Is the human eye irreducibly complex?

Behold, the human eye.

512px-Eyesection.svg

There’s a lot going on in there. The average human eye only weighs about 7 or 8 grams, but they are absolutely jam packed full of stuff. Chances are, you’re the proud owner of two of these little beauties. Right now, they’re busy using all of that intricate machinery to refract and focus light from your computer screen onto light sensitive rods and cones. From there, the light is being transduced into nerve signals, which are then being carried via your optic nerve into your visual cortex, where the raw information is getting filtered and patched together into something that you can make sense of.

How could this visual system have evolved, when it seems like all the components would have had to have been there from the very beginning for it to work? This question troubled Darwin, and those opposed to evolution are understandably fond of quoting the following passage from On the Origin of Species:

“To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.”

However, they conveniently neglect to mention the remainder of the section, where he says that he has no problem believing that such a structure could have evolved:

“…If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case.”

But how could such a complicated piece of optical machinery arise through a process that has no foresight or intentionality?

Evolution of the Eye

First of all, the evolution of the eye was a step-by-step, cumulative process – it didn’t just spring into existence fully formed through some astronomically lucky macro-mutation. That’s impossible, and no one is seriously suggesting that that’s how it happened. Things like that don’t happen by random chance, even over billions of years. Only with the help of a non-random process like natural selection can something like the eye come into being.

Fortunately, there are various creatures alive today that have proto-eyes, whose very existence alone disproves the notion that having only part of an eye is useless. Because they represent different stages in a process that could lead to eyes like ours, evolutionary biologists can use them to construct hypothetical evolutionary pathways that could be taken to arrive at the human eye.

Here’s an abbreviated version of the leading model:

  1. A mutation resulted in a single photoreceptor cell, which allowed the organism to respond to light and helped to calibrate circadian rhythms by detecting daylight.
  2. Over successive generations, possessing multiple photoreceptors became the norm in the gene pool, because individuals with mutations encoding for an increased number of photoreceptors were better able to react to their surroundings. An arms race began, fueling the evolution of the new sensory organ.
  3. Eventually, what was once just a single photoreceptor cell became a light-sensitive patch. At this point, the creature was still only able to distinguish light from dark.
  4. A slight depression in the patch created a pit, for the first time allowing a limited ability to sense from which direction light or shadow was coming from.
  5. The pit’s opening gradually narrowed to create an aperture — like that of a pinhole camera — making vision sharper.
  6. The aqueous humour formed. A colourless, gelatinous mass filling the chamber of the eye, it helped to maintain the shape of the eye and keep the light sensitive retina in place.
  7. At the front, a transparent tissue with a concave curvature for refracting light formed. The addition of this simple lens drastically improved image fidelity.
  8.  A transparent layer evolved in front of the lens. This transparent layer, the cornea, further focused light, and also allowed for more blood vessels, better circulation, and larger eyes.
  9. Behind the cornea, a circular ring formed, the iris, with a hole in its centre, the pupil. By constricting, the iris was able to control the amount of light that reached the retina through the pupil.
  10. Separation of these two layers allowed another gelatinous mass to form, the aqueous humor, which further increased refractive power.

A further simplified diagram of the process:

Stages_in_the_evolution_of_the_eye

This steadily increasing ramp of complexity is a logical progression from 1% of an eye to 100% of an eye, and each stage is useful to its possessor. The end result is the basic blueprint for all vertebrate eyes. Although we can probably never know for sure whether it really happened that way (the fossil record isn’t a perfect catalogue of intermediary forms – and even if it was, eyes are composed of soft tissues and don’t readily fossilize), we have incredibly good evidence to support the model.

Proto-eyes

As I mentioned before, organisms with proto-eyes corresponding to every step in this evolutionary sequence have been found. With the right selection pressures, they could be navigating their environments with eyes similar to ours one day.

Uni-cellular protists of the genus Euglena posses a small stigma, or eye spot, that is capable of detecting light, but unable to form images.

20130818-121421.jpg

(© CC 2011 Deuterostome)

Planarian worms have cup shaped eyes, capable of detecting the direction of a light source.

20130818-120203.jpg

(© CC- 2011 Eduard Solà)

The nautilus has pinhole camera eyes, capable of seeing blurry images.

20130818-114508.jpg
(© CC- 2012 Manuae)

Sea snails have a rudimentary lens in the form of a blob of jelly, giving them the ability to adjust their focus.

20130818-115018.jpg

(© CC- 2007 Steve Childs)

 

Personal Incredulity

Darwin recognized that the idea of design arising in the absence of a designer defies intuitive common sense. In a later edition of On the Origin of Species, after he had had a chance to witness the publics reaction to his theory, he stated his opinion that their incredulity was just a failure of imagination:

“When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of vox populi, vox dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory.”

Science has demonstrated over and over that the truth of things often defies common sense. But why is the evolution of complex structures like the eye so hard for us to swallow? As a species, we are hardwired to ascribe intention and agency in an attempt to predict the behaviour of other beings. However, we are hyper active in our propensity towards agency detection, to the point where we often ascribe agency to inanimate objects and natural forces. Another byproduct is a tendency to assume that anything that appears complex and purposeful must have been designed by an intelligent agent. This way of thinking is exemplified by the Teleological argument, which William Paley described using his watch maker analogy. He argued that in the same way a watch’s complexity implies a designer, the evident complexity of nature implies the existence of a designer.

In Paley’s day, it made more sense to make this argument, as a mechanism for how life could have evolved by itself had yet to be proposed. Today, the people making it really should know better. The theory of evolution, like the theory of gravity, provides a huge predictive capacity; it is a rigorous testable model of an observable phenomenon. We know that it is true, beyond all reasonable doubt, through a convergence of evidence from fields such as: palaeontology, geology, botany, zoology, comparative anatomy, embryology, bio geography, and genetics.

But still there remains a barrier of doubt that, for many, all the evidence in the world won’t surmount. To grasp the rather counter-intuitive fact that “design” can spontaneously emerge in the absence of a designer, I recommend checking out Conway’s Game Of Life, a mesmerizing cellular grid program that models how complex patterns can emerge from the implementation of a few simple rules. As you watch the spiralling patterns and geometric shapes generate from practically nothing, I guarantee that your common sense will be highly offended.

Further Reading/Sources:

http://www.ijdb.ehu.es/web/paper.php?doi=14756332

http://darwiniana.org/eyes.htm

http://205.173.44.50/~jmagee/APBiologySite/AP/Readings/eye%20evolution.pdf

 

About Josh Weed

Hello, my name is Josh and I live in Victoria, British Columbia. When I was 17, I realized that I was completely full of crap, and I'm still trying to make up for it. I consider an intellectually honest pursuit of the truth to be a noble goal and an ultimate virtue. My hobbies include writing, guitar, and arguing with brick walls.
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91 Responses to Is the human eye irreducibly complex?

  1. Christian says:

    This is almost a pointless thing to discuss. The fact that some creatures have semi functional eyes, is not really proof of evolution, nor is the list provided, the idea that making up stories about a sequence in which things could have happened, is science, is really as ludicrous as claims that the earth is 6000 years old.

    • Robrob says:

      You seem to have missed the point. Creationists regularly claim “half an eye” would *not* be advantageous to a species, therefore there would be no selective pressure toward an increasingly complex eye development. The article presented a logical and step by step explanation of how increasingly complex eyes would in fact *be* advantageous to a species.

      • Christian says:

        Sure. But it’s still a made up story. It still does not prove that eyes evolved. I’ve read some books on Evolutionary biology, and they all seem to me to be post hoc narrative based on an assumption. To be clear, I ‘believe in’ evolution ( I think the term is stupid, it doesn’t matter if you ‘believe in’ something that is clearly true ). But, the point is, a post like this is only convincing to people who already believe it, making it about the same as the argument that eyes could NOT have evoled.

        • Reg says:

          The ability to differentiate between light and dark is still an eye, but it takes two of this form to enable triangulation and location of the source.

          But given that the top of the sea is bright and the bottom dark, even a one-eyed hornswaggler could discover safety in darkness. Survival teaches while early demise modifies.

        • Christian, science never “proves” anything, and if you have any science understanding, you know that. You say post hoc; I say strawman. The article merely provides evidence of known cases which support the feasibility of the concept. It does not purport to prove anything but that the people claiming a partial eye is worthless are wrong. And no, a few photoreceptor cells are not an eye, and certainly wouldn’t be recognized as one by the creationists who make this claim. So the existence of every step of this process in living examples are only offered to counter that argument.

          The next step is to find fossil forms that indicate a slow improvement in eye development. Well, lo and behold, despite the great difficulty in determining the existence of soft tissue parts in fossil forms, adequate evidence has turned up that supports this view such that more study is called for. Not proven, just “evidence in support of”, “possibly indicating”,… Additional research is ongoing. This is far more than a mere unsupported assertion of irreducible complexity. The creationists haven’t even tried to test their “hypothesis”.

        • SoldierOFChrist says:

          Your a Christian ? Hmm, read genesis and tell me if there is millions of Years in it

          • Noah Dillon says:

            Can you tell me why Genesis has two consecutive and different accounts of creation? Did it take two weeks and need to be redone?

        • billkowalski2014 says:

          Evolution is a theory well supported by facts. It is possible some other more valid explanation for how complex life forms developed may arise some day. For now evolution is the best explanation we have, and as time goes on all new evidence supports it rather than contradicting it, so it looks like evolution will have to do as our explanation, at least until something better comes along. Unfortunately nobody has ever found a magical book that can explain the process more credibly than evolution, or with any credibility at all.

  2. Vere Nekoninda says:

    The analogy of the watch and watch maker, which on shallow thought seems to convincingly support creationism, is surprisingly evolutionary, on deeper examination. The fact is that no single watchmaker ever designed purely, start to finish, anything that we would recognize as a watch. Even in Paley’s day, the watch was the product of centuries of small changes and improvements in time measurement. All the more so today. Each feature of a watch is the product of (un)natural selection. New variations/mutations are introduced, those that fail to work well are discarded, while those that work and are useful to watch owners are retained and repeated.

    In different times and places, watch design has evolved in slightly different directions. Some variations have flourished for a time, and then died out. But every watch produced today can trace a lineage to watches that have gone before. Like the eye, a watch is amazingly complex, and could not arise in a single step. And like biological evolution, even though we don’t know all the steps, can’t find all the records, and can’t see into the distant past, we can have confidence that we understand pretty well the principals of watch evolution.

    • Reg says:

      I agree Vere, the intervention of man in the assembly of the watch or the construction or modification of any other machine, are valid steps in evolution. For some reason many appear to hold that anything that involves man is not part of this evolutionary process and attempt to disqualify any action he takes. (He and man are gender inclusive.)

      Surely by now it is obvious that man can interfere with the genetic process, whether we like it or not.

      So I must disagree in this one respect, the assembly of a watch is certainly a product of natural selection by one of the previous adaptions of the process of evolution. We can even decide the product of our effort is not good enough and toss it away and build a better one. Evolution did when it moved us from all-fours to all-twos, despite the problems it created with cross-over nerves and tubes.

      Almost as if it was decided to give it a try saying “let’s do this and see how it all works out.”

      Did you know that 30% of mature adults do not have the ut utero bypass between left and right atria totally sealed and yet they apparently operate without any serious difficulty? 30%!!!!! That’s the bypass that’s automatically sealed when the umbilicus is clamped enabling bloody to flow to the lungs for the very first breath. It currently looks like a thumb print so it’s my guess that evolution is still working on this little problem.

    • Tactical111 says:

      Right, but the watch DID have an “intelligent designer”; the watch MAKER so your comparison actually proves the opposition point. For me the most basic premise of “evolution” is that “life” magically started when a lightning bolt hit a mud puddle and magically arranged base minerals and elements spontaneously into “life”. The principle of ENTROPY demonstrates that this is impossible. Not saying there’s a bearded guy in the clouds that created everything esp. “life”. Just saying that the THEORY of “evolution” is impossible with what we now know about the complexity of DNA/RNA and the hundreds of thousands of components of even a single celled organsism. I will repeat; physical evidence PROVES that MACRO ( worm becomes a tiger) is IMPOSSIBLE and further is NOT DEMONSTRATED in any fossil record ever found. That’s why “Evolution” is still called a THEORY because it has not and cannot be proven with physical evidence.

  3. Walter Clark says:

    What amuses libertarians is how readily those who pride themselves on being intellectuals will be satisfied with spontaneous order and the absence of a maker god for biology but embrace government as the care taker of society; that civilization has to have a guiding hand. I suspect this need for some form of god comes about because they got talked out of the old fashion sources of super-paternalism.

    • Reg says:

      Faulty thinking there Walter?

      It was the collective body of people who decided to inject a smidgen of democratic order into life by creating governmental bodies, having found that the regal form of a titular head was less than effective and although Winston Churchill may have disagreed, he also expected annihilation after death.

    • What amuses me is how you are amused by your own fallacies 🙂

    • Kowalski says:

      Ah, yes, we non-libertarians can’t appreciate what a dreamlike existence it must be for people in a government-free country such as Somalia, where there’s no guiding hand, and spontaneous order exists without the need for government as a caretaker for society. We have as hard time imaging that as you seem to have imagining an agnostic intellectual who doesn’t believe in big government. You have inadvertently insulted all libertarians by inferring there’s not an intellectual among them – and I doubt libertarians are 100% followers of Judeo-Muslim-Christian theology.

      And some of us, at least myself, have a hard time understanding the relevance of your comment on government to an article offering an explanation of the evolution of the eye, and why you bother to read Skeptoid when clearly this material doesn’t suit your world view. Are you perhaps commenting on a different site but posted it on Skeptoid by mistake?

    • Pat says:

      You seem to think that libertarians want a complete absence of government. In other words, you don’t know the difference between a libertarian and an anarchist. They are not the same thing.

      • billkowalski2014 says:

        You just want a little one that does only what you want it to do?

        • Simon Warrington says:

          A proven body that upholds morality is all that is required and does not necessarily need to be called government.
          Morality is borne and gauged by the existence of life. Everything else is the exchange of information.
          Authoritarianism is a very misguided concept that has to some extent served its purpose but it is time to move forward.
          Extreme conditioning prevents most from seeing beyond this.

          • Noah Dillon says:

            Whose morality? Are we talking about bringing back slavery or outlawing dancing or requiring men to wear beards or what?

  4. Jon Richfield says:

    Of COURSE the human eye is irreducibly complex; ask me; I have to wear glasses nowadays! But the eyes of some of our macroevolutionary forebears were not. The more precise and complex evolutionary products become, the better they may work in the proper conditions, in competition with more primitive predecessors, but at the same time the more demanding their specifications if they are to work at all. This is a fundamental and universal principle, even in the world of technology. Practically anyone can make a kite or a Frisbee of sorts, but not many can make an Airbus A380. Not one that stays up anyway! And yet our aircraft-related industries rely on the likes of Boeing and BA rather than kites and Frisbees.
    This too, shows vividly and ubiquitously in our comparative macromolecular biology. Not much of any of our biochemical systems seems to have originated independently in apparently unrelated lines. Our species and our bodies are comprised of a soberingly small number of miracles, and miracles of that type are rare; those that work together are even rarer, so it is hardly surprising that the modern working combinations are irreducibly complex, even if their ancestors had a little more wiggle room. Let’s see you fluke an efficiently competitive working ribosome from raw materials! And once one had been honed to work competitively, new upstarts would have had a hard time of it, even if they were more flexible than the Airbuses of the subcellular world…

  5. Thank you, excellent article. I particularly like your mention of ‘The game of Life’; I teach this to my students on a maths degree but I can’t resist the urge to use it to highlight how complexity can emerge and evolve from simplistic structures over time 🙂

    • Tactical111 says:

      A watch cannot build itself let alone something as complex as a living cell. Not saying “God” is in the clouds but just saying “evolution” as imagined is IMPOSSIBLE.

  6. Kowalski says:

    Interesting topic and a very well executed approach to tackling it. The appearance of vision is likely the reason for the Cambrian Explosion, a critical shift in the variety, capabilities, and interactions of lifeforms which is one of the most important points in the timeline of human existence.

    To say an eye is too complex to have evolved, thus disproving evolution, is to make a huge intellectual leap similar to someone resolutely attesting they’ve seen a ghost, when there are far more likely and believable explanations right in front of them – yet they don’t want to hear a more logical explanation for fear of negating their ghost story.

    Supernatural explanations, such as saying God magicked those eyes into existence with a poof, should be last in line behind explanations which are more logical and in line with what we know about the physical world through scientific research. Not to take anything away from religion, but in all my many readings of the closely-related holy books of the Judeo-Muslim-Christian religion, I haven’t found anything that plainly states God used scientifically inexplicable means to create the animals of the earth and to allow those animals to adapt themselves as needed for changing environments. All these holy books leave it open as to the details of how animals were created and evolved.

    It’s not necessary to poo-poo evolution to believe the Genesis stories. I’m certainly open to the idea of a God, should any evidence of the existence of one emerge some day, and I don’t think an understanding of prevailing biological processes is going to get in the way.

  7. Swampwitch7 says:

    Before anybody else has a fit, please remember that the meaning of the word “evolution” as used by Charles Darwin meant very simply “the observed result of natural selection” aka whoever has the most babies who survive to reproduce wins (the gene pool lottery.)

    Conceptually there is nothing that is irreducibly complex: the examiner is the element limited in mechanisms availble to examine any given phenomena.

    (That means that our tools may not be sufficiently senstive to dig deeper and deeper and our brains may not be able to process the data even if the tools are adequate to the task.)

  8. Reg says:

    “Conceptually there is nothing that is irreducibly complex: the examiner is the element limited in mechanisms available to examine any given phenomena.

    (That means that our tools may not be sufficiently sensitive to dig deeper and deeper and our brains may not be able to process the data even if the tools are adequate to the task.)”

    Just as well you explained that SW7 but even now I do not know what you said.

    Evolution is not an accident, it is the only possible outcome of prevailing conditions.

    • Tactical111 says:

      Disorder is the only possible/eventual outcome of order absent some intelligent or willful force or energy to advance and/or preserve it. You’re right, evolution is not an “accident” it is a laughable THEORY that flies in the face of the physical evidence around us. Evolution is the square peg pounded into the round hole of physical reality around us. The more closely we can look at “life” i.e. DNA/RNA, chromosomes, etc. the more Evolution becomes a laughably impossible fairy tale.

  9. Swampwitch7 says:

    “In physics, string theory is a theoretical framework in which the point-like particles of particle physics are replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings.[1] In string theory, the different types of observed elementary particles arise from the different quantum states of these strings. In addition to the types of particles postulated by the standard model of particle physics, string theory naturally incorporates gravity, and is therefore a candidate for a theory of everything, a self-contained mathematical model that describes all fundamental forces and forms of matter. Aside from this hypothesized role in particle physics, string theory is now widely used as a theoretical tool in physics, and it has shed light on many aspects of quantum field theory and quantum gravity.” Wikipedia, string theory

    Reg: physics describes the universe. There is a smallest part: a string, which you can think of as a loop of energy rather like a rubber-band should you need to visualize it. Mathematically the entire universe in all its ten dimensions and myriad alternate universes can be reduced to that elemental reality.

    There is an ultimate end to which anything can be examined, analyzed, and understood. It is a certainty that you and I will never get there. Our brains are too small for that and our tools too clumsy and primitive.

    I did not say evolution is an accident: I said Charles Darwin described his observations in terms of natural selection. The entities most suited to the prevailing conditions ultimately determine which genes are passed along to subsequent generations and determine the observed outcome.

    In point of fact, evolution (as understood as the random result of endless trial and error) and creation are the same thing: evolution describes the process of development in terms of a mechanism without ascribing a source, and creation describes the process of development in terms of a source without delineating a mechanism.

    “Evolution is not an accident, it is the only possible outcome of prevailing conditions” whether God exists or not.

    As it happens, I believe that the elemental strings are God’s thoughts from whence all existence originates.

    Apologies, I can’t make it any simpler than that.

    • Reg says:

      Thanks SW7.

      SW7 “In point of fact, evolution (as understood as the random result of endless trial and error) and creation are the same thing: evolution describes the process of development in terms of a mechanism without ascribing a source, and creation describes the process of development in terms of a source without delineating a mechanism.

      “Evolution is not an accident, it is the only possible outcome of prevailing conditions” whether God exists or not.

      Are you asking or agreeing?

      # Your reference to endless trial and error is not as we generally suppose. It could best be described as a continual move towards the only acceptable goal chemically or electrically but most likely both. Much as nerves operate. I understand why you could regard each of the tiny directional changes as imposed by God’s thoughts, (which I am forced to regard as somewhat blasphemous since God has no need of thought,) so regarding them as strings is a picturesque but still pointless exercise.

      I’m aware that physics describes the universe, it’s just that once the number of presumptions out-weigh the number of known facts, I begin to lose interest as it enters the realm of fiction.

      I’m a serious singer and have recently discovered that the muscle of inhalation, the diaphragm, is a muscle divided in two and controlled by two separate nerve bundles. This means that under certain circumstances they could operate independently. This is regarded as unacceptable by that part of the singing fraternity who regard singing as the spiritual expression of faith.

      By the way, “in point of fact” ranks with “honestly” and “to tell the truth,” as deviant verbiage. 🙂

  10. Swampwitch7 says:

    Reg: one of the Pentatonix acapella singers is said to be able to sing in two registers at the same time. I have never heard of anyone doing this, but if the diaphram indeed has two independent nerve cluster that can operate independent of one another that a man can sing in two registers at the same time is certainly possible and deserves some investigation.

    Even if he can’t just listening to the group sing “The Little Drummer Boy” (my personal favorite) is a pure pleasure and you should hear them.

    And that would be one thing we agree on.

    🙂

    • Reg says:

      I am positive we agree on a lot more than that SW7, you sound like just what I admire in a thoughtful person, it’s just that we’re peering in different directions. I can sing in two registers but not simultaneously since one requires the vocal folds to “kiss” while the other requires that they not.

      My son of the harpsichord bent has gasped, “DAD, you could make a fortune with that voice.” No … money has never been my aim with my singing and while breathy singing may have its admirers, an harmonically rich voice has more and is not pathologically defective. 🙂

      The duality of the diaphragm creates problems for those who maintain that the diaphragmatic muscle remains active throughout the entire inhalation and exhalation cycle. Multiplied by the possibility that each nerve bundle goes to opposite hemispheres, if at all.

      It’s also interesting to discover that the diaphragm is another of evolutions left/right duplications, none of which are perfect, not even the eye.

  11. WK says:

    Josh, have you ever designed a working system? I’m guessing not. I have. Many. If you had, you would have realized that your first step in the evolution of the eye is incomplete. More is needed on day 1 than just the sensor element. What is also needed is a processing element to makes sense out of what is sensed – perhaps some sort of nervous system that is programmed to react to light. We also need a connection means between the sensor and the processor – perhaps a nerve or chemical signaling means. Do all of your cells connect to your brain, so that if one of them went light-sensitive your brain would be signaled? Of course not. Yet, all of these things must be present or the adaptation will be lost. Or, it must be shown that the adaptation will persist because it confers some other sort of survival advantage, while the other necessary features are evolving. Here is my problem with claims such as yours: I don’t know if irreducible complexity is true or false. What I do know is that supposed debunkers, such as yourself, seem to have no concept of how to design a machine that actually works. You oversimplify; your machine never gets off the ground. It simply cannot work, as you have described.

    • billkowalski says:

      And perhaps that elegantly sums up this debate – two sides battling it out, one for an explanation based upon magical thinking, the other for strictly evidence-based evolution, but neither side knowing enough about the subject matter to prevail, and neither side willing to concede there are mysteries which hang over either explanation.

      This is also why our political system in this country is in its darkest, most ineffective time – rather than discuss like adults and try to see the other person’s perspective, we break into a couple of radicalized camps, get into our bunkers and fight. Endlessly, if necessary, if that keeps up from having to consider shaking hands with the enemy.

      • WK says:

        Bill, you are making unjustified generalizations. I am not on anybody’s side. I have expressed no beliefs. I am a design engineer, with 30 years of experience. I understand what it takes to make a design work. In my reading I came across the Behe notion of irreducible complexity. This notion surely resonates with anybody who has ever faced design challenges. I came across your site a couple of days ago as I googled the topic. What I find here is the same sort of non-critical analysis of important design questions as I have seen elsewhere. Whether I read about an eye, mousetrap, or flagellum, it is the same – a cursory explanation that ignores real-world design problems, resulting in arguments that are wrong, even in principle. Now, I do not know if irreducible complexity it true or false. But I do know that the arguments that I have seen that purport to refute it are poor. Sometimes they aren’t even properly framed. For example, the eye. An eye has no survival advantage, per se. It is *vision* that confers the advantage. Vision is a system of things, working in unison. You need a sensor (such as an eye). You need a processing element (such as a brain or a computer or the like), and you need a means of communication between the two. Each of these elements is a difficult design problem in its own right. I mean, think about all of the complexity and problems that engineers struggle with, simply to get a signal from point A to point B. (I am guessing that Behe, if he ever got around to it, would raise the same irreducible complexity argument for the communications path, in and of itself, because it is complex and full of interdependencies). All of the elements of the vision system, at least in primitive form, must be present on day 1 when the light sensitive cell mutation occurs. It’s easy to understand that the processing element is present, but in my view it is far-fetched to believe that there is a communications path present between the cell and the processing element. Until there is a communications path there must be some other survival advantage or the light sensitive cell mutation will be lost

        • peter goose mcallister says:

          Your a design engineer with 30 years experiance-not a biologist then, and I like how you slyly tried to flit in your argument from authority. The fact that you can’t conceive how the human eye evolved is just your own personal argument from incredulity

          • Tactical111 says:

            Gotta love the “mouse trap” example. Have never seen a mouse trap yet that created itself. Just sayin’.

          • Noah Dillon says:

            Yeah. Animals evolved better and better way of catching prey. Just sayin’.

        • John says:

          <HOW CAN YOU QUESTION EVOLUTION, YOU RELIGIOUS, MISGONYSTIC, RACIST, PEDOPHILE, ANTI-HOMO, ANTI-JEW, GENOCIDE SUPPORTER, SUPREMIST, IMPERIALIST, BRONZE-AGED FAIRY TALE BELIEVING BIGOT? HOW CAN YOU PUT FORWARD A VALID EMPIRICAL DESIGN CONSTRAINT THAT THOSE EVO PROPHETS OF FSM GOD DID NOT CONSIDER IN THEIR RESEARCH? HOW CAN YOU POSE A PROBLEM TO WHICH ALL MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL, ELECTRONICS, SOFTWARE AND COMMUNICATION ENGINEERS WILL AGREE TOO?> LOL

          You are between evo-fanatics, man. Do not expect any senseful thought from them.

          • Noah Dillon says:

            Wow. That might be the broadest brush I’ve seen in a long time. And it’s not even an argument in support of anything. It doesn’t bring any evidence. WK at least made an argument about the subject at hand. You pulled out a knife and started rhetorically stabbing people who disagree with you and throwing their bodies in with everyone else who disagrees with you—in all caps, too.

            The thing about WK’s argument is that it just pushes back farther into evolutionary history, back to the development of nerves and specialized cells. Those also aren’t hard problems to solve. And saying that a blogger hasn’t answered all his questions isn’t an argument that they can’t be answered and the “machine won’t get off the ground.” Does that sound fanatical?

          • WK says:

            Good one, John. 😉

            Yes, whenever I challenge the claim that random genetic mutation and natural selection are an adequate mechanism to explain evolution I get accused of all sorts of religious creationist things. This is silly. I accept that evolution is true. I am making no statement that cannot be refuted by a physical explanation. I have no religious convictions. I am making no claim of how it actually happened. My comments are nothing more than a skeptical critique of the claim that random mutation and natural selection are sufficient to have done it.

            My critique is easily falsifiable: Provide a reference to a demonstration of how these two mechanisms can result in the world of life we see around us – in three billion years, in a hundred billion years, in a billion billion years, in any amount of time. (I am thinking of a computer simulation here, one that accurately models these mechanisms, and I have yet to see it.)

            This is such an polarized topic that when somebody like me points out that the science does not exist to refute my critique, neo-Darwinism believers circle the wagons and resort to calling names, as opposed to providing evidence. Belief without evidence.

            I agree that most mechanical, electrical, electronic, software and communications engineers would scratch their heads and smile. And who better to evaluate the claims of a mechanistic process than engineers? I would argue that design engineers are inherently more able to evaluate the feasiblity and operating limits of a mechanistic process than are evolutionary biologists, who mostly possess little if any real world appreciation of the complexities of design, insofar as I can tell

          • John says:

            @Noah Dillon @WK
            I’m not sure whether this comment will show up in your notifications but in any case.

            Indeed I apologise if I came across as rude. This was not my intention. No matter how much I disagree with the article’s inference and conclusion and assumptions (not with real “facts”), I like how it has not become another God/No God mouthpiece, at least openly. I have no intention to turn this site into a war zone. This site is obviously better than a whole lot of other “skeptics” sites where the sceptics appear nothing but hurt, anti-religious, half-intellectual teenagers/adults whose aim is to selectively filter through claims by their own “whether it sounds absurd” index.
            The only thing I’m wondering that though you found my comment wrong, and I appreciate that, you said nothing to the guy who wrote “you can’t conceive how the human eye evolved is just your own personal argument from incredulity”.

            Now my two cents, this article will only make appeal to people who already believe in evolution.
            Sceptics to evolution or some of what is passed down in evolution as facts will scratch their heads as how this article attempts to refute irreducible complexity of eye.
            It is nothing but like showing a calculator and a mechanical shaft and gear based computer to a guy who claims computers are irreducibly complex and saying see I solved your problem. Presenting a simpler irreducibly complex machine to solve problem of irreducibly complexity of a more complex machine is like gasping at straws. Even creationists, I don’t know what they mean by irreducuble complexity of eye, (I will go and now check out, they seem interesting) will be laughing at such attempts. Because if this article has indeed refuted their claim, then I tell you they are not incredulous, they are just trolling you all.

            What I have seen is some strange argumentation and reasoning in both the article and comment section, I really saw only single smart comment and that was quickly discarded as coming up from ignorance/increduility, obviously as most of the time with no reason being specified.

    • Ronald says:

      I was just about to write a similar comment when I read yours, WK. Evolution theory as a way to explain the development of very complex systems is pretty far fetched, but especially medical science needs a mechanistic theory like this to maintain in control of our health. If people accept the ‘fact’ that disease is mainly caused by ‘bad luck’ (random mutations within cells, for instance) and that there’s no ‘interaction’ between ones emotions/believes/expectations/etc. and ones health/illness, then everybody has to put their faith in the medical establishment… This way it is even possible to inject people with toxic chemicals, under the cover of science. And it works (not the chemotherapy, but the scheme behind it).

      If one questions evolution theory the proponents of it assume you’re a ‘creationist’ (duh).

      • Noah Dillon says:

        Actually, evolutionary theory explains easily the way that complex systems develop. What doesn’t is just saying “Oh, a god did it.” That’s like saying “don’t think about it.” That’s not a question. It’s an answer that disinvites questions. If you have an actual question about evolution, I’m sure someone can share the answer with you.

        And what doctor says that disease is caused by bad luck random mutations? A lot of diseases are caused by germs. Other diseases, like heart or liver disease, are caused by people abusing their bodies. Some diseases, like some cancers, are genetic and risks are passed through from generation to generation. None of this is “bad luck.” And I’m pretty sure that no doctor would say that emotion and health are unrelated. Thanks for dumping on chemotherapy and medicine, it only saved the life of several of my family members and has in the last 100 years raised the average lifespan in the developed world from around 40 to about 75. But that’s because it’s so toxic.

        • Roger says:

          Answer my question below: I would like to ask all evolutionists one question

          • Only your mind thinks it is a picture of a dinosaur. Like the so called face on mars or a picture of the virgin mary on a grilled cheese. You mind draws a pattern into a familiar shape. A cave drawing that you claim looks like a dinosaur doesn’t in fact make it a dinosaur anymore than the virgin mary is a grilled cheese. This is called paredolia and it is the reason why a cartoons like Finding Nemo brings an emotional response when it is only a 2 dimensional drawing. Our mind creates our reality. Not the other way around.
            Since you are an obvious ideologue. I would like to point out that the bible is hardly the only book supposedly written by god for us. Only your faith makes it significant to you.
            Oh BTW my quran, torah scroll, buddist palil, and my shinto Kojiki all think your book is full of crap =)

          • I would like to ask you one question Roger. What do you think evolution is….? To me, it is reality, it is what is happening. The theory of evolution is merely our very refined and incomplete description of what life is doing. Just because I cannot completely explain the physics of the sun mathematically, it doesn’t make it any less a reality. Even though I know there are small questions left about the sun I cannot deny its blaring existence in my face. Although I understand a great deal more biology than physics. I find evolution doesn’t threaten my faith because I believe that elements of the bible were written at different stages of humanity by different people and endlessly translated. People make mistakes, people are wrong. Therefore I find it to be an extreme improbability that all aspects of the bible is a literal truth. That said- if your not threatened by evolution, geology, astrophysics, genetics and human history you don’t have to work so hard and come up with ridiculous arguments to keep your belief going. 🙂

          • Roger says:

            Don’t know what evolution is, I only deal with things that exist.

  12. WK says:

    Peter, there is no appeal to authority on my part. My comments on design are based on expertise. I have put forward a clear argument. I have explained why the description by Josh of the evolution of the eye is incoherent. Do you understand the difference between an argument based on expertise and an appeal to authority? It would seem not.

    It would also seem that you lack the wherewithal to refute my argument. Is there anybody here who can interact with me on the merits, or lack thereof, of my argument? If not I won’t trouble you folks any further. I have no interest in sparring with zealots.

    • Keraah says:

      Drar WK.
      I find your expertise most welcome to this debate.
      I have myself wondered about how to explain the obvious; that both sensor, processor and the comunication path have to be present to make the advantageous property, vision.
      I have come to a conclusion.
      There is no doubt that evolusjon as a prosess happen in this universe. I can experience it.
      There is plenty of examples from breeding and speciation through natural selection that we humans have observed.
      I allso experience that biochemestry tends to make complex structure from a seemingly chaotic start.
      I studied this for 12 years at university, and as a teacher of science, still dive into the problem dayly. I have allso tried to understand the explanation about design, and the creationist point of view.
      There are many things i can’t explain to this Day as a scientist, but that still doesn’t make it magic or out of this universe.
      The evolutionary explanation, is by far the most PROBABLE,
      So far.
      To jump to the conclusion that something is to complex to be explained without the notion of a God is not to think scientificaly. There might or there might not be a Designer, but as far as we humans can observe, he is less probable than the just-so stores of the evolutionists.
      Now. When you work on a complex device , like a watch, and want to describe its making process. You will not, I assume, make the hypothesis that someone used magic to make it. You will, Even though you don’t know how to refine metal, make the conclusion that it is made from a very complex prosess (in this case the whole human society), that you are yet unable to understand.
      God is a product of the human mind’s need to explain the unexplainable, and is by (human) definition metascience.
      Humanity might in the future discover that there is a Maker, outside the universe, but If So, he has made it (the universe) in sutch a way that it seems like he doesn’t exist.
      I have come to the conclusion that natural selection is the driving force for all the complexity we see in Life. There are many holes in my, and humanitys understanding of how this came to be, but that doesn’t matter… We humans claw at the secrets as hard as we can, and those that our sensory systems allows us to answer, will be answered.
      So. In this debate, there can’t be an certainity, only an asessment of probability.

      Sorry bout the bad language, my text to you is written on a cellphone, Who insist that i make this post in norwegian.

    • Keraah says:

      Allso, you should take a lookin to this site.
      Although it is IFLS, it has many interesting sub-links…

  13. Without being too philosophical the genesis is infinitely in the hands of nature which is irreducibly complex? I emphatically believe in a ‘higher force’, the tossing of bolts, screws and circuits into the air will never give me that 50″ TV I want…ever.. I would feel differently if it could be proven that we’re not exclusive in this galaxy and could walk amongst higher evolved species than ourselves. But even then there’s still the ‘chicken n egg’ thing!

    • Tactical111 says:

      Right. I’m going to throw a bucket of nuts, bolts, wires, glass, and plastic into a mud puddle and wait for a lightning bolt to hit it and make me a nice 50″ TV which btw, is INFINITLY less complex than a single cell organism. And I could wait for a billion years and I still won’t get that TV as the conditions in the puddle change and make the event even less possible/probable.

      • Noah Dillon says:

        Huh. That’s a really wild misunderstanding of evolution. No, but you could have millions or even thousands or hundreds of members of a species reproducing and having occasional random mutations and if one of those mutations is beneficial to the survival of its genes, it will fill up the gene pool very quickly. You don’t go from no eye to complex eye. We have a really good fossil record, actually, of various eyes as they evolved and developed and became more complex. But even having a rudimentary eye is better than no eye at all.

        Are your mythical TVs the result of a large population of nuts and bolts and wires reproducing various modified versions of themselves and competing for resources? Or are you just throwing trash in a puddle? Maybe you should read about this stuff from someone who isn’t theologically opposed to it as a fixed and rigid position.

  14. Roger says:

    A single cell has trillions of parts and a human body has a trillion cells and evolutionists are going to tell me that these 1000000000000 x 1000000000000 parts just randomly came together and mad a human. I am still waiting for science to make the first cell or even 1/1000000000000 of a cell.

    But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise

  15. Acer says:

    The fatal flaw in all spontaneous evolutionary explanations is the total lack of detail. One Example: Step 1 above “…which allowed the organism to respond to light.” If I spontaneously mutate “single photoreceptor cell” on my elbow, how in the world does it follow that my elbow will be able to respond to light? What about the requirement that at the same time I get the “single photoreceptor cell” I ALSO have to develop some way to convey information from the photoreceptor cell to my brain? Just getting the photoreceptor cell would not enhance my ability to survive and keep the mutation for enough millions of generations for the path to my brain to accidentally develop. More importantly, assuming it does accidentally develoip, how exactly is that an advantage to a dumb creature who doesn’t have any knowledge of what to do differently in light or in darkness? If I spontaneously mutate a radon detecting cell on my forehead AND a nerve cell linking the radon detector to my brain, without knowing what I am supposed to do about it, how will I survive better than my fellows? Of course, smart medical people will tell us. But what if I’m a worm surrounded by other worms and I don’t feel the effects of the radon, I only detect that it is present? How many million generations of zero advantage would the mutation have to be passed on meaninglessly before a radon detecting worm accidentally develops an adverse reaction to radon and begin crawling away in response? The learning curve will be flat, not curved. Another Example: what about the evenly placed and evenly sized eyelashes on my eyelids and the eyebrows above them? You can’t convince me that the creatures who spontaneously randomly had a hair grow right on the edge of the lid had any discernible advantage over any other creature, and that one by one the creatures with evenly spaced and evenly sized hairs, totally randomly appearing, survived better than others, OR that the same hair configuration could spontaneously grow on one eyelid as the one on the other eyelid. And you really can’t convince me that the the creatures who randomly grew extra coarse hair over the eyes did better than the creatures who had coarse hair over their eyes and on their cheek bones, or that the ones with symmetrically identically shaped brows did better than the ones with asymmetric brows. It’s weird that you would even entertain the possibility. The devil is in the details and Darwinians lack them entirely. The step-by-step models they create are filled with gaps and oozing in unspoken and unreasonable assumptions. The best they can do is line up grand milestones to show gradual progression. It reminds me of the cartoon of the math student who has written an elaborate equation on the left side of the board and in the middle of the board he writes “and then a miracle occurs” and then has the answer on the right hand side. The professor looks at him and observes “I think you should be more specific here in step 2.” haha

    • Noah Dillon says:

      How detailed is a divine creation story? Genesis gives two different stories and neither of them has even as much detail as one paragraph from an evolutionary biology paper or textbook. Just because you’ve never read any explanation for “which allowed the organism to respond to light,” that doesn’t mean that a more detailed account doesn’t exist.

      Also: you’d be surprised at how very useful a photoreceptor can be.

      • Roger says:

        God spoke and it was done, there are no 2 stores of creation in Genesis.

      • Acer says:

        I’m not so focused on the lack of detail as on the lack of a credible explanation of how you accidentally get from one step to another. Lining up progressive steps is like showing the steps in building a home. If you’re arguing you got there without a builder you need a lot more than the order of the steps to justify your conclusion. The bible doesn’t purport to give a detailed explanation, only that God was behind it all. I don’t see anything in there about dinosaurs either. The lack of detail doesn’t bother me. I get that from scientific research.

        • Roger says:

          I can’t give that one to you, read Job 40:15-24 and Job 41:1-2,7,12-32 then tell me if you know of any animal currently resides on Earth that matches the descriptions. Do not sell the Bible short because God did not leave anything out, it is just a matter of reading the Word. Mt. St. Helen defied science by fossilization taking on decades. Science has a long ways to go to be fact.

          • Acer says:

            Cool interpretation Roger. If the Lord is in fact referencing dinosaurs that’s awesome, but I don’t consider that particular detail necessary for our salvation. Some truths matter more than others, but by the same token all truth has value and enlightens us. Ultimately there is no contradiction between true science and true religion. Any apparent contradictions are only because one side or the other hasn’t yet found the truth and we just need patience and perseverance to find the harmony. All truth is consistent.

          • Roger says:

            I agree Acer, I was just addressing what you said about dinosaurs not being in the Bible. Evolutionist say that dinosaurs were extinct before humans existed, so were did humans get the models for their cave drawings? Evolution is so simple to disprove. The biggest and most profound part of reproduction of mammals, or almost all other species, is that it would require two simultaneous evolutionary developments at the same moment of the opposite sex. I suppose they would say that the first one just laid two eggs that self fertilized and hatched into opposite sexes. God made them male and female.

    • Tactical111 says:

      Agree, the THEORY of “evolution” is full of holes because it needs to be to avoid the obvious self debunking that details bring to light.

      • Noah Dillon says:

        Holes such as?

        Also, I think you misunderstand what a scientific theory is. A lot of people use the word “theory” when they mean “hypothesis.” A scientific theory is actually supported by a lot of evidence and explains complex processes with mechanical features, such as the dispersal of genes in the theory of inherited traits or infection by viruses in the germ theory of disease.

  16. Acer says:

    A few more thoughts: There is nothing “magic” about belief in God. God is the ultimate reality. We are a lower reality because we are in a finite world traveling through an infinite universe. We’re kind of like the “flatlanders” in string theory trying to comprehend a 3rd dimension. Infinity, the ultimate reality, doesn’t fit in our finite minds. What we do comprehend, if we are honest, is that infinity is reality.

    Non-creationists are stuck in a mindset of cause-and-effect because we mortals have finite minds. Our minds, yours and mine, are incapable of wrapping around infinity (no end of space, no end or beginning of time). And the problem with cause-and-effect is it is automatically impossible to ever discover an “initial cause” since it had to be the effect of a prior cause. Thus even the Big Bang theorists end up talking of what happened “before” the big bang to “cause” the “singularity” (an odd made-up word with no real meaning).

    I love the study of the origin of the universe and the study of string theory etc. But I do it with the inherent knowledge (1) that time and space are infinite, and (2) that my finite mind cannot wrap itself around either concept. In fact, every normal reasonably intelligent person gains that inherent knowledge as soon as they are old enough to contemplate infinity. If you think about it, you’ll have to admit it so for you. On multiple occasions as a child I tried to imagine the great beginning of time or the end of space and found it impossible to do so. It cannot be done.

    Once we reach that conclusion (the context of infinity), it follows that matter/energy cannot be created and are infinite, neither can intelligence be created and is infinite. There is no end to matter/energy and there is no end to intelligence. The universe goes on forever and there is matter throughout the universe. There is no endlessly vacant beyond. There is nothing magic about these concepts. They are plain vanilla logic. Non-Creationists (i.e. evolutionists) are stuck in an infinite do-loop of cause-and-effect because they can’t bring themselves to admit with their finite brains the idea of infinity. To them it has to be Harry Potter magic/fantasy. It’s not magic and it’s not fantasy. It’s right there in front of your face. Look into the night sky. Imagine the last star in the known universe. Ask yourself how much further out does the universe extend? Then look back and ask yourself what came before the Big Bang and how long was it that way? Put all your brain power into answering those two questions as long as you can. Then go inside and get some Excedrin. You’ll need it.

    Finally, if matter/energy and intelligence has always been, it follows that God is the greatest of all intelligences and is the ultimate “cause” that sets everything in creation in motion. We are lesser intelligences and someday we will learn why exactly we were placed here.

    Non-creationists hang onto the groundless dogma that intelligence somehow evolved from some kind of chemical reaction. Again there is no logical or empirical foundation, only the rejection of the idea of infinity by their finite minds. Intelligence from inert matter is contrary to all our collective experience. Just like matter/energy cannot be made or destroyed, intelligence cannot be made or destroyed. The evidence is that the universe is teeming with intelligence, just as it is teeming with matter/energy. Consider the results of the Big Bang: the ultimate lego set – greatest lego set that will ever be. At the atomic level all throughout the universe we have three elegantly uniform, perfectly homogenous, beautifully interchangeable legos: protons, neutrons and electrons. There are additional legos, but those are the big three and they comprise the entire periodic table and all physical matter. Non-creationists seem to take the uniformity of these logos for granted but it should totally blow their socks off. It sure blows my socks off. If it were random, matter should be, especially after an explosion the magnitude of the Big Bang, something nondescript without any particular properties. It makes no sense for everything to be so orderly. It’s even more mind boggling when we learn that all three legos are made just one master lego – a string. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s how I understand string theory.

    Everything I have just written is logical and reasonable. It shouldn’t be surprising. In fact there is only one supreme surprise in the universe (and beyond), and that is that we exist at all! If we think about it with our finite minds (i.e. the only minds we have!), there should be nothing. Given the law of cause and effect, it makes no sense that we exist. From a finite mentality such as ours, there should be nothing, because there can be no initial cause. And we all know you can’t get something from nothing. THEREFORE, if there was ever a time when there was nothing, there would still be nothing. The fact we exist at all is the greatest surprise of all. (The Big Bang is not an exception to these facts. The universe may have expanded out of an infinitesimally small point, but there was definitely something there and it was definitely caused by something).

    Therefore, no one should be very surprised that there is a God. The idea that there is a supreme intelligence, greater than our own, is certainly no more surprising than the idea that we exist. It is less surprising. It’s not much different than noting the size of the earth and surmising there may be larger planets elsewhere.

    God is intelligence and therefore has always existed. God did not create matter or energy or intelligence. All three of those have always been. Studying the beginning of the universe is simply studying what God did to organize the matter and energy and intelligence.

    If you’re going to argue with me, you have to give a more logical explanation of (1) how you can get something from nothing, (2) how you suspend the law of cause and effect, (3) how a chemical reaction can give rise to intelligence where there was none. Your argument is that you can’t have God because you can’t something that was not created. My argument is that you can have God and in fact it is the only logical conclusion. There must be God. To argue against that conclusion is to believe in Harry Potter magic, something from nothing and effects without a cause.

    If your argument is that it’s just as easy to believe that matter and energy existed always and accidentally formed a universal lego set and burped out intelligent matter in the form of an amoeba that went on to accidentally get a photoreceptor cell, well, to me it’s too far fetched to be believed, except in Harry Potter land.

    It makes much more sense to believe the obvious – that someone infinitely intelligent guided the artistry that is the eye.

    • Ronald says:

      I’m not a youngster anymore and the riddle of life intrigued me for the last 40 years or so. I’ve read/studied theory after theory and tried to make a synthesis out of all the ‘facts’ I gathered during my quest for the truth. The one mistake I didn’t make (at least not for any significant length of time) was the very thing I see people do over and over again: committing to one theory which they then call the ‘most probable one’. Be it creationism or evolution theory, or any other scientific or religious one, it’s an almost universal ‘sin’ to rather take a stand for a conviction than to kinda leave the question open. To me there is more to life than meets the eye (96% of the universe is missing, according to science, which labels the missing part dark matter and dark energy and also quantum physics seem to point out that life is bigger – or smaller – than we can imagine/understand), but this doesn’t bother me much – in fact, it makes it easier to live the mystery of life, to feel (a)live and don’t get stuck in the limited time/space reality the ‘mind’ poses on me. I experience the connection between my feelings/emotions and my health and see it clearly in others too. I’ve witnessed (actually even ‘induced’) nothing less than miraculous healing in myself and others (which the medical society tried to reduce to miss-diagnosis or extreme luck). In short, I don’t try to force life into the small box of my mind, but rather go along with it. Somehow I feel like I am the movie of life, as well as the actors in it… Hope this makes some sense to some of you people ‘out there’ 🙂

      • Roger says:

        Ronald, you definitely take the evolutionary view: “96% of the universe is missing” defying all that you have said. Science likes to boast on what it knows and every day they change their mind; they have no absolutes including the speed of light or the size of the universe.

        • Oh Roger lol you miss the most basic point of science.
          “Science likes to boast on what it knows and every day they change their mind; they have no absolutes including the speed of light or the size of the universe.”
          Science is not some grandiose Rolodex of “the Answer”.
          It is a method to learn about ourselves and our universe. It is process of logically and systematically learning the truth about the natural world. not a dogmatic information book. That’s what makes science great! If it didn’t improve our knowledge over time it would be dogma and a belief system.

  17. Roger says:

    Acer I thank God for people like you because I do not have your talent and I know that you are correct – we are here by design, not by accident and are fearfully and wonderfully made.

  18. Roger says:

    I would like to ask all evolutionists one question: If the dinosaur dies out 65.5 million years ago and man came into existence between 6 and 2 million years ago, what was the model for the dinosaur drawings found on cave walls?

    Job 40:15 “Look now at the behemoth,which I made along with you; he eats grass like an ox.
    16 See now, his strength is in his hips, and his power is in his stomach muscles.
    17 He moves his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit.
    18 His bones are like beams of bronze, his ribs like bars of iron.
    19 He is the first of the ways of God; only He who made him can bring near His sword.
    20 Surely the mountains yield food for him, and all the beasts of the field play there.
    21 He lies under the lotus trees, in a covert of reeds and marsh.
    22 The lotus trees cover him with their shade; the willows by the brook surround him.
    23 Indeed the river may rage, yet he is not disturbed; he is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth,
    24 Though he takes it in his eyes, or one pierces his nose with a snare.”

    Leviathan: Job 41:1“Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?
    2 Can you put a reed through his nose, or pierce his jaw with a hook?…
    7 Can you fill his skin with harpoons, or his head with fishing spears?…
    12 “I will not conceal his limbs, his mighty power, or his graceful proportions.
    13 Who can remove his outer coat? Who can approach him with a double bridle?
    14 Who can open the doors of his face, with his terrible teeth all around?
    15 His rows of scales are his pride, shut up tightly as with a seal;
    16 One is so near another that no air can come between them;
    17 They are joined one to another, they stick together and cannot be parted.
    18 His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.
    19 Out of his mouth go burning lights; sparks of fire shoot out.
    20 Smoke goes out of his nostrils, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
    21 His breath kindles coals, and a flame goes out of his mouth.
    22 Strength dwells in his neck, and sorrow dances before him.
    23 The folds of his flesh are joined together; they are firm on him and cannot be moved.
    24 His heart is as hard as stone, even as hard as the lower millstone.
    25 When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid; because of his crashings they are beside themselves.
    26 Though the sword reaches him, it cannot avail; nor does spear, dart, or javelin.
    27 He regards iron as straw, and bronze as rotten wood.
    28 The arrow cannot make him flee; slingstones become like stubble to him.
    29Darts are regarded as straw; he laughs at the threat of javelins.
    30 His undersides are like sharp potsherds; he spreads pointed marks in the mire.
    31 He makes the deep boil like a pot; he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
    32 He leaves a shining wake behind him; one would think the deep had white hair.

    • Vere Nekoninda says:

      Roger, you asked how “evolutionists” explain “the dinosaur drawings found on cave walls?”, and you provided a link to a Google image search. Looking at those images, the majority are fake. Or, more accurately, some are fakes, created with the intent to mislead, but many are the product of people having fun, using computer graphics programs to make new images based on photographs of cave paintings.

      If you believe that these manipulated images represent evidence of dinosaurs and man living at the same time and place, I wonder if you give the same credence to the other cave painting images that show up in your search. For example, the cave painting that shows ancient humans and ancient animals, in combination with a laptop computer. Or with Hello Kitty. Or with an SUV. Or with Woody and Buzz Lightyear.

      So to answer your question, Roger, I think that most of the pictures that show up in your Google search are manipulated or are original creations of modern, computer-using humans. Some are images that may be real, but don’t look like dinosaurs to me. Some of them don’t look like anything to me. It’s hard to have a meaningful discussion on the content of cave paintings, until we can look at specific paintings, and verify that the images found on the Internet actually exist.

      • Roger says:

        All it takes is one drawing to prove that evolution is a lie and it exists. It is like the scales from a dinosaur turning into feathers, circular reference is the only data that you have and that is assumed with no facts. What I have presented is fact.

        http://www.genesispark.com/exhibits/evidence/historical/ancient/dinosaur/

        • Vere Nekoninda says:

          I disagree, Roger, that “All it takes is one drawing to prove that evolution is a lie”. The way science works is that no one piece of evidence is given more credence than it is due. Every bit of evidence must be checked, correlated with others, rechecked, considered, and eventually, explained as part of a coherent picture with many, many other observations and data elements. And everything is reevaluated all the time, as new data comes in.

          Moving to your second sentence above, you say that there are “no facts” concerning the transition from scales to feathers. Incorrect. There are many facts, in the form of fossils. Fossils are much more convincing than drawings, because they are produced from real objects, rather than via the hand and imagination of a man or woman. If you are ready to accept a cave drawing as evidence, then you should be thousands of times more ready to accept a fossil. Are you ready to say, “All it takes is one fossil to prove that evolution is true?” My guess is “no”, but in any case, we have lots of fascinating fossils that show lots of amazing things about evolution.

          And now to your last sentence, where you say, “What I have presented is fact.” Once again, you have lower standards for facts that I do. Last time, you offered a Google image search, that included cave paintings with laptops, SUVs, and my personal favorite, prehistoric Hello, Kitty. This time, you offer a Genesis Park page, which contains perhaps a hundred images. The very first one, supposedly from Neaderthal man and Bernifal Cave, shows what the page claims is “a picture of a dinosaur fighting a mammoth”. The putative dinosaur has legs so short that they couldn’t reach the ground. The “mammoth” looks more like a character out of a Ghost Buster’s movie, to me. No facts or proof out of that photo, to my eye.

          The next photo is supposed to come from 600 BC, and it doesn’t look like a dinosaur, either. Very artistic, however. I like it. I hadn’t before heard anyone claim that dinosaurs were still around as recently as 600 BC. Nor is this a naïve cave painting. It’s a ceramic multi-piece work, created for the King. Next, the webpage skips to around 1000 AD, and from there into the 1700s. So very quickly, we have left ancient times, although the page drifts back to older works later.

          Much of the page centers around the assertion that images of dragons must be pictures of dinosaurs, because, gosh, they look kind of similar to some people. Not to me, but I don’t count for much. I have a couple of problems with dragon = dinosaur thesis. One is that the dinosaurs offered by the site frequently didn’t live in the location of the artist that is supposed to be drawing them from life. Secondly, in the place and time that the dinosaurs chosen for the site lived, there were also hundreds, probably thousands of other dinosaurs, and other ancient plants and animals, all living in the same areas. Why did the ancient artists ignore all those other species, and leave us no artistic record of them?

          The authors of the text on this site are ready to accept very flimsy evidence as proof. One might think that it would be easy for them to accept the much better, more abundant, and more consistent evidence for evolution that science offers. If it’s really about evidence, then the better evidence ought to sway the person who thinks, right? But it really isn’t about the careful analysis of facts and evidence, is it?

          • Roger says:

            Does it take more than one tree to prove that it’s a tree. There is no lower standard for facts than circular reference.

            It is like saying that it is possible to take a telescope and say that you can see back in history. The problem with this is that the speed of light does not change and to be able to see the “so called” big bang, the telescope would have to be able to see a speck 7.9186896E+22 miles away. Magnification does not take you back in time, it simply magnifies what is visible. If the big bank had taken place, the span of time would eliminate the possibility of it being visible.

          • @ roger?
            So you find it an implausible answer that a paleolithic human can invent and draw an animal that somehow looks like a dinosaurs current rendering to us, and yet our impression of it plays no role in how we interpretative it. Even though our “pictures” of dinosaurs are completely fabricated art based on evidence. So not only is all of geology, cosmology, physics, and biology wrong. But paleontology is super kick ass since they managed to make artists renderings that just happen to remind us of what a paleolithic human was looking at.
            I suppose you think that a godzilla movie poster 10k in the future will be proof that giant radioactive lizard actually terrorized tokyo.

          • Roger says:

            I find evolution as implausible to me as a Creator is to you. The difference is that I have the documentation and you don’t.

          • No roger it sheds no light on my belief structure. It is only your narrow paradigm that requires atheism to accept the fact of evolution. It is sad that you cannot accept the fact that there is more than one belief about a creator, and your belief system makes you fearful and divisive. In attempt to reconcile the rigidity of your belief system with reality.

          • Roger says:

            Stephen Propatier, you attack the authority of scripture; enough said.

          • Vere Nekoninda says:

            Roger, we are dealing with different kinds of documentation. You have the Bible, which says it is God’s word. Those who believe in science have millions of observations, collected by millions of people, and reviewed and tested by millions of additional people, who challenge each other, and slowly assemble a coherent picture of what all the evidence can mean. That picture then undergoes further challenge, and unending modification and correction. The changes get smaller, and the refinements more well-documented, but there are still exciting surprises to be discovered.

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is that the Bible is considered by many to be unchanging. It is God’s word, because it says it is God’s word. No further documentation is needed or provided. Unless we count the generations of people saying, “Yup, that’s God’s word.” That is sufficient for believers. In a recent post, you criticized “circular reasoning”. Belief in the Bible seems like an example to me, while you somehow see science as an example.

            You accept many conclusions of science, such as science’s current conception of the appearance of the dinosaurs, when it is convenient for comparison to cave paintings. But you don’t accept most of the discoveries and analysis that led to our understanding of dinosaurs. This seems inconsistent and illogical to me.

          • Roger says:

            The Creator who gave us the Bible is infallible and unchangeable.

            Science is a product of men and is fallible; simply put, men don’t know what they are doing or they would not be changing the information minute-by-minute. They try to put an age on something by its’ location in the dirt and they don’t know how old the dirt is – Mt St. Helen proved that, it only took a few years to create fossils that science consider millions of years old – circular reference.

          • Vere Nekoninda says:

            Roger, we seem to agree that humans are fallible. But from there, we diverge. There is little from the Bible on the webpage that you linked. The Bible doesn’t speak of dinosaurs or cave paintings. Those are all interpretations, made by humans. Do you not see all those interpretations as fallible?

            You are wrong about many things that you write, relating to science. Not surprising, because you have not studied science. I have not studied your religion very much, and no doubt I am wrong about many aspects of it. As an example of a science fallacy that you present, scientists have no problem dating the strata at Mt. St. Helens. They would not be misled by the age of things found there. Scientists do not say that all fossils are millions of years old. Some are, some are older, some are much younger. We can tell the difference.

            Humans don’t know everything, but we know many things. You find the evolving nature of scientific knowledge to be proof of its fallibility. I see it as science’s greatest strength. Our understanding improves all the time. Our collective knowledge grows and expands, “minute by minute”, if you wish to call it that. But the old is not tossed out, and the new is not a random collection of contradictory facts. Each new theory must explain all of the old, as well as the new, and better than the previous theory.

            You use a computer. It’s probably fairly inexpensive. It can do things that were impossible for any computer forty years ago, even the most expensive. Next year, computers will be more powerful still. This is the same for all scientific knowledge. The same scientific process that gives us ever better computers, telephones, and automobiles, as well as medical care, and everything else in modern life, is what tells us about biology, evolution, and the history of the planet and universe.

            I find it somewhat curious that people embrace almost all fruits of science, but then deny that science has any validity in one corner or another of its scope. But, as you say, and I agree, humans are fallible.

          • Roger says:

            Vere Nekoninda, you are typical of those who try to make their selves believe what they are professing – they write a lot and attempt to indoctrinate others; you are wasting your time on me. You see I have a Father who sent His Son to give us everlasting life and the history of the Earth that is found in His Word states that it was created in six days approximately six thousand years ago. Science is silly and for children and I stopped playing with toys many years ago.

  19. Roger says:

    27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;

  20. John Love says:

    “That looks like dinosaur to us”

    Of course, they drew a lion. Only we think it is a dinosaur.

  21. Roger says:

    Hey, you must have been there to have that kind of information.

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