Friday, March 9, 2012

First eyes? Scientific American 2011

We are asking the biologists to tell us who was the first one to see anything upon Earth.

We have been told that it was not Cambrian trilobite nor Anomalocaris or other creatures with complex eyes on those oceans.

Please, tell us who?

Did these earliest eyes resemble camera obscura as some sort of dark chambers with pinholes and primitive nerve sensing light and dark or what?

For if we should take the role of God the Creator and figure out how to create eyes, some hint from His work could help.

Evolution of the Eye [Preview]
"Scientists now have a clear vision of how our notoriously complex eye came to be"
By Trevor D. Lamb June 27, 2011

The human eye is an exquisitely complicated organ. It acts like a camera to collect and focus light and convert it into an electrical signal that the brain translates into images. But instead of photographic film, it has a highly specialized retina that detects light and processes the signals using dozens of different kinds of neurons.

So intricate is the eye that its origin has long been a cause célèbre among creationists and intelligent design proponents, who hold it up as a prime example of what they term irreducible complexity—a system that cannot function in the absence of any of its components and that therefore cannot have evolved naturally from a more primitive form.

Indeed, Charles Darwin himself acknowledged in On the Origin of Species—the 1859 book detailing his theory of evolution by natural selection—that it might seem absurd to think the eye formed by natural selection. He nonetheless firmly believed that the eye did evolve in that way, despite a lack of evidence for intermediate forms at the time.
Scientific American

Evolution = Natural selection
Well well, that certainly is a battle cry against all those who believe in creation or Intelligent Design!

Please note that this fighter, Trevor D. Lamb, is writing in Scientific American.

Evolution is here firmly equalled to the mechanisms of natural selection. IMHO this is a gross simplification of evolution since natural selection is only one of the tools God uses in creating life. More science, better analysis and innovative thinking is required to complete the picture of how life evolves.

But back to our question. Surely Mr. Lamb can inform us about the first eyes upon Earth!

Origins of eyes
Trevor summarizes the article continuing the trend of defending our dear Charles and equalling evolution with natural selection:

The results indicate that our kind of eye—the type common across vertebrates—took shape in less than 100 million years, evolving from a simple light sensor for circadian (daily) and seasonal rhythms around 600 million years ago to an optically and neurologically sophisticated organ by 500 million years ago.

More than 150 years after Darwin published his groundbreaking theory, these findings put the nail in the coffin of irreducible complexity and beautifully support Darwin’s idea.

They also explain why the eye, far from being a perfectly engineered piece of machinery, exhibits a number of major flaws—these flaws are the scars of evolution.

Natural selection does not, as some might think, result in perfection. It tinkers with the material available to it, sometimes to odd effect.
Scientific American

Comment: camera obscura after all?
Those 600 million years roughly mentioned in the Scientific American article would suggest that there is fossil evidence of simple Ediacaran light sensors from which the Cambrian eye evolved.

We have learned that paleobiologists tend to see a major break between the Ediacaran enigma and Cambrian explosion of life. In fact, there may have been one of those extinctions known from later periods, for example at the end of Permian or the catastrophic destruction of Mesozoic life.

But this article suggests continuity, a logical process in purely Victorian mechanical world, that somehow produces increasingly sophisticated systems given enough time and suitably changing environments.

Let us try to learn more about the fossil evidence for early light sensors and eyes and continuity - this is getting a bit confusing.

Of course, we need to be aware that very few such delicate organs as eyes or proto-eyes if you want may have survived and the best place for hunting would be those divine nature reserves.

In fact, since God saw it good to let Adam see early bird, His masterwork, so perhaps God has also proudly preserved evidence of early eyes, His masterwork, somewhere for us to admire and to learn more and to praise Him.

Maybe that deposit has not been found yet and now would be good time as Adam is getting more understanding what that discovery would signify.

(Remember that feather, found when Darwin had published his revolutioary Origin of Species)

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