Charles Darwin human eye | Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution by natural selection

Charles Darwin human eye

Is the human eye irreducibly complex?

512px-Eyesection.svgBehold, the human eye.

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.”

Stages_in_the_evolution_of_the_eye 20130818-121421.jpg 20130818-120203.jpg 20130818-114508.jpg

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