Back in the day I made several short threads arguing that the simplicity of the narrative, with which eyes are said to have evolved, often bypasses important issues and obstacle that it should account for. For example, it ignores the most important part of vision, which is the brain. It is not enough to have cells that are sensitive to light, organisms need to know what to do with that information and how to transform it into action. Those threads dealt with the puzzle of processing visual information. For example, knowing that an object is becoming larger, as opposed to coming at you. Knowing that a rectangle looks like a trapezoid when tilted. Or if you have two eyes, knowing that you are looking at a single object and not two identical ones.
The obstacle I want to present today is that of self-awareness. An organism must know its own body in order to understand how to navigate and interact with its visual world (Warren, 1984). Each organism inhabits a unique niche in the environment, a world which only they can exploit and navigate. A woodpecker finds in a tree the opportunity to do some pecking, a monkey the opportunity to climb, a bear the opportunity to scratch its back, and a human the opportunity to build a house.
Examples of this self-environment awareness includes findings that the frequency with which frogs jump through an aperture decreases as the width of the aperture approximates the frog’s size, implying that the frogs are aware of what sizes allow its body to pass through (Ingle & Cook, 1977). Research on mantis shows that it perceives which sizes of prey are optimal for grasping and which aren’t (Holling, 1964). More importantly, the decision to attack or retreat from a predator, often depends on the relative size of the predator as compared to the prey (Branch, 1979).
In other words, to have vision in any meaningful sense, requires not only some ability to process what you are seeing, but also the ability to recognize how your body can interact with what you are seeing.
-Ingle, D., & Cook, J. (1977). The effects of viewing distance upon size preference of frogs for prey. Vision Research, 17, 1009-1019.
-Holling, C. S. (1964). The analysis of complex population processes. Canadian Entymologist, 96, 335-347.
-Branch, G. M. (1979), Aggression by limpets against invertebrate predators. Animal Behavior, 27, 408-410.
-Warren, W. H. 1984. Perceiving affordances: Visual guidance of stair climbing. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 5, 683-703
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How is this an obstacle to the evolution of the eye?
Well cited and written, but I currently fail to see why this an obstacle to evolution? It seems to follow within the tenants of evolution well, to me anyways.
It is truly amazing what the brain can do with data given to it by the eyes, like automatically filter out the "blind spot" everyone has in their eyes to a greater or lesser degree.
The issue here actually goes beyond the eye itself. It implies that for every bodily change that an evolving organism undergoes, there needs to evolve a simultaneous representation of that change in the brain.
For the two to evolve independently of each other, and at different times will most likely prove disastrous. For example, imagine a snake that wasn't aware that it had fangs, or a rodent that thought it had wings when it didn't. Each situation creates an organism that behaves in ways that are detrimental to its survival.
The visual system becomes important when interacting with the world. So imagine a frog that throught it could jump further than it should. Or a predator that thought it was bigger or stronger than it was.
These are obstacles to evolution, because it isn't enough to say dinosaurs sprouted wings and evolved into birds. That transition requires knowledge that you have wings, knowledge of what to do with them, and the new ability to recognize branches as sonething to stand on as oppose to walk under. To not that knowledge means the transition from reptile to bird can't occur.
"To not that knowledge means the transition from reptile to bird can't occur."
Except the transition has happened, I can see birds through my window right now, this is the same tired old argument from ignorance fallacy. A gap in our knowledge of evolution does not represent a barrier to species evolution itself. However you can demonstrate no evidence fro your belief a deity created anything, and the belief has no explanatory powers whatsoever.
Why do creationists think attacking the scientific fact of evolution lends any evidence to bronze age creation myths no one can demonstrate any empirical evidence for? This sounds like a false dichotomy fallacy to me, along the lines of "either life evolved or it was created", but this is simply not true. evolution could be falsified tomorrow completely, phenomenally unlikely of course, but even if it was creationism remains the same nonsense it was yesterday.
@ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy
"The issue here actually goes beyond the eye itself. It implies that for every bodily change that an evolving organism undergoes, there needs to evolve a simultaneous representation of that change in the brain."
You left out the important part. For a change to be successful, it cannot be detrimental to the host. And only when different systems (such as nerves and optical cells) interact properly, do we have success.
A patch of photo-sensitive skin may appear because of a mutation. Because it does not reduce the survival odds, it may lay dormant for thousands of generations. But eventually a few nerve cells connects it to the brain. That happens, that is what nerve cells do, connect. The result could be an organism that has increased it's odds in surviving and propagating.
This is what evolution is, the very slow process of hit and miss, with a heck of a lot more misses than hits. But eventually we get a hit, a few nerve cells connect the brain to the patch of skin, and the cycle keeps on keeping on.
I don't see the mystery. Things do not happen in a flash like a magician's show, there is a process of hit and miss, with the determining factor survival.
Yes, different systems have to interact. But no one says they all have to appear at the same time.
Well I'm glad you mentioned that, because I have been thinking of that possibility. The keyword in all this, is connection. A novel mutation that produces an isolated system, will allow that system to grow without affecting the rest of the organism. Its allowed to evolve off-line. However, once a connection emerges with the rest of the organism, it goes on-line, and will have its effect, making further change more difficult.
The analogy I thought of is that of Disneyland. Every now and then, it closes off sections of the park for construction or remodeling. If you are a guest looking to ride space mountain, you can't, because it is off-line, with a big sign that says "under construction." A lot of people would get hurt, if they still allowed access to these areas.
Unless animals have a way to turn these sensory systems off-line, preventing them from using it until the next stage of viability evolves, gradual change is going to create problems. You're going to need big, rapid, and simultaneous changes to emerge to compensate.
I am afraid that is not the only answer.
I mentioned a patch of skin that could sense difference in light levels. Maybe that mutation remained for thousands of generations. Then it is possible nerve cells made a connection between that patch of skin and the brain. But maybe thousands of years later the organism responded to a change of light levels by activating some muscles. Those muscles may have moved the organism, increasing it's odds in evading a predator. Eventually through thousands of generations that organism learned/programmed to move with a change in light.
This process is gradual, one of separate systems building on each other to reach a final product that could have led to further adaptation. We do not require all systems (nerve cells, sensing organ/brain) working in complete unison or nothing at all. We could have dormant organs that just exist, maybe or maybe not reaching some function in the future. Or that dormant organ could fade away, as in the case of our appendix.
Just as relevant is the simple fact that not all mutations succeed. Some just remain, neither beneficial or harmful. Some may lead to changes and increasing the odds of surviving and propagating. And many mutations lead to death of the organism, a dead end. IMO there were a lot more dead ends than pathways to success. But over time, those mutations take hold and find a function.
In the case of the eye, because there are very distinct architectures of different eye types, then there were parallel evolution of eyes, each very distinct. Eyes worked, and now we have single lensed eyes like ours, multiple facets like flies, and the eight eyes of spiders. All different architectures, thus different origins.
@ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy
Why does it have to be simultaneous? I always figure the brain (especially human) is able to adopt to a lot to its current environment, but even beyond that, I would not be surprised at all, that brain evolution can lag behind the capability of an eye. An eye of other animals is fully capable of discerning a car coming at them on the road, but their brains are unable to process how fast it is going and their immediate danger well enough for them to always quickly retreat from where the animal came, a place of safety. Also watch animal or human fail videos on youtube. Pick your favorite animal, still plenty of "fail" where animals take jumps they should not, or bite off more than they can literally chew. And we humans even with a large and complex brains are certainly not immune.
Happens all the time.
Well there's your problem, I know you did not mean it literally, but yes, dinosaurs did not sprout wings. Instead it was over millions of years of evolution. How can you have done so much research on evolution and not understand the time scales? The amount of trial and error? It was not like an animal suddenly had wings one day and was like "what do I do with this?" It was an animal that could sometimes jump to get food or to get away from a predator, and the lighter versions of those did better to survive reproducing in greater numbers, then the arms continued to slowly broaden out, bones got lighter, and suddenly when they jumped they could actually glide or float a bit, increasing their air time, countless generations later, they had wings, and they knew how to use them.
The transition from reptile to bird can not occur? So what are you saying? An obviously man created thought "god" idea magicked birds out of thin air? That is really more plausible than evolution to you?
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Timescales are literally the most irrelevant factor of evolution. People seem to hide behind the timescales, as if they somehow altered the events that are said to take place. If dinosaurs can transition into birds, then they can transition irrespective of the time; and if they can't, then throwing millions of more years at them won't make them transition.
"Timescales are literally the most irrelevant factor of evolution."
"If dinosaurs can transition into birds, then they can transition irrespective of the time"
Are you trying to be this funny? Seriously you're being facetious, yes?
No, he just doesn't get it; and probably can't get it.
I think that comment from Breezy was one of the dumbest ones I have read on here.
Then odds are it is because you didn't understand it. If coal can't turn into an emerald, then giving it all the time in the world won't make it happen. So when I say one organism can't transition into another, and evolutionists say yes it can just give it time, it is just as ridiculous as trying to show coal can transition into an emerald by saying give it enough time.
Likewise, if coal can turn into a diamond, and you can demonstrate it, then who cares how long it takes? If one organism can transition into another, and you can show it, who cares how long it takes?
It just sounds like you guys are using time as a way to convince yourselves that something can happen, when you have no other means to do so. I can't live a million years, so by continually presenting time as an answer you essentially make an unverifiable claim.
Consequently, diamonds also take millions of years to form. But you don't need to wait that long to know it's possible. The transition is a chemically spontaneous process as a function of thermodynamics.
They teach you the formulas and equations for such sponteneous processes in an introductory chemistry course. It would be strange for a chemistry teacher to tell her students that coal can turn to diamond, and when they ask how, she just says well, by giving it a million years.
Well you surpassed yourself, Because you do not understand it, therefore it must be false.
It's almost like an argument from your own personal incredulity, but of course, anyone who does not agree with you
will be thought of as 'not understanding'.. it is quite ironic.
The brain isn't as important as you think it to be for all manner of things, including vision.
Jellyfish do not have brains nor a central nervous system and yet they form large groups, they produce and release eggs,
They can breathe through their skin, can reproduce sexually and asexually, they have more eyes then a human and yet have poor vision comparatively.
That is but one very simple creature of a multitude on this planet.
But still, it is nice to see you disagreeing with evolution despite it being so demonstrably proven that you ignore such key elements, such as time.
That would be on a par with a young earth creationist denying 'time' when discussing the age of the cosmos.
Your comment was addressed at what I said about time, was it not? Not to mention you are now responding to my expansion and clarification of that claim. We can talk about jellyfish if you'd like, I'm just wondering why you shifted from time to jellyfish out of the blue.
I've seen some dishonest evasion from you John, but that is priceless.
I suppose dishonesty is an essential component of any delusion, so I shouldn't be at all surprised at the dishonest way creationists, and theists behave. I suppose at some level it's not ALL their fault. That's where I'm going from now on, John is thoroughly dishonest, but his delusion has to be seen as slightly mitigating this.
Where is the evasion? I know you've read every comment I've made on this thread, because you respond to basically every single one. As such I know you've seen the comments I've made on organisms like euglena, annelids, beetles, frogs, mantis, dogs, cats, even dodo birds. We can easily add jellyfish to the list of animals we've discussed.
I view the switch on her part, from time to jellyfish, to be the evasion.
I can't decipher your rambling.
Your evasion was and is, manifest.
Sure, That would be fine.
Furthermore, I would also be happy to talk about the three toed skink from Australia that has been observed for many years in adapting from simply laying eggs to live birthing.
Just one of many examples.
If skinks help you address the OP, then by all means bring them in.
Sure, but the latter was simply more recent evidence of short term evolutionary adaptation.
So not only do we see it over massive periods, but also in relatively short periods, the peppered moth being another.
Yet still, The argument hinges on a brain being necessary for vision and yet many creatures on this planet function perfectly well with eyes and no brain, such as the jellyfish that don’t have a brain or central nervous system.
Another with eyes and yet no brain is the star fish.
I think maybe you should read through the comments first; you'll find your answer there.
"It just sounds like you guys are using time as a way to convince yourselves that something can happen, when you have no other means to do so."
No other means, seriously John no other means? You're joking right? It's an established scientific fact, supported by all the evidence an d supported by a scientific theory is supported by every scientists with any expertise on the subject.
Wtf are you talking about no other means to do so? You are the one denying a scientific fact John, and all you have offered is the your subjective opinion, pitched against over 160 years of research, and the combined efforts and testimony of every scientist and expert globally. What's more when this is pointed the best you can offer in response is either petty ad hominem, or a fallacious appeal to authority (laughably, your own ) namely that a student in an unrelated field "knows better".
Come on John, I simply don't believe you can't see how risible this is. Or you must have no more grasp of the basics of how the scientific method validates ideas than my 4 year old grandaughter.
I must admit that having started believing the former, I am now starting to vacillate a little between the two.
"..namely that a student in an unrelated field "knows better".
How is it unrelated?
"How is it unrelated?"
The usual way, clearly?
Unrelated, clearly. Are you being deliberately obtuse to avoid the content of the post? More obfuscation John, tut tut. I think we need to focus on your risible claim that there is no other means to evidence evolution so time is used as a smokescreen.
Almost as funny as your giraffe with magical neck lengthening powers it can pass on through it's genes. Now that was funny.
Listen more, talk less; I think that would improve your contributions to these threads.
Predictable as ever John. As I said, when you are called on your arrogant pretentious claims all you have is petty ad hominem. QED.
You claimed people defending the scientific fact of evolution were using time as obfuscation as they had "nothing more". I don't care if you want to make yourself appear that stupid John. However it is axiomatic that listening to such unadulterated dishonest bullshit provides nothing of value.
The fact you ignored my post entirely to focus on one sentence just shows you're a trolling blowhard, again.
I'd advise you to listen, not listen more though, as like all creationists your moronic and slavish adherence to bronze age creation myths has made you impervious to facts or reality.
The more I have read of your b.s. the more risible your stance has become, and it was the worst kind of untenable creationist pseudo scientific b.s. to start with. No matter how much unjustified grandiloquent boasting you do. You remain an unpublished student in an unrelated field.
Where do you get the notion you can arrogantly insult people by insisting they need to listen to your verbiage when it directly contradicts known scientific facts, as if they have given this matter no reasoned thought themselves, I dont know. This is your problem in a nutshell John, you're insisting you now better than all scientists and every expert in the world on a topic you have zero qualifications in, even Darwin himself, which is why you are doing it to strangers on the internet, because no credible scientific publication would do anything but laugh at your risibly pretentious claims.
I do hope you're not quite such an arrogant cock in real life, I really do.
I think I owe cog an apology as he was right at the very start. We really ought not to indulge such arrogant ignorance.
He's make the age old argument: that for eyes to be of any evolutionary value; they must be well developed, with a well developed brain to go with them. The problem with that argument is that even screwed up rudimentary sensory organs can provide advantage over none.
Well no, and that's the thing, that's not how the sensory system works. To illustrate let's look at the opposite scenario, a perfectly functional visual system with a brain half able to perceive it. You often encounter the issue of left-sided neglect in stroke patients. These are people with fully functional eyes, whose brain cannot see the left side of the world. What's worse is that not only can they not see it, they no longer know it's there. They might eat only the right side of a plate of food, or only draw the right side of a flower. I even heard of some that cannot turn their body leftward, they need to turn right all the way around to get there.
So think of this as an analogy of what happens when a rudimentary brain is paired with a fully evolved eye. Likewise, a rudimentary sensory organ still needs a control system adapted for it, in order to work at all. If you transplant a dog's eyes on a human, the human isn't going to see half a good, they're not going to see at all, or might even see wrong.