Theory of Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

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The human eye, intelligent designed

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1 The human eye, intelligent designed on Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:17 am

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It takes a lot of faith to believe that the human eye could be a product of evolution.

http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1653-the-human-eye-intelligent-designed#2563

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZMY5v79zyI

http://goddidit.org/the-human-eye/

The eye lense is suspended in position by hundreds of string like fibres called zonules.
The ciliary muscle changes the shape of the lens. It relaxes to flattern the lens for distance vision. For close work, it contracts rounding out the lens. This is all automatic.
Question : How could evolution produce a system that can control a muscle that is in the perfect place to change the shape of the lense ?
The retina is composed of photoreceptor cells. When light falls on one of these cells, it causes a complex chemical reaction that sends a electrical signal through the optic nerve to the brain.
Question : How does evolution explain our retinas having the correct cells which create electrical impulses when light activates them ?
The image from the left side from the left eye is combined with the image from the left side of the right eye and vice versa.
The image that is projected on to the retina is upside down. The brain flips the image during processing. Somehow, the brain makes sense of the electrical impulses received via the optic nerve.
Questions : how would evolution produce a system that can intepret electrical impulses and process them into images ?
Why would evolution produce a system that knows that the image in the retina is upside down ?
How does evolution explain the left side of the brain receiving the information from the left side of both eyes and the right side of the brain taking information from the right side of both eyes ?
The retina needs a fairly constant level of light to best form useful images with our eyes. the iris muscles controls the size of the pupil. it contracts and expands, opening and closing the pupil, in response to the brightness of the surrounding light. Just as the aperture in the camera protects the film from over exposure, the iris of the eye helps protect the sensitive retina.
Questions: how would evolution produce a light sensor ? even if evolution could produce a light sensor, how could a purely naturalistc process like evolution produce a system, that can measure light intesity ? how could evolution produce a system that would control a muscle that regulates the size of the pupill ?
Cone cells give us the detailled color daytime vision. There are six million of them in each human eye. Most of them are located in the central retina. There are 3 types of cone cells:  one sensitive to red light, another to green light, and the third sensitive to blue light.
Question: Isnt it fortunate that the cone cells are located at the center of the retina ? Would be a bit awkward if your most detailled vision was on the periphery of your eye sight ?
Rod cells give us our dim light or night vision. They are 500 times more sensitive to light and also more sensitive to motion than cone cells. There are 120 mil rod cells in the human eye. Most rod cells are located in our peripheral or side vision.
The eye can modify its own light sensitivity. After about 15 seconds in lower light, our body increases the level of rhodopsin in our retina. Over the new half hour in low light, our eyes get more and more sensitive. In fact, studies have shown that our eyes are around 600 times more sensitive at night than during the day.
Questions : why would the eye have different kind of photoreceptor cells with one helping us specifically see at low light ?
The lacrimal gland continually secrets tears which moisten, lubricate, and protect the surface of the eye. Excess tears drain into the lacrimal duct which empty into the nasal cavity.
If there was no lubrication system, our eyes would dry up and cease to function within a few hours.
Question : If the lubrication wasnt there we would all be blind. This system had to be there right from the beginning, no ?Fortunate that we have a lacrimal duct , arent we ?
otherwise , we would have stead stream of tears running down our faces.
Eye lashes protec the eyes from particles that may injure them. They form a screen to keep dust and insects out. Anything touching them triggers the eye lids to blink.
Question : How could evolution produce this ?
Six muscles are in charge of eye movement. four of these move the eye up, down, left, and right. The other two control the twisting motion of the eye when we tilt our head. The orbit or eye socket is a cone shaped bony cavity that protects the eye. the socket is padded with fatty tissue that allows the eye to move easily.
Question: When you tilt your head to the side your eye stays level with the horizon. how would evolution produce this ?
Isnt it amazing that you can look where you want without having to move your head all the time ? If our eye sockets were not padded with fatty tissues, then it would be a struggle to move our eyes. why would evolution produce this ?
Conclusion : the eye is the best automatic camera in existence. Every time we change were we are looking, our eye and retina is changing everything else to compensate . focus and light intensity are constantly adjusting to ensure that our eye sight is as good as it can be.
Man has made its own cameras. It took intelligent people to design and build them. The human eye is better than any of them. Was it therefore designed or not ?

Common objection :

Is Our ‘Inverted’ Retina Really ‘Bad Design’?

http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1689-is-our-inverted-retina-really-bad-design

As it turns out, the supposed problems Dawkins finds with the inverted retina become actual advantages in light of recent research published by Kristian Franze et. al., in the May 2007 issue of PNAS . As it turns out, "Muller cells are living optical fibers in the vertebrate retina." Consider the observations and conclusions of the authors in the following abstract of their paper:

http://www.pnas.org/content/104/20/8287.short

Although biological cells are mostly transparent, they are phase objects that differ in shape and refractive index. Any image that is projected through layers of randomly oriented cells will normally be distorted by refraction, reflection, and scattering. Counterintuitively, the retina of the vertebrate eye is inverted with respect to its optical function and light must pass through several tissue layers before reaching the light-detecting photoreceptor cells. Here we report on the specific optical properties of glial cells present in the retina, which might contribute to optimize this apparently unfavorable situation. We investigated intact retinal tissue and individual Muller cells, which are radial glial cells spanning the entire retinal thickness. Muller cells have an extended funnel shape, a higher refractive index than their surrounding tissue, and are oriented along the direction of light propagation. Transmission and reflection confocal microscopy of retinal tissue in vitro and in vivo showed that these cells provide a low-scattering passage for light from the retinal surface to the photoreceptor cells. Using a modified dual-beam laser trap we could also demonstrate that individual Muller cells act as optical fibers. Furthermore, their parallel array in the retina is reminiscent of fiberoptic plates used for low-distortion image transfer. Thus, Muller cells seem to mediate the image transfer through the vertebrate retina with minimal distortion and low loss. This finding elucidates a fundamental feature of the inverted retina as an optical system and ascribes a new function to glial cells






Stephen Jay Gould, Former Professor of Geology and Paleontology at Harvard University

To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.

http://webvision.med.utah.edu/book/part-ii-anatomy-and-physiology-of-the-retina/photoreceptors/

http://www.ic.ucsc.edu/~bruceb/psyc123/Vision123.html.pdf

http://www.detectingdesign.com/humaneye.html

http://www.creationstudies.org/Education/Darwin_and_the_eye.html

http://www.harunyahya.com/en/Books/592/darwinism-refuted/chapter/51

Human sight is a very complex system of irreducibly complex interacting parts. These include all the physical components of the eye as well as the activity of the optic nerve attached to certain receptors in the brain.
The optic nerve is attached to the sclera or white of the eye. The optic nerve is also known as cranial nerve II and is a continuation of the axons of the ganglion cells in the retina. There are approximately 1.1 million nerve cells in each optic nerve. The optic nerve, which acts like a cable connecting the eye with the brain, actually is more like brain tissue than it is nerve tissue. In addition to this, there are complex equations that the brain uses to transform what we see in real life onto the curved screen of the retina in the human eyeball.

This complex system is combination of an intelligently designed camera, lens, and brain programming all work together enabling us to see our world in incredible clarity.

Each of these components have no function of their own, even in other systems. That is a interdependent system. It cannot arise in a stepwise evolutionary fashion, because the single parts by their own would have no function.


Imagine having to use spherical shaped film instead of the conventional flat form of film in your camera. The images should be distorted. Just like those funny mirrors in the fun houses at state fairs and carnivals. That is exactly the way we see the world reflected against our curved retinas in back of the human eye.

We manage to correct these images and see them accurately without distortion because the Creator has installed fast-running programs in the brain that instantly correct the distortions in the image, so that the world around us appears to be flawless, like a photograph.

Not only that, the human brains turns our eyes, which are already more complex and refined than the most advanced High Definition cameras available today, into biological computers that can estimate the size and distance of objects seen. The objects are not measured as they appear on the retina, our brains act as an advanced evaluation program processing the physical data received by our sensory organs: it enlarges, reduces, and adjusts them precisely, so that the information is presented in a way that makes our sense of sight into an apparatus that is far superior to any pure instrument of physics.

Comparing the eye to a camera is an interesting analogy because our sight is really superior to an instrument of pure physics. Our eyes are able to see the darkest shadows as well as the brightest sunlight by automatically adjusting the optical range of operation. It can see colors. It can perceive white paper as being white, even when it is illuminated by bright light of varying colors. Our eyes contain the ability to perceive colors in essentially the same way. Color and shape are perceived as the same, whether the object is close or far away, even if the lighting varies radically.



http://iaincarstairs.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/as-smart-as-molecules/

The invention of television was certainly ingenious and changed the face of the Earth, and relied on a material called selenium, which converted photon stimulation to electrical signals.  The Russian, Nipkow,  experimented with it in the 1800’s but found it unworkable due to the weak signal and rapid decay.  It was Baird who in the 1920’s, with the advent of electrical amplifiers, realised that the signals all decayed at the same rate, and all that was required was a consistent amplification.  Refining the process was to take up the remainder of his life.

The eye uses a similar system in which retinal, a small molecule which fits into the binding site of a large protein called opsin, making up rhodopsin, is triggered into activity by the sensitivity of the opsin molecule to photon stimulation.  The following chain reaction of chemicals and eventual electrical signals, include feedback loops, timing mechanisms, amplifiers and interpretive mechanisms in the brain woudl fill a book.

Even modern television doesn’t improve on the devices contained within the retina, which are dealt with in greater detail elsewhere on this site.  The chain of events which give rise to sight are so important that the eyes use about 1/5th of the body’s energy; the eyes are constantly in vibratory motion, without which, the signals would cease to be forwarded to the brain.

The eyes include their own immune system, variable blood flow heat sinks behind the RPE controlled by the iris contraction, built in sunglasses, a recycling depot and separate circuits for motion, line detection and binocular perspective. And lastly, remember that all these components are smaller than the wavelength of visible light.  They transmit signals of light for us to use, but in their molecular world, they all work completely in the dark.

Priceless!


The eye, due to design, or evolution ?

http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1653-the-human-eye-intelligent-designed#2563

http://www.arn.org/docs/glicksman/eyw_041201.htm

Evolutionary Simplicity?

Review of this and the last two columns clearly demonstrates:

   the extreme complexity and physiological interdependence of many parts of the eyeball

   the absolute necessity of many specific biomolecules reacting in exactly the right order to allow for photoreceptor cells and other neurons to transmit nervous impulses to the brain

   the presence of, not only an eyeball whose size is in the proper order to allow for focusing by the cornea and lens, but also a region in the retina (fovea) that is outfitted with the proper concentration of photoreceptor cells that are connected to the brain in a 1:1:1 fashion to allow for clear vision

   that vision is dependent on a complex array of turned around, upside down, split-up, and overlapping messages, from over two million optic nerve fibers that course their way to the visual cortex causing a neuroexcitatory spatial pattern that is interpreted as sight

   that scientists are blind to how the brain accomplishes the task of vision

The foregoing is likely to give most people pause before they subscribe to the theory of macroevolution and how it may apply to the development of the human eye and vision. How can one be so certain of an origins theory when one still doesn’t fully understand how something actually works? Most of what I’ve read by its supporters about this topic contains a lot of rhetoric and assumption without much detail and logical progression. It all seems just a bit premature and somewhat presumptuous.

Quite frankly, science just doesn’t have the tools to be able to definitively make this determination, yet. Will it ever have them? Maybe yes, maybe no. Until such time, I reserve the right to look upon evolutionary biologists’ explanations for the development of the human eye and the sensation of vision, with a large amount of skepticism, and as seeming overly simplistic and in need of a heavy dose of blind faith.


Human Eye Has Nanoscale Resolution

http://crev.info/2015/07/human-eye-has-nanoscale-resolution/



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2 Re: The human eye, intelligent designed on Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:44 am

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http://harunyahya.com/en/Articles/13989/the-invalidity-of-the-claims

In order for “sight” to be able to arise, even in its simplest form, it is essential that some of a living thing’s cells become light-sensitive, that these possess the ability to transfer that sensitivity to electrical signals, that a special nerve network from these cells to the brain form and that a “visual cortex” capable of analyzing this information appear in the brain.

- A light-sensitive cell is not the first or a primitive eye. The idea that a complex eye gradually evolved from this cell is a deception. The eye of the trilobite, which lived 530 million years ago in the Cambrian Period when all the characteristics of living things and complex life forms appeared, is IDENTICAL to the perfect faceted eye of the present-day fly and dragonfly. ALL THAT LIVED BEFORE THAT TIME WERE BACTERIA. There is no question of any light-sensitive cell or any transition from it.

The perfect human eye is far too complex that makes it impossible for all its components to have evolved separately. The 40 separate parts that make up the eye have to exist together in order for the eye to see.

- The retina is described as the most complex tissue in the body. Millions of cells bind together on the retina to constitute a miniature brain. It is impossible for even the retinal layer in the eye alone to have come into being spontaneously and by chance.

- The cornea and the retina constantly move in tiny circles just about a thousandth of a millimeter in diameter. If those movements alone were to stop, the light-sensitive cells in the retina would immediately freeze and stop sending information to the brain. That would lead to the image being perceived disappearing within seconds.

- Just the absence of ocular fluid is enough for the eye to stop working.

- The reason why images are of such a quality is that the movements and colors in the images are constantly refreshed, right down to the finest detail, and “a slice of motion” takes place at an unbelievable speed, without our ever being aware of it.

- The efficiency and flawlessness of our eyes and brain are incomparably greater than that of any device or equipment invented to date.

- The 40 different parts that make up the eye act together to collect 1.5 million electrical signals in one millisecond deliver them to their destination and interpret them. Dozens of super-computers would have to be flawlessly programmed and work together, never making a mistake, in order to perform the same function.


Darwin, troubled even with his 19th century level of knowledge and technology, made the following admissions:

To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, ABSURD IN THE HIGHEST DEGREE. ii

The eye to this day gives me a cold shudder, but when I think of the fine known gradations, my reason tells me I ought to conquer the cold shudder. iii

The recur to the eye. I really think it would have been dishonest, not to have faced the difficulty. iv

If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. v


Richard Dawkins, similarly alarmed in the face of such an extraordinary and irreducibly complex organ as the eye, confesses:

But it must be gradual when it is being used to explain the coming into existence of complicated, APPARENTLY DESIGNED OBJECTS, like eyes. For if it is not gradual in these cases, IT CEASES TO HAVE ANY EXPLANATORY POWER AT ALL. Without gradualness in these cases, we are back to miracle, which is simply a synonym for the total absence of explanation.iv

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3 Re: The human eye, intelligent designed on Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:46 am

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http://www.allaboutthejourney.org/human-eye.htm

The human eye is enormously complicated - a perfect and interrelated system of about 40 individual subsystems, including the retina, pupil, iris, cornea, lens and optic nerve. For instance, the retina has approximately 137 million special cells that respond to light and send messages to the brain. About 130 million of these cells look like rods and handle the black and white vision. The other seven million are cone shaped and allow us to see in color. The retina cells receive light impressions, which are translated to electric pulses and sent to the brain via the optic nerve. A special section of the brain called the visual cortex interprets the pulses to color, contrast, depth, etc., which allows us to see "pictures" of our world. Incredibly, the eye, optic nerve and visual cortex are totally separate and distinct subsystems. Yet, together, they capture, deliver and interpret up to 1.5 million pulse messages a milli-second! It would take dozens of Cray supercomputers programmed perfectly and operating together flawlessly to even get close to performing this task.1

That's so powerful to me! Obviously,

http://www.allaboutthejourney.org/human-eye.htm

if all the separate subsystems aren't present and performing perfectly at the same instant, the eye won't work and has no purpose. Logically, it would be impossible for random processes, operating through gradual mechanisms of natural selection and genetic mutation, to create 40 separate subsystems when they provide no advantage to the whole until the very last state of development and interrelation.

   How did the lens, retina, optic nerve, and all the other parts in vertebrates that play a role in seeing suddenly come about? Because natural selection cannot choose separately between the visual nerve and the retina. The emergence of the lens has no meaning in the absence of a retina. The simultaneous development of all the structures for sight is unavoidable. Since parts that develop separately cannot be used, they will both be meaningless, and also perhaps disappear with time. At the same time, their development all together requires the coming together of unimaginably small probabilities. 2

The foregoing represents the core of "irreducible complexity." Complex organs made up of separate but necessary subsystems cannot be the result of random chance. Or, using the above language, such development could only result from "unimaginably small probabilities." For me, this means "statistical impossibility."

Come to think of it, I remember Darwin specifically discussing the incredible complexity of the eye in Origin of Species:

   To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree possible. 3

So, how did Darwin deal with the staggering realities of the eye in the 1850's? As "absurdly" improbable as it was, he followed through with his theory and pointed to the simpler eye structures found in simpler creatures. He reasoned that more complex eyes gradually evolved from the simpler ones.

However, this hypothesis no longer passes muster. Short of the micro-biological and genetic information issues, paleontology now shows that "simple creatures" emerged in the world with complex structures already intact. Even the simple trilobite has an eye (complete with its double lens system) that's considered an optical miracle by today's standards.

Wait. The trilobite reminds me of something… Before I continue with the marvel of irreducible complexity and design, I have one more thought about Darwin and his original claims…



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http://darwins-god.blogspot.com.br/2013/03/william-bialek-more-perfect-than-we.html

Three hundred years ago Gottfried Leibniz said we live in the best of all possible worlds but today Princeton’s world reknown theorist William Bialek explains that it is more perfect than we imagined. This video is long and it sometimes dwells on Bialek rather than the slide he is talking to, but those drawbacks are minor compared to what you will learn. If you want to hear an intelligent, thoughtful scientist scratch the surface of creation’s wonders and reflect on what it all means, then this video is for you.

Bialek, for instance, discusses compound eyes of insects such as the fly. These compound eyes have a large number of small lenses packed into an array. A large number of small lenses gives high resolution, just as does a digital camera with a large number of pixels.

But when the lens becomes too small its optics become distorted due to diffraction. So in determining the best lens size there is a tradeoff between resolution and diffraction. In the optimum solution the lens size is roughly proportional to the square root of the radius of the head. An indeed, Bialek shows an old paper surveying the compound eye designs in more than two dozen different insects. That paper shows that for the different size insects, the lens size is proportional, as predicted, to the square root of the head size.

This is one of Bialek’s half a dozen or so examples showing the optimization of biological designs and, as Bialek assures the audience, there are many, many more. Here is how one science writer explained it:

Yet for all these apparent flaws, the basic building blocks of human eyesight turn out to be practically perfect. Scientists have learned that the fundamental units of vision, the photoreceptor cells that carpet the retinal tissue of the eye and respond to light, are not just good or great or phabulous at their job. They are not merely exceptionally impressive by the standards of biology, with whatever slop and wiggle room the animate category implies. Photoreceptors operate at the outermost boundary allowed by the laws of physics, which means they are as good as they can be, period. Each one is designed to detect and respond to single photons of light — the smallest possible packages in which light comes wrapped.

“Light is quantized, and you can’t count half a photon,” said William Bialek, a professor of physics and integrative genomics at Princeton University. “This is as far as it goes.” …

Photoreceptors exemplify the principle of optimization, an idea, gaining ever wider traction among researchers, that certain key features of the natural world have been honed by evolution to the highest possible peaks of performance, the legal limits of what Newton, Maxwell, Pauli, Planck et Albert will allow. Scientists have identified and mathematically anatomized an array of cases where optimization has left its fastidious mark, among them the superb efficiency with which bacterial cells will close in on a food source; the precision response in a fruit fly embryo to contouring molecules that help distinguish tail from head; and the way a shark can find its prey by measuring micro-fluxes of electricity in the water a tremulous millionth of a volt strong — which, as Douglas Fields observed in Scientific American, is like detecting an electrical field generated by a standard AA battery “with one pole dipped in the Long Island Sound and the other pole in waters of Jacksonville, Fla.” In each instance, biophysicists have calculated, the system couldn’t get faster, more sensitive or more efficient without first relocating to an alternate universe with alternate physical constants.


But there is much more to Bialek’s talk than examples of nature’s optimal designs. In a thoughtful segment Bialek discusses his philosophy of science. At the [16:30] mark he asks “That was fun, but what does it mean?” The answer, he begins, is that nature’s many examples of optimization help to highlight the difference between two ways of doing and thinking about science.

Bialek describes a cartoon in which a family is driving the car over a bridge with a posted weight limit. The son asks the father how they know what is the weight limit. The father responds that they wait until a sufficiently heavy truck destroys the bridge, they then weigh the remains of the truck, rebuild the bridge exactly as it was, and post the sign.

Bialek uses this funny cartoon as a metaphor for evolutionary theory’s reliance on contingency. This trial-and-error approach to understanding and invention is, Bialek explains, a very common view. The species are the way they are because that is the way they happened to evolve.

In fact, Bialek cogently points out, evolution’s promotion of contingency and trial-and-error is not so much out of scientific necessity. In the bridge example, we could actually model and compute the load limit, based on the design of the bridge and the types of materials used.

But given the “political context” in which many of these discussion occur, it is understandable why evolution is presented as a process of tinkering and not design. [19:30] In fact, the Yale biophysicist notes, these arguments are opposed to the idea of a “interventionist designer,” rather than the question of whether there are design principles in biology.

Bialek contrasts this approach with another view—the view that guides so many physicists—which he represents with Galileo’s famous quote that “The book of Nature is written in the language of mathematics.” Physics, Bialek points out, has been remarkably successful using this formula. It is, he notes, an “astonishing achievement” of the human mind over these four hundred past years. Bialek laments the evolutionary view that Galileo would never have said such a thing if he had known about biology.

Bialek’s point that evolution opposes the idea of a interventionist designer is crucial. For far from reflecting atheism, as so many have charged, and far from being a scientific finding as today’s positivist sentiment wants to believe, this foundation of evolutionary thought is religious.

That is not to say evolution is right or wrong, or true or false. It simply is religious. And until we understand the religion we are immersed in, we will not comprehend its influence on our thinking.

Without this religion, which is ubiquitous, evolution could certainly continue as a theory of mechanical origins. But evolutionary thought would be stripped of its core theoretic and its metaphysical certainty. The theory of evolution would then, rather than be mandated to be a fact, lie exposed to the light of science which shows it to be so improbable.

But it is precisely this distinction, this parsing of the religion from the science, that is so difficult to achieve. When I first began to study the evolutionary literature I was constantly fooled by its intertwining of metaphysics with the empirical science. The evolution literature is rife with religious claims in hiding.

But when properly distinguished and separated, one immediately can see that the conviction of evolution’s truth lies in the non scientific claims whereas the empirical evidence, alone, gives us no such confidence.

Religion drives science, and it matters.

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5 Re: The human eye, intelligent designed on Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:57 pm

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http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/05/rebutting_karl_giberson_and_fr046491.html

Light-Sensitive Pigments Aren't the Only Starting Point

Classical explanations for the evolution of the eye assume that the eye can be built via such small, step-by-step changes. Darwin believed the eye could evolve under a scheme of "fine gradations," but standard evolutionary accounts for the origin of the eye fall far short of that mark: they lack details, ignore biochemical complexity, and in fact invoke sudden and abrupt appearance of key components of eye morphology.

For example, all accounts of eye evolution start with a fully functional eyespot, not mere "light-sensitive pigments." As Mark Ridley's textbook Evolution explains, the commonly-cited model of eye evolution

began with a crude light-sensitive organ consisting of a layer of light-sensitive cells sandwiched between a darkened layer of cells and a transparent protective layer above. The simulation, therefore, does not cover the complete evolution of an eye. To begin with, it takes light sensitive cells as given ... and at the other end it ignores the evolution of advanced perceptual skills (which are more a problem in the evolution of the brain than the eye).

(Matt Ridley, Evolution, p. 261 (3rd Ed., Blackwell, 2004).)

Ridley calls it "not absurd" (p. 261) to assume simple light sensitive cells as a starting point, but evolutionary biologist Sean B. Carroll cautions to "not be fooled by these eyes' simple construction and appearance. They are built with and use many of the ingredients used in fancier eyes." (Sean B. Carroll, The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution, p. 197 (W. W. Norton, 2006).)

Likewise, after reviewing some of the basic biochemistry underlying the processes that allow vision, Michael Behe (responding to Richard Dawkins) observes:

"Remember that the 'light-sensitive spot' that Dawkins takes as his starting point requires a cascade of factors including 11-cis retinal and rhodopsin, to function.

Dawkins doesn't mention them." (Michael J. Behe, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, p. 38 (Free Press, 1996).)

In fact, no accounts for the evolution of the eye provide an account for this always-assumed starting point, which is far more complex than a few "light-sensitive pigments."


Other Eye Parts Appear Abruptly

In addition to assuming the abrupt appearance of a fully-functional eyespot, standard accounts of eye-evolution invoke the abrupt appearance of key features of advanced eyes such as the lens, cornea, and iris. Of course the emplacement of each of these features--fully formed and intact--would undoubtedly increase visual acuity. But where did these parts suddenly come from in the first place? As Scott Gilbert put it, such evolutionary accounts are "good at modelling the survival of the fittest, but not the arrival of the fittest." (John Whitfield, "Biological Theory: Postmodern evolution?," Nature, Vol. 455:281-284 (2008).)

As an example of these hyper-simplistic accounts of eye evolution, Francisco Ayala's book Darwin's Gift asserts that, "Further steps--the deposition of pigment around the spot, configuration of cells into a cuplike shape, thickening of the epidermis leading to the development of a lens, development of muscles to move the eyes and nerves to transmit optical signals to the brain--gradually led to the highly developed eyes of vertebrates and celphalopod (octopuses and squids) and to the compound eyes of insects." (Francisco J. Ayala, Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion, p. 146 (Joseph Henry Press, 2007).)

Ayala's explanation is vague and shows no appreciation for the biochemical complexity of these visual organs. Thus, regarding the configuration of cells into a cuplike shape, Michael Behe asks (while responding to Richard Dawkins on the same point):

And where did the "little cup" come from? A ball of cells--from which the cup must be made--will tend to be rounded unless held in the correct shape by molecular supports. In fact, there are dozens of complex proteins involved in maintaining cell shape, and dozens more that control extracellular structure; in their absence, cells take on the shape of so many soap bubbles. Do these structures represent single-step mutations? Dawkins did not tell us how the apparently simple "cup" shape came to be.


(Michael J. Behe, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, pg. 15 (Free Press, 1996).)

Likewise, mathematician and philosopher David Berlinski has assessed the alleged "intermediates" for the evolution of the eye and observes that the transmission of data signals from the eye to a central nervous system for data processing, which can then output some behavioral response, comprises an integrated system that is not amenable to stepwise evolution:

Light strikes the eye in the form of photons, but the optic nerve conveys electrical impulses to the brain. Acting as a sophisticated transducer, the eye must mediate between two different physical signals. The retinal cells that figure in Dawkins' account are connected to horizontal cells; these shuttle information laterally between photoreceptors in order to smooth the visual signal. Amacrine cells act to filter the signal. Bipolar cells convey visual information further to ganglion cells, which in turn conduct information to the optic nerve. The system gives every indication of being tightly integrated, its parts mutually dependent.

The very problem that Darwin's theory was designed to evade now reappears. Like vibrations passing through a spider's web, changes to any part of the eye, if they are to improve vision, must bring about changes throughout the optical system. Without a correlative increase in the size and complexity of the optic nerve, an increase in the number of photoreceptive membranes can have no effect. A change in the optic nerve must in turn induce corresponding neurological changes in the brain. If these changes come about simultaneously, it makes no sense to talk of a gradual ascent of Mount Improbable. If they do not come about simultaneously, it is not clear why they should come about at all.

The same problem reappears at the level of biochemistry. Dawkins has framed his discussion in terms of gross anatomy. Each anatomical change that he describes requires a number of coordinate biochemical steps. "[T]he anatomical steps and structures that Darwin thought were so simple," the biochemist Mike Behe remarks in a provocative new book (Darwin's Black Box), "actually involve staggeringly complicated biochemical processes." A number of separate biochemical events are required simply to begin the process of curving a layer of proteins to form a lens. What initiates the sequence? How is it coordinated? And how controlled? On these absolutely fundamental matters, Dawkins has nothing whatsoever to say.

(David Berlinski, "Keeping an Eye on Evolution: Richard Dawkins, a relentless Darwinian spear carrier, trips over Mount Improbable," Review of Climbing Mount Improbable by Richard Dawkins (W. H. Norton & Company, Inc. 1996)," in The Globe & Mail (November 2, 1996).))

In sum, standard accounts of eye evolution fail to explain the evolution of key eye features like:

The biochemical evolution of the fundamental ability to sense light
The origin of the first "light sensitive spot"
The origin of neurological pathways to transmit the optical signal to a brain
The origin of a behavioral response to allow the sensing of light to give some behavioral advantage to the organism
The origin of the lens, cornea and iris in vertebrates
The origin of the compound eye in arthropods

At most, accounts of the evolution of the eye provide a stepwise explanation of "fine gradations" for the origin of more or less one single feature: the increased concavity of eye shape. But that does not explain the origin of the eye.

Giberson and Collins claim that "[o]ver time mutations in DNA can produce novel features ... like ... eyes from light-sensitive pigment." But their vague argument provides us with no citations or discussion of the evidence to back up that claim. In fact, much evidence not cited in their book can be found which challenges their assertion. It seems that they simply want us to take their evolutionary claims about the power of mutation on faith.

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6 Re: The human eye, intelligent designed on Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:39 pm

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http://creation.com/did-eyes-evolve-by-darwinian-mechanisms

Much disagreement exists about the hypothetical evolution of eyes, and experts recognize that many critical problems exist. Among these problems are an explanation of the evolution of each part of the vision system, including the lens, the eyeball, the retina, the entire optical system, the occipital lobes of the brain, and the many accessory structures. Turner stressed that ‘the real miracle [of vision] lies not so much in the optical eye, but in the computational process that produces vision.’46 All of these different systems must function together as an integrated unit for vision to be achieved. As Arendt concludes, the evolution of the eye has been debated ever since Darwin and is still being debated among Darwinists.47 For non-evolutionists there is no debate.

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7 Re: The human eye, intelligent designed on Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:08 pm

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God's Intelligently-Designed Mirrors to the Soul: The Eyes...

"Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.” [Matthew 20:34.] Just as quickly as He made the first human eyes out of dust, Jesus the Creator fixed two men’s broken vision systems as only a Master Biotechnician could. Today, new inner-eye wonders are regularly uncovered, exposing the eye’s miraculous origin.

One critical vitamin-like eye molecule bears the chemistry-friendly name “11-cis-retinal.” When this molecule is embedded in its partner protein, energy from an absorbed photon straightens its bend at the 11th carbon atom to complete vision’s first step. This altered shape initiates other factors that amplify the visual signal inside the eye cell. Yet, slightly different versions of the retinal molecule—those built to bend at the 9th, 10th, or any other carbon atom—demonstrate little or no optic activity. [Zyga, L. Scientists solve mystery of the eye. PhysOrg. Posted on physorg.com November 17, 2011, accessed November 17, 2011. ] The Lord placed each atomic bond precisely where it needed to be.

Biophysicists have even concluded that certain living systems, including the human visual system, “couldn’t get faster, more sensitive or more efficient without first relocating to an alternate universe with alternate physical constants.” [How the retina works: Like a multi-layered jigsaw puzzle of receptive fields. Salk Institute for Biological Studies news release, April 7, 2009.] For example, researchers discovered that Müller cells inside the retina—that thin, light-sensitive tissue layer at the back of our eyes—perform several tasks to optimize vision:

1. Covering the entire surface of the retina to collect the maximum number of available photons4
2. Conducting light from around nerve cells and blood vessels directly to light-sensitive cells
3. Filtering certain harmful radiation
4. Reducing light noise—light waves reflected randomly inside the eyeball
5. Collecting and reorienting different wavelengths of light
6. Providing architectural support for neighboring cells
7. Supplying nearby neurons with fuel
8. Mopping up and recycling waste
9. Managing potassium ion distribution

But sight requires more than just eyes—the brain processes visual input. For example, one program in particular solves the problem of “perceptual stability.” Mental software organizes dizzying, streaky blurs from fast eye movements into coherent visual pictures. Investigation revealed that part of the brain does process the blurred streaks, but like a clutch that disengages an engine from the transmission when car gears shift, it disengages streaky images from the conscious awareness center of the brain. [Rutgers Research: Discoveries Shed New Light on How the Brain Processes What the Eye Sees. Rutgers University news release, June 2, 2009.] Sound wasteful? It’s not. This process tells how far and fast the eye moved so the brain can place subsequent images right back in gear.

Lastly, retinas pre-process visual data. Their different cells sort raw visual inputs into 20 different “channels,” or parallel representations, before the data are recompiled and transmitted to the brain. One channel uses parasol ganglion cells to detect motion and flicker. Another uses midget ganglion cells to process spatial information. Ganglion cells are “far from being simple passive ‘cables’ that [evolutionists have long believed] relay the photoreceptor signal from the outer to the inner retinal layers.” [Baden, T. and T. Euler. 2013. Early Vision: Where (Some of) the Magic Happens. Current Biology. 23 (24): R1096-R1098.] Recently, neurologists worked with macaque eyes to discover that retinal pre-processing works by precise placement of voltage-gated channel proteins within each ganglion cell.

Precision never just happens, and even a human engineer cannot achieve the level of precision in eye design. Thus, someone had to ensure proper placement of these channel proteins, mental software, Müller cells, and 11-cis-retinal. “Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things.” [Isaiah 40:26.] Inner eye workings leave no doubt that the Lord of miracles created eyes.

http://www.icr.org/article/8020/

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from various sources :

How did new biochemical pathways, which involve multiple enzymes working together in sequence, originate? Every pathway and nano-machine requires multiple protein/enzyme components to work. How did lucky accidents create even one of the components, let alone 10 or 20 or 30 at the same time, often in a necessary programmed sequence ?

Michael Behe (responding to Richard Dawkins) observes:

"Remember that the 'light-sensitive spot' that Dawkins takes as his starting point requires a cascade of factors including 11-cis retinal and rhodopsin, to function.

Dawkins doesn't mention them." (Michael J. Behe, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, p. 38 (Free Press, 1996).)

The signal transduction pathway is the mechanism by which the energy of a photon signals a mechanism in the cell that leads to its electrical polarization. This polarization ultimately leads to either the transmittance or inhibition of a neural signal that will be fed to the brain via the optic nerve. There are nine steps in the signal transduction pathway, in the vertebrate eye's rod and cone photoreceptors , that must go all through, in order for the transmittance to be able to take place. Stop the pathway before, and no signal happens. That seems a irreducible complex system to me.

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9 Re: The human eye, intelligent designed on Mon May 19, 2014 5:53 pm

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http://creation.com/refuting-evolution-2-chapter-10-argument-irreducible-complexity

A transparent layer is also far more difficult to obtain than the researchers think. The best explanation for the cornea’s transparency is diffraction theory, which shows that light is not scattered if the refractive index doesn’t vary over distances more than half the wavelength of light. This in turn requires a certain very finely organized structure of the corneal fibers, which in turn requires complicated chemical pumps to make sure there is exactly the right water content

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10 Re: The human eye, intelligent designed on Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:55 pm

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http://www.icsintegrity.org/irreducible-complexity.html

However, biochemists have shown that even a simple light-sensitive spot requires a complex array of enzyme systems. When light strikes the retina, a photon interacts with a molecule called 11-cis-retinal, which rearranges within picoseconds to trans-retinal. The change in the shape of the retinal molecule forces a change in the shape of the protein rhodopsin. The protein then changes to metarhodopsin II and sticks to another protein, called transducin. This process requires energy in the form of GTP, which binds to transducin. GTP-transducin-metarhodopsin II then binds to a protein called phosphodiesterase, located on the cell wall. This affects the cGMP levels within the cell, leading to a signal that then goes to the brain. The recognition of this signal in the brain and subsequent interpretation involve numerous other proteins and enzymes and biochemical reactions within the brain cells. Thus, each of these enzymes and proteins must exist for the system to work properly. Many other mathematical and logistical weaknesses to the Nilsson example of eye evolution have been uncovered (28). In summary, the eye is incredibly complex. Since it is unreasonable to expect self-formation of the enzymes in perfect proportion simultaneously, eye function represents a system that could not have arisen by gradual mutations.

Modern scientists applying knowledge of the intrinsic complexity within each cell would understand that each sequential mutation in the DNA within the eyeball would require simultaneous mutations in bone structure, nerves, brain function, and hundreds of proteins and cell signaling pathways to make even the smallest change in only one organ system. Such changes would require far more than could be expected from random mutation and natural selection. Since these systems are irreducibly complex and individual mutations in one organ would not be beneficial for the organism, these random mutations in all aspects of vision would need to occur simultaneously. Therefore, the human body represents an irreducibly complex system on a cellular and an organ/system basis.

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11 Re: The human eye, intelligent designed on Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:31 pm

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THE FOLLOWING ARE EVOLUTIONARY-BASED SCENARIOS THAT ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN HOW EVOLUTION MIGHT CREATE AN EYE.

http://whoisyourcreator.com/topics/how-does-evolution-supposedly-work/

Note that none of them even touch on the neurotransmitters that process the information in the brain:
“The brain can do nothing and perceive nothing unless thousands of its neurons (nerve cells) communicate in a coordinated fashion with thousands of other neurons.”
http://books.google.com/books?id=1QE1C5cyI4YC&pg=PA341&lpg=PA341&dq=harvard+neurotransmitter&source=
bl&ots=4qit_x4vyZ&sig=rJTQgJIdvD4gO7xnz3ghcQ599o0&hl=en&ei=l91NTLK-BsmUnQf-tMHYCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&
ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CDcQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=harvard%20neurotransmitter&f=false

Example #1

“The simple light-sensitive spot on the skin of some ancestral creature gave it some tiny survival advantage, perhaps allowing it to evade a predator. Random changes then created a depression in the light-sensitive patch, a deepening pit that made “vision” a little sharper. At the same time, the pit’s opening gradually narrowed, so light entered through a small aperture, like a pinhole camera.
Every change had to confer a survival advantage, no matter how slight. Eventually, the light-sensitive spot evolved into a retina, the layer of cells and pigment at the back of the human eye. Over time a lens formed at the front of the eye. It could have arisen as a double-layered transparent tissue containing increasing amounts of liquid that gave it the convex curvature of the human eye.”
Evolution Library, “Evolution of the Eye”, PBS Online.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/1/l_011_01.html

Critique of terms used:

a. “Random changes then created a depression in the light-sensitive patch, a deepening pit that made “vision” a little sharper.”
No mention of a likely genetic process.

b. “simple light-sensitive spot”
No explanation for the initial evolution of each complex component that makes-up the spot or the response triggers that activate the flagella. Read how complex “spots” are:
“These eyes constitute the simplest and most common visual system found in nature. The eyes contain optics, photoreceptors and the elementary components of a signal-transduction chain. Rhodopsin serves as the photoreceptor, as it does in animal vision. Upon light stimulation, its all-trans-retinal chromophore isomerizes into 13-cis and activates a photoreceptor channel which leads to a rapid Ca2+ influx into the eyespot region. At low light levels, the depolarization activates small flagellar current which induce in both flagella small but slightly different beating changes resulting in distinct directional changes. In continuous light, Ca2+ fluxes serve as the molecular basis for phototaxis. In response to flashes of higher energy the larger photoreceptor currents trigger a massive Ca2+ influx into the flagella which causes the well-known phobic response.”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9431675

c. “ … evolved into a retina,”
No explanation for the evolution of the components of a fully formed retina, the optic nerve, or the independent specific mental and neural capacity required for interpreting the information. The following describes the components of a retina:
“The retina is a highly specialized tissue lining the innermost portion of the eye. It contains millions of specialized photoreceptor cells called rods and cones that convert light rays into electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain through the optic nerve. Rods provide the ability to see in dim light while cones allow for sharp and color vision. The macula, located in the center of the retina, is where most of the cone cells are located. It is very small (500µ or about the size of a ballpoint). The fovea, a small depression in the center of the macula, has the highest concentration of cone cells. In front of the retina is a chamber called the vitreous body, which contains a clear, gelatinous fluid called vitreous humor.”
http://eyerepublic.com/retina-vitreous/retina-faq/29-anatomy-retina.html

Example #2

“This ancient animal probably had very simple eye spots with no image-forming ability, but still needed some diversity in eye function. It needed to be able to sense both slow, long-duration events such as the changing of day into night, and more rapid events, such as the shadow of a predator moving overhead. These two forms arose by a simple gene duplication event and concomitant specialization of association with specific G proteins, which has also been found to require relatively few amino acid changes. This simple molecular divergence has since proceeded by way of the progress of hundreds of millions of years and amplification of a cascade of small changes into the multitude of diverse forms we see now. There is a fundamental unity that arose early, but has been obscured by the accumulation of evolutionary change. Even the eyes of a scorpion carry an echo of our kinship, not in their superficial appearance, but deep down in the genes from which they are built.”
PZ Myers, “Eyeing the Evolutionary Past”, March 6, 2008, Seed Online.

http://www.seedmagazine.com/news/2008/03/eyeing_the_evolutionary_past.php?page=3

Critique:

a. “ … but still needed some diversity in eye function. It needed to be able to sense …”
An organism senses a need? This suggests that a particular need produces change:
“Contrary to a widespread public impression, biological evolution is not random, even though the biological changes that provide the raw material for evolution are not directed toward predetermined, specific goals.”
“Science, Evolution, and Creationism,” 2008, National Academy of Sciences (NAS), The National Academies Press, 3rd edition, page 50.
http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11876&page=50

b. “ … very simple eye spots,”
Refer to above “Example #1.”

c. “ … simple gene duplication event”
There is NO scientific proof that gene duplication can create genes with more complex functions. Research papers reflect this admission by using words “most likely”:
“Duplicate gene evolution has most likely played a substantial role in both the rapid changes in organismal complexity apparent in deep evolutionary splits and the diversification of more closely related species. The rapid growth in the number of available genome sequences presents diverse opportunities to address important outstanding questions in duplicate gene evolution.”
http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371%2F
journal.pbio.0020206&ct=1&SESSID=9999360a804131d0f0009da33ced0db9
An erroneous example cited is the claim that, over 100 million years ago, two genes of the yeast S. cerevisiae supposedly evolved from one gene of another specie of yeast (K. lactis).
Refer to:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v449/n7163/abs/nature06151.html
What is the evidence for their claim? Nothing but the presupposition that Darwinism is true so the very existence of two genes that total the same functions of the one gene proves that they must have evolved from each other:
”The primary evidence that duplication has played a vital role in the evolution of new gene functions is the widespread existence of gene families.”
http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371%2F
journal.pbio.0020206&ct=1&SESSID=9999360a804131d0f0009da33ced0db9
Also, what Darwinists fail to present is a feasible step-by-step scenario how each gene could:
- split their functions in a precise manner so that neither function would be disabled until ‘random chance’ completed the event;
- become fixed in the population during each new step:
“A duplicated gene newly arisen in a single genome must overcome substantial hurdles before it can be observed in evolutionary comparisons. First, it must become fixed in the population, and second, it must be preserved over time. Population genetics tells us that for new alleles, fixation is a rare event, even for new mutations that confer an immediate selective advantage. Nevertheless, it has been estimated that one in a hundred genes is duplicated and fixed every million years (Lynch and Conery 2000), although it should be clear from the duplication mechanisms described above that it is highly unlikely that duplication rates are constant over time.”
http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371%2F
journal.pbio.0020206&ct=1&SESSID=9999360a804131d0f0009da33ced0db9

For more information on gene duplication, go to:
http://whoisyourcreator.com/gene_duplication.html

d. “concomitant specialization”
This apparently means that two genes have similar yet specialized functions. Evolutionists devise all sorts of redundant and scientific sounding terms when they want to make something sound complicated. This term adds nothing to describe what caused the genetic process to occur.

e. “of association with specific G proteins”
Because of the split in function between the two genes, the molecular switch (G protein) must also be modified to coincide with the specific regulation needed to precisely regulate the new gene. There is NO explanation of how that might occur:
• “Moreover, in order for the organism to respond to an every-changing environment, intercellular signals must be transduced, amplified, and ultimately converted to the appropriate physiological response.”
http://edrv.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/24/6/765
See movie on G-proteins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB7YfAvez3o&feature=related

Example #3

The following two links are video presentations that attempt to explain the evolution of an eye. They both use the same progressive steps but forget to mention how the components appeared and/or any mention of what genetic change was used to create new features to appear.

Video narration by Richard Dawkins on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEKyqIJkuDQ
‘Scientific’ highlights from the video:
“Skin cells like these often have a little light sensitive pigment to start with, so something interesting could happen …”
“Let’s drop ourselves lightly into a shallow pit and things begin to get better …
“I brought in a simple in-home camera … now I can resolve images must more accurately.”
“Let’s go on and now just imagine some of those cells happen to secrete a little mucus. It collects into a blob … and lodges in the pinhole. Real progress, I’ve got a crude lens, now the incoming light can be focused.”

Video narration by NCSE’s executive director, Eugenie Scott on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOtP7HEuDYA&feature=related
Ms. Scott uses the same steps but uses ‘next’ repeatedly while pulling in component parts out of thin air. Her most scientific moment comes when she states, “If it can grow, it can evolve …”

Upon discovering that none of the known genetic mechanisms can account for how evolution supposedly occurs, evolutionists are now devising even more absurd fables. This new mechanism is called “preadaptation”:

“The process by which parts accumulate until they’re ready to snap together is called preadaptation. It’s a form of “neutral evolution,” in which the buildup of the parts provides no immediate advantage or disadvantage. Neutral evolution falls outside the descriptions of Charles Darwin. But once the pieces gather, mutation and natural selection can take care of the rest, ultimately resulting in the now-complex form of TIM23 …
“You look at cellular machines and say, why on earth would biology do anything like this? It’s too bizarre,” he said. “But when you think about it in a neutral evolutionary fashion, in which these machineries emerge before there’s a need for them, then it makes sense.””
Brandon Keim, “More ‘Evidence’ of Intelligent Design Shot Down by Science,” August 27, 2009, Wired Science based on “The reducible complexity of a mitochondrial molecular machine,” Yale University, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 106 No. 33, August 25, 2009.
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/08/reduciblecomplexity/
So, complex parts with absolutely NO purpose miraculously assemble themselves, and then “snap” together to form a complex cellular machine? They’re kidding, right?

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12 Re: The human eye, intelligent designed on Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:50 pm

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Simple beginnings

http://web.archive.org/web/20090126042355/http://darwinspredictions.com/#_1.3_Evolution’s_falsifications

Introduction

It is no secret that biology is full of complex designs. Molecules are intricately designed to perform their function, apparently simple bacteria are in fact extraordinarily complicated, and multi-cellular organisms reveal an intricate network of organs and structures. Biology presents to us a seemingly endless list of phenomenally intricate designs and, as Darwin found with the eye, it is not always straightforward to imagine how such designs could have evolved.

Prediction

The eye gave Darwin shudders, but as Fig. 6 suggests, he argued that it could have evolved from a gradual sequence of simpler designs. For evolution to work, it needs to start with simple structures which can be imagined to spontaneously assemble. From there increasingly complex designs are imagined to accumulate, as Darwin hypothesized for the eye.


This evolutionary prediction of a historical lineage, from simple to complex, has strongly influenced evolutionists. In Chapter 10 of Origins Darwin tried to reconcile this expectation with the apparent abruptness of the fossil record. Of course it could be argued that the fossil record was highly imperfect. Older, simpler organisms could have existed without leaving a history in the fossil record. But in addition to that argument, any examples of lower organisms in the older strata would help demonstrate the expected lineage.

The Eozoön canadense fossil, or “dawn animal of Canada,” was one such example Darwin could use. Canadian geologists announced the finding in 1864 and Darwin introduced it in his next edition of Origins as an early species from the lower strata. He described the species as belonging to the most lowly organized of all classes or animals. [1]

Falsification

The only problem with Eozoön was that it was so simple, it was not entirely clear that it actually was a biological organism. Could it have been nothing more than a mineral formation? This seemed obvious and some scientists argued this in the face of staunch opposition by evolutionists who opposed such skepticism. Eozoön nicely fulfilled their expectations, but eventually they would have to concede. Evolution or no evolution, Eozoön clearly was simply a mineral formation. [2]

Long after the Eozoön affair, this evolutionary view that the earliest multi-cellular animals were simple has persisted, and it continues to meet with surprises. One example is Funisia dorothea, an ancient tubular organism. Funisia shows evidence of the same growth and propagation strategies used by most of today’s invertebrate organisms. Funisia clearly shows, remarked one researcher, “that ecosystems were complex very early in the history of animals on Earth.” Another researcher agreed that “the finding shows that fundamental ecological strategies were already established in the earliest known animal communities, some 570 million years ago.” [3,4]

This early complexity is also implied by genome data of the lower organisms. As one researcher observed, the genomes of many seemingly simple organisms sequenced in recent years show a surprising degree of complexity. [5,6] In fact, what we consistently find in the fossil record and genomic data are examples of high complexity in lineages where evolution expected simplicity. As one evolutionist admitted:

It is commonly believed that complex organisms arose from simple ones. Yet analyses of genomes and of their transcribed genes in various organisms reveal that, as far as protein-coding genes are concerned, the repertoire of a sea anemone—a rather simple, evolutionarily basal animal—is almost as complex as that of a human. [7]

Early complexity is also evident in the cell’s biochemistry. For instance, kinases are a type of enzyme that regulate various cellular functions by transferring a phosphate group to a target molecule. Kinases are so widespread across eukaryote species that, according to evolution, they must persist far down the evolutionary tree. Yet the similarity across species of the kinase functions, and their substrate molecules, means that if evolution is true these kinase substrates must have remained largely unchanged for billions of years. The complex regulatory actions of the kinase enzymes must have been present early in the history of life. [8]

This is by no means an isolated example. Histones are a class of eukaryote proteins that help organize and pack DNA and the gene that codes for histone IV is highly conserved across species. Again, if evolution is true the first histone IV must have been very similar to the versions we see today.

Years ago it seemed obvious to evolutionists that the first eukaryote evolved from the simpler prokaryote (bacteria) type of cell. This would nicely fulfill the evolutionary expectation of a simple-to-complex lineage, but this too appears difficult to reconcile with the evidence (see Section 3.2). As one team of evolutionists admitted:

Nevertheless, comparative genomics has confirmed a lesson from paleontology: Evolution does not proceed monotonically from the simpler to the more complex. [9]

And Darwin’s concern with the eye is now known to be appropriate. Darwin worried that it was too complex, but hoped that it could have evolved from simpler intermediates. It is true that there are different types of eyes in nature which might be aligned in a sequence. But when examined closely even what appear to be simple types of eyes are now known to be phenomenally complex.

Consider, for instance, the so-called third eye which merely provides for light sensitivity in some species. In fact, the third eye contains the same cellular signal transduction pathway that is found in image-forming eyes. As Fig. 7 illustrates, that pathway begins with a photon interacting with a light-sensitive chromophore molecule (11-cis retinal). The interaction causes the chromophore to change configuration and this, in turn, influences the large, trans-membrane rhodopsin protein to which the chromophore is attached.


Figure 7 Illustration of the remarkable cellular signal transduction vision pathway which begins with light interacting with the retinal chromophore molecule.

The chromophore photoisomerization is the beginning of a remarkable cascade that causes electrical signals (called action potentials) to be triggered in the optic nerve. In response to the chromophore photoisomerization, rhodopsin causes the activation of hundreds of transducin molecules. These, in turn, cause the activation of cGMP phosphodiesterase (by removing its inhibitory subunit), an enzyme that degrades the cyclic nucleotide, cGMP.

A single photon can result in the activation of hundreds of transducins, leading to the degradation of hundreds of thousands of cGMP molecules. cGMP molecules serve to open non selective, cyclic nucleotide gated (CNG) ion channels in the membrane, so reduction in cGMP concentration serves to close these channels. This means that millions of sodium ions per second are shut out of the cell, causing a voltage change across the membrane. This hyperpolarization of the cell membrane causes a reduction in the release of neurotransmitter, the chemical that interacts with the nearby nerve cell, in the synaptic region of the cell. This reduction in neurotransmitter release ultimately causes an action potential to arise in the nerve cell.

All this happens because a single photon entered the fray. In short order, this light signal is converted into a structural signal, more structural signals, a chemical concentration signal, back to a structural signal, and then back to a chemical concentration signal leading to a voltage signal which then leads back to a chemical concentration signal.

This incredible cellular signal transduction design is the biochemical foundation in image-forming eyes. But it is also found in the third eye. In fact, the third eye includes two antagonistic light signaling pathways in the same cell. Blue light causes the hyperpolarizing response as described above, but green light causes a depolarizing response. How is this done? By the inhibition of the cGMP phosphodiesterase enzyme. Specifically, there are two opsins, one that is sensitive to blue light which activates the cGMP phosphodiesterase enzyme, and another that is sensitive to green light which inhibits the cGMP phosphodiesterase enzyme. It appears that initially these are two separate pathways and they come together at the point of influencing the cGMP phosphodiesterase enzyme. [10]

Yet another example of early complexity in eyes is found in the long-extinct trilobite. It had eyes that were perhaps the most complex ever produced by nature. One expert called them “an all-time feat of function optimization.” [11] Reviewing the fossil and molecular data, one evolutionist admitted that there is no sequential appearance of the major animal groups “from simpler to more complex phyla, as would be predicted by the classical evolutionary model.” [12]

Reaction

The evolutionary expectation of a lineage progressing from simple to complex designs has become optional for evolutionists. Where hints of simplicity can be found they are employed, but clear and obvious cases of intricate complexity early in the evolutionary tree are typically said to be the result of an early, rapid evolution process.

But these explanations have become increasingly problematic and some evolutionists are dropping altogether the idea of a simple-to-complex evolutionary trend. Instead, a new evolutionary hypothesis is that early on in the history of life, near the bottom of the evolutionary tree, there appeared a small organism with a Universal Genome that encodes all major developmental programs essential for every animal phylum. In other words, all the important DNA sequences were present in an ancient organism. From there, new species emerged depending on which genes were activated, inactivated, or deleted. [12]

The feasibility of this hypothesis may be difficult to determine, but what we do know is that another prediction of evolution has failed and consequently the theory has become much more complex.

References

1. Charles Darwin, On the Origins of Species, 6th ed. (1872; reprint London: Collier Macmillan, 1962), 332.

2. J. Adelman, “Eozoön: debunking the dawn animal,” Endeavour 31 (2007): 94-98.

3. M. L. Droser, J. G. Gehling, “Synchronous aggregate growth in an abundant new ediacaran tubular organism,” Science 319 (2008): 1660-1662.

4. University of California – Riverside, “Rethinking early evolution: Earth's earliest animal ecosystem was complex and included sexual reproduction,” ScienceDaily 20 March 2008.

5. University of California – Berkeley, “Genome of marine organism tells of humans’ unicellular ancestors,” ScienceDaily 20 February 2008.

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13 Re: The human eye, intelligent designed on Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:38 pm

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http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=1412

In his book, The Wonder of Man, Werner Gitt explains how the retina is a masterpiece of engineering design.

One single square millimetre of the retina contains approximately 400,000 optical sensors. To get some idea of such a large number, imagine a sphere, on the surface of which circles are drawn, the size of tennis balls. These circles are separated from each other by the same distance as their diameter. In order to accommodate 400,000 such circles, the sphere must have a diameter of 52 metres... (1999, p. 15).

Alan L. Gillen also praised the design of the retina in his book, Body by Design.

The most amazing component of the eye is the “film,” which is the retina. This light-sensitive layer at the back of the eyeball is thinner than a sheet of plastic wrap and is more sensitive to light than any man-made film. The best camera film can handle a ratio of 1000-to-1 photons in terms of light intensity. By comparison, human retinal cells can handle a ratio of 10 billion-to-1 over the dynamic range of light wavelengths of 380 to 750 nanometers. The human eye can sense as little as a single photon of light in the dark! In bright daylight, the retina can bleach out, turning its “volume control” way down so as not to overload. The light-sensitive cells of the retina are like an extremely complex high-gain amplifier that is able to magnify sounds more than one million times (2001, pp. 97-98, emp. added).

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The Eye and Irreducible Complexity - Creationism Debunked

John Connolly: So you spoke a little bit about flagella. The other argument that is always drawn up is the Mammalian Eye, so could you maybe dispel that a little bit for us, the idea that the eye is too complex of a system to have evolved, that it must have had some intelligence involved? Eugenie Scott: You know if you read the creationist literature, and I don’t want to wish that on anyone, but if you do you’ll find that they are very fond of quoting a statement that Darwin made on the Origin of Species where, and I haven’t memorized it but it’s something like “It is really quite preposterous to imagine something like the vertebrate eye, it’s so snazzy (he didn’t say snazzy), it’s got all these parts that work together to bring light to the eye and form an image, and nobody would think it would be possible for my natural selection to produce this”, and the creationists all say “see, Darwin himself says that the eye can’t evolve”. But they’ve never really looked at the book because they just keep quoting each other, and if you actually go to the Origin of Species and you find that passage and you continue reading it, the very next sentence is “But I can assure you that that’s not the case, that I can do this” and then he goes on with this wonderful description of how it’s quite possible to take a very simple structure, and with very few modifications improve its ability to assist an organism, in other words in Darwin’s own terms it had adaptive value. And he then does this wonderful thing, which Darwin did all his life of course [as] he was a wonderful naturalist, he went out to nature and he looked at nature and said “there’s something that’s kind of like what I’m talking about”, and if you look at the eye of a snail it’s hardly more than just a slight pigmented spot on the surface of the skin there, but having a pigmented spot does allow you to tell light from dark, so that’s adaptive to a snail; that would actually help a snail get along better, so any ancestral primitive snail or creature that had this light sensitive spot would be at an advantage and so it would live longer and as we say today would pass on its genes more than a creature of the same species that didn’t have that. And then he goes on and says “Well you know here’s another kind of creature, another little invertebrate creature the limpet that has that pigmented spot, but it also has kind of a little bit of an indentation on the skin where that pigmented spot occurs and that’s an advantage; that’s actually better than that snail eye because having an indentation as well as that pigmented spot allows you to get an idea of what direction the light is coming from, so that’s even better than being able to tell light from dark. And by the way, if you look at the physiology of this, being able to tell light from dark is useful for many creatures, I mean lots and lots and lots of organisms, for setting the biological clock for certain physiological reactions that happen. Being able to tell what direction the light is coming from is very useful because that might help you navigate toward food or away from heat or away from other kinds of phenomenon that you might want to avoid or be attracted to, and then Darwin goes on and find another animal, and he points to it as having not only some wiring down here at the bottom and this cup shaped thing, but actually the cup is formed almost to a pinhole, and it’s kind of the equivalent of the old fashioned pinhole cameras that I know people had in the early 20th century. Nobody has them now of course because we’ve all gone far beyond that, but a pinhole camera is a big advantage over just having a cup because a pinhole camera actually can allow an image to focus on the back of the eye. So anyway, he [Darwin] builds up this system step by step by step by step and actually on NCSE’s website we’ve got a little video talking about the evolution of the eye in the same fashion. And then you add a lens and that’s an improvement as well, so what Darwin does is look at the eye, the final product of the vertebrate eye which is a very snazzy kind of organ, it’s really good about getting images to the eye and getting that information to the brain, but he shows you how from very, very simple beginnings there is an adaptive value to each step until you finally build up to the final product. Now what the intelligent design folks want to do is they want us to start there, they want us to start at that final complex snazzy multi-component form and say “[it] couldn’t possibly form by natural causes”, but actually it’s very possible for it to form. And what’s kind of interesting about the eye story is that there were some Swedish scientists (and I am sorry I am having a senior moment, I don’t remember the exact reference) who did some computer modeling for how long would it take, given such and such a mutation rate for changing the surface of the skin and causing the cup forming and the pinhole eye and the formation of the lens from crystalline structures that are already there, and how long would it take to evolve an eye from something like Darwin’s original pigmented patch and it found that it could be done in something like 100 million years or something which, geologically speaking, is a drop in the bucket.

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