Evolution Intelligent Design stasis

Trilobites at 429 mya had eyes like bees

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In a rare find, it was possible to distinguish cellular structures in the eye:

Schoenemann and her co-author Euan Clarkson of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland published their analysis of the ancient eye on Thursday in Scientific Reports. Despite being 429 million years old, the trilobite has a modern-looking eye that resembles those of today’s bees and dragonflies. This type is called an apposition compound eye, meaning each lens acts independently to create a mosaic image of what a creature sees.

The detailed look at the trilobite’s eye helps track the evolution of eyes and vision in arthropods over time, says University of New England paleontologist John Paterson, who was not involved in the new study. “The take-home message appears to be that trilobites had developed apposition compound eyes during the earliest evolutionary stages of the group and stuck with this design throughout their history.” Riley Black, “Rare, cracked fossil shows the world through ancient eyes” at Scientific American

Paper. (open access)

Note that we are told that the find “helps track the evolution of eyes and vision in arthropods over time” but in this case, it appears that their wasn’t much evolution: They “developed apposition compound eyes during the earliest evolutionary stages of the group and stuck with this design throughout their history.” No matter the history, Darwin must be placated.

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

5 Replies to “Trilobites at 429 mya had eyes like bees

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    of note:

    On Darwin’s Birthday Big Fossil Find Deepens His Dilemma, says New York Times Bestselling Author of Darwin’s Doubt – Feb. 12, 2014
    Excerpt: “Even if one were to take the most generous evolutionary estimate for the length of the Cambrian explosion, it would not allow enough time for natural selection and random mutations to do the job.” All the animals are complex at their first appearance. The first trilobite is 100% trilobite, complete with jointed appendages, eyes, and internal organs. No “pre-trilobites” or “half-trilobites” are found. The same is true for all the other animals discovered there.

    The Optimal Trilobite Eye – per Dr. Don Johnson – Programming of Life page 68-66 and appendix F:

    Trilobites suddenly appeared in the Cambrian (lowest fossil-bearing) stratum with no record of ancestry. The trilobite eye is made of optically transparent calcium carbonate (calcite, the same mineral of its shell) with a precisely aligned optical axis that eliminates double images and two lenses affixed together to eliminate spherical aberrations [McC98, Gal00].

    Paleontologist Niles Eldredge observed, “These lenses–technically termed aspherical, aplanatic lenses–optimize both light collecting and image formation better than any lens ever conceived. We can be justifiably amazed that these trilobites, very early in the history of life on earth, hit upon the best possible lens that optical physics has ever been able to formulate” [Eld76]. Notice these lenses weren’t just good as, but were better than anything modern optical physicists have been able to conceive! ,,,

    “The design of the trilobite’s eye lens could well qualify for a patent disclosure” [Lev93p58].,,,

    The trilobite lens is particularly intriguing since the only other animal to use inorganic focusing material is man. The lens may be classified as a prosthetic device since it was non-biological, which also means the lens itself, with apparently no DNA inherent within, was not subject to Darwinian evolution. The manufacturing and controlling of the lenses were obviously biological processes, with an unknown number DNA-prescribed proteins (each with a prescriptive manufacturing program) for collecting and processing the raw materials to manufacture the precision lenses and create the refracting interface between the two lenses.

    The lenses do not decompose as any other animal’s lenses would, so they are subject to rigorous scientific investigation,,, Since no immediate precursors of trilobites have been found, Darwinists are without any evidence as to how an organism with an eye as complex as a trilobite could have arisen,,, especially in,, the lowest multi-cellular fossil-bearing stratum,,,

    Appendix F:

    “Trilobites had solved a very elegant physical problem and apparently knew about Fermat’s principle, Abbe’s sine law, Snell’s laws of refraction and the optics of birefringent crystals” [Cla75]

    “the rigid trilobite doublet lens had remarkable depth of field (near and far focusing) and minimal spherical aberration” [Gon07]

    Physicist Riccardo Levi-Setti observes:

    “In fact, this doublet is a device so typically associated with human invention that its discovery comes as something of a shock. The realization that trilobites developed and used such devices half a billion years ago makes the shock even greater. And a final discovery – that the refracting interface between the two elements in a trilobite’s eyes was designed in accordance with optical constructions worked out by Descartes and Huygens in the mid-seventeenth century – borders on sheer science fiction” [Lev93p57].

    “The trilobites already had a highly advanced visual system. In fact, so far as we can tell from the fossil record thus far discovered, trilobite sight was far and away the most advanced in Kingdom Animalia at the base of the Cambrian,,, There is no other known occurrence of calcite eyes in the fossil record” [FM-trib].

    Evolution vs. The Trilobite Eye – Andy McIntosh 25:40 minute mark – video

    Complex Arthropod Eyes Found in Early Cambrian – June 2011
    Excerpt: Complex eyes with modern optics from an unknown arthropod, more complex than trilobite eyes, have been discovered in early Cambrian strata from southern Australia.,,, Here we report exceptionally preserved fossil eyes from the Early Cambrian (~515 million years ago) Emu Bay Shale of South Australia, revealing that some of the earliest arthropods possessed highly advanced compound eyes, each with over 3,000 large ommatidial lenses and a specialized ‘bright zone’. These are the oldest non-biomineralized eyes known in such detail, with preservation quality exceeding that found in the Burgess Shale and Chengjiang deposits. Non-biomineralized eyes of similar complexity are otherwise unknown until about 85 million years later. The arrangement and size of the lenses indicate that these eyes belonged to an active predator that was capable of seeing in low light. The eyes are more complex than those known from contemporaneous trilobites and are as advanced as those of many living forms. They provide further evidence that the Cambrian explosion involved rapid innovation in fine-scale anatomy as well as gross morphology,

    Modern optics in the eyes of an Early Cambrian arthropod – June 2011
    Excerpt: ‘the Emu Bay Shale, which provides exquisite preservation of Early Cambrian animals, has now supplied us with the earliest example of an non-trilobite arthropod eye. Of the seven specimens recovered to date, three are spectacular for the detail revealed and stunning because they document eyes that “are as advanced as those of many living forms”

    “The reason evolutionary biologists believe in “40 known independent eye evolutions” isn’t because they’ve reconstructed those evolutionary pathways, but because eyes don’t assume a treelike pattern on the famous Darwinian “tree of life.” Darwinists are accordingly forced, again and again, to invoke convergent “independent” evolution of eyes to explain why eyes are distributed in such a non-tree-like fashion.
    This is hardly evidence against ID. In fact the appearance of eyes within widely disparate groups speaks eloquently of common design. Eyes are a problem, all right — for Darwinism.”

    ‘Mother Lode’ of (505 million years ago Cambrian) Fossils Discovered in Canada – Feb. 11, 2014
    Excerpt: Retinas, corneas, neural tissue, guts and even a possible heart and liver were found.

    Even Dawkins admits that the sudden appearance of complex structures such as eyes would be tantamount ‘to a miracle’,,,

    “Evolution is very possibly not, in actual fact, always gradual. But it must be gradual when it is being used to explain the coming into existence of complicated, apparently designed objects, like eyes. For if it is not gradual in these cases, it ceases to have any explanatory power at all. Without gradualness in these cases, we are back to miracle, which is simply a synonym for the total absence of explanation.”
    Dawkins, R. (1995) River Out of Eden, Basic Books, New York, p. 83.

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    All this information about trilobites and their eyes is brought to you courtesy of research conducted by materialistic sciences such as paleontology working within the framework of the materialistic theory of evolution.

    If this is incorrect then perhaps Paleyists can explain where materialistic science has gone so badly wrong. Are the dating estimates wildly off and the trilobite fossils really only tens of thousands of years old? Can Paleyists narrow down the date of the trilobite creation event and explain how their dating methodology is more accurate than that used by the materialistic sciences? There are Nobel prizes waiting for those who could bring about such a paradigm shift and I’m sure Susan Mazur will be on standby.

  3. 3
    ET says:

    There isn’t any materialistic theory of evolution. There isn’t any scientific theory of evolution.

    Blind and mindless processes are incapable of producing living organisms. Given starting populations of prokaryotes, blind and mindless processes can only produce more prokaryotes, at best. They are incapable of producing eukaryotes from prokaryotes.

    Given populations of single-celled eukaryotes, blind and mindless processes can only produce more single-celled eukaryotes. They are incapable of producing metazoans starting with single-celled eukaryotes.

    Obviously seversky is either deluded, demented or dishonest.

  4. 4
    ET says:

    Materialistic science fails because materialistic processes cannot produce coded information processing systems. And living organisms are ruled by information processing systems.

    As for the dates- that still all depends on how the earth was formed. The 4.5x billion years is dependent on the untestable assumption that the proto-earth was completely molten such that no crystals from the accretion debris survived.

  5. 5
    Truthfreedom says:


    All this information about trilobites and their eyes is brought to you courtesy of research conducted by “materialistic sciences” blah blah blah

    Now your problem is to explain how sense knowledge (which is used to do science) can be a purely material phenomenon.


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