Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"To suppose that the eye...could have been formed by natural selection, seems...absurd in the highest possible degree" (Darwin)

Could a camera form from atoms, purely by accident, even after billions of years? The human eye is something FAR more complex than a camera, and the eye is only one small part of the entire human body. Not only that, but the eye would be completely useless and non-functional unless it were fully developed. Why would portions of the eye evolve at all, if they were not even functional until the final, fully integrated mechanism that we see today? This even contradicts the very idea of natural selection: if it doesn’t help the organism (i.e., if the step-by-step process of evolution is non-functional until only after billions of years), then why would that portion evolve? In fact, it wouldn’t---it would be non-functional, so it would disappear during the evolutionary process of natural selection (i.e., it would not be beneficial for survival, and it would not help to adapt to a given environment, so it would not be a predominant trait), and everyone and everything today would be eyeless and blind!


Daikazu said...

Evolution of the Eye:

When evolution skeptics want to attack Darwin's theory, they often point to the human eye. How could something so complex, they argue, have developed through random mutations and natural selection, even over millions of years?

If evolution occurs through gradations, the critics say, how could it have created the separate parts of the eye -- the lens, the retina, the pupil, and so forth -- since none of these structures by themselves would make vision possible? In other words, what good is five percent of an eye?

Darwin acknowledged from the start that the eye would be a difficult case for his new theory to explain. Difficult, but not impossible. Scientists have come up with scenarios through which the first eye-like structure, a light-sensitive pigmented spot on the skin, could have gone through changes and complexities to form the human eye, with its many parts and astounding abilities.

Through natural selection, different types of eyes have emerged in evolutionary history -- and the human eye isn't even the best one, from some standpoints. Because blood vessels run across the surface of the retina instead of beneath it, it's easy for the vessels to proliferate or leak and impair vision. So, the evolution theorists say, the anti-evolution argument that life was created by an "intelligent designer" doesn't hold water: If God or some other omnipotent force was responsible for the human eye, it was something of a botched design.

Biologists use the range of less complex light sensitive structures that exist in living species today to hypothesize the various evolutionary stages eyes may have gone through.

Here's how some scientists think some eyes may have evolved: 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.

In fact, eyes corresponding to every stage in this sequence have been found in existing living species. The existence of this range of less complex light-sensitive structures supports scientists' hypotheses about how complex eyes like ours could evolve. The first animals with anything resembling an eye lived about 550 million years ago. And, according to one scientist's calculations, only 364,000 years would have been needed for a camera-like eye to evolve from a light-sensitive patch.

Jeff said...

Even if generous concessions are granted to evolutionists, the probability for the chance formation of an eye is still 1 in 10 to the 266th power!
(from: Wysong, R.L., The Creation-Evolution Controversy, Inquiry Press, Midland, Michigan, 1981, p. 308).

“The evolutionist’s problems are further complicated by the fact that the evolutionary theory calls for the chance development of the eye several times, not just once.”
(Scott M. Huse, “The Collapse of Evolution,” p. 26)

“My last doubt concerns so-called parallel evolution…Even something as complex as the eye has appeared several times; for example, in the squid, the vertebrates, and the arthropods. It’s bad enough accounting for the origin of such things once, but the thought of producing them several times makes my head swim.”
(Salisbury, Frank B., “Doubts about the Modern Synthetic Theory of Evolution,” American Biology Teacher, September 1971, pp. 336-38).

Jeff said...

"There is in fact no evidence at all that having this layer of nerve fibres (which are largely transparent) in front of the receptors significantly blocks, distorts or diffracts the incoming light in any way. This leaves evolutionists with only the flimsiest of claims; that is, that there seems to be no reason for it to be designed in this way.

However, that is not true. (Even if it were, it could either mean that we had not yet discovered the reason, or that the Creator simply chose to design it this way. In any case, the eye works beautifully; a design which merely seems 'odd' by our assessment cannot logically constitute proof of evolution or evidence against creation.)"

"The human eye actually discriminates better in indirect, lower intensity light, so the intervening layer acts as a filter, minimizing excessive light-scattering. It also filters the short-wave ultraviolet (potentially cancer-causing) light. So why does the squid's eye not have this 'protective wiring' up front? Because this creature operates in a different environment. It needs all the light it can get, and because of the low intensity of UV light in water, neither sunburn nor sun cancers are occupational hazards for a squid or octopus. Both types of eyes are beautifully designed to suit their purpose.

But what about the way in which the rods/cones have their light-sensitive ends hard up against the pigment layer, facing away from the incoming light? Is there any conceivable reason for this? There certainly is. When light is shining on them, the granules of pigment from this layer migrate within little extensions between the light-sensitive processes. This is very effective in screening scattered light (the granules return to the pigment layer in the dark)."

"According to biologist Richard Lumsden, it is critical to have the photoreceptive processes of the rods and cones intimately associated with the pigment layer for another reason, in order to allow the light-sensitive pigment rhodopsin to regenerate. So if the rods and cones were turned around to face the incoming light, as Dawkins requires, the pigment layer would have to be between the light and the light receptors, thus blocking vision altogether! In short, it is just as well that God, not Professor Dawkins, designed the eye."


Anonymous said...

I suppose if I had the time I could read as many books as the two of you have but what would I be proving? and to whom? That I'm the sharpest knife in the drawer?
I prefer the cowards way out, just keep it simple. In the beginning God! He made me so that means I'm
accountable to him, it also means I'm in debt to him, God the father gave his only Son, his "only" Son his only begotten Son to pay for all of the trouble I and I alone caused. Why would he do such a thing? if your so smart answer me,
you can't or can you? I'm not a smart man, he doesn't seem to mind,
he accepts me just the way I am. Give me an example of an earthly father that would have that kind of compassion if you can.

Anonymous said...

O.k. I told myself I wasn't going to do this but....

That shouldn't leave a question in anyones mind.

Daikazu said...

Attn; Anonymous
OK, I’ll answer you. First off. A bit about me. I enjoy reading, learning, and reasoning instead staring at TV all day. I think myself fortunate not to be a thoughtless zombie of which millions are herded through our flawed education system each year, still unable to think for themselves. I see the chess game of our demise as humankind, after all 98% percent of all life that’s ever been on this planet gone extinct. When that time comes id prefer it to be from a cause other than ourselves. One of those destructive seeds is religion a manmade creation to describe the thing we did not have the faculties at the time to understand. I’m saddened by its effect and the separation it has caused between mankind. it’s not about who is the sharpest knife. It’s about getting rid of fairy tales which have detracted so much from the sanctity of life that they no longer value it, nor do they rejoice or share fully in what I believe to be the most beautiful rare and single most significant thing that I can imagine… EXISTANCE. Mankind does not need tooth fairies or Santa Clauses, mythical creatures like pop stars and actors. They are the world for the delusional. Feel free to live in your ignorance but in doing so you will never be free. Regarding your macabre tail of a father giving up his ONLY son for his son, oh I’m sorry I meant you…wait but if he is your father how can he have two (or more) sons and be an only son. I have a sister that makes me an only son too. My father would never let anything bad happen to my sister, and I’m sure that if it came to it he would give up his life for mine. Despite his flaws he has been most kind and compassionate to me. I would not ask for another father. I’m sorry if yours did not live up to your expectations.

Daikazu said...

Noah's Ark
Quoted re:
According to the Book of Genesis, Noah's Ark is the vessel within which the entire Earth's biosphere was preserved when God, "sorry that He had made man" (Gen 6:7), decided to "bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh" (Gen 6:17). There are of course many practical difficulties with the Noachian Flood, and Pat James identifies several difficulties specific to the Ark itself [1].
For instance, given the Ark's reported dimensions (300 cubits by 50 cubits by 30 cubits ? Gen. 6:15), its displacement would have been something like 40,000 tons. A rectangular solid of the Ark's dimensions would have a displacement of about 45,000 tons; since the Ark had curved sides rather than straight, that 45-kiloton figure is a maximum upper limit.
Why is this a problem? Because the Ark would not have been physically capable of carrying all the food necessary to keep its passengers alive during the year-plus-change of the Flood.
According to John Woodmorappe's book Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study, published by the Institute for Creation Research, the Ark carried a total of 5,500 tons of living animals who, collectively, consumed 1/30 of their body mass worth of food every day. Very well; by Woodmorappe's scenario, the Ark's passengers ate (1/30 of 5,500 tons) a bit over 183 tons of food per day. Multiply that figure by 365 days in a year, and you get a bit over 66,910 tons of food for the year-long duration of the Flood. Add in the weight of the animals themselves, not to mention the weight of the Ark itself, and we see that the Ark's payload was something well in excess of 70,000 tons.
Exactly how does a vessel whose displacement must have been less than 45,000 tons, manage to carry cargo and animals whose aggregate weight is more than 70,000 tons? You can always invoke divine intervention to solve this problem, but the instant you do that, you're no longer dealing with science.
Young Earth Creationism (YEC) is a form of creationism that accepts a literal, historical, interpretation of the creation story in Genesis. Young Earth Creationists (YECs) usually believe the age of the Earth to be ~6,000 to ~10,000 years old and the Earth and the life on it were created during 6 consecutive 24-hour days. They believe all "kinds" of plants and animals, essentially in their modern forms, were created during this 6-day period. The belief in a young Earth is what distinguishes YEC from Old Earth Creationism (OEC), which accepts an old Earth and modern geology. Both YECs and OECs reject evolutionary theory, usually accepting "microevolution," while rejecting "macroevolution." However, the common ground between the two creationist camps does not lead the YECs to join forces with their brethren; rather, they frequently attack OECs with as much bitterness as they attack evolutionary biologists, calling them "compromising," "treasonous," or otherwise accusing them of betraying their faith. YEC is typically the more vocal form of creationism also Young Earth Creationism is the most common form of creationism in the world .
Additionally, most YECs accept the story of Noah's Flood as written in the Bible as literally true. They believe that the flood was a world-wide event and that all animals on Earth today have descended from the two (or seven) animals aboard Noah's Ark, which landed on "the mountains of Ararat" about 4,000 years ago[1]. Many YEC's have interpreted this passage to refer to Mt. Ararat in modern-day Turkey, and numerous expeditions have been launched to scale the mountain and find the Ark's remains. They argue that what modern science recognizes as a fossil record with an extensive history was really laid down within one year during the Flood.
YEC, as a theory, depends on the a priori belief that the Bible is literally true. If that prior belief is not held, then there is no theoretical reason to consider its tenets as part of a coherent whole. YECs argue, however, that regardless of one's prior beliefs, the empirical evidence supports a young Earth, a one week creation, Noah's Flood, and the rest. Each of these claims can be considered as separate hypotheses and weighed accordingly since the factual basis of one is typically independent of the others. However, these hypotheses are starkly at odds with modern science.
YEC can be, at least in principle, falsified from any number of angles. In particular, trying to cram Earth history into such a short time-frame is fraught with difficulty, as most of geology and astronomy show clear evidence that the Earth and the Universe have been around for orders of magnitude longer. Additionally, the Noah's Flood story is impossible to defend. Nearly every aspect of the story, from trying to fit myriad kinds of animals onto a wooden ship, to the improbability of such a ship being built the technology of the day, to having only two kinds of each of animal generate all of today's genetic diversity within 4,000 years, to the question of how Noah and his family were supposed to have cared for all those animals, is simply untenable. Once the Flood story is dismissed, the fossil record clearly rules out a 6-day creation. Taken together, these problems make Noah's Flood and YEC in general appealing only to True Believers. While attempting to reconcile a given piece of disconfirming evidence, YECs will readily invent ad hoc explanations, no matter how strange, and insist on their veracity in the absence of any independent evidence. In doing so, they usually create additional conflicts with modern science and dig themselves an even deeper hole.
The result is that YECs, in order to maintain consistency, are generally forced to declare almost every aspect of contemporary science at fault, including biology, chemistry, geology, astronomy, and physics. They explain away the universal rejection of their claims by resorting to bizarre conspiracy theories in which the whole of the scientific community is engaged in a willful and pernicious attempt to cover-up the truth. Aside from being inflammatory, such absurdities make it hard for most scientifically informed people to take them seriously. And to make matters worse, most prominent YECs have earned a reputation for extreme dishonesty, thanks to a penchant for peddling bogus claims long after they have been discredited. It is important to note that while prominent YECs in general have earned this reputation, there are notable exceptions that are well-regarded for their honesty and civility, if not their beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I won't debate someone that knows God but is deliberately rebelling against him, that is quite evident, so...

Joshua S. Black, when addressing an atheist said, "For people who don't believe in God, you guys sure are paranoid about something!!" How true that is. I have known many atheists, and I have found them to be totally committed to their negative cause. They are zealots, fanatics--who are serious, angry, hateful, and blasphemous towards something they don't believe in. And what's more, they spend their time gathering fuel for the fire of their hatred for God and those that love Him. They gather what they think is legitimate fuel, whether it is atrocities committed by hypocritical religions of history, or the horrors of the Inquisition (the Catholic church torturing Christians for their faith in Jesus). They even gather unintelligent and unscientific material. It qualifies for use because it fits their presuppositions. Any fuel will do, as long at it puts smoke between them and the God they hate "without cause." It was Jonathon Miller who said, "In some awful, strange, paradoxical way, atheists tend to take religion more seriously than the practitioners." So, what is this "something" about which they are so paranoid? It is the same "something" that makes criminals paranoid, and it is that paranoia that fuels criminals to have a deep-rooted hatred for the police. It's not the individual officer they hate; it's what he stands for--civil law. And that's the root of the hatred that the atheist has for God and for those that represent Him. Once again, the Bible has said this all along. It hits the nail on its big and hard head: Romans 8:7: ". . because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God's Law; indeed it cannot" (Amplified Bible). They hate the morality that God's Law demands. That's the fuel for their hostility.

Matt Noble said...

Wow. Daikazu's argument really seems exhaustive, intelligent, informed, and well worded. I can't imagine it could be refuted by any creationist who has done his/her homework. And indeed, Anonymous shares my position on that, it seems.
To preface your emoting a reluctancy to debate anybody that foresakes "Him", you have obliquely shut down any forum for discussion indeed. However, I commend you for that. Not because I find it honourable or noble, but because it evidences the inability of believers to entertain dialogue with the hope of finding truth.
While science can't explain why I feel discordant with others or why I enjoy some types of comedy more than other people do, it has done a lot to explain about our life here. To accept physics for building structures, and the myriad safety precautions we use it for, but to flout it for Noah's ark is transparent. It's ok to want to believe, but to try to turn physics, biology, and numerous other types of science on their heads to believe is foolish.

I have a solution for all the believers: go to an island where science has no purchase. Develop your religion there and leave the rest of us to operate within the natural laws that we recognize and test to be evident: reality.

Anonymous said...

I sure am glad you don't fall into this catagory.


Chapter 1 [TOP]

1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.