A Series of Eyes

Follow the scientific method—observe! Is the hamster “evolving” gills? Has he “evolved” a jackhammer to drill through the fish- bowl, or “adapted to his environment” with a tiny hamster flamethrower to burn through Origin of Species? Don’t think so.

Let the hamster go. Just because Darwin was a sick twist with a God complex doesn’t mean we have to buy into his power trip. (You could also call the hamster “Teddy.”) A good example of this is the replacement of Newton’s mechanical view of the universe by Einstein’s relativistic universe. Although Newton’s model accounted for the results of many experiments in his time, it failed to explain aspects of gravitation. Einstein solved that problem and others by com- pletely rethinking the structure of the universe.

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Similarly, Darwin’s theory of evolution prospered by explaining much of the data of his time and the first half of the 20th century, but my article will show that Darwinism has been unable to account for phenomena uncovered by the efforts of modern biochemistry during the second half of this century. I will do this by emphasizing the fact that life at its most fundamental level is irreducibly complex and that such complexity is incompatible with undi- rected evolution.

How do we see? In the 19th century the anatomy of the eye was known in great detail and the sophisticated mechanisms it employs to deliver an accurate picture of the outside world astounded everyone who was familiar with them. Scien- tists of the 19th century correctly observed that if a person were so unfortu- nate as to be missing one of the eye’s many integrated features, such as the lens, or iris, or ocular muscles, the inevitable result would be a severe loss of vision or outright blindness. Thus it was concluded that the eye could only function if it were nearly intact.

As Charles Darwin was considering possible objections to his theory of evolution by natural selection in The Origin of Species he discussed the prob- lem of the eye in a section of the book appropriately entitled “Organs of ex- treme perfection and complication.” He realized that if in one generation an organ of the complexity of the eye suddenly appeared, the event would be tantamount to a miracle. Somehow, for Darwinian evolution to be believ- able, the difficulty that the public had in envisioning the gradual formation of complex organs had to be removed.

Darwin succeeded brilliantly, not by actually describing a real pathway that evolution might have used in constructing the eye, but rather by point- ing to a variety of animals that were known to have eyes of various con- structions, ranging from a simple light sensitive spot to the complex vertebrate camera eye, and suggesting that the evolution of the human eye might have involved similar organs as intermediates.

But the question remains, how do we see? Although Darwin was able to persuade much of the world that a modern eye could be produced gradually from a much simpler structure, he did not even attempt to explain how the simple light sensitive spot that was his starting point actually worked. When discussing the eye Darwin dismissed the question of its ultimate mechanism by stating: “How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light hardly concerns us more than how life itself originated.”