Intelligent Design

The eyes have it.

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I can’t let this one go without posting the reference to the paper generating all the fuss.

Retinal glial cells enhance human vision acuity.   A. M. Labin and E. N. Ribak
Physics Department, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel

“We construct a light-guiding model of the retina outside the fovea, in which an array of glial (Muller) cells permeates the depth of retina down to the photoreceptors. The retina is revealed as an optimal structure designed for improving the sharpness of images.

The results provide evidence for a natural optical waveguide array, which preserves almost perfectly images obtained through a narrow pupil.

Light guiding within the retinal volume is an effective and biologically convenient way to improve the resolution of the eye and reduce chromatic aberration. The retinal nuclear layers, until now considered a source of distortion, actually improve the decoupling of nearby photoreceptors and thus enhance visual acuity.

The fundamental features of the array of glial cells are revealed as an optimal structure designed for preserving the acuity of images in the human retina. It plays a crucial role in vision quality, in humans and in other species.”

18 Replies to “The eyes have it.

  1. 1
    Mats says:

    God to atheists:

    First learn how the things I created work before saying it is “bad design”, ok?

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    I watched with interest as an atheist defended the proposition that he could of designed the eye better, never mind the fact that atheists can’t even account for the origination of one novel protein by material processes. Yet his argument went to the effect that if he could merely envision. within his “emerged” mind have you, that better vision of say 360 degrees could possibly be had then the human eye was flawed in his opinion. I then realized that his argument rested on the premise that since God had not created his eye as all-seeing as God himself sees then God could not have created his eye. i.e. basically his argument rested on his dissatisfaction of not being God.,,, which reminds me of exactly the reason why the fall of man occurred in the first place.

    Chapter 3: 5-7 But the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.”

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    off topic: Akiane now has videos loaded on her homepage that may be of interest to some:

    http://www.artakiane.com/videos.html

    The first video on the page is very interesting in that “art critics” were convinced Akiane, and her parents, were deceiving the public by having some unknown master artist paint her masterpieces for her when no one was looking and then claiming them as her own, and thus the art critics were directly implying she was not genuinely inspired by God for they simply could not believe that such talent came from her, thus she did the time lapse of her work on her piece “Wonder” to silence her “art critics, and to show her talent is of no deception but of genuine holy inspiration.

  4. 4
    andrewjg says:

    @bornagain77

    Thanks for the link to Akiane. An inspiration.

  5. 5
    andrewjg says:

    @bornagain77

    Regarding Akiane. You say her work is a holy inspiration. I definitely find her an inspiration. I myself have no sense of what I should be doing with my time so whenever I see someone who knows from such a young age I am always inspired by them.

    I am not saying she does not have holy inspiration – I think an atheist can be inspired by God even against their wishes – but you are aware that she seems to follow a kind of new age philosophy i.e. all paths lead to God and more specifically we are all God.

    Still for me there is much to admire and inspire and she has a beautiful nature. From what I can tell anyway.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Andrewjg, I don’t know of Akiane’s new age leanings but I do know that she led her atheistic parents, one who was a former eastern European, to Christianity by the raw power of her talent. What was more amazing is that she converted them to Christianity without ever attending church, but solely based by her artwork and the “visions” of, and guidance from, Christ she was receiving and testifying to. Did she really see Christ? Did she really receive guidance from the Lord at such a young age? I guess that would be a matter of faith, but is one belief I have little trouble putting faith in because of the quality of her work. Could she have slipped away from the purity of her visions of Christ as a young child a little, into the “politically correct” plurality of the New Age movement? Given her tender age and maybe her lack of appreciation for the full implications for the work done on the Cross by God, I feel this may be the case if she has indeed drifted that direction. But if this truly is so I’m fairly certain once she gets a good look at the realities of evil in this world, it will shatter her complacency to accept pluralism.

  7. 7
    andrewjg says:

    @bornagain77

    I just read through a couple of pages of her blog entries. She seems a thoughtful, intelligent person. I think she does not believe there should be any conflict which I think is a very feminine attribute but she resolves the conflict by sort of saying there is no conflict.

    The first signal to me was what she wrote about Easter. Not really a what Easter is objectively about. She seems to want to give equal worth to all interpretations of Easter. Read her interpretation of John 3:16 in her blog. Again not really on the mark.

    She does make good points though and I also have hope.

    She seems to think that conflict between belief systems is about control. Actually that is about “Man” abusing religion generally and Christianity specifically in order to advance there own individual or cultures domination.

    A long topic I am sure. But read her blog entries you sort of get the feeling that she has studied the Bible and her only reference she has are her own feelings. To me the incredible thing about the Bible is how the OT when read in a providential light is actually all about Jesus.

    Still she is remarkable.

    P.S. have you read C.S. Lewis’s essay on the necessity of Chivalry or his essay on 1st and 2nd order “goods”. I reference them in light of my reference to feminine views. Which I don’t mean to be derogatory in the slightest.

  8. 8
    Phaedros says:

    andrewjg-

    The passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the one thing that I’ve always sought to understand because as a child and teenager it just did not make sense to me. Now, I think it makes more sense and its meaning is incredibly powerful. However, I doubt that I understand it completely. I believe this takes experience and time to unravel.

  9. 9
    Phaedros says:

    Andrewjg-

    I think you’re right about Easter. Pagan interpretations of Easter are symbolic whereas the Christian Easter is actual rebirth. It’s not even just rebirth for the Christian either. It is Christ’s vindication as the actual Son of God, not just a symbolic story.

  10. 10
    andrewjg says:

    Phaedros-

    Yes I think loosely the Pagan Easter may be superficially similar but they are not the same thing. I understand Christians just took the festival that was celebrated by Pagans and instead remembered the death and resurrection of Jesus. I suppose the Pagan easter is not really Easter at all its a festival celebrating Spring (rebirth).

    And like you say I think there is a lot to the death and resurrection of Jesus, but I think the purpose is clear and simple.

    I think what Jesus feared most was being separated from the Godhead. I believe when he cried out, “Why have you forsaken me” at that moment for a short time at least the constant perfect communion within the Godhead was broken. It was infinitely worse than the physical pain, or anything else. The Son was alone, completely alone – something I can’t begin to comprehend.

    Sorry just wanted to share one aspect that I believe.

  11. 11
    Phaedros says:

    andrewjg-

    That moment when he cries out certainly does bring up questions. Did God withdraw the connection to test Jesus or show him something? How would it be broken for that moment? I think that we can comprehend it in some ways. I mean there are people who do not accept Christ as their savior. That is loneliness. I know because I was one of those up to about a month or so ago.

  12. 12
    zeroseven says:

    Well I do wish God had designed me so I didn’t get a sore back all the time.

    And what about an eye that could see under water, and could see at night. And could zoom in for microscopic vision and zoom out for telescopic vision. I imagine he could do that if he wanted to. And an eye that was resistant to being scratched and losing focus due to muscular weakening. We’ve hardly got the perfect eye have we.

  13. 13
    Seversky says:

    Mats @ 1

    God to atheists:

    First learn how the things I created work before saying it is “bad design”, ok?

    Thank you for passing that message along. Perhaps the next time He’s on the line you could put a few questions to Him.

    Before you do you might just mention that no one here, as far as I’m aware, ever said the eye was a bad design. It’s just that some of us here are surprised it’s not better, given that, according His followers, He is a perfect all-knowing, all-powerful Being.

    Anyway, on to the questions.

    The first concerns this new research which has found that glial or Muller cells apparently act as “waveguides” and help to sharpen up the image formed by those backwards-facing photoreceptors. Wouldn’t they work even better in front of forward-facing cells?

    The second question is about the fovea, that pit in the retina that produces the sharpest vision. The photoreceptors there don’t have all those other cells in the way so do we assume the highest visual acuity can only be achieved where the incoming light is unobstructed? That suggests that the Muller cells are still something of a patch, doesn’t it, rather than being a smart piece of design?

    In fact, thinking about the fovea, the third question is why not make the whole retina like that? Granted you’d need to tinker with other parts of the system – bigger optic nerve to carry more data, bigger visual cortex to process it, better blood supply to carry the additional fuel, oxygen and cooling and bigger heart to pump it – but would that have been such a bad thing?

    Fourthly, the Muller cells still don’t answer the question about how a forward-facing retina would still offer better vision and do away with the blind spot. Would that really been so difficult for someone with your powers?

    Fifth, we have the age-related problems with the lens in the eye like presbyopia and cataracts. Would it have been so difficult to design something so crucial to be a bit more durable?

    That’s enough to be starting with, I think. If you get an answer, let us know what it is.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky asks:

    “Would it have been so difficult to design something so crucial to be a bit more durable?”

    Hey I’m with you on this one Seversky. You know the whole thing about growing old, wearing out, and death really bugs me too. ESPECIALLY the dying part!!! I REALLY think that dying is a bad design feature that we REALLY could do without!!! Do you think it would really have been THAT difficult for God to have given us eternal life with perfect bodies with no pain and suffering???? HMMMM as luck would have I believe we have a “factory direct design option” to upgrade to eternal life, with perfect bodies, that is free of charge. But it turns out that this upgraded “factory option feature” for eternal life was a bit more difficult for the designer to purchase for us than my cavalier attitude first suspected i.e. He paid the price in blood!!!

    evanescence – lies
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxHP9-fEuRk

    My Beloved One – music video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200171

    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045544

    The Day I Died – Part 4 of 6 – The NDE of Pam Reynolds – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045560

    Revelation 21:4
    “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

  15. 15
    Oramus says:

    Severky,

    In the same vein one could ask: Couldn’t God have made the heart better to resist cholesterol? After all, he surely would have known that humanity just loves its bacon and eggs.

    And couldn’t God have have made the liver better to resist the corrosion caused by alcohol? Surel, he were we would love our beer and whiskey?

    And couldn’t God have made our stomach better to resist ulcers? Surely, he would know that we would be so stressed out from making money and gorging ourselves on fine food?

    Come to think of it, couldn’t God just have made us immortal from the get go?

    I mean, surely he would have known that we just love life.

  16. 16
    zeroseven says:

    Oramus are you being ironic? They seem like good questions to me.

  17. 17
    Charlie says:

    Brilliant.
    And why don’t we shoot lasers out of our eyes? And why can’t we fly? Or just materialize wherever we want to go? Why aren’t we super strong and invulnerable?

    I guess since God didn’t make us gods He didn’t make us at all.

  18. 18
    zeroseven says:

    I don’t know Charlie. Why did God make us so weak and vulnerable and stricken with all sorts of faults and hideous diseases? Not asking for lasers out of the eyes. Super strong and flying would be good though.

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