Evolution Of The Human Eye

QUESTION: How do scientists explain the evolution of the human eye?


Although scientists have offered explanations for the evolution of the human eye, the question is, can they really explain the evolution of the human eye?

The debate started in the eighteenth-century with theologian William Paley. He argued that it was easy to distinguish a designed thing like a watch from a product of a random process like a rock. Paley also considered the things in nature with an apparent design as even more complex than a watch. Consequently, those things were even greater evidence of design. He used the human eye as an example of such a designed instrument and compared it with a telescope.

Richard Dawkins picked up on Paley’s watch theme in 1986 with his book, “The Blind Watchmaker.” He argued that the eye could have evolved and that natural selection is the blind watchmaker. Evolutionists explain that a light sensitive spot could have existed initially and that spot gave it a potential survival advantage, allowing it to evade a predator. They postulate that random mutations caused the light sensitive spot to move into a depression deep enough to make “vision” a little sharper. This is analogous to a pinhole camera. They postulate that eventually, the spot evolved into a retina and a lens formed at the front of the eye.

In 1998, Michael Behe published a book titled, “Darwin’s Black Box.” In this book he explained how evolution cannot explain machine-like structures such as the human eye, the cell, and others that have what he calls, “irreducible complexity.” He defines irreducible complexity as a minimum complexity where all components have a vital function and without any one of them, the machine or organ cannot function. He states that the eye is an irreducibly complex organ. He uses a mousetrap as an example. Without all the parts, no mice can be caught.

The key to identifying if science can really explain the evolution of the human eye is to look at the type of science that supports this assertion. Does evolutionary science look at the possible alternatives of evolution and creation and carefully weigh the evidence such as a jury does in a trial? Alternatively, does evolutionary science assume one specific outcome and try to postulate how their desired outcome could have possibly happened? This is without question the approach taken.

The type of scientific evidence that explains how the eye could have evolved is strictly speculation with no hard evidence to support it. In fact, the hard evidence goes against those speculations. The fossil record shows no evidence of transitional forms that would be voluminous if macroevolution were true. Also, the extensive fruit fly experiments to show how random mutations combined with natural selection could make positive improvements in the fruit fly or form a new species from a fruit fly, were a complete failure.

Alternatively, hard science like the fossil record, the Cambrian explosion, the mathematical impossibility of original life forming by chance from chemicals, and no evidence that any specific species has ever evolved to another species with or without man’s help, supports creation and refutes evolution.

The Urey/Miller experiments -- designed to show how the chemicals that are the building blocks for life could be generated naturally in a reducing environment with an electric spark -- were also a complete failure even though originally touted as a success.

Evolutionists must answer two questions to be taken seriously. First, they must explain the origin of life. Secondly, they must explain how all the diversity of life evolved from the original life. They cannot answer either question.

Alternatively, creationists or intelligent design proponents only need to explain one thing under their scenario since two steps would not have been required. The same hard evidence listed above that refutes evolution, supports creation.

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