Home » Intelligent Design » Another Icon of “Bad Design” Bites the Dust

Another Icon of “Bad Design” Bites the Dust

Darwinists often cite the inverted retina (backward wiring) of the vertebrate eye as a prime example of bad design and therefore as evidence that no right-thinking designer would have done things that way. On the ID side, it’s been clear that the Darwinists’ received wisdom here is not nearly so clear cut and that there can be good functional reasons for an inverted retina (see Michael Denton on this subject here).

A recent article in PNAS now indicates that living optical fibers create a clear passage for light to the light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye. Concerning his research in this area, Andreas Reichenbach remarks, “Nature is so clever. This means there is enough room in the eye for all the neurons and synapses and so on, but still the Müller cells can capture and transmit as much light as possible.” Go here for a summary of the research as well as for a reference to the relevant PNAS article.

Question: Is this result more consistent with Darwinian or ID assumptions? Darwinists have been constantly saying that a competent designer wouldn’t have wired our retinas the “wrong” way. Well, now we find inside the eye optic fibers that transmit 100% through the layers of “bad” stuff in front of the cones and rods. Perhaps we need is some congressional research funds earmarked to tackle all these instance of “bad design” and show that they actually constitute great design — things to inspire engineers to build better devices!

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43 Responses to Another Icon of “Bad Design” Bites the Dust

  1. 1
    The Scubaredneck

    I think this should be a clarion call for anyone interested in doing research into intelligently designed systems. For years, folks have pointed to the retina as an example of something that was totally messed up and, therefore, not designed. One has to ask how many other systems there might be that, on the surface, appear to be a bit screwy but, upon further inspection, prove to be rather engeniously designed Let the games begin…

    The Scubaredneck

  2. I have to say, things like this make the ID fight interesting.

    I think the greater point is, whether or not you can ‘prove’ ID in the lab (I’m skeptical about it philosophically, but I don’t have the expertise to evaluate ID’s technical arguments), this does show that you can walk into a lab with a philosophical presupposition of ID and achieve quite some interesting results.

    Approaching the sciences from the perspective of intentional design, I would argue, is entirely valid.

  3. I was going to add to the other discussion on C3 vs C4 that from an ID perspective we should not look at one as inefficient, but peer thru the looking glass of Design. Therefore a perspective on respiration as a requirement instead of an inefficiency; for example, fruit bearing trees emitting odors and chemicals against insects or even to kill fungi, etc. Because C4 is not limited to only tropical climates, it exist in the artic. We should not limit ourselves to only thinking about inefficiency of C3 because a materialist says so. There may be hidden purpose to those with scales on their eyes, but not those who see and ask.

    We should never fall into the “vestigial” bottom up, worthless tonsils and appendages approach of materialist evolutionist who just toss their hands up in the air and claim, “it must be vestigial leftovers” of a dead, meaningless and random world. And whom then make the decision to not fund anymore reseach into alternative explanations. Clearly, they’ve been wrong in the past and continue to be with “JunkDNA”, etc.

    And this bears repeating by Dr. Dembski…
    “Perhaps we need ()some congressional research funds earmarked to tackle all these instance of “bad design” and show that they actually constitute great design — things to inspire engineers to build better devices!”

    Have faith. Whenever materialist evolutionist say vestigial, inefficient, bad design. That is exactly where ID needs to look and gather funding. Becaue it is where those who believe in meaningless existence overlook treasures.

    I remember reading last year, ahm, from a creation, ahmm, cough, a creationist site that the eye is well designed for multiple purposes of which people like Dawkins overlooked. One being blood flow as a coolent. Interesting tidbit from that cough, creation, cough website….

    “The choroid takes 85% of the ocular blood flow, and the choroid is remarkable for having the highest blood flow per gram of tissue of all tissues in the body, four times greater even than that of the renal (kidney) cortex. The authors also noted that little oxygen is extracted from blood flowing through the choroid.”

    But why is this important? I think if we look deeper, there’s more here than, ahm, meets the eye.

    “It follows that for light to reach the photoreceptors, both RPE and choroid have to be located external to the neurosensory retina; hence we can conclude that there are sound reasons for the inverted configuration of the human and vertebrate retina.”

    “First published:
    Technical Journal 13(1):37–44
    April 1999″

    The articles hits on another interesting conclusion, “Moreover, the foveolar cones differ from those elsewhere in being taller, more slender, perfectly straight and accurately oriented to be axial with respect to incident light, for maximal VA and sensitivity. In this area, blood vessels are absent and the retina is much thinner, being reduced to only photoreceptors (cones) with minimal supporting tissue. The inner neural elements of the neurosensory retina are displaced from the foveola radially to allow unimpeded access of light and elimination of what little scattering of light occurs elsewhere (Figure 5).”

    There is more along with diagrams. Hmmm, April 1999. Go figure, “…dumb, wicked” people.
    http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1683/
    Not that a “creationist, opthalmologist” would ever have a clue.

  4. Bad design arguments are the worst thing going.

    In the spirit of gloating and piling on. Did anybody catch this April 23rd headline, “Junk’ DNA now looks like powerful regulator, researcher finds“?

    http://www.physorg.com/news96567418.html

    Oh, ya.

  5. a little OT: Not Bad Design, but “unique” design. And another nail in the coffin of darwins tree, bush, whatever…

    ““The assumption(least this is honest) has always been that bats evolved from some sort of flying squirrel-type animals,” says Swartz. “Gliding has evolved in mammals seven times. That tells us that it’s really easy(uhuh, who says Darwinians don’t have faith?) for an animal with skin to evolve into a glider(so easy I fly every night, Batman! queue music), but going from a square gliding wing to a long, skinny flapping wing has not happened seven times. It might have happened once. And now it doesn’t look like bats have any relationship to these gliding things.””

    Haha, “things” yeah, they’re thingies alrighty, off to my batcave! next thingy we’ll see is the penguin in a tux, doh!

    http://www.brown.edu/Administr.....6-082.html
    this reality check hattip by creationontheweb.com.

    The military wants to develop new designs in flight based on these bat thingies. go figure, DARPA again.

  6. “Andreas Reichenbach remarks, ‘Nature is so clever.’”

    Merriam Webster (m-w.comremarks: “CLEVER”…
    SYNONYM see in addition INTELLIGENT”

    The Wikipedia guys need to call the Dictionary guys to get this fixed.

  7. Not a good time for militant darwinism/materialism. Oh well, get the darwin propaganda machine spinning and churn out some articles at PT claiming how this is old news and darwin predicted it all along. Call us IDiots and hope the public doesn’t notice as another icon falls. How many is that for ID now? At least two big ones right? “Junk” DNA and now the eye?

  8. 8

    It is interesting to note that whenever confronted with conclusive evidence for design, materialist will always point to some supposed design flaw for defence and not address the conclusive evidence that was presented for design at all. Pure science follows the evidence wherever the evidence may lead no matter if it is distastful to personal preferences!

  9. OK, so the human eye is clever and bungled. Bungled but in a clever sort of way. Wait, isolated pockets of cleverness but put together in a bungled way, yea, that’s it.

    Well, OK, just because we *haven’t* reconciled bungledness with cleverness doesn’t mean we *can’t*. Scientists are working on it.

  10. 10
    sagebrush gardener

    Oh well, get the darwin propaganda machine spinning…

    I believe the stock phrase is “sheds new light on evolution”. Translation: “WTF?!”

    For more on this and other instances of “bad design”, see here.

  11. “Nature is so clever.” = Nature is so intelligent.

    So what exactly IS nature?

    1. The material world and its phenomena.
    2. The forces and processes that produce and control all the phenomena of the material world: the laws of nature.
    3. The world of living things and the outdoors
    4. A primitive state of existence, untouched and uninfluenced by civilization or artificiality

    But we all know nature has no intrinsic intelligence or mind.

    Therefore to say that nature is clever is tantamount to saying that;
    1. We really do believe nature is itself intelligent – a position only George Lucas and wannabe Jedis would hold – or,
    2. There really is an intelligent power behind what we call nature.

    Only mind can be “clever”.

    Q: So why is it so ruddy hard for these guys to admit it’s designed!?
    A: They have a pre-commitment to materialism.

    Again, this is why I say that if the design were not real Dawkins would never have had to invent “designoids” –> Counterfeit implies true coin.

  12. Borne said,

    “…this is why I say that if the design were not real Dawkins would never have had to invent “designoids” -> Counterfeit implies true coin.”

    The eye is a marvel of engineering, contravenes the illogic of Occam’s Razor, and makes Richard Dawkins scant level of design and engineering awareness laughable. With better and better methods of analysis, those design features are becoming more apparent. And yet, even without the knowledge we have thus far uncovered, man has marveled over the eye from the beginnings of his ability to do critical analysis. Even Darwin lost a lot of sleep over it.

    So why do mainstream scientists still cling to the naturalistic approach to design and innovation? Vested interest, I suppose. But as science progresses, evidence of purposeful design in nature will prevail, and eventually preempt Darwinian thought.

    In an attempt to help to explain the evolution of the vertebrate eye, Nilsson and Pelger conducted a study in 1994, which is partially summarized as:

    “Theoretical considerations of eye design allow us to find routes along which the optical structures of eyes may have evolved. If selection constantly favours an increase in the amount of detectable spatial information, a light-sensitive patch will gradually turn into a focused lens eye through continuous small improvements of design. An upper limit for the number of generations required for the complete transformation can be calculated with a minimum of assumptions. Even with a consistently pessimistic approach the time required becomes amazingly short: only a few hundred thousand years.”

    Here is the study: http://www.jodkowski.pl/kk/DENilsson001.html

    The study primarily addresses how a lens might form over a patch of light sensitive cells, and alleges a computer simulation of the process. The study was hailed by many as ground braking, and even proof of eye evolution (Richard Dawkins, “Where’d you Get Those Peepers” http://tinyurl.com/3kzrq).

    My belief is that the vertebrate eye in its many forms never formed itself by successive favorable mutations, and to claim as the study does that it happened in a relatively short time of “a few hundred thousand years”, and in multiple instances, is a reality breach.

    Want to know more about ‘eye engineering’? http://webvision.med.utah.edu/.....l#overview

    So in answer to the question, “Is this result more consistent with Darwinian or ID assumptions?”, I’d say the answer is clear.

  13. Is not the so-called “bad design” argument itself an argument from design? The irony of all of these arguments is that they cannot be made without at least an intuitive (or maybe more) idea of what constitutes “good design” in the first place.

  14. steveb

    The argument from bad design is actually an argument from theism. It makes the theistic assumption that the designer is “perfect” and thus must create perfect designs. A theistic rebuttal (fair, since it’s an argument from theism) quite handily takes it down. The original creation was perfect but man fell from grace due to original sin and creation was allowed to decay from its original perfection. In the bible we see this in gradually decreasing lifespans from some 900 years for people in Noah’s age to less than 100 for later generations. From a non-theistic evidentiary POV there’s nothing I see about the machinery of life that would require a God-like designer. Biochemistry and information processing technology not a whole lot more advanced than humans have today would appear to suffice. It’s a lame argument any way you look at it.

  15. here’s how I see it. Evolution can only work with what’s there, and thus the designs have to fit that pattern. (evolution can’t tear down to rebuild, so if you find a wing, you can be pretty sure it’s a modified limb with finger bones, etc) The backwards retina fits that pattern. I think the question of design comes in due to the fact that designers typically aren’t restricted to only building on top of what’s already there. They are allowed to tear down and rebuild. Regardless of how well the human retina works (i have no complaints! ;) it follows the “build on top of” pattern. I think it’s silly to call that bad or good design, since there’s no way to get beyond the subjective, but I think the essence of what “darwinists” are saying, when they say poor design is “Why does the designer appear to design things in an ad hoc way?”

  16. fross

    Eyes exist in many forms from compound eyes in insects to camera eyes with non-inverted retinas in octopi to camera eyes with inverted retinas in mammals. I have no argument with evolution working with what’s already there. I have a problem with evolution creating things that were never there and the biggest problem is how evolution possibly created a digital code and machinery that reads the code and translates it into complex machinery. Abstract codes seem to necessarily require abstract thought to create them. Any abstract code found in nature where the origin can be determined were the result of abstract thought. Nothing else in nature except for living things and manmade devices incorporate anything like a code in them. Codes, in any objective view, must be considered artificial in origin unless and until a natural origin can be demonstrated. If that is done I’ll jump off the ID bandwagon as fast as if it were on fire.

  17. I will make the speculation again that has been made before about design and ecology. That optimal design for a species is not perfect design. Every species has limitations that no amount of deep time seems to be able to move pass.

    And there may be a reason from a design perspective. Perfect design, whatever that is, may be a disaster for the ecology as one species with optimal design for itself (for example, much better eyes) would take over the ecology thus eventually destroying the ecology and itself. So perfect design would actually place limitations on each species which it couldn’t surpass.

    This is something similar from Bill Demski’s Dover Expert Witness Report

    “Evolvability. Evolutionary biology’s preferred research strategy consists in taking distinct biological systems and finding similarities that might be the result of a common evolutionary ancestor. Intelligent design, by contrast, focuses on a different strategy, namely, taking individual biological systems and perturbing them (both intelligently and randomly) to see how much the systems can evolve. Within this latter research strategy, limitations on evolvability by material mechanisms constitute evidence for design.”

    So a possible ID research scenario would be “Is there anything in the genome that limits the evolvability of an organism?” It would be hard to explain such as thing by naturalistic means if it existed. It may not exist but what is it that seems to limit just how much an organism can change and why they don’t live longer, run faster and see better etc.?

  18. I believe all the eyes that now exist, were present during the Cambrian Explosion and the various forms did not exist before this time. So they all sort of came out of nowhere. Amazing development in such a short time with no new versions since.

  19. Dave,

    I understand your view on DNA and how you consider it digital code. I was just trying to clarify what is typically meant by “bad design” in this discussion. The human eye has a reversed retina, along with these living optical fibers. This is the ONLY way eyes can be in vertebrates due to the history of eye developement. This type of design is ad hoc. I’m not a programmer, but the best analogy I can come up with is Windows security flaws that are later patched. Windows and the security flaws are all designed, and that’s not really the point. The point is that the designs being discussed show a historical order of events. (windows+later patch) Evolution absolutely requires these types of historical order of events to fit a very specific pattern (and I realize you accept common descent, so your version of ID can fit very well also.) I think the “bad design” argument at its root is asking the IDists why the designs appear to have this pattern and limitation. If there is a designer, it offers clues that the designer designs in an ad hoc way, doesn’t forsee future events, yet has a method of contingency etc. I’ve seen this as a theological jab like you mentioned above, and I think the poor design argument is used toward a the creationist type IDist that ties the design to a deity that has requires attributes like seeing the future and being “perfect” whatever that means :)

  20. “Within this latter research strategy, limitations on evolvability by material mechanisms constitute evidence for design.” -Dover Witness Report

    Jerry, would you mind spelling out how material limitations on evolvability suggest design? From an engineering perspective, one which allows “looking ahead” (something evolution can’t do in principle) it would seem to me you’d want to design components such that they are as amenable to future uses as possible.

  21. 21

    In Responce to Dave Scots statement;
    From a non-theistic evidentiary POV there’s nothing I see about the machinery of life that would require a God-like designer. Biochemistry and information processing technology not a whole lot more advanced than humans have today would appear to suffice. It’s a lame argument any way you look at it.

    I disagree and say that the design we find in biology is far beyond man’s capabilities; as indicated by the following;

    There are about….
    Seven-million shades of color the human eye can detect. The eye is so sensitive it can detect a candle one mile away. Each eye contains about one-hundred-million light sensitive cells. One type of light sensitive cell, the rod, can detect a single photon. While today’s digital hardware is extremely impressive, it is clear that the human retina’s real-time performance goes unchallenged. To actually simulate 10 milliseconds of the complete processing of even a single nerve cell from the retina would require the solution of about 500 simultaneous nonlinear differential equations 100 times and would take at least several minutes of processing time on a Cray supercomputer. Keeping in mind that there are 10 million or more such cells interacting with each other in complex ways, it would take a minimum of 100 years of Cray time to simulate what takes place in your eye many times every second. The human is the only species known to shed tears when they are sad.

  22. Fross said:

    “here’s how I see it. Evolution can only work with what’s there, and thus the designs have to fit that pattern. (evolution can’t tear down to rebuild, so if you find a wing, you can be pretty sure it’s a modified limb with finger bones, etc) The backwards retina fits that pattern.”

    While I agree that evolution works that way, I disagree that eyes evolved. There are no intermediate and functional appliances that could have existed, therefore no ‘stepwise evolution’ of those organs. Crude, then gradually improving sight is the paradigm cited by evolutionists. Let’s see details of intermediate eyes then that would have any function at all. This is a challenge I offer evolutionists. But what of the design itself?

    Rather than backward, of the two choices of orientation, the existing one is plainly superior, and here are some of the reasons:

    1) Cooling of the photoreceptors. Choroidal blood flow far exceeds nutritional needs, and this has been verified by studies.

    2) UV filtration is enhanced by an inverted design, and not a requirement of cephalopods, who operated in low light levels.

    3) The blind spot is dealt with by data handling techniques, and is not a problem.

    4) Structural integrity of the nerve attachment may be enhanced by the inverted design, i.e. strain relief.

    In short, were the retina not inverted in vertebrates, it wouldn’t last long.

  23. Great Ape, I’m curious. Do you have any religious beliefs or are you an atheist?

    There are many people who believe in Darwinian Evolution and God too.

  24. Also, what would convince you Great Ape that there may be something to the argument for Intelligent Design?

  25. great_ape,

    This is speculation and I bring it up when ever the concept of bad design is discussed.

    If the genome has limitations on it that prevent the organism from getting “more perfect” however you want to define it, then this to me indicates a design mechanism.

    If I were a designer, then I would want the organisms that I designed to fit into as many ecological situations as possible. So there would have to be many built in flexibilities as possible so that when a new niche was encountered the organism could adapt. This is exactly what we see in species with a wide range of alleles on various characteristics. However, there would have to be limits on each organism because if there were no limits on what could change within an organism then it would continually evolve into something more efficient at surviving such as having longer life, bettor sensory perception, more intelligence etc. and in the process eliminate the ecology that is necessary for its survival. This is also what we see in each species, as there seems to be very definite limits on how much they can change or adapt.

    Humans are the first species to have a cognitive awareness of its environment and the necessity of modifying its natural tendencies for survival so as to not possibly eliminate itself through these natural tendencies. But what prevents all the other species from not constantly evolving to higher orders of complexity and efficiency. We certainly are not witnessing any sort of evolution of this in any form. I maintain the stasis in the environments around us are the strongest arguments against a naturalistic mechanism for major change there is, whether gradual or sudden.

    If something within the genome was found that was limiting evolution, then I cannot see how this could have arisen by natural means and would be a strong argument for design at one time.

    Again this is speculation but someone at one time mentioned the ecology problem when discussing imperfection and I do not remember where but it sounded logical to me which is why I bring it up now and again.

  26. LeeBowman,

    You may find it interesting to check out the eye of the octopus. It’s kind of similar to ours (however it has a different history) If you look at all mollusks, you will find intermediate types of eyes ranging from light sensitive patches, to light sensitive dimples, to pinhole eyes, to eyes with primitive lenses to eyes with complex lenses. I’m offering these examples not to suggest that all these mollusks are ancestral to each other (they aren’t) but to show that intermediates do exist and they function. Again, this has no bearing on whether they were designed or not, just that there are intermediates in case you were curious. :)

  27. landru wrote:

    “Well, OK, just because we *haven’t* reconciled bungledness with cleverness doesn’t mean we *can’t*. Scientists are working on it.”

    Thank you, Dr. Dawkins.

  28. I wonder how long before scientists are persecuted for publishing anything that can even be interpreted by the ID people as design?

  29. “You may find it interesting to check out the eye of the octopus.”

    I’m aware of that structural difference (so called ‘verted’ attachment), see item (2) above.

    As regards all of the varied configurations out there, that’s been cited as evidence of evolution, although many are in separate lineages. It may point to a common, and even multiple designers, using common tools and/or methods. Evolutionary functions may work in concert with ‘designer input’. We see that today in microprocessor design, i.e. designing software used, but with ‘end point parameter’ instructions added. Either system, by itself, could not produce an end product.

    In summary, odd designs exist, at least by our rationale as to what’s logical. But are we logical enough to be objective in our criticisms? From man’s perspective, an Isoptera should not exist as a species, but that is based on our love of wood structured homes, perhaps.

  30. 30

    I may be alone here, but for my part I believe the only true “perfect design” is a design which allows for change within the same organism.

    But that’s a high standard to meet – can anyone name an organism that can adjust its eyes to see better and further, find ways to travel faster and longer, manage to survive through vastly changing environments, even foresee future innovations it will need, all without relying on the biological evolution process itself?

  31. So….erm….is this another place where Darwinian assumptions delayed science AGAIN?
    How many mistakes can a theory make before it is considered false?

  32. “How many mistakes can a theory make before it is considered false?”

    How many epicycles can you withstand?

  33. It’s very important to notice that everytime Darwinists use the bad design arguement are unwillingly showing that there are only two sides on the origins issue: design or darwin. Therefore, evidence against darwinism IS evidence in favor of design, since darwinists believe that evidence against design is evidence in favor of Darwinism.

  34. Forgot to put a “they” between “arguement” and “are”

  35. Just a few thoughts. It seems that the “optical fibers” are flared open at the unattached end. Is this so that the optical fiber can accept longer wavelengths of light? In the case of the octupus, I imagine that the kind of light it “sees” is confined to a much more limited range of wavelengths than in the case of mammals. Is this then the reason for mammals having—as someone nicely put it—”living optical fibers”? From a “design theorist” POV, these seem like questions that deserve some research. Or, should we (as the Darwinists do) just call this “bad design” and move on to other things?

    If so, then perhaps the “inversion” of the retina is for the very precise reason that these “living optical fibers” need to be properly localized; i.e., you don’t want the flared end pointing in any old direction. Do the various neural and circulatory structures that are present in front of the retina, then, serve as a kind of matrix within which these “fibers” are fixed?

  36. Sorry: something got added in to the last post in the wrong place. This is how it should read:

    Just a few thoughts. It seems that the “optical fibers” are flared open at the unattached end. Is this so that the optical fiber can accept longer wavelengths of light? In the case of the octupus, I imagine that the kind of light it “sees” is confined to a much more limited range of wavelengths than in the case of mammals. Is this then the reason for mammals having—as someone nicely put it—”living optical fibers”?

    If so, then perhaps the “inversion” of the retina is for the very precise reason that these “living optical fibers” need to be properly localized; i.e., you don’t want the flared end pointing in any old direction. Do the various neural and circulatory structures that are present in front of the retina, then, serve as a kind of matrix within which these “fibers” are fixed?

    From a “design theorist” POV, these seem like questions that deserve some research. Or, should we (as the Darwinists do) just call this “bad design” and move on to other things?

  37. “Great Ape, I’m curious. Do you have any religious beliefs or are you an atheist?
    There are many people who believe in Darwinian Evolution and God too.” –DMcG

    I am a theist, though not an evangelical, and one of those people who believes evolution and God are not mutually exclusive. I do not rule out the possibility that God (or some other such powerful entity) has intervened one or more times in the history of life on earth. However, I have found no compelling reason to think such intervention has happened or was necessary.

    “Also, what would convince you Great Ape that there may be something to the argument for Intelligent Design?”

    1. A direct and unambiguous (contemporary) message from the designer would go a long way towards winning me over.

    2. As our knowledge of what is and is not possible via biological evolution (without intervention) grows, it may well become possible to examine the phylogenetic record and ask, could this have been accomplished via mutation and selection in such and such amount of time given such and such population constraints, etc? Once we know enough to be able to say no with exceptional confidence, I would find that a compelling argument. I do not think we are anywhere near such a state of knowledge, nor have I come across any obstacle thus far I’d consider insurmountable to evolution by unguided means.

    Right now, the evidence as I see it is consistent with a natural unguided process. And my first and foremost allegiance is towards developing the most truthful account of reality/nature possible. If my theology should ever come into conflict with what is discerned as truth given due diligence, then so much the worse for my theology.

  38. LeeBowman,

    Like I said above, I wasn’t trying to state that those mollusks are in the same lineages. I was pointing out what an intermediate eye would look like.
    I had Lasik the other day, and my cornea was removed, yet I could still see big light blurs where light sources were and I could see movement of large shapes. Half an eye is much better than no eye, or 1/3rd an eye. BTW, the surgery went well and I now have 20/15 vision! The intelligent design of the procedure worked wonders. :)

  39. fross

    You’re using something as a given that I don’t accept as given. The given is that mammalian camera eyes began from an ancestor with no eye at all and once a gross anatomical configuration was well established there was no starting over from scratch. An alternative to that given is that the mammalian camera eye’s gross anatomical configuration was the way it was originally designed and evolution is incapable of starting over from scratch.

    Either way what we really see are the bounds of what evolution is capable of doing. To propose that evolution can create an eye where none existed before but is incapable of deleting an eye that already exists borders on the preposterous. Destruction is far far easier than creation. Destruction is aided by the law of increasing entropy while creation is hindered by it. There’s also no arguing that eyes are indispensible to survival. More living things on this planet don’t have eyes than do have eyes. Evolution’s commonly accepted one-way trajectory of simple to complex really makes no sense as the most successful organisms on the planet by any metric are prokaryotes. They’re numero uno in terms of biomass, number of individuals, diversity of environments where they can survive, and immunity to extinction. If evolution was really about survival of the fittest everything would be evolving into bacteria not further away from them. Evolution’s trajectory is bass ackwards from the standpoint of survival of the fittest. The fittest were, by the all the evidence, the first to appear on the planet and 4 billion years later they’re still here, unchanged, and still the fittest.

    The only way I can make sense of evolution’s one way trajectory from simple to complex is the consideration that life on this planet is ultimately doomed to total annihilation absent the evolution of an organism with the cabability of moving to another planet before being burned to a crisp by its parent star. The common imperative in all living things is survival and reproduction. The only hope for long term survival of life currently residing on the earth is moving off this planet before its inevitable destruction. That raises some interesting questions. Is it more likely that life on this planet is a repeating link in a long chain or the first link in a new chain? One more link in a long chain seems more likely than the first link in a new chain. If we consider evolution writ very large, life that evolved the capability to get off a planet before it becomes inhospitable has a huge advantage. Any life that doesn’t evolve that capacity inevitably becomes extinct after some billions of years. Given this it then becomes quite reasonable to presume that life doesn’t abandon its hard earned complexity but retains it in some form when starting over on a new planet to ensure that it eventually regains the capacity to relocate again before it’s too late. Note this view is entirely materialistic and based on survival of the fittest. It elegantly fits the known facts, follows the overriding imperative of all living things to reproduce, and doesn’t clutch at straws to somehow make the ultimate origin of life an accidental happenstance on this lonely little planet.

    Eric Pianka asks “What makes humans more important than lizards?” My answer is “Lizards can’t save life on this planet from extinction when our sun swells into a red giant. Humans can and they can do it without lizards. That, if nothing else, is what makes humans far more important than lizards.”

    On the other hand maybe all we are and all we experience is nothing but false memories in a Boltzmann Brain produced by a random quantum fluctuation. Follow the links starting here for more on that score. Before Dembski posted that article I’d never heard of a Boltzmann Brain. Following it through produced a new record high reading on my Weird Shitometer.

  40. Hey Fross,

    Glad your surgery went well. Yes, it’s definitely an intelligent procedure! Regarding molusks, I’ve heard the arguments that since they have retinas with distal rather than proximal nerve bundle attachment, evolution got it right in their lineage. When I’ve posited that that worked better for them in low light, the usual response is ,”Oh, then why are fish retinas inverted then? Ask the designer, I guess. It can’t be both, so one was selected as best for the species perhaps.

    Regarding your experience with your cornea removed, I agree with your observation that an eye with a similar configuration would be more useful than no eye. Evolutionists say that that rationale bolsters Darwinian theory, since each little improvement would be a selective advantage. No argument there, but I view the eye, taken as a system (many simultaneous functions going on), to be too complex to evolve stepwise to its happy culmination.

    Why, one might ask? There are many simultaneous functions going on in the vertebrate eye, all working together as a system. While it could be argued that sub-structures would form ‘as needed’, what would determine that they were in fact needed, since the eye would be partially functional? Also, to properly integrate into the compact final design, I feel that most of the sub-structures would need to evolve simultaneously for proper integration.

    The above points are debatable. To bolster the evolution premise, and I might even consider this as proof, I feel that intermediate models of interim eyes need to be developed, i.e. a 10% eye, 12% eye …

    In Dawkins’ essay that I cited above (“Wher’d you get those peepers”), he states that same premise that you mentioned, that successive percentages of an eye would serve some purpose, and be more beneficial than a lesser eye (or no eye). He’s right that they would, as you also mentioned, but I see it as highly unlikely that incremental eyes would evolve, due to the requisite design considerations I mentioned above.

  41. The ridiculous evo scenario of the supposed evolution of the eye comes from Ma’ayan Semo (Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London) in his “Uncovering The Ancestry of A Complex Organ, The Eye” article (1998) – formerly available at his web site – which appears to be off line.(http://www.maayan.uk.com/evoeyes1.html)

    He actually states, “The eye came first. In a fairly real sense, the brain is an outgrowth of the eye”. The article is full of the word “design” and implications that different species actually chose to use different “designs” etc.

    I cracked up laughing at that one the 1st time I read it.

    So there were eyes before brains huh?

    These guys must never take 2 seconds to actually think over the idiocies they spew forth in Darwin’s name.

    How could an eye function w/o a brain?
    A non-seeing eye, just sitting there on or in some flesh would be like a tumor more than anything else and would be eliminated by NS.

    Even light sensitivity in the infamous “spot” is vastly more complicated than Darwinists seem to understand.

    Semo got a Phd. anyway so go figure, one is justified in wondering if they aren’t selling them to the highest bidder these days.

  42. [...] uit creationistische en ID -hoek  (zie hierboven voor Peter Borger ) en van william Dembski http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-the-dust/ De eerste antwoorden daarop van de “evolutionisten ‘”lieten ook niet lang op [...]

  43. [...] uit creationistische en ID -hoek (zie hierboven voor Peter Borger ) en van william Dembski http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-the-dust/ De eerste antwoorden daarop van de “evolutionisten ‘”lieten ook niet lang op [...]

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