"New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

"Backwardly wired retina an optimal structure"

Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

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"New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#1  Postby murshid » May 18, 2011 8:51 pm

Someone sent me the link to this article today: Backwardly wired retina “an optimal structure”: New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins

I am not an expert on eyes. So, I need help debunking it.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#2  Postby Doubtdispelled » May 18, 2011 9:02 pm

:coffee:
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#3  Postby Calilasseia » May 18, 2011 9:08 pm

Before I even click on this link, is this the turgid piece of apologetics erected about a paper in Nature some time ago covering heat dissipation? Because if it is, this was dealt with two years ago at RDF.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#5  Postby DaveD » May 18, 2011 9:20 pm

Calilasseia wrote:Before I even click on this link, is this the turgid piece of apologetics erected about a paper in Nature some time ago covering heat dissipation? Because if it is, this was dealt with two years ago at RDF.

That's included, but there's a lot more doublespeak too. It's just a regurgitation of an Assholes in Genesis piece from 1996: http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v18/i4/eye.asp
...but with a No True Scotsman attack on Kenneth Miller tacked on the end.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#6  Postby Pebble » May 18, 2011 9:21 pm

murshid wrote:Someone sent me the link to this article today: Backwardly wired retina “an optimal structure”: New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins

I am not an expert on eyes. So, I need help debunking it.
.



It seems to boil down to a statement that the eyes are very well adapted to seeing so Dawkins and evolution are wrong. but as pointed out another way of looking at this is:

“However, Kenneth Miller, a biologist at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island cautions that this doesn’t mean that the backwards retina itself helps us to see. Rather, it emphasises the extent to which evolution has coped with the flawed layout. ‘The shape, orientation and structure of the Müller cells help the retina to overcome one of the principal shortcomings of its inside-out wiring,’ says Miller.”10

So in essence - the eye has the nerves in front of the photoreceptor cells, this should reduce visual acuity, so the combination of continuous scanning motion overcomes the consequences of the blind spot and the nerve cells that do overlie the retina are modified to function as secondary lenses. This does not really overcome the argument that having the nerves come from behind would make more sense from an engineering standpoint, though then the lens would have to be constructed differently.

The other argument is that the blood supply would have to be in front if the nerves were behind, that is just rubbish, both could come from behind, by having individual fibres tracking through a network of blood vessels adjacent to the photocells.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#7  Postby Animavore » May 18, 2011 9:23 pm

:popcorn:
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#8  Postby crank » May 18, 2011 9:45 pm

The octopus has the circuitry on the backside, so does that mean that there must be a deficiency in that design?
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#9  Postby THWOTH » May 18, 2011 10:00 pm

The eye is not a particular case in point unless one is indulging the fantasy that each part of a human was designed separately to do the thing that it does - which is pure teleology really. This is the only possible justification for the assertion that the human eye is too complex to have evolved, and that it complete nonsense of course. Such arguments are so human-centric, have they not stopped and asked themselves why <nominated supernatural agent> would give humans an eye inferior in every regard to that of the mantis shrimp, for example?

One thing I've never heard from a creationist are justifications as to why <nominated supernatural agent> made human survival necessarily dependent on bacteria. Having said that, there's probably a creationist forum somewhere dedicated to just that subject! :D
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#10  Postby ramseyoptom » May 18, 2011 10:11 pm

A human retina
MOD Diabetic(8457)2.jpg
MOD Diabetic(8457)2.jpg (51.59 KiB) Viewed 7434 times


For those not in the know, this is a right eye of a type 1 diabetic with a pre-proliferative diabetic retinopathy and a vitreous heamorrage at 6 o'clock (the half moon shape). The branching lines are the superior and inferior branches of the retinal artery (the lighter coloured blood vessels) and the retinal vein (the darker blood vessels) and are running from the optic disc (the round light yellow disc, the white area is the disc cup) over the anterior surface of the retina. With the nerve fibre layers below the main retinal vessels, the capillarys run through the retinal nerve fibre layer in order to supply bothe the ganglia and the photoreceptors with nutrients.
The even red glow is from the choriodal vessels and these are below the retina, and under the pigment epithelium, and are best seen in the fundus of an albino.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#11  Postby willhud9 » May 18, 2011 11:01 pm

How do creationists explain loss of vision or blind people? Whose retinas do not work. Either God is a malicious bastard for sticking that on a person or God fucked up in his design.

Oh but wait, instead of addressing that issue the creationist dodges and says, "God has a purpose for that person being blind and therefore did not screw up in his design." Or something along that line. Makeshitupicus: Creationists get out of jail free card.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#12  Postby byofrcs » May 19, 2011 12:13 am

The problem with Dawkins' use of the evolution of the eye and the creationists use of design is that no one can tell the difference between a design that has been evolved and a design that has been created manually.

If you assume a designer with super-powers of design and a long process of evolution then there should be no difference; that's the problem of all of this - people make a claim of a "designer" but they are unable to show how you can tell the difference.

Dawkins is thus also wrong to use any argument that discusses a difference unless he is also able to show us how to tell the difference.

(edit - add that last sentence).
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#13  Postby willhud9 » May 19, 2011 12:17 am

byofrcs wrote:The problem with Dawkins' use of the evolution of the eye and the creationists use of design is that no one can tell the difference between a design that has been evolved and a design that has been created manually.

If you assume a designer with super-powers of design and a long process of evolution then there should be no difference; that's the problem of all of this - people make a claim of a "designer" but they are unable to show how you can tell the difference.


That is too assume that they have a "design" in the first place. Does the eye have a design because it was created with one or does it have a design because we assume it has one? I say the latter.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#14  Postby Oldskeptic » May 19, 2011 1:32 am

From the article:
This discovery thus nails one of Richard Dawkins’ favourite “proofs” of evolution in The Greatest Show on Earth.


Dawkins doesn't have or need a favorite "proof." The Greatest Show on Earth was about providing comprehensive evidence for the theory of evolution in book form for the general public. For anyone to think that Dawkins' argument hinges on any one thing that he considers evidence is absurd. He provides almost 500 pages of hard evidence, but the author of the article wants to pick on a small section where Dawkins comments on good design vs bad design.

It's like cackling about a graceful dancer stubbing a toe on a table leg and declaring that they can't dance.


But judging by his record, he will not give up his fallacious arguments in the cause of his atheopathic faith.


Judging Dawkins by his record? In evolutionary science? Fallacious? Only a rabid creationist without any valid arguments against evolutionary theory could come up with this.

Atheopathic is not a real term or word, but it can only mean two things: Either "suffering from atheism" making it a mental disease or it means an atheist that is the willing passive partner in anal sex.

I think that the author is a Christopathic. Probably suffering from the former.

Ted Haggard probably was both the former and the latter.

People like the author of this article and those at his "Christian" website and sites like it remind me of frustrated monkeys at the zoo that have nothing better to do than throw their own shit at people standing outside their cage.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#15  Postby Calilasseia » May 19, 2011 3:25 am

Plus, there's the little matter of [1] creationists never providing genuine evidence for "design", only yet more rectally extracted assertions, [2] the fact that human design does not support magic supernatural design in any way, shape or form, indeed human design far more closely resembles evolution, and [3] scientists are now pressing evolution into service in the laboratory, both with respect to biological systems (as exemplified by the paper on in vitro evolution of hydrogenase I presented over at RDF) and non-biological systems (as exemplified by the paper on evolutionary algorithms applied to spacecraft antenna design).
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#16  Postby redwhine » May 19, 2011 7:57 am

willhud9 wrote:
byofrcs wrote:The problem with Dawkins' use of the evolution of the eye and the creationists use of design is that no one can tell the difference between a design that has been evolved and a design that has been created manually.

If you assume a designer with super-powers of design and a long process of evolution then there should be no difference; that's the problem of all of this - people make a claim of a "designer" but they are unable to show how you can tell the difference.


That is too assume that they have a "design" in the first place. Does the eye have a design because it was created with one or does it have a design because we assume it has one? I say the latter.

...and I say neither!

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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#17  Postby crank » May 19, 2011 8:18 am

I apologize if this is common knowledge, but it is so funny I am putting it here for any others who have not seen it yet.

I was perusing the article and decided to check out he citation on Müller cells increasing sarpness, #10: "McAlpine, K., Evolution gave flawed eye better vision, New Scientist 206(2759), 8 May 2010" If you follow one of their citations, they are so afraid of you learning of other ideas and viewpoints that they first redirect you to a page with this:


COURTESY ANNOUNCEMENT: You are about to leave Creation.com for an external site.

We have supplied this link to an article on an external website in good faith. But we cannot assume responsibility for, nor be taken as endorsing in any way, any other content or links on any such site. Even the article we are directing you to could, in principle, change without notice on sites we do not control.


TO PROCEED ANYWAY, CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK:
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#18  Postby GenesForLife » May 19, 2011 8:41 am

They've been caught indulging in duplicitous apologetics again, I see. In other news, water is wet.

As far as optimal eyes are concerned, how about stomatopod eyes? A spectacularly wide range of wavelengths can be discerned and these eyes can also see polarized light. Visual processing and depth perception in stomatopod eyes is also elegant, and reduces burden on the central nervous system.

Image

Here is a paper discussing the photoreceptorial complexity of stomatopod eyes http://web.neurobio.arizona.edu/gronenb ... rshall.pdf

Here is one that describes visual processing http://www.biolbull.org/cgi/content/full/200/2/177

Here is a blog post that I've written about Stomatopods and the insanely cool features they have.
http://exploreable.wordpress.com/2011/0 ... impomania/

Go on and read it, you know you want to :P

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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#19  Postby THWOTH » May 19, 2011 9:39 am

GenesForLife wrote:Here is a blog post that I've written about Stomatopods and the insanely cool features they have.
http://exploreable.wordpress.com/2011/0 ... impomania/

Go on and read it, you know you want to :P

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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#20  Postby crank » May 19, 2011 9:47 am

I was thinking about all the wonderful vision capabilities of of many of the much 'lower' species. Thanks, cool info.

One thing, the blog says 23m/s peak speed is potentially equivalent to 22 cal bullet, but FYI, even a plinking round has got to be 100's of feet per second, 23m/s=75 ft/s. I decided to go look, the slowest round a quick looksee found was 700, typical is like 1100 ft/s.

That acceleration is like 10,000 g, wow, that is juicing for a human. [I mean that literally, I think you would be juiced as in the liquid separated from your body. I know it's very brief, but god, that's a lot of g. Very brief 100g shocks are sometimes survivable].
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