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Sophisticated eyes from over 500 million years ago


In a group of arthropods called radiodonts:

The many species share a similar body layout comprising of a head with a pair of large, segmented appendages for capturing prey, a circular mouth with serrated teeth, and a squid-like body. It now seems likely that some lived at depths down to 1000 metres and had developed large, complex eyes to compensate for the lack of light in this extreme environment.

“When complex visual systems arose, animals could better sense their surroundings,” Professor Paterson explained. “That may have fuelled an evolutionary arms race between predators and prey. Once established, vision became a driving force in evolution and helped shape the biodiversity and ecological interactions we see today.” …

“The predator has the eyes attached to the head on stalks but the filter feeder has them at the surface of the head. The more we learn about these animals the more diverse their body plan and ecology is turning out to be,” Dr Edgecombe said.

“The new samples also show how the eyes changed as the animal grew. The lenses formed at the margin of the eyes, growing bigger and increasing in numbers in large specimens — just as in many living arthropods. The way compound eyes grow has been consistent for more than 500 million years.”

University of Adelaide, “Incredible vision in ancient marine creatures drove an evolutionary arms race” at ScienceDaily

Paper. (open access)

Okay, but wait. Just because it would benefit a life form to have sophisticated eyes does not mean that it can just start growing them. That’s where Darwinism begins to shade into magic. There’s a missing factor here: How, exactly, were the prey life forms enabled to participate in the complex business of producing vision in response to the predator’s vision?

By the way, if arthropod eyes grow in a way that has been “consistent” for 500 million years, that’s an example of stasis.

See also: Stasis: Life goes on but evolution does not happen

Nature doesn't do Github. Nature doesn't force constant updates of genes via cosmic rays. Nature provides stable mechanisms that allow each organism to adapt on its own. Negative feedback. Cave fish don't re-evolve vestigial eyes in a few generations to adapt to darkness. They lose their eyes because the MECHANISM for losing eyes is a stable and always available part of the fish genome. That's why Nature works. Humans who accept Github-scale updates CAN'T get any work done. That's the PURPOSE of the Github mode, to prevent people from using our own stable mechanisms to adapt and survive. Orwell told us about Github with Room 101. Earlier thinkers also saw how it worked to destroy civilization...... From 1886: https://books.google.com/books?id=5EpGAQAAMAAJ "There is another class, who are led on by a wild passion for the destruction of the old and the creation of something new. They need restless activity: their present condition seems the worst possible. The French revolution shows such types." polistra

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