Eyes Badly Designed?

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Human eyes are badly designed with an “inverted” retina, challenge many sceptics. Now new discovery proves optical fiber design is found in human eye reports ScienceSHOTS and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 104, p8287, 15 May 2007. When light enters the eye it has to penetrate several layers of cells in the retina (the light sensitive layer at the back of the eye) before it gets to the cells that convert light to electrical signals. This structure is sometimes called the “inverted retina” because the cell layers seem to be arranged the wrong way around for collecting a clear image.

A group of German scientists has studied some cells in the retina called Müller cells. These are long thin cells that span all the layers in the retina and are arranged parallel to the path of incoming light. The researchers found that the Müller cells act like optical fibres in helping transmit light through the layers without being distorted. The researchers concluded, “Thus, Müller cells seem to mediate image transfer through the vertebrate retina with minimal distortion and low loss. This finding elucidates a fundamental feature of the inverted retina as an optical system and ascribes a new function to glial cells.” The ScienceSHOTS item comments. “Not a bad trick for a camera designed 500 million years ago.”

Editorial Comment: The “inverted” retina has been claimed by sceptics as an example of “unintelligent design” and that it really came about because of an accident of evolution millions of years ago. However, when human curiosity prevails over evolutionary prejudices and scientists actually study the retina they find that it is very well designed, no matter how long ago they think it was designed. The study described above is a challenge to all who claim that you cannot understand biology unless you believe in evolution. The scientists studying the retina made their discovery in spite of evolutionary theory, not because of it. (Ref. design, optics, neuroglia)

Evidence News, 29th August 2007

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