Ivan Schwab’s new book on the evolution of vision systems is a vivid reminder of our blindness. Recently we reviewed how minor changes such as viruses mutating and allele frequency dynamics are, according to evolutionists, proof texts of evolution. Now in Schwab’s new book we have an example of how comparisons of various designs, again according to evolutionists, show how evolution occurred. Like the ancient myths, it is difficult to believe that anyone actually believes these things.
Vision Systems and Evolution
As we have discussed here many times vision systems are astonishingly complex and evolutionists have failed to explain how such intricacies could have arisen spontaneously (yes, evolution claims that vision systems, and the entire biological world for that matter, arose spontaneously and when evolutionists protest that they would never say anything so ridiculous they are merely judging themselves).
You can read here, for example, about the photocell’s cellular signal transduction cascade which is initiated by a photon interacting with a light-sensitive chromophore molecule known as retinal. The interaction alters the electron distribution of the retinal molecule, thus making intricate changes to its force field which influences several amino acids of the large, trans-membrane opsin protein to which the chromophore is attached.
Next the opsin causes the activation of hundreds of transducin molecules. These, in turn, cause the activation of cGMP phosphodiesterase (by removing its inhibitory subunit), an enzyme that degrades the cyclic nucleotide, cGMP.
A single photon can result in the activation of hundreds of transducins, leading to the degradation of hundreds of thousands of cGMP molecules. cGMP molecules serve to open non selective ion channels in the membrane, so reduction in cGMP concentration serves to close these channels. This means that millions of sodium ions per second are shut out of the cell, causing a voltage change across the membrane. This hyperpolarization of the cell membrane causes a reduction in the release of neurotransmitter, the chemical that interacts with the nearby nerve cell, in the synaptic region of the cell. This reduction in neurotransmitter release ultimately causes an action potential to arise in the nerve cell (of course we’ve skipped a library of detail).
Needless to say evolutionists have no explanation for how this could have arisen from random mutations and the like. Yet they insist that it did. Evolutionists sometimes point to simpler vision systems, such as the so-called third eye (parietal eye) which is not an image forming eye but rather provides for light sensitivity. Was not such a primitive eye an evolutionary precursor, laying a simpler groundwork for the awesome complexities to follow?
No, as you can read here the third eye’s cellular signal transduction cascade is even more complex. For this system includes two antagonistic light signaling pathways in the same cell. Blue light causes the hyperpolarizing response as described above, but green light causes a depolarizing response.
How is this done? By the inhibition of the cGMP phosphodiesterase enzyme. Specifically, there are two opsins, one that is sensitive to blue light which activates the cGMP phosphodiesterase enzyme, and another that is sensitive to green light which inhibits the cGMP phosphodiesterase enzyme. Darwin’s prediction that primitive systems laid a simpler groundwork failed badly.
Or you can read here about the remarkable hammerhead shark’s binocular vision, here about the bug with bifocals, or here about incredible photocell optical filters that focus the incoming light which one writer called “a masterpiece of biological design.”
You can read hints about the massive signal processing that occurs downstream of the photocell here, or here about some of the various and diverse visions systems that contradict evolution’s common descent expectations.
In fact evolutionists have been forced to say that entire vision systems must have evolved more than once because they are found repeated in distant species. The human and squid, for example, share similar intricate vision system designs even though they come from different initial conditions and different environments. These findings make no sense on evolution.
There is Anableps anableps, a fish with eyes half in and half out of the water. Its eyes are divided into two parts giving it the remarkable ability to look simultaneously above and below the water line. Or again, there is the ancient trilobite. It had eyes that were incredibly complex. One expert called them “an all-time feat of function optimization.”
In fact biology’s vision systems display all manner of high-tech gadgetry and creativity. There are telephoto optics, scanning optics, and mirrors. Not surprisingly, evolution over and over fails to explain how these wonders arose spontaneously. This, it would seem, would be rather uncontroversial. After all, evolutionists have presented no scientific explanations for how their theory could have, against all odds, stumbled upon these incredible designs.
But this is where the story takes a turn for the strange. For evolutionists do claim they have provided such explanations. This may be hard to believe since evolutionists, in fact, don’t have any such explanations. But nonetheless they do make such claims. You can read about one pathetic example here.
Now we have another example in Schwab’s new book which bears the rather heroic title: Evolution’s Witness: How Eyes Evolved. How eyes evolved? Is Schwab really going to explain to us how eyes evolved? Of course he can do no such thing. That would be quite an accomplishment.
What evolutionists do tell us is which design came when, which subsystems and molecules where used and reused where, how the fossils and extant designs are all related, what the evolutionary tree looks like, and so forth. In other words, evolutionists tell us just-so stories about their mythical big-picture evolutionary moves.
And of course, all of this is predicated on the assumption that evolution did, in fact, occur. Meanwhile evolution’s massive scientific contradictions and problems remain. The heavy lifting—explaining scientifically just how such marvels actually arose spontaneously as evolution claims they did—is not surprisingly nowhere to be found. It is like a five-year-old “explaining” how Santa comes down the chimney.
And so we have yet another example of the curious dichotomy between evolutionary claims and reality. The immense abyss between the two reminds us that evolution is more than merely a flawed scientific theory. It is a religiously-driven creation narrative and we wonder if, while evolution’s predictions regarding vision (and everything else for that matter) have consistently failed, how have the Bible’s predictions regarding vision held up?
The Bible Versus Evolution
While evolution’s vision-related predictions have fallen one after the other, the Bible also makes certain vision-related predictions. Interestingly, not only have they held up rather well, but evolutionists themselves have done much of the fulfilling. Let’s have a look.
The Bible’s vision predictions often deal with the related topics of blindness and darkness. For instance, at one point Jesus refers to certain religious leaders as blind guides who “strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” This fits evolutionary thought very well. Elsewhere Paul speaks of men’s understanding being darkened because of the blindness of their heart.
But the Bible’s vision predictions don’t stop there. For while the Bible speaks of blindness and people in darkness, and of God opening the eyes of the blind and leading people out of darkness, the Bible also speaks of a willful aspect to our blindness.
Isaiah, for instance, discusses the blindness of disobedience. “Blind yourselves and be blind,” he writes. Likewise Jesus explains to Nicodemus that though the light has come into the world, “men loved darkness rather than light.”
And thus Paul explains to Timothy that the time will come when men “will heap up for themselves teachers, and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
When Jesus healed a blind man the religious leaders were upset. Jesus suggested they were blind but that the real problem was their certainty amidst their blindness. They denied their blindness and instead said “We see.”
So how do the Bible’s descriptions hold up? Blind guides and straining out a gnat while swallowing a camel? Given the evolutionists many misrepresentations of science in textbooks and popular works, and their focusing on trivial points of consistency while ignoring massive scientific problems, these biblical descriptions fit very well.
And do men love darkness rather than light? Given evolutionists unceasing, unswerving, inexplicable attachment to twisting the science, this too seems quite accurate. They won’t even consider the possibility that their bizarre ideas could be wrong. They seem to be dogmatically attached to scientific lies.
And do men heap up teachers to turn away from the truth and turn to fables instead? Again, a perfect description of evolutionary thought.
And do evolutionists say “We see”? Indeed, for evolutionists their ideas are not merely ideas. They are not merely theories or hypotheses. For evolutionists, evolution must be a fact. They are insistent that they are right. There is no awareness of the incredible scientific absurdity that attends their ideas. No sense of the uncertainty, no shadow of a doubt. The idea that the entire biological world spontaneously arose is held with a mixture of certainty and hubris. Anyone who reasonably doubts is ridiculed, dismissed and blackballed. It isn’t pretty.
Religion drives science, and it matters.