4. Evolution of the Eye

In Richard Dawkins’ article, ‘Where’d You get those Peepers’, he attempts to explain how the eye could have evolved 40 – 60 times independently of the dozens of unrelated species that also have supposedly evolved an eye. In the evolution model, the chains of life branch off making it impossible for species to share information. Therefore, if evolution is true, by Dawkins admission, the eye had to be re-invented a minimum of 40 times, and could be as many as 60 times.

Gradual evolution does not allow for enough time for a complex eye to develop once in a 3 billion year time span. A solution was needed to simplify this process so it could occur up to 60 times in the same time period. Therefore, evolution needed a new explanation that simplifies the evolution of the eye. Dawkins praises two scientists named Nilsson and Pelger for solving this problem. They created a computer model that showed the evolution of the eye in a relatively short time span that would fit the evolution belief system.

Nilsson and Pelger followed the same pattern that all evolution science follows. Dawkins did not use direct quotes so we can’t examine the psychology of their argument here. One of the primary tactics of arguing for evolution is to hide the astronomical odds against it by leading people to believe time and chance changes evolution into a simple process. We are to believe that it happens all the time and is a small miracle at best.

Richard Dawkins is the master of simplistic reasoning. In Dawkins argument, he subtly guides the reader into believing the evolution of the eye is simple. If we see the enormous complexity that challenges this test, we will be alarmed at the evasion used to prove this experiment. However, Dawkins does admit “Nilsson and Pelger made no attempts to simulate the inner workings of cells.” He also says, “They started their story after the invention of a single light-sensitive cell” and “They worked at the level of tissues…rather than the level of individual cells”. In other words, this experiment evades anything that shows complexity and instead works with fully assembled parts.

From the onset, we can see that the experiment is being staged like tinker toys. To prove the eye evolved, we are not going to answer ‘how’, we are just going to assemble the pieces. Before any reader will accept this, we must first be convinced that the ‘how’ question is not important. Dawkins says, “We have to start somewhere”, so we started after the ‘invention’ of the light-sensitive cell. Never mind the question as to who or how the technology of this cell was ‘invented’, the impression is that we don’t want to be bored with details, so the scientists skipped the boring inner workings of the cell.

As we can see, the key to this and most evolution arguments is dependent on conveying simplicity to the reader or listener. Once we are satisfied with their starting point, they can argue their position without objection. Nothing had to be proven because they have evaded the hardest questions that they cannot answer and still support evolution.

Dawkins continues, “The transparent layer was allowed to undergo localized random mutations of its refractive index. They then let the model deform itself at random, constrained only by the requirement that any change must be small and must be an improvement on what went before.”

Take a moment to critically think about what has just been presented as ‘evidence’. There are three major flaws with this ‘experiment’ that has been revealed in this one paragraph.
1. They have allowed the layer of transparent skin to undergo changes. They determine what is happening – not nature and not observed science.
2. They let the model take over the process and set the course of ‘mutations’.
3. Probably the most important observation we can make here is that they (Nilsson and Pilger) set the constraints that evolutionary mutations must abide by. They created a model that was not allowed to fail. Change had to be gradual because that is what the evolutionary model requires. Change was not allowed to harm evolution because a defective mutation is a failure of the species and would put evolution back to ground zero. A mutation does not have a second chance. Either mutation helps or harms. Evolutionists James Valentine, and Cathryn A. Campbell, wrote in their work, “Genetic Regulation and the Fossil Record,”

“Most mutations to structural genes are deleterious, and presumably most regulatory gene mutations are deleterious as well, but occasionally a mutation may enhance regulatory activity.”

Mutations are observed by science to be harmful. This book argues that they may on occasion be helpful; however, that is not the observation we see. Don’t overlook the wording. They are speculating that mutation may occasionally enhance, but it is not observed. Harmful mutations are frequently observed; helpful ones are not. If mutations are ‘usually deleterious (or harmful)’, then why was this possibility eliminated from the eye evolution experiment? I believe the answer is found in Richard Dawkins’ admission in his article:

“Unlike human designers, natural selection can’t go downhill not even if there is a tempting higher hill on the other side of the valley”. 

Some will argue that only creationists accuse mutations of always being harmful, but consider this quote from Atomic Scientists:

“It is entirely in line with the accidental nature of mutations that extensive tests have agreed in showing the vast majority of them detrimental to the organism in its job of surviving and reproducing — good ones are so rare we can consider them all bad.” (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 11:331)

Mutations are frequently observed in science and are observed to be harmful because it is a loss of information or damaged information, and not increased information or an addition of traits. Yet in this experiment that supposedly proves the eye evolves quickly to match the required 40-60 times it would have had to develop independently, evolutionists remove this primary enemy that evolution can’t get around. In essence, to prove evolution occurs without intelligent design, they provide an intelligently designed model to guide its behavior and prevent it’s self-destruction.

Dawkins continues:

“The results were swift and decisive. And then, almost like a conjuring trick, a portion of this transparent filling condensed into a local, spherical sub region of higher refractive index.”

It is ironic that he would say that this appears like a conjuring trick. That is exactly what happens. The computer model is conjuring the evidence it was designed to show. It is not revealing any true evidence. The computer program is outputting only what it was written to project.

Dawkins goes on to herald the fact that the evolved eye on the computer screen achieved the Mattiessen’s ratio perfectly. The Mattiessen’s ratio is the optimum value for ratio between the length of the lens and the radius. Once again, we should ask what has been proven? Is it by chance that an optimum lens was formed? Or could Nilsson and Pilger have constructed their computer program with knowledge of the Mattiessen ratio that they wanted to ‘prove’. Dawkins said, “Nilsson and Pelger’s computer model homed in unerringly on Mattiessen’s ratio.” Did evolutionary chance home in on this, or is the program designed with boundaries that prevented the experiment from stepping outside of this ratio?

When I took programming, one of the first things we learned was the acronym ‘GIGO’, which stands for, ‘Garbage In, Garbage Out’. In other words, the computer does not produce anything that was not designed into the program. If a computer outputs garbage, it isn’t the computer at fault, but the programmer. The reverse is also true. If a computer outputs the ‘Mattiessen’s ratio’, it was the programmer that instructed the computer. The computer is not capable of drawing any conclusions on its own. A computer can only follow sets of instructions given by the programmer.

At first glance, Richard Dawkins’ defense of the evolution of the eye may seem plausible. But when you look closely, it is all smoke and mirrors. He does not point to anything that is supported by evidence. He uses basic psychology in his argument. He begins by ridiculing those who hold religious beliefs to put critics on the defensive. He follows up by establishing the authority of evolution and then directs us to those who are working within that box of authority. We then must believe the results – not based on the facts, but based on the ‘reliable’ experiments of evolutionists. Everything points away from critical thinking. We are being taught to depend on evolutionists to do the thinking and we just take the results at face value. In reality, we should be asking:

Why did they avoid the inner workings of the cells?

Why did they begin after the most complex, light sensitive cell was ‘invented’?

What does it prove to put all the ingredients into a pot and tell the computer how to assemble them?

What would have happened if the model had not been ‘constrained’ to prevent failure?

It is a fact that Richard Dawkins can present a well articulated argument for evolution. However, if we use critical thinking, we see the deceptive tactics behind his argument. He uses psychology to prepare us to be guided blindly as he carefully weaves us through the evidence he wants us to see while we bypass objections without even taking notice. Most true critical thinkers are those who don’t blindly accept the assumptions surrounding evolution. Critical questions concerning evolution are seldom answered with facts. Intimidation is used as a more effective response. Labeling a question as ‘religious in nature’ is much easier than trying to explain why all the holes are being ignored by evolutionists.

Eddie Snipes
2001

2 thoughts on “4. Evolution of the Eye

  1. What puzzles me is how a bunch of primitive cells (sorry, not very scientific) even knew that creatures would eventually need to be able to see?

    Did evolution first come up with (create?) a whole series of blind organisms and then realise they needed sight?

    If so, what triggered that realisation?
    _______________

    I have an agnostic friend and after listening to him I realised that we’re ALL agnostics. Not one of us can KNOW whether or not there is a Creator.

    As I said to my friend, “We are both agnostics, we cannot know.”

    “The difference between you and me is that I choose to believe in a Creator and you choose to believe in evolution.”

    What we’re seeing with today’s exponential knowledge gains, is that it’s far easier to believe in a Creator than to believe in evolution. Isn’t that wonderful?

  2. @Chris: Even single-celled organisms can detect and react to light while only being a specialized cell.

    I’m actually here from the spider article from 2013, since I found it while doing some reading into trapdoor spider burrows. While your argument supports intelligent design, most of it does not point to that intelligent designer necessarily being a Christian god, or any other sort of deity at all. What is your rationale for it being created by the god from Christian mythos instead of any other sort of intelligent designer?

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