10. Sight and Sound: A Daunting Task for Evolution
The URL for my book is www.Evo-illusion.com.
The above video is about my book Evo-illusion, now available at Amazon. The page begins below.
Click on the lower left arrow to see how evolutionists think eyes evolved. Notice how the optic nerve, the immensely complex visual code, and visual cortex are ignored as part of the evolutionary sequence. They are just there in the video, but not even mentioned.
Evo-illusionists always talk about the origins of vision and sound from “this side,” from the side where both already exist. It’s easy to make up stories about something that already exists. But what about looking at vision and hearing from the “other side,” from the side where there was no vision or hearing. To clarify what I’m talking about, here is a good thought experiment: Imagine that you and the one hundred smartest people who ever lived, of your choice, are grouped on the early Earth before any life existed. Pick anyone you want for your group: Einstein, Hawking, Stephen Lyndon (tic), Newton, Da Vinci. Imagine that you have your entire physical bodies, just like they are now, with one caveat. You and the whole group of one hundred geniuses have no vision or hearing. You are totally blind and deaf. In fact, you don’t even have the “dark screen” that you have now when you close your eyes. Imagine trying to see with your big toe with your sock and shoe on, and hear with your little toe . You and your group have absolutely no concept of what sight and sound are. Every twelve hours or so, the sun comes up and warms your bodies. You can feel the heat from the electromagnetic waves it gives off, but of course, no one in the group has any idea what the source of the warmth is. Then about twelve hours later, for some reason, it cools off. Once in a while, a boulder falls. You can feel the sound waves that tickle the hairs on your skin. Would your group, or anyone in it, get the idea that if you made a certain type of equipment, like a retina, optic nerve, visual cortex, and complex code, and if you somehow could train your brains to perceive light, color, and visual images, you would be able to see? Would the term “see” have any meaning at all? Could anyone in the group even imagine what vision was? Would your group, or anyone in it, get the idea that if you made a certain type of equipment, like an ear, eardrum, auditory nerve, auditory cortex in your brains, and if you trained your brains to perceive sound, you would be able to hear? Would the terms hear or sound have any meaning at all? Could anyone in the group even imagine what sound was? The answer is pretty plain. Your group would be blind and deaf forever. You and your group, most likely, would never figure out what the sun or the moon even was or that they existed or that you lived on a giant ball, which makes non-occurring miraculous mutations and supernatural selection brilliant beyond imagination if it actually did the inventing and assembly necessary to bring vision and hearing into existence. Is it that intelligent? Is it more intelligent than you and the hundred smartest people who ever lived?
For the sake of simplicity in this discussion, I am going to break down the visual system into just four major parts: the eyeballs with retina, the visual code, the optic nerve, and the visual cortex. These four items are minimal requirements for vision, no matter how simple, no matter what species. What I am going to discuss here will be dismissed by evo-illusionists as “irreducible complexity”. So I ask the reader to think openly, and don’t read this with any preconceived notions. Just look at the challenge and go from there with your own objective thinking. The question I have for evo-illusionists is, which evolved first: the retina (eyeball), the optic nerve, the visual cortex, or the code. Since all of these are interdependent, they would have had to show up at the same time. Not one of the four items could have preceded the others, as they would be useless. It is unimaginable to think of a different use that could be assigned to each part individually, and how each could individually give the carrier an advantage. If any one to three of these items were partially evolved without the fourth, vision would be zero percent. There would be no possible advantage, and evolution could not continue as described by evo-illusionists. Below are three scenarios: missing eyes, missing visual cortex, and missing optic nerve, all of which would make the visual system useless. And, of course, the missing code would be equally debilitating.
To get a real idea of how impossible it would be for evolution to have formed eyes and sight, it is necessary to look at what light and color really are. During its first 4+ billion years, the planet earth was completely devoid of light and color. It wasn’t even black; it was completely and profoundly dark. No animal had any idea whatsoever what light and color were because virtually 100% of all animals had no eyes or visual system of any kind. Certain early protozoans carried opsins, a group of light-sensitive proteins found in photoreceptor cells of the human retina. However no species existed with a visual cortex that would provide a field of vision. Further, the sun does not give off light at all.
Click on the lower left arrow to see my video response to eye evolution videos.
The sun produces electromagnetic waves of certain specific wave lengths in the form of photons. These waves either directly or, after bouncing off of objects, enter our eyes through the cornea, lens, and iris. When they reach the retina (which is composed of 130,000,000 sensor cells connected to 1,200,000 neurons which then make up the optic nerve) in the back of the eye, incredibly complex electro-chemical codes are formed. These electro-chemical codes are transported to the thalamus of the brain via the optic nerve. The thalamus then relays the electrochemical codes to the visual cortex. The visual cortex then interprets the signals and converts the signals into light, color, and visual images. Light, color, and visual images do not exist at all outside of a receptive brain. In fact they don’t exist at all inside of our visual cortex. Our visual images are pure perception. Tehy don’t exist in reality. The brain “manufactures” the light that we see, as well as the odors that we smell, sound we hear, taste, and texture. Without a brain’s visual cortex to interpret the signals it gets from the retina, the electromagnetic waves from the sun would only be useful in warming and energizing the planet earth, and for no other reason. How would evolution “know” that if it evolved this incredibly complex vision system, light, color, and incredible images would be at the finish line? This doesn’t even qualify in the unimaginable range.
Ev-illusionists like to point out that eyes don’t fossilize well, and that is the reason that we don’t see the evolution of eyes in the fossil record. Take a look at the these fish fossils. Do you think eyes don’t fossilize? The early “indentations” that supposedly form the first eyeballs should be obvious in the skeletons or exoskeletons of many fossils. We should see single species that go from no eyes to eyes over a period of several hundred thousand years, because, according to ev-illusionists, that is how long it took eyes to evolve. Interestingly, they also talk about the “eye” evolving rather than a complex visual system evolving, because it is easier to sell eyes evolution than the idea that a whole system is required for vision. They always forget the visual cortex, the code, the optic nerve, et al; the list is actually enormous.
A requirement of three dimensional vision is two eyes. Only one eye would provide flat vision. Before there were eyes and vision, evolution could not have known that there was such thing as depth perception, or “3D”. Evolution provided one mouth, and one nose with two nostrils that are connected to one trachea. Why didn’t one eye in the center of the forehead evolve first, or evolve in at least some species? How did evolution “know” that two eyes were required for 3D vision, or that there was 3D vision in the first place? Was 3D vision just a lucky byproduct of two eye evolution? If you answer that animals needed a second eye so they could see right to left for protection and hunting, why wasn’t an eye or two evolved on the back of the head where species are most vulnerable? Ev-illusionists say the first sighted species could see only blurry shadows. If that is truly the case, would three dimensional vision be even possible? Would it be an advantage? Would changes in the DNA code occur and be “selected for” for two-eyed three dimensional vision when 3D was useless? We should see one eyed species.
Additionally, did one species evolve eyes, or did it happen in a narrow time frame about 500 million years ago in thousands or millions of species? The answer has to be thousands or millions of species at the same time. If only one species evolved a visual system, vision could not have been spread to the 99% of multicellular animal species that have eyes today, because they could only mate with their own kind. If only one species evolved vision, few animal species today would have eyes. Ev-illusionists say eyes evolved in 40 different species. And that those 40 species then spread eyes to the 99% of animal species that have eyes today. The odds against that happening would even be one in all of the atomic particles in the universe.
To get an idea of what I am talking about, try visualizing a scenario today where only one species on earth had vision. All other species were completely blind, with not even a dent where the eye-sockets should be. How many species would have eyes in 10million years? Pretend the species was an elephant; or a fish. How could this one species spread vision to all of the other species on earth? Since species can only procreate with their own species, eyes could not spread to all of the other species in existence. For evolution to be valid, all other species would have to die out, leaving the one sighted species. It would then become the common ancestor to all species that exist 10 million years from now.
The odds that eyes could evolve at all in a single species would astronomically low. For each additional species that evolved eyes, you would multiply the odds against for each new individual species. If you generously assign the odds for one individual species evolving eyes at 1:1,000, the odds of two species evolving similarly designed eyes through tens of millions of mutations and hundreds of thousands of “selections” at the same time is 1:1,000,000. The odds for three species at the same time is 1:1,000,000,000. Need I go on? The odds for 40 species would be a 1 to a 1 with 120 zeroes after it; far more than all of the atomic particles in the universe. Now throw in the odds of hearts evolving in multiple species, then hearing systems, then liver, pancreas, stomach, etc. and you have another impossibility of evolution. I don’t care how much an evolutionist might try to tweak these odds biochemically or biologically, the chance that evolution produced all of these biological systems approaches zero.In fact it is zero.
The eye is made up of a dozen or so major parts. According to evolution scientists, these evolved in 100,000 to 400,000 micro-steps, again, formed by tens of millions of mutations, a small percentage of which were “selected”. Another right-cross to evolution is how these steps are divided and related to the different eye parts. Did the two lenses evolve with one mutational step, or did many coordinated mutations along with natural selection form the two lenses? Did three hundred mutations form the irises and their controllers or just one? What about the 130,000,000 retinal cells and their attached nerve cells; did one mutation create all of the cells, or did a huge number of coordinated mutations form a million or so retinal cells with each step? How did a later mutation know what an earlier one did?Imagine the accounting that would have been necessary to construct a visual system.It is easy to see that none of these scenarios is possible. Eyes could not have evolved the way modern Darwinism says they did.
Ev-illusionists like to demonstrate how an eye could evolve. They usually use some sort of model of a single eye, ignoring that there are two, and put the pieces together like a Lego toy. Or they use some kind of video diagrams like the one above. However, evolving an eye is not even a thousandth of a step towards the evolution of a full and complex visual system. To give you an idea of how complex vision really is, here is how a visual system works: (Feel free to read this section, or if you get bored, skip past the blue section.)
When light first strikes the retina a photon interacts with a molecule called 11-cis-retinal, which morphs within picoseconds to trans-retinal. (A picosecond is about the time it take light to travel the breadth of a human hair). The change in shape of the retinal molecule forces a change in the shape of the protein, rhodopsin, which is tightly bound to the retinal. The change of rhodopsin alters its behavior. Now called metarhodopsin II, the protein sticks to another protein, called transducin. Before bumping into metarhodopsin II, transducin was tightly bound to a molecule called Guanosine diphosphate (GDP). But when transducin interacts withwith metarhodopsin II, the GDP falls off, and a molecule called Guanosine-5′-triphosphate (GTP) binds to transducin. (GTP is rlated to but critically different from GDP). Biologically GDP is converted into GTP with the help of pyruvate kinase and phosphoenolpyruvate GTP-transducin-metarhodopsin II now binds to a protein called phosphodiesterase, located in the inner membrane of the cell. When attached to metarhodospin II and its entourage the phosphodiesterase acquires the chemical ability to ‘cut’ a molecule called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Initially there are a lot of cGMP molecules in the cell, but the phosphodiesterase lowers its concentration, just as a pulled plug lowers the water level in a sink.
Another membrane protein that binds with cGMP acts as an “ion channel” which regulates the flow of ions across the membrane wall in all cells. It is an called an integral membrane protein; or, more typically, an assembly of several proteins. It acts as a gateway that regulates the number of sodium ions in the cell. Normally the ion channel allows sodium ions to flow into the cell, while a separate protein actively pumps them out again. The dual action of the ion channel and pump keeps the level of sodium in the cell within a narrow range. When the amount of cGMP is reduced because of cleavage by the phosphodiesteraterase the ion channel closes causing the cellular concentration of positively charged sodium ions to be reduced. This causes an imbalance of charge across the cell membrane that, finally, causes a current with an incredibly complex code, one that no human has ever been able to figure out, to be transmitted through the optic nerve to the thalamus of the brain. The thalamus then relays the code to the visual cortex. The result, when the code is interpreted by the visual cortex of the brain, is vision.
There is another whole process that keeps the supply of 11-cis-retinal from being depleated. I won’t go into that but it is just as complicated. Try to imagine this series of biochemical reactions evolving. As you can see, the daunting task for evolution is not just making an eye, as the above video tries to intimate. Evolving the optic nerve with its 130,000 million connections, and the visual cortex still doesn’t do the trick. The above chemical cycle must be evolved also, and to somehow credit random mutations and natural selection for putting this system together is unthinkable.
Click on the lower left arrow.
If you can watch this video and tell me natural selection and random mutations are the inventor, designer, and assembler of the vertebrate audio system, well, you are truly gullible. All of the same problems that arise when discussing the evolution of the eye are true for our hearing systems. The earth before 500 million years ago was totally, and profoundly silent. There was no sound at all, since there is also no sound outside of the brain of a listener/observer. A boulder falling off of a cliff makes waves in the air or water, not sound. The waves vibrate a receptor’s (observer’s) eardrums, which creates an incredibly complex code that the auditory nerve sends to the brain. The brain decodes the signal and manufactures the sound. The boulder only creates air waves. Sound does not exist outside of the brain of a capable receiver. In fact it doesn’t exist inside the brain. There actually is no sound along the entire pathway from the air wave source to the auditory cortex. Sound is pure perception, and doesn’t exist in reality.
The problem evolution has trying to account for hearing is really millions of times more difficult and unimaginable than it is for vision. Why? Light exists at all times, even at night. It’s at least somewhat imaginable that light could cause the evolution of vision, even though in reality that is not possible. Even to fairly deep depths underwater light exists for at least a half of a day. But if hearing evolved in underwater species, there was virtually no noise 99.9 of the time. The seas are very quiet under their surfaces. Sound isn’t like light. Of course there are always low levels of noise, but perceptible sounds exists only in very rare spurts. Were the incredibly infrequent occasions when there were perceptible underwater “sound” waves enough to stimulate the evolution of an entire auditory system? Even land animals live in a world where the incidences of sound are a rarity. Vocal cords and other noise-making animal apparatus could not have evolved before hearing. Can you imagine a ferocious prehistoric animal giving out a huge roar or growl at a time when there was no hearing? Can you imagine a blood curdling soundless roar? What could be more humorous. Vocal chords had to evolve after hearing. And hearing had to evolve when the waves in the air that create sound in our auditory systems were an extreme rarity. Could rare and short bursts of waves in the air be enough stimulation to cause the invention and progression of complex auditory systems? I rather doubt it. What percentage of those rare sounds were involved with survival of any organism? The noise from a falling tree or the rustling of brush would have nothing to do with advantage and survival of any animal. If anything, auditory systems should be a rarity in animal species. Since the comparative difference in the occurrence of light and sound is enormous, the degree of evolution of each should be reflected. There should be a huge percentage of incompletely evolved auditory systems, since vital sound important for the survival of an organism is present far less than .01% of the time that light is present. But, again evolution fails to display the proof it needs. Auditory systems and visual systems are pretty equally developed in all animals.
It’s not as if there was light and sound all over the early earth environment, and animals needed only to evolve systems to see and hear, much like we plug speakers into a stereo system or use binoculars. The earth before 500 million years ago was profoundly quiet and dark, and the knowledge that evolution would require to “realize” that electromagnetic and water or air waves could be utilized to make color, light and sound is unthinkable.
If you have trouble with this concept, try thinking of the old adage: “If a tree falls in the woods and there is no person to observe the fall, would the tree make a sound?” If there is no observer with equipment, there cannot be sound, or light, since both are manufactured by an observer’s brain. There can only be air waves, and electromagnetic radiation. The answer to the “forest” question is: there is absolutely no sound. Ev-illusionists have a difficult time with this concept. To go from light sensitive cells to a full color visual system when none existed on the earth previously would be impossible without direction, to say the least. So the concept kills their belief system, and they are not going to allow “no noise and no light”. They will argue to the death. There is a great example of this in my debate with University of Minnesota connected biologists on page 26C, #139 to the end. It’s rather telling. Also, give a thought to the time the sound of the falling tree was present versus the light coming from the tree. The ratio would be millions for the light to one for the sound.
There is an excellent book written on this subject called “The Symbiotic Universe” (Quill, NY) by George Greenstein, an astronomer, and firm believer in evolution. I really like his thoughts on why we are here, but not his conclusion that there is no intelligence in the universe. He states that the universe “knows” that conscious observers are required for its existence, however there is no intelligence in the formation of those conscious observers. His book reeks of intelligence in the universe, but his conclusion is that there is none. The book is an excellent read, however.