Is The Human Eye A Bad Design or Good?

For quite some time, many years in fact, evolutionists like Dawkins who wrote a book, The Greatest Show On Earth…argued and mocked creationists that the human eye was obvious proof for evolution because it was based on a bad design. Dawkins and others have claimed the human eye’s nerves should have been wired in the back rather than the front.  Which ophthalmologist was he and others consulting while coming up with such an absurd hypothesis against creationism and intelligent design?

In back of the eye is the choriod which would block the wiring. In order to prevent that from happening and still be able to wire the eye from the back, the choriod would need to be moved to the front. This would cause hemorrhaging because the choriod is opaque. Also backward wiring would cause a disconnect with the photorecptors with RPE and choriod. It’s very important to have the connection because it would remove the eye’s ability to absorb heat which means we would go blind for weeks on end if we looked at bright light. So backwards wiring is not a better design for the human eye.

What about the human retina that appears to being placed in the eye backwards, is it still a bad design? Back in 2007, German scientists at Leipzig University discovered a layer of cells that act like another lens inside the eye, channeling the light right through the opaque layer and putting it right where it is needed.

The commentary reflects…

“They have demonstrated that light is collected and funnelled through long cells called Müller cells.  These work almost exactly like a fibre optic plate: a “zero-length window” that optical engineers can use to transmit an image without using a lens….Everyone thinks lasers are perfectly parallel, but this is not so,” [Andreas] Reichenbach continues.  “They do diverge.  The Müller cells behave as a lens, and collect all the light without any loss, just like an optical plate.

But normal optical plates have simple bundles of optical fibres that collect and transmit the light.  The researchers have discovered that the vertebrate eye has gone one step further and created a funnel shaped cell that allows more light to be collected at the surface of the eye….“Nature is so clever,” Reichenbach says.  “This means there is enough room in the eye for all the neurons and synapses and so on, but still the Müller cells can capture and transmit as much light as possible.”

It’s funny how they call an unthinking process, “clever” and it’s also interesting to note that some evolutionists are starting to come to grips with the fact that the human eye is a good design while others argued that it was only a makeshift correction as a result of natural selection. It doesn’t stop there as more discoveries have been made, one of which happened this year concerning these very Müller cells by a team the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa

“At least two types of light get inside the eye: light carrying image information, which comes directly through the pupil, and “noise” that has already been reflected multiple times within the eye.  The simulations showed that the Müller cells transmit a greater proportion of the former to the rods and cones below, while the latter tends to leak out.  This suggests the cells act as light filters, keeping images clear.”

“The researchers also found that light that had leaked out of one Müller cell was unlikely to be taken up by a neighbour, because the surrounding nerve cells help disperse it.”

“What’s more, the intrinsic optical properties of Müller cells seemed to be tuned to visible light, leaking wavelengths outside and on the edges of the visible spectrum to a greater extent. The cells also seem to help keep colours in focus.  Just as light separates in a prism, the lenses in our eyes separate different colours, causing some frequencies to be out of focus at the retina.”

“The simulations showed that Müller cells’ wide tops allow them to “collect” any separated colours and refocus them onto the same cone cell, ensuring that all the colours from an image are in focus….”

We now know keeping photoreceptors in back near the blood vessels is a marvel of engineering design as it provides optical advantages. It’s performance is beyond our scope to duplicate. While evolutionists continue to argue on what they deem as a bad design (as they try to get inside God’s mind on motive) and a non-thinking process being able to improve a bad design, it cannot be rescued from the fact that what they are promoting is merely a science fiction story.

5 thoughts on “Is The Human Eye A Bad Design or Good?

  1. Ah, the eye again …

    But you still, still, still have not told us your place of work, your line of work, and given your scientific credentials.

    When, Michael ? Why are you hiding all this ?

    Do you have something to hide ? One would think so …

  2. It has now been three months since Michael challenged Eelco’s estimate of blog readership, yet failed to provides statistics to back up his claim. It has been three months since Olorin provided his scientific qualifications, yet Michael has failed to disclose his own. It has been nine months since Michael promised a substantive review of Signature in the Cell.

    Therefore we maintain the challenge to Michael to provide—

    (1) Blog readership numbers in response to Eelco’s February challenge that your readership asymptotically approaches zero’

    (2) Your qualifications to discuss any scientific subject.

    (3) A substantive review of Signature in the Cell, promised for August 2009.

    This reminder is renewed so that readers may understand how creationists make extravagant claims, then entirely FAIL to back them up.


    Creationists may make up all the excuses they like, and may theist real scientific work until it hollers, but one indisputable piece of evidence refutes their claims of good design.

    This evidence is the cephalopod eye. The eyes of octopus and squid are wired opposite to our eyes—with the nerves behind the retina. This means that cephalopods have no blind spot. They have full visual acuity over their entire retina, rather than only in a small central fovea as we do. They are more sensitive to low light levels, since the light need not pass through the retina to reach the photoreceptors.

    Michael says that the choroid[1] would block the neural wiring. Yet it does not block the optic nerves of the octopus. Nor does the octopus have a problem with hemorrhaging. Too bad, Michael.

    Michael’s explanation of the supposed “disconnect”[2] is hopelessly muddled. Please ask your source for a clarification, Michael. Michael claims that this connection is necessary to remove heat.[3] Yet the cephalopod eye gets along just fine without removing heat from its inverted retina. Why? Because it doesn’t need to remove heat from blood vessels that do not pass through the retina. We humans build up heat in the retina because it is wired backward! This so-called “necessary connection” is necessary only because of the poor initial design. Had we been wired like an octopus, we wouldn’t need it.

    Same for Muller cells. Muller cells act as a kind of fiber optic that routes light through the opaque cells at the front of the retina to the back. What if there is no opaques layer on top? Then you don’t need Muller cells. Cephalopods don’t need Muller cells. Muller cells are another cobble job to fix a bad design.

    Michael quotes New Scientist that Muller cells filter light to improve visual acuity. Again, a fix for a flawed design. The retinas of cephalopod eyes cover a much larger portion of the inside of the eyeball, and thus receive more light directly. Only in vertebrate eyes does the light bounce around multiple times, like lens flare in a camera. Again, octopus simply don’t need the function provided by Muller cells. Because they have a better design to begin with.[4]

    Michael pontificates:

    We now know keeping photoreceptors in back near the blood vessels is a marvel of engineering design as it provides optical advantages.

    No, Michael. What we know is that evolution has been coming up with cobbled fixes for a design that was suboptimal from the beginning. And we have actual examples of eyes in cephalopods that don’t need those cobble jobs, because they were evolved differently.

    Shall we leave it to Michael to tell us why God gave octopus and squid better eyes that He gave us? We would be interested in hearing your reasoning on this point, Michael.


    Readers who are not creationally impaired, or whose biblical blindfolds have slipped slightly, may be interested to hear why cephalopod eyes differ from vertebrate eyes. Evolution—in particular, evo-devo,[5] reveals the answer.

    Vertebrate eyes are outgrowths of brain tissue toward epithelial (skin) tissue. The first such eyes were mere “eyespots” on th surface of the skin—that is, behind the skin, because they approached from the rear. The eyespots evolved into depressions, then into cups (invaginations)[7], which, like pinhole cameras, could focus an image. The transparent[6] lens came next, then the other appurtenances.

    The cephalopod eye, on the other tentacle, is epithelial tissue (ectoderm) that differentiates to form the retina on the outside of the body. This tissue then multiplies, curves, and folds to form the lens and ciliary body.

    For more detail and drawings, see “Development of the Eye in Vertebrates and Cephalopods and its Implications for Retinal Structure” Tell you what—Michael could have looked up all this stuff, too, and saved me a lot of trouble knocking down his ridiculous contentions.

    Of course, Michael didn’t originate these arguments. He can’t even spell “Choroid.” For a recent creationary struggle to slay the “bad design” dragon with cross and sword, see “Is Our ‘Inverted’ Retina Really ‘Bad Design'”. Note that it employs the same pattern as Michael’s argument–how the cobble-job fixes improve our eyesight, and tries to sweep the advantages of the cephalopod eye under the rug.. The creo author crows that cephalopod visual acuity does not exceed that of vertebrate eyes. However, this difference has absolutely nothing to do with retina placement—it’s probably caused by differences in photoreceptor structure.[8] And the article fails to mention that cephalopods can sense the polarization of light, a capability that our eyes lack entirely.

    Another aspect of the creo article. It bears the date “08 May 2010.” HEY! That’s today! Should we wonder that Michael received his material from the same folks at True.Origin,[9] the organization that “comprises an intellectually honest response to … evolutionism.” Without, of course, any intellectually honest attribution on Michael’s part.

    Inquiring minds want to know, Michael.


    [1] Michael misspelled “choroid” as “choriod” Twice, in different sentences. This may indicate his level of anatomical knowledge.

    [2] And he does not spell out RPE. Does he think that, unlike him, we patent attorneys and astronomers know that RPE atands for “retinal pigment epithelium”?

    [3] Although what he actually said is the exact opposite–that the connection he says is necessary would “remove the eye’s ability to absorb heat.”. Another failure to read what you write, Michael?

    [4[] Note the title of the New Scientist article that Michael quotes so confidently: “Evolution gave flawed eye better vision.” (Emphasis added for the dim witted.

    [5] “Evolutionary development,” the field that sprang up two decades ago to reveal evolutionary principles by studying embryological development. In a sense, this area harks back to the much-maligned Ernst Haeckel and his rubric that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.” Although this principle has been discredited, biologists have found that embryological development does in many features reproduce juvenile aspects of earlier forms. For example, a human embryo grows a tail that is a third of its total length—and then reabsorbs it all before the fetus is born. Michael, do you have a creationist explanation for that one?

    [6] We need not marvel that the lens is transparent. Most water-soluble proteins are transparent, so evolution only just needed to express then at the proper location.

    [7] The same process, incidentally, by which the first animal gut formed—part of its body wall formed a cup or sac where nutrients were processed.

    [8] They use rhabdomeres, rather than our rods & cones. An evolutionary difference.

    [9] My rule of thumb is that anything with “true” in its name is fallacious. Such as “True Bible Believers Church.” Remember that the communist party organ of the Soviet Union was called “Pravda”—which means “Truth” in Russian.

  4. Re the date of the creationist article “Is Our ‘Inverted’ Retina Really ‘Bad Design’?”

    This article appeared on True.Origins on May 8, but the date of the article itself is 1999. Nothing new in the creationist quiver, it seems.

    It takes a heap of chutzpah to claim that something is a good design when a much better design is staring one iin the face, so to speak.


    We might also mention that the cephalopod retina is significantly simpler—it does not need as many different parts as the vertebrate eye to perform the same functions at the same level. See “Structure and Function of the Cephalopod Eye 2”.

    Oh, yeah, one more thing. The optical cortex of our brain is located almost as far as possible from the eyes that it serves. The optic nerve has to snake through a bunch of other brain tissue to get there. The optic nerves meet, shake hands, then separate again before getting to their destination. The octopus, however, has a much more functional arrangement—the optic lobe sits just behind the eyes, actually in the eye sockets.

    Again, if human eyes represent good design, why are there designs that are so much better hanging around? Michael?

  5. Well what do you know? Michael started a new post without disputing any of the reasons why the human eye is in fact a bad design.

    Typical creationist. Make big claims, then duck and run when questioned. It was ever thus.

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