A recent post by a “scientist who is a Christian” highlights the Muller cells in the human eye, often identified as an instance of poor design. What is meant by “poor design” is no design, of course, but rather the accidental meanderings of evolution. In reality:
To understand what he is saying, look at the illustration above. When light hits the surface of the eye’s retina, it has to travel through layers of cells that essentially connect the retina to the rest of the nervous system. Only then can it reach the light-sensitive cells, called rods and cones, and be converted into a signal that can be sent to the brain. This, of course, seems backwards to most evolutionists. According to them, if the retina were designed intelligently, the rods and cones would be at the retinal surface so they are the first thing the light hits. That way, the connecting neurons could be placed behind the rods and cones so they don’t interfere with the light in any way.
Like most arguments inspired by evolution, the more we learned about the human retina, the less reasonable this argument became. Back in 2007, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA showed that light doesn’t have to travel through the connecting neurons to reach the rods and cones. Instead, as shown in the illustration above (which appeared on the cover of the journal), there are special cells, called Müller cells, that collect the light and guide it to the rods and cones.
Three years later (in 2010), an analysis published in Physical Review Letters concluded:
The retina is revealed as an optimal structure designed for improving the sharpness of images.
The authors of the analysis showed that the position of the rods and cones n the retina combined with the way the Müller cells guide the light to them make them much less sensitive to light that is scattered within the eye itself. More.
He also writes,
I blogged about this previously, pointing out that it is precisely what creationists predicted and quite opposite what evolutionists maintained. I am bringing it up now because further research has confirmed the creationist prediction in an even more stunning way!
Are there similar instances of true predictions of creationists or intelligent design advocates? They’d make for interesting reading.
Note: “Optimal” does not mean “perfect” because perfection is not possible in a finite, mortal world. It means the best organization of the materials available in a given ecology.
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