Fundamentalist Religious Creationists often argue: “Something as complicated as an eye must have been designed and/or made by a super-intelligent Creator.” (This argument is sometimes called “The Argument of Irreducible Complexity.”)
As an advocate of Natural Continuing Creation, I oppose their argument. In fact, “The eye evolved from a single, light sensitive spot in a cell into the complex eye of today not by chance, but through thousands of intermediate steps, each preserved because they made a better eye. Many of these steps still exist in nature in simpler organisms.” [Skeptics Society, “Top 10 Myths About Evolution“]
In his book, The Blind Watchmaker, Biologist Dr. Richard Dawkins writes:
“… In fact, there are many creatures out there today which have and make use of very primitive ‘eyes.’… Some single-celled animals have a light sensitive spot with a little pigment screen behind it. The screen shields it from light coming from one direction, which gives it some ‘idea’ of where the light is coming from…
“… Among many-celled animals, various types of worms and some shellfish have a similar arrangement, but the pigment-backed light sensitive cells are set in a little cup. This gives slightly better direction-finding capability…
“…Now, if you make a cup very deep and turn the sides over, you eventually make a lens-less pinhole camera…The swimming mollusk Nautilus… has a pair of pinhole cameras for eyes… When you have a cup for an eye, almost any vaguely convex, vaguely transparent or even translucent material over its opening will constitute an improvement, because of its slight lens-like properties…
” …Alternatives to eyes have also evolved… For instance, the curved dish-reflector principle (we use it in radio-telescopes) has been independently ‘invented’ by various mollusks and crustaceans. Other crustaceans have a compound eye like insects. (Actually, it’s a bank of lots of tiny eyes.)” [Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, 1986, W.W. Norton, pp. 85-6.]
In a number of ways the eye is actually poorly designed. It involves too many steps, too many organ structures in the eye and brain, too many translations from light to chemical reactions, to electrical signals. This “Rube Goldberg” apparatus snows that the eye was put together out of whatever biological parts were at hand at each step of the eye’s evolution, over a very long timespan. [Skeptics Society, “Top 10 Myths About Evolution.”]
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