Optical First for Four Eyed Fish

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Optical first for four eyed fish, according to reports in Current Biology doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.11.061 27 and Bristol University News, 7 January 2009. A deep sea fish that looks as if it has four eyes is the first vertebrate found to use mirrors in its eyes to focus images. The fish, Dolichopteryx longipes, commonly named the spookfish, does not actually have four eyes. Its eyes have two parts. One part looks upwards, giving the fish a view of the water column above it. This has a lens like other eyes. The other part, called a diverticular eye, is an outward extension of the eye that enables fish to see below it. It has no lens and was thought to not provide focussed images, but to allow the fish to detect flashes from bioluminescent creatures below it. An international team of scientists studied the eyes of the spookfish and found the diverticular eye had a curved mirror made up of multilayered stacks of crystals that reflect light onto the fish’s retina. The researchers used a computer simulation of this structure to confirm that it could produce well focussed images. Julian Partridge from the University of Bristol, who took part in the study commented: “In nearly 500 million years of vertebrate evolution, and many thousands of vertebrate species living and dead, this is the only one known to have solved the fundamental optical problem faced by all eyes – how to make an image – using a mirror.”

Bristol University

Editorial Comment: The fact that a group of clever scientists had to construct a computer simulation to see how this fish’s eye works actually is evidence the fish eye optical system is the result of creative design, not naturalistic processes. Julian Partridge’s comment reveals how scientists who believe in random evolution can’t avoid the language of design. Does he really think fish “solved” this optical problem by inventing the curved mirror? At the risk of boring you with our oft repeated comment – we say, ‘it is far more logical that a greater Creator made both the fish, with its cleverly designed eye, and human beings with their cleverly designed brains which can design computer simulations to check on fish eye design.’ (Ref. ichthyology, marine biology, optics)

Evidence News 4 February 2009

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