNA) was not subject to Darwinian evolution.

    I don’t get it.

  3. Fair enough too Mung! I’m confused as well …

    The eye this paper is refering to (I think?) is one that is a schizochroal eye [one that corrects focusing problems although the lenses themselves are not flexible] I’ve seen them described as ‘eye-shades’ although tall eyes would be a better layman definition. They look odd, but they stand tall so provided these specific trilobites with better vision of predators/food coming, but also likely to have incurred damage bacause they stand so tall. Glass half full? Anyway, trilobites had a wonderfully varied number of eye designs.

    I don’t understand the non-biological quote.

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