Science

Evolution of the eye

This is a great video that’s going around the internet. It’s from the the NSCE and Expelled Exposed. Enjoy!

 


writerdd

Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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9 Comments

  1. Great video. My only complaint is that it gives the impression that eye evolution was teleological. I can just imagine an IDiot having a field day with that. They might have also mentioned the obvious flaws in the eye that are evidence against its apparent “design.”

    …They could have mentioned an “invagination” of the photosensitive cells, too. Would have been worth a titter.

  2. I think that it would also be nice to explain how small changes take place affecting development. A basic explanation of how embryology, or the growth of an organism from a single cell to a large multi-cellular organism, involves many steps that can be tweaked along the way. These changes are the fountain from whence evolution flows, but it is not the same as the notion of “recapitulation.”

    I remember once being accused of spouting the notion of recapitulation (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recapitulation_theory) when explaining a birth defect to a family. I was so shocked at the source of the criticism that I was reduced to an ad hominem: “Ah, yes, I forgot. You are from Kansas.” I am ashamed to say it, but that was the first retort that came to mind.

  3. This video is simple and effective, and it passes my “mother-in-law” test. Adding more complex information would make it worthless in communicating with the intended audience, because they would not understand it. No, I’m not saying they’re dumb. But they don’t have the necessary background to understand the more complex discussions. This is a grade school level video, and that’s just what’s needed since most people lack even a basic understanding of evolution.

  4. Writerdd:

    I agree, completely. However, the ExpelledExposed website exists to combat IDeology and the corruption those who are in danger of being misguided by the movie. Therefore, it should go a little beyond a simple grade-school explanation of eye evolution and at least touch upon some issues that ID proponents will raise.

  5. Very nice, very straight forward. I think a common misconception for proponents of ID is that the eye is both complex and perfect in design. Yes the eye is quite complex, but it is not perfect. The human eye is upside down.

    The video also shows how transitional stages of the eye happen and can be helpful. A common argument of IDers is that transitional stages (like half a wing, or a foot with no toes) don’t help an organism survive, and therefore the organism will not survive long enough to evolve further.

    This is not the case with an eye. An eye that can simply sense light is still more useful than no sight at all. Seeing in black and white is better yet. Blurry color vision is helpful as well. But an IDer often stops before thinking this far, as it conflicts with his or her view of how things came to be.

  6. I can see the following ID response:
    “They know how the featus develops the eye? How? Because science leads people to cutting up babies! Evil science! God would never let a baby die!”

  7. Neurotrumpet: “My only complaint is that it gives the impression that eye evolution was teleological.”

    I didn’t see that it does, really.

    What the video does say is “advantage that could be selected for,” but since IDists possess an enormous capacity to twist whatever is said into something that appears to support their ideas, I’m not certain what could be said to be rendered bulletproof to prying creationist fingers.

    Um. Metaphor mixed, up there, but you get the idea.

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