Inside the eye of many common fish, like tuna, scad, snapper, actually probably all fish I have eaten, is a small sphere made of some very tough substance. This sphere is even hard to crush with teeth, and seems to be made of homogeneous material. That is after the fish is cooked, not sure how it is uncooked. It is immersed inside a quite soft, almost liquid substance inside the eyeball.
Is that the lens, or is the whole soft semi-liquid tissue the lens?
What substance is the small tough sphere made of? I imagine some type of proteins, but what type of proteins exactly?
From what you describe, it seems the hard sphere is the lens and the semi-liquid substance is the vitreous humour. Like the lens of other vertebrates, the fish lens is made of lens fibres-cells rich in proteins called crystallins.
For more on the anatomy of fish eyes, you could read this page and watch this dissection video.
The Anatomy of the Optic Nerve
Keri Peterson, MD, is board-certified in internal medicine and operates a private practice, Age Well, in New York City.
Made of nerve cells, the optic nerve is located in the back of the eye. Also known as the second cranial nerve or cranial nerve II, it is the second of several pairs of cranial nerves. It is a bundle of nerve cells that transmits sensory information for vision in the form of electrical impulses from the eye to the brain. The optic nerve has been studied heavily because it is a direct extension of the brain.
1. Step One: Orientation
When you first remove your heart from the bag, you will see a lot of fatty tissue surrounding it. It is usually a waste of time to try to remove this tissue. Grab some colored pencils to help you identify and mark the vessels you find.
There are a few clues to help you figure out the left and the right side, but often the packaging and preserving process can cause the heart to be misshapen. If you are lucky, the heart will be nicely preserved and you will see that the front (ventral) side of the heart has a couple of key features: 1) a large pulmonary trunk that extends off the top of it 2) the flaps of the auricles covering the top of the atria. 3) the curve of the entire front side, whereas the backside is much flatter.
The first image shows the front side of the heart, often identified by the coronary sinus that runs cross it at an angle (yellow).
The auricle is the flap that covers the atrium, it looks like an ear. The pulmonary trunk is the located at the front of the heart and enters at an angle.
Step 2: Locate the Aorta
Use your fingers to probe around the top of the heart. Four major vessels can be found entering the heart: the pulmonary trunk, aorta, superior vena cava, and the pulmonary vein. Remember that if you are looking at the back of the heart, then the right and left sides are the same as your right and left hand. This picture was on the board the day of the dissection so that you could glance up and recall which vessel entered which part of the heart.
If you find the pulmonary vein, the aorta should be situated a little bit behind it. It may be covered by fat, so use your fingers to poke around until you find the opening. Push your finger all the way in and you will feel inside of the left ventricle. The left ventricle has a very thick wall, unlike the right ventricle. Insert your finger through the pulmonary vessel to feel the left ventricle and you will notice and feel that it is much thinner than the left side of the heart.
With your fingers or probes in the aorta and the pulmonary trunk you should notice that they criss-cross each other, with the pulmonary trunk in the front.
At this point, you may want to use your colored pencils to mark these vessels so that you don't get them confused when you are searching for the other two openings that top of the heart.
Step 3: Locate the Veins
The two major veins that enter the heart can be found on the backside, as both enter the atria. On the left side, you should be able to find the opening of the pulmonary vein as it enters the left atrium. The superior vena cava enters the right atrium. In many preserved hearts, the heart was cut at these points, so you won't see the vessels themselves, you will just find the openings. Again, use your fingers to feel around the heart to find the openings. If you've marked the aorta and pulmonary then you won't mistake them for the veins you are looking for. This picture shows all of the vessels labeled.
Sometimes, the aorta still has its branches attached to it. There are three vessels that branch from the aorta: the brachiocephalic, left common carotid and the left subclavian. The majority of the time, these vessels are not visible because the aorta was cut too close to the main part of the heart when the heart was removed from the animal. Occassionally, you can find the brachiocephalic artery attached, as it is in this photo.
What causes hazel eyes?
The pigmented structure inside the eye that surrounds the pupil and gives eyes their color is called the iris. The pigment responsible for eye color is called melanin, which also affects skin color.
The reason many white, non-Hispanic babies are born with blue eyes is that they don&apost have the full amount of melanin present in their irises at birth. In the first few years of life, more melanin may accumulate in the iris, causing blue eyes to turn green, hazel or brown.
Babies whose eyes turn from blue to brown develop significant amounts of melanin. Those who end up with green eyes or hazel eyes develop a little less.
Babies of African-American, Hispanic and Asian ethnicities are usually born with dark eyes that stay brown throughout life. This is because these individuals naturally have more melanin in their eyes and skin.
Cross Eyes (Strabismus) and Nystagmus
If your eyes aren’t lined up with each other when you look at something, you could have strabismus. You might also hear it called crossed eyes or walleye.
This problem won’t go away on its own. Sometimes you can go to vision therapy with an eye doctor to help strengthen the weak eye muscles. Often, you’ll likely need to get an ophthalmologist, or eye surgeon specialist, to correct it surgically.You’ll need to get an ophthalmologist, or eye specialist, to correct it.
With nystagmus, the eye moves or "jiggles" all the time on its own.
There are many treatments, including vision therapy to make your eyes stronger. Surgery is also an option. Your doctor will examine your eyes to see which treatment might work best for you.
What’s causing it: The lens of the eye is made up primarily of water and protein. As we age, the proteins can clump together and become a cataract. The result is that the lens of the eye gets clouded, making vision blurry, reducing night vision, and possibly creating the illusion of halos when you look at lights.
What can help: Wear anti-glare sunglasses whenever you’re outdoors because prolonged exposure to UV rays can exacerbate the problem. If a cataract is found early enough, non-surgical solutions, like a new glasses prescription, may be adequate. More advanced cases require surgery to remove the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial one.
10 People With Shocking and Extreme Deformities
This list will detail ten unfortunate individuals who have suffered from severe disfigurements. A few of these people, with the help of modern medicine, have been able to live a more normal life. Some of the following tales are tragic, and others inspire hope. Here are ten shocking stories:
Rudy Santos, a 69 year old from the Philippines, suffers from the ultra rare condition known as Craniopagus parasiticus or parasitic twin. He is the oldest person with this condition. Attached to Rudy&rsquos pelvis and abdomen are an extra pair of arms and a leg, which developed when his twin was absorbed into his body during pregnancy. Also connected to his body are an extra pair of nipples and an undeveloped head with an ear and hair.
Rudy became a national celebrity whilst traveling with a freak show during the 1970s and &rsquo80s. He would earn up to 20,000 pesos per night as the main attraction. It was at this show where he gained his stage name&mdashthe &lsquoOctoman&rsquo. Rudy was likened to a god, and women would line up to be with him.
Strangely, Rudy vanished in the late &rsquo80s and ended up living in extreme poverty for over ten years. In 2008, two doctors examined him to see whether surgery would be viable or not. They concluded that they would be able to remove the parasitic twin, but Rudy decided not to have the operation. He said that he had become fond the extra growth.
Hungry for more bizarre medical anomalies? You won&rsquot be able to put down the Mutter Museum Book of Historic Medical Photographs at Amazon.com!
Manar Maged&mdashborn in Cairo in 2004&mdashalso suffered from parasitic twin. Manar and her twin sister were fused together at the head. Her twin had no limbs and could only smile, blink and cry.
At ten months of age, Manar was taken to a hospital in Cairo after she became very ill. It was decided that without the removal of the parasitic twin, they would both die. Unfortunately, after they were separated, the twin died as it used the blood supply of Manar and could not survive without her. Less than a year later, Manar also died due to a brain infection which was caused by complications from the surgery.
Minh Anh is a Vietnamese orphan who was born with a mystery skin disorder which causes his skin to flake and form scales. His condition is thought to have been caused by Agent Orange&mdashthe defoliate chemical used by the USA during the Vietnam War. This condition causes him to overheat and his skin can become very uncomfortable without regular baths. Fellow orphans have nicknamed him &lsquoFish&rsquo. Minh used to be violent to staff members and other children at the orphanage, so they had to restrain him by tying him to his bed.
When Minh was young, he met Brenda, aged 79 from the UK and she travels to Vietnam annually to see him. They have formed a close bond over the years and have become good friends. Brenda has helped Minh in many ways at the orphanage&mdashshe persuaded the staff not to tie him up when he is violent and she has found him a friend to take him swimming every week, which is now Minh&rsquos favourite hobby.
Probably the most well-known person on this list is Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man. Born in 1836, the Englishman became a celebrity in London and also gained fame around the world. He was born with proteus syndrome&mdasha condition which causes huge lumps to develop on the skin and the bones to deform and thicken.
Joseph&rsquos mother died when he was eleven and he was rejected by his father. He left home at a young age and worked in Leicester before contacting a showman. He was the main act and gained his stage name&mdashthe &lsquoElephant Man&rsquo.
Due to the size of his head, Joseph had to sleep sitting up. His head was so heavy that it was impossible for him to sleep lying down. One night in 1890, he attempted to sleep &lsquolike normal people&rsquo and dislocated his neck in the process. He was found dead the next morning.
Read about this classic case in the words of the doctor who had a first-hand look at the Elephant Man. Buy The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences at Amazon.com!
Didier Montalvo, from rural Colombia developed congenital melanocytic nevus, which causes moles to grow all over the body at an incredibly fast rate. As a result of this disease, a mole grew so large that it covered Didier&rsquos entire back. He was dubbed &lsquoturtle boy&rsquo by his peers as the huge mole looked like a shell.
Apparently, Didier was conceived on an eclipse and the locals believed his mole was the work of the devil. For this reason, he was shunned by other children and banned from the local school. When British surgeon Neil Bulstrode heard about Didier&rsquos condition, he travelled to Bogota so he could operate and remove the mole. Didier was six years old when the surgery was performed. It was a success and the whole mole was excised. After the operation, Didier now goes to school and lives a normal, happy life.
Mandy Sellars, from Lancashire, UK, was diagnosed with proteus syndrome&mdashthe same medical condition as Joseph Merrick. Proteus syndrome is extremely rare and it&rsquos thought to affect only 120 people worldwide. It has caused Mandy&rsquos legs to become extremely enlarged, weighing a total of 95 kilograms and measuring one meter in circumference. As her feet are so large, she has to buy specially fitted shoes which cost around $4000 dollars. She also has a personalized car, allowing her to drive without using her feet.
Doctors decided to amputate one of Mandy&rsquos legs after she contracted deep vein thrombosis and MRSA. After the operation, the remaining section of leg kept growing and became too heavy for her prosthetic. She has now received a new prosthetic leg which should last the rest of her life.
Petero Byakatonda is a boy from a small, rural town in Uganda who suffers from crouzon syndrome. This affects about one in every 25,000 births, but Petero&rsquos case is an extreme one. Crouzon syndrome causes malformation of the skull, which in turn pushes the eyeballs out of their sockets and the ears down, leading to problems with sight and hearing. In developed countries, the deformities caused by crouzon syndrome are usually treated very soon after birth but Petero did not receive this treatment as he lives hundreds of miles away from a hospital.
Petero&rsquos neighbors tormented and shunned him for his appearance and he locked himself away in his room, hardly ever leaving the house. A doctor noticed his condition when driving through Petero&rsquos village. The doctor raised enough money for Petero to travel to Austin, Texas, for life-changing surgery. He spent six months there while doctors re-shaped his skull. This put a lot pressure off his optic nerve and brain. A second operation was needed to reconstruct the bone around Petero&rsquos eyes. Complications occurred during the second surgery&mdashhe lost 80% of his total blood volume and his condition turned critical. Luckily, he survived and he now lives a happy life in his village.
José Mestre from Lisbon, Portugal, developed a huge facial deformity which started growing on his lips when he was fourteen. Over the years, this tumor grew to be over five kilograms in weight. It caused him to become blind in one eye and made it very hard for him to breathe, eat and sleep. He spent forty years of his life without treatment because of &ldquoyears of medical misinformation, some misdiagnosis, lack of finances, and reluctance to undergo treatment due to religious beliefs.&rdquo
In 2010, José travelled to Chicago to undergo four operations to remove his tumor and restore his facial features. The tumor mass was removed completely in the first operation and the next three aimed to reconstruct the face. The operations were successful and José travelled back to Lisbon a few weeks after treatment.
Dede Koswara is an Indonesian man who, for most of his life, has endured the extremely rare fungal infection, Epidermodysplasia verruciformis. This causes large, hard fungal growths to protrude from the skin which looks remarkably like tree bark. This had become extremely uncomfortable for Dede, preventing him from performing basic functions with his hands, as they were so large and heavy. The fungus grows all over the body but it&rsquos mainly found on the hands and feet.
In 2008, Dede received treatment in the USA to remove six kilograms of warts from his body. After this was done, skin grafts were applied to the hands and face. Unfortunately, this surgery did not stop the fungus from growing and he had further operations in 2011. There is no cure for Dede&rsquos condition.
Fetus in fetu is an extremely rare developmental abnormality that occurs in one out of every 500,000 births. The reason for this condition is unclear, but many scientists believe that it occurs in the early stages of pregnancy, when one fetus is enveloped by the other. Many parasitic twins are small and undeveloped, but others can grow to a large size. Alamjan Nematilaev, from Khazakstan, had a parasitic twin that developed hair, limbs, teeth, nails, genitals, a head and a basic face. Alamjan&rsquos twin had been living inside him for over seven years before it was discovered&hellip
In 2003, Alamjan&rsquos school doctor noticed the swollen abdomen and sent him to the hospital. Doctors examined him and believed that the lump was a cyst. The following week, Alamjan was operated on and to the doctor&rsquos surprise, they found a baby measuring two kilograms in weight and twenty centimeters in length. The doctor who carried out the surgery said that Alamjan looked like he was in the sixth month of pregnancy. The boy&rsquos parents believed that his condition was caused by radiation from the Chernobyl disaster, but experts have dismissed this idea. Alamjan fully recovered from the operation, but to this day, he still does not know that his twin grew inside him.
Caleb is a Listverse author and moderator from Cornwall, UK. You can follow him on twitter.
A greatly elongated snout is another kind of mouth adaptation. This type of mouth allows the fish to poke into small crevices and holes to find food. They may also use this mouth to dig through the substrate to reach buried food treasures. Some surface feeding fish also have an elongated mouth that allows them to scoop insects and food particles from the surface.
Freshwater species with elongated mouths include the halfbeaks, gars, and pencilfish. Saltwater species include the needlefish and fish in the wrasse family.
67 thoughts on &ldquo The Poor Design of the Human Eye &rdquo
Thank our dear God for creating us there is no way the eyeball could have come about in evolution
Many wrong suggestions in this article. We can not compare human eyes with cephalopods. We need the inverted anatomy with blood vessels to filter UV damaging effect. Under water with cephalopods, they don’t suffer UV damage so they do not need any protection, that’s why there retina is inverted.
did you even read this article?
Good catch! I have corrected this in the post. Thanks.
We can not just compare human eyes with cephalopods. We live on land and they live under water. Humans need the inverted anatomy with blood vessels to filter UV damaging effect on the retina, so it has a purpose, an important one. Under water with cephalopods, they don’t suffer UV damage since they live under water, so they do not need any protection from bloodvessels, that’s why they profit from a inverted retina with better visual acuity without suffering UV damage. If the human retina was inverted, we would be blind in a couple of years from the UV light.
a correction of that magnitude would be very difficult to pull off, but so would a mistake of this magnitude would also be very difficult to pull off.
I think that the human eye is one of God’s beautiful creation. With that said, I dare you to create a fly
I don’t think Anonymous of October 2, 2015 actually bothered to read the article, which eloquently pointed out why the human eye is horrible and any deity would have to stupid to design it in such a way. As we design robots, we are already giving them much better ‘eyes’.
Anon apparently also doesn’t understand evolution at all so to pose such a dumb question. Flys had millions of years to evolve humans are just now starting to work out this happened.
Last line should read “work out how this happened.” — damn you typonese.
So you are saying you create robots that have more perfect eyes than humans? If I met this robot should I assume that there was a human that designed it, perfected it, built it, corrected it, and could shut it down at any time or should I just assume it spontaneously happened by chance? Your intelligence that allowed you to create a robot that has better vision than a human has blinded you to the concept that you ARE the creator you are trying to deny.
I think life is truly amazing. I certainly I would not say a computer created itself but I would have to conclude it has an intelligent designer behind it, as a robot would as well. Maybe there is a reason the human eye is designed a certain way – one that we do not understand in all of our “knowledge”. Sometimes we think we know so much and we are proved wrong many times as we find out more information. There are things we will never know – and I’m ok with that – I look around and cannot fathom that there is not an intelligent designer behind life and the universe.
I agree that life is truly amazing, but there is no evidence that it was intelligently designed. The more we explore and learn, what was mysterious becomes mechanistic and we increasingly see that there is no need for supernatural origins.
Like all your atheist buddies, you think that just by saying something is true somehow makes it true. Scientists have not given up on the irreducible complexity of the eye, as you say. For you to say that the eye evolved as a unit makes you stupid or mad. How does something as complex as the eye evolve as a unit? It demands a priori knowledge of the end result to come up with the development of the eye as a unit. Where was this knowledge in your random mutation of the eye as a unit? You maintain that, with no forethought, no intelligence, no thought whatsoever of the end result, evolution just mutated an eye, from scratch, complete in all its staggering complexities. You should read Michael Bebe’s book or Stephen C. Meyer’s book on the subject before you continue to embarrass yourself.
By the way, why on earth would you want humans to have sight like birds and cats? Do you really need to see a dead squirrel from 2,500 feet in the air? Do you have a fear of being attacked by marauding photons at night? There’s not a lot of need for humans to read small print in order to survive. We don’t have night vision as good as cats? You’re absolutely right. But our night vision is excellent for sleeping at night. If you’re worried about animals with night vision attacking you at night, put a fire in your cave, or lock your door, or buy a gun. Don’t you find it the least bit odd that humans have defeated and out-populated tigers who use their phenomenally keen night sight to hunt at night–where humans live? You sound like so many other Darwinian evolutionists who are great at making up stories to fit their preconceived notion of how life came about on the earth. One of the best laughs I ever had was while reading your buddy Richard Dawkins’ explanation of how bats evolved from flying squirrels. How about the one that says that whales evolved from a polar bear that fell in the ocean?
You might as well spend your time defending Dr. Ernst Haeckel’s embryos Charles Dawson’s Piltdown Man Eugene Dubois’ Java Man Paleontologist Harald Cook’s Nebraska Man Anthropology Professor Reiner Protsch’s Neanderthal Man Archaeoraptor Liaoningenesis Sloan after Christopher Sloan, senior assistant editor of National Geographic American fossil expert, O. C. Marsh and famous evolutionist Thomas Huxley and their fake drawings showing the evolution of the horse Oxford’s Bernard Kettlewell and his peppered moths.
When Charles Darwin found that the evidence did not support his hypothesis, he didn’t reject his hypothesis like all of us were taught to do in school when learning the scientific method he cried and complained that the evidence had to exist, and that archaeologists were not looking in the right places. He insisted he was right. We still don’t have any evidence to support his claims, but scientists still have faith in the evolution that they can’t prove. Sound familiar?—having faith in something that can’t be proved? And yes, I’ve read that idiot Darwin’s books. A totally displeasing experience. Try to remember that paleontologists and archaeologists were the biggest critics of Darwin’s hypothesis because the fossil record didn’t support his claims. Your mutated eye-as-a-unit is preposterous. Where did you go to school?
You know that a computer was designed because you know from experience that humans create computers. Your notion that complex things have to be designed is not accurate. In fact, what about a snowflake or a grain of sand? If you look at either through a powerful enough microscope, you’d find a truly remarkable core structure. Did your god personally design the snowflake that was created – quite obviously – by crystallization of tiny water molecules? If so, then why is each snowflake different? Surely, he/she’s not designing them and putting them in each cloud – real time – around the planet (If he/she really is, then doesn’t this ‘intelligent designer’ have better things to do than create designer bits of crystalline water?)
Ultimately, if you were trying to get at a deistic worldview (the designer created the rules of physics and ‘set things in motion’), that would at least make some sense. But a literal interpretation of the Bible or Quran or whichever holy book you cater to is absolutely contrary to the evidence which by default makes it unscientific.
My apologies. I didn’t read your post fully. My reply still mostly holds – except the part with the literal interpretation – in that if you actually do have a designer who individually makes things in the universe, then there is typically some law of physics that you have to break. In fact, if you do a simple physical simulation of more than two particles, you’ll find that even inserting one big change will usually drive the system into chaotic (unpredictable) behavior. So, essentially, its very hard to predictably change a complex system in a massive way (like creating one planet at exactly the right spot in the solar system with 8 other planets in the vicinity and ensure that the moon slams into it at just the right time so that things are perfect for life) without completely messing it up. While I cannot disprove that a divine being didn’t come up with that one in quadrillion procedure, a reasonable person would refuse to believe it until presented with proper evidence.
Indeed! the human eye is designed that way for a reason researchers recently have pinned that down. The so-called-odd design has been revealed to be a design feature rather than ‘design constrain’, let alone odd design! Because these cells which evolutionists complain about their position in front of the eye retina constitute optic-fibers that channeled the light to the rods and cons in the photosensitive cells and hence the eye works more efficiently day and night.
natural selection applies across the universe, not just earth
Producing a planet that is able to cultivate life and ultimately humans is natural selection at work.
It’s the process of nature selecting what survives. If we don’t know about life outside our solar system it may because we cannot see it or it doesn’t exist. But one thing is probable: life will be created elsewhere at some point… Maybe right now maybe millions of years from now. What we should shift our focus on is to the possibility the the universe might be evvolving to a state that makes the propensity for conditions of life much more feasible.
The eyes are truly amazing, all the things that they can do, see into infinity, focus and the brain which works with the eye to process, analyse, store the information it receives, and much more. For me, a creator God is the only explanation for a complex structure and for many more that the human body has and all working in unison with each other. When I see the most advanced structure that is made by man it fades into the dark compared to the human body.
The eye is definitely a marvel, but it is far from perfect. And there is no need for it to have been intelligently designed and there’s abundant evidence that it wasn’t. The eye is the product of over a billion years of step-wise evolution and we have a pretty good idea of the major steps along the way. The eye, like the universe, has no design. But boy, is it beautiful.
Congratulations Nathan, you garnered a citation for this piece. You were cited as having either no apparent knowledge or no appreciation of biophysicists who showed 5 years prior to this article that virtually every photon striking the retina propagates to the sensors. Here: https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.158102
Also kudos for referring to the “design” of the eye (“In sum, the human eye, wondrous though it is, has a few rather glaring defects in its design.”)
Of course the citation is contained in “Zombie Science” by Jonathon Wells, copyright 2017
Anyway, Thank you very much letting me know! The timing of this is perfect because a negative citation from Jonathon Wells, always a compliment, could boost my profile a little bit, right when my agent is meeting with publishers about my new book! It’s a whole compendium of poor design in the human body, genome, and brain – sure to give Mr. Wells lots to write about, and I hope he does. Thanks again, seriously, and I’ll let my agent know. Have a good day.
we know design is real because we found evidence for design like the flagellum motor. a motor is evidence for design even if its made from organic components and has a self replicating system.
How is the bacterial flagellum evidence for intelligent design? Simply asserting something doesn’t make it true.
Depends on a persons viewpoint, whether the view is that the bacterial flagellum is so complex that it couldn’t evolve but involves a creator, or created by natural processes – both need viewpoints need explanation I guess. I am not a biologist and that my knowledge on evolution would be lacking. Though I am a computer professional with a certain amount of logical intelligence and also I believe in God. You might say which God as Richard Dawkins or I think the well known atheist Bertram Russell coined the phrase ‘the flying spaghetti monster’. It’s just when I was 14 had a personal experience and know that God exists.
Whether a flagellum is too complex to have evolved is not up to “a person’s viewpoint.” It’s a scientific question that has a true answer. The science of biology has provided a plethora of evidence in support of evolution by way of natural selection (and other forces). The claim of irreducible complexity has, so far, no empirical evidence in support of it. You can still hold the position if you want, but your belief in it doesn’t make it right. The truth is discovered through the collection of evidence. Intelligent design is a nice idea, but there is no evidence in support of it.
Hi Nathan, Yes you are right, I cannot prove an intelligent designer – its a matter of faith. I have no problem with natural selection, but as I understand evolution correct me if I am wrong requires natural section + mutation to explain the process from simple to complex organisms. What I understand is that natural selection only works on genes that already exist and can choose from e.g. the moth changing colour, but any new stuff the evolutionist would say requires mutation for complete new structures e.g. the wing of a bird, or a heart, leg, etc., Well I think you know what I mean. Apparently, there is no evidence that mutations create new genes. Even if there was a natural process that could be proven, then a first cause is still needed which started it all off.
Absolutely there is evidence that mutations can lead to new structures and there are several cases where we understand the mutations and the evolutionary process fairly well. For example, limb development is controlled by the HOX genes and as they get duplicated and mutated (natural processes that, again, we understand reasonably well), the number and placement of limbs can be altered. You can google images of fruit flies growing perfectly formed legs where their antennae should be – these are the results of laboratory tinkering with the same genes that evolution has tinkered with. Even something like our color vision – we have a pretty good understanding of how we developed our three kinds of cones through gene duplication and mutation. Read up on trichromacy if you want to learn more. So much of these natural processes were once mysterious to us, so we assumed they were supernatural. But now that we can observe the mechanisms, we find that they are natural and that not only CAN evolution produce the wondrous variety of life that we see, it is perfectly expected that it would do so. As Darwin said, through natural selection, endless forms most beautiful have evolved and are continue to evolve. Religious belief is perfectly fine, but you don’t need to invoke religion to explain life on earth. The reality is so much more exciting!
Thanks for the information and the areas of research, you seem to know your subject well. Still I don’t understand how this excludes the need for a creator, the HOX genes which create body parts is truly amazing as you say, but for me that makes me more convinced of a God who has put these structures in place to create complex body parts. For the HOX genes to create a leg of a fruit fly with all its complexity, how would it know what its creating unless it had a design to work with and also a sense of purpose. Evolution has no intelligence. Even with the fruit fly tinkering, that still requires intelligence of a scientist in a laboratory to play with those already existing genes. Could I create a computer program unless I had the knowledge, the intelligence and the tools to work with.
You are missing the point of that example. The tinkering that the scientists did was to alter the gene so that it would the same thing in a different place. This emphasizes how small genetic changes can have profound phenotypic consequences. But how the HOX genes (and many others) came to encode the information to build a leg came about through a long process of evolutionary tweaking, random mutations followed by natural selection. You are correct that evolution has no intelligence. It also has no intention, will, planning for the future. The tinkering is random, but the differential survival is nonrandom – it’s based on who survives and reproduces. It’s true that you couldn’t make a computer program without prior knowledge but that’s because the process of making a computer program involves a will, a desire to make something specific. That’s not how evolution works, so comparing the two makes no sense. The point is that there is abundant evidence for evolution via natural selection and no evidence for intelligent design. You are free to continue believing it, but since science is based on empirical evidence, you can’t expect that idea to be taken seriously by scientists.
Thanks Nathan for your enlightening information and for politely putting up with so many ignorant, faith based comments.
Thanks for the kind words!
You wrote this in 2015 saying there is no hypothesis to explain the inverted retina? Were you aware of the article by Ronald Kröger, entitled “Space-saving advantage of an inverted retina”, (Vision Research 2009) ? Can you please check it out and update your article, hopefully with some explanation?
I just read it and I am sorry to say that it is altogether impressive. First, it is a theoretical model with no original data. Second, no work subsequent to this theoretical work has bolstered the argument with experimental data and there’s been plenty of time. Third, it models the zebra fish eye, among the smallest vertebrate eyes known, meaning they chose a model that was mostly likely to be biased in favor of the explanation they were hoping for. Fourth, the zebra fish is a ray-finned fish, meaning it has undergone substantial evolutionary change since the initial emergence of the vertebrate eye and it is also not in the lineage that gave rise to tetrapods and humans. It is NOT a good model of the early eye, if that’s what you are hoping. Fifth, in the discussion, the authors presume that the earliest eyes were in tiny organisms, but they weren’t. The reviewers should have slammed them for that. Sixth, by the authors own admission, the space saved in one compartment (the posterior ocular cavity) would have to be made up for somewhere else (e.g., the optic lobe of cephalopods). Seventh, in the nearly nine years since publication, this paper has only garnered 7 citations, 3 of which Kroger is co-author, 2 are books unrelated to this topic and that do not provide data for or against this conclusion, and 1 of which is not in English. This tells me that scientists in this field (which I am not, admittedly) were similarly unimpressed. I would say this idea has been rejected by the vision research community.
“The human eye is indeed a marvel, but if it were to be designed from scratch, it’s hard to imagine it would look anything like it does.”…instead of theory, design one from scratch and show yourself how it looks. Remember to integrate with the whole entity. you can choose you to be the object!
I wonder what you mean “but if it were to be designed from scratch, it’s hard to imagine it would look anything like it does”. I’m curious!
Have you read the article entitled “Vision of Octopi and the Persistence of Error” (qv) about the inverted retina? It seems to counter some of the things that you’ve written.
I have read it, yes. It does counter some points, but not very well in my opinion.
Human eyes can see single photons.
1. What you did not tell us in your article is what sort of advantage we would have gained had our eyes been “designed”?
2. Is there anything we -with our latest and greatest technologies -can do to make a newborn’s eyes better (some sort of modification or upgrade)? Asking about a newborn because an adult who did not take good care of his eyes or one who did not eat well doesn’t concern me at all. In my personal experience, eyes are very forgiving optical devices. Whenever I’ve got blurry vision I was able to get my eyes back to their original capabilities within a week.
3. Don’t you think if we had the sort of night vision that cats have – we wouldn’t enjoy the night as much? I mean do you really want the night to look just a bit darker with all the colors and detail as if it was daytime? I would certainly like the night to look different because I appreciate the differences. And If a creator has made nights why would it make them to be a similar experience?
Also, if we had night vision of a cat – couldn’t you just say that : “in ancient times man did not have the modern technology like a torchlight to use and using fire could harm their shelters made of trees and stuff..so to detect predators thet had to evolve better night vision to SURVIVE.”
You would’ve created new stories to fit in the bigger picture. Really.. quoting what you wrote above-
“So sensitive are cats’ eyes that they can detect a single photon of light in an absolutely dark environment.”
4. Now that we know that Human eye too can detect a single photon of light do you question your position or make new stories – ones that require human beings to be able to see single photons so as to SURVIVE?
Sorry to chine in years later, but for the sake of accuracy, the fovea is not the same as the optic disc. Not only is it not a blind area, but it is the area of the sharpest central vision. (But it’s not very sensitive to dim light, because it’s made up of cones).
Yes, I realize the image didn’t match up with the text. I switched it out, thanks.
You wrote a great article. I enjoy reading it. Thank you!
I just want to add one more detail about cephalopod eye: cephalopod eye focus image by moving the lense (like a camera or telescope), not by changing the lense’s curvature, as in vertebrate eye. Hence, I speculate that cephalopod would not experience either myopia or hyperopia. Cephalopod may still have problem with presbyopia at old age, affecting both near and far vision, however.
Hi, blind spots are references points for stereoscopic view.
I have no dog in this fight but it appears to me that natural selection (acting on variation) is a non-sequitur, i.e., the creature selected WITH adaptive traits selected FOR adaptive traits. How did the creature GET TO the minimum function stage to survive in order to be selected? Every creature requires some minimum function stage (e.g., the right amount of chemical reaction needed to ward off an enemy, porcupines needles, skunk spray, venom toxicity, etc) in order to survive so it can get selected. If a creature is selected at the FOR stage how did it get to the WITH stage? This appears to be circular reasoning.
Again the eye!
Is it a marvelous creation or an oddity of evolution?
I guess it is the former. Recent research (and it is not so recent, certainly before the date of this blog) from a team of physicists and biologists showed the ‘backward’ wiring of vertebrate eye to be a clever design feature and not design constrain, let alone bad design. The light in fact doesn’t pass through layers of cells to get to the retina. Instead, some cells act as living fiber-optic cables to directly channel light from the surface of the structure straight to the rods and cones of the retina. Therefore, improved efficiency of daytime vision without sacrificing the quality of nighttime vision.
But even if that research was not correct, and that there were lots of real flaws in vertebrate eye, who said that ‘design’ is synonymous with ‘perfection’. This is simply not true and hence it is not a good argument against design or not at all an argument for evolution. However, one might rightly argue that God’s must be perfect. Indeed that is true! But how come the myriad flaws and imperfection we see in creation? Because of the fall because humanity missed the mark of good conduct because of sin and idolatry. God made human to be stewardship of the whole creation, but because of their sin the whole creation ‘was subjected to frustration.’… But we have hope that ‘the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into freedom and glory of the children of God.’
Lastly, the writer of the blog criticism seems to fall into 3 categories:
1- Design must be perfect. That is simply not true Design in general is not perfect but God is perfect and his work must be perfect because of human idolatry imperfection enter into earth- BTW by idolatry I don’t mean worshiping of classic idols but any type of believe that idolize creation rather than Creator.
1- Negative argument: He gave no positive argument for evolution. Indeed no one can demonstrate that the eye has evolved from some primitive lens, photosensitive cells or whatever. In the ever-continuing absence of positive evidence that mutation and selection can make ‘organs of extreme complication’ like the eye, a kind of negative argument has been offered by Darwin’s defenders.
2- Argument from ignorance: The blogger has committed a classic logical fallacy. New-Darwinism contenders believe that since they cannot see a reason for such a design therefore there is no good reason for it. Ignorance is no argument for Darwinism.
Chrrist, you have comments from such ignorant folk. I suppose I am not helping, but Jesus.
I posted an accurate functional explanation 10 march, 2018 why the structure of the inverted retina of the
vertebrate eye is optimal. And the post appeared on the blog. And after one day he is gone!
HA! HA! HA! Evolutionism in all its glory.
Of course, such a construction was seen by evolutionists as a designer’s mistake and ridiculed by this liar and
ignorance Dawkins . But neither he nor all the evolutionists put together can change facts.
In 2007, an international group of scientists demonstrated that eye-catching photons are captured, focused
and transmitted to photosensitive cells by very elongated cells called Müller cells. As the researchers state:
“These cells work almost exactly the same way as an optical fiber: ‘window of zero depth’, which opticians
can use for image transmission without the use of lenses.” “Müller cells” – continues Andreas Reichenbach, a member of the research team – “behave like lenses,
basically collecting light, exactly like an optical fiber board”. It’s just that normally such discs have a beam
of optical fibers that collect and transmit light. However, the researchers found that the vertebrate eye design
is more advanced: it creates a funnel cell system, which means that much more light can be caught on the
surface of the eye and then transmitted to the photosensitive layer. Instead of a “stupid project”, this retinal
structure can be the foundation for “dramatic” improvements in sensory technology.
For Darwinism, it was of course a knockout. Newer research, on the other hand, means that pasting
Darwinists’ argumentation is already digging the lying one.
Recently, two physicists from the Israel Institute of Technology published an article in the Physical Review
Letters, which presents further research on Müller’s cells.  Applications? Let’s quote: Retina is “the
optimal structure designed to improve the sharpness of the image”.
The specialized Müller cells perform two functions: they filter diffused light and improve color vision. The
scattered light generates noise through which objects are seen less sharply. It turns out that when the light
passes through a fiber-optic cell, the useful signal to noise ratio, i.e. the disturbance, is improved. As the
“Specialized Müller cells perform two functions: they filter scattered light and reduce color scattering,
scattered light generates noise through which objects are seen less sharply.” It turns out that when the light
passes through fiber-optic cells the useful signal to noise ratio, i.e., the disturbance is improved. ” These
studies have shown that Müller cells transmit to a suppository and rods a higher proportion of a useful signal,
while noise tends to fade. This suggests that these cells act like light filters, keeping a clean image.
Researchers also reported that photons that “slip” out of Müller fiber optic cells have little chance of getting
into the neighboring (disrupting their proper transmission) because they are absorbed and dispersed through
the thicket of nerve cells.
Bingo! It turns out that the connection to the retina in a bizarre way nerve cells act as an internal filter of
light catching and scattering noise, which would otherwise interfere with visual acuity. Moreover, the
intrinsic properties of Müller cells seem to be adapted to effectively transmit only the range of visible light.
Radiation outside this range tends to “leak out” of these cells (to be then absorbed by neighboring nerve
cells) so that the vision quality is further improved.
The above is just a functional description of the operation and explanation of the plan’s genius. And there
remain problems of biochemical complications and even quantum effects in the eye.
So how can you discuss with evolutionists at all?
For me it’s fanatics and no one will convince me that the so-called the theory of evolution is nothing other
 Dawkins, R. (1994) A blind watchmaker, or evolution, proves that the world has not been planned.
Biblioteka Myśliczesnej, PIW: Warsaw, p. 155.
 The eye of a cephalopod is in fact “a single-lens eye”, and its structure “is much simpler than the
vertebrate eye” (Budelmann, BU, “Cephalopod sense organs, nerves and brain”. [In:] Pörtner, HO, O’Dor, RJ
and Macmillan, DL, (eds.), (1994) Physiology of cephalopod molluscs: lifestyle and performance
adaptations. Gordon and Breach: Bazyle, p. 15.
Cephalopods ‘eyes reach only a fraction of the efficiency of the vertebrate eye’ (Mollusks, Encyclopædia
Britannica (1992) vol. 24, 15th ed., P. 321.
 Kristian, F., Grosche, J., Skatchkov, SN, Schinkinger, S., Foja, C., Schild, D., Uckermann, O., Travis, K.,
Reichenbach, A., and Guck, J. (2007) “Müller cells are living optical fibers in the vertebrate retina”. PNAS,
vol. 104, no. 20, 15 May 2007, pp. 8287-8292. Labin, A.M. and Ribak, E.N. “Retinal Glial Cells Enhance Human Vision Acuity”. Physical Review
Letters, 16 April 2010, vol. 104.
 The eye was evolution’s great invention. New Scientist, 6 May 2010.
I think believing or unbelieving ( a statement) will just led to wars , but what it is the real truth… To find it one must have no ( belief or unbelief) he just wants to know the actual truth…and whatever it is its totally fine….
And whatever people think or believe , all are correct according to them. If I ask a religious person he would say that I am correct and if I were to ask an athiest or a non-religious person , he would also persue that he is correct. Its not anyones fault. Its that how our mind are conditioned, how are we taught from the beginning. According to this, Everyones statement is quietly correct. Just Be Happy…..
Treatments for short-sightedness
Short-sightedness can usually be corrected effectively with a number of treatments.
- corrective lenses – such as glasses or contact lenses to help the eyes focus on distant objects
- laser eye surgery to alter the shape of the eye – this isn't usually available on the NHS and shouldn't be carried out on children, whose eyes are still developing
- artificial lens implants – where a man-made lens is permanently inserted into the eyes to help them focus correctly these also aren't usually available on the NHS