Our “Backwards” Eyes

CS4K-Brown-eye

One of the reasons Evolutionists tell us that there ISN’T a Creator (and if there is, it’s really stupid) is what they call “imperfect design.”  They claim that if something doesn’t work as well as another design (that they come up with) would, it is proof that everything just happened by chance.  Our eyes are favorite ‘examples’ of these poorly formed parts.

SVG version of Image:Evolution_eye.png with ca...

[Wikipedia] “Vertebrates and octopuses developed the camera eye independently. In the vertebrate version the nerve fibers pass in front of the retina, and there is a blind spot where the nerves pass through the retina. In the vertebrate example, 4 represents the blind spot, which is notably absent from the octopus eye. In vertebrates, 1 represents the retina and 2 is the nerve fibers, including the optic nerve (3), whereas in the octopus eye, 1 and 2 represent the nerve fibers and retina respectively”

Here’s what Frank Zindler, interim president of the American Atheists said about our eyes, “As an organ developed via the opportunistic twists and turns of evolutionary processes, the human eye is explainable. As an organ designed and created by an infinitely wise deity, the human eye is inexcusable. For unlike the invertebrate eyes …, the human eye is constructed upon the foundation of an almost incredible error: The retina has been put together backwards!”

Of course, he’s not likely to change his mind no matter how many proofs you show him of the exquisite design of our eyes.  As always, it comes back to a person’s worldview.  But if you want to read all the things we could point out to show how foolish such thinking is, you could have a look at this ICR article.  “An evaluation of this argument reveals it is not only naive, but grossly erroneous…. Research by ophthalmologists has clearly shown why the human retina must employ what is called the “inverted” design.”  Turns out our rods and cones would die without this “backwards” design.

It’s interesting to compare our eyes to today’s best cameras. Engineers have been working for over 100 years to develop the most effective photographic capabilities possible. Not only are our eyes designed to focus on what matters most to us, they also don’t work alone. Our brain does all kinds of processing to help us understand what we are seeing.

Here’s what a photographer’s article comparing the two forms of seeing has to say:

A quick glance by our eyes might be a fairer comparison, but ultimately the uniqueness of our visual system is unavoidable because: What we really see is our mind’s reconstruction of objects based on input provided by the eyes — not the actual light received by our eyes.

 

A couple of weeks ago my kids were having fun finding out about their Blind Spots. First, we looked at a coloring book from the eye doctor with a special page to focus on in order to locate where the dot disappears. Then, my 5-year-old asked for a video to learn about why we have blind spots in the first place. It only took a minute on YouTube to locate a nice one!

This is just a guy with a white board, but it kept my kids’ attention (mostly):

 

(you’ll notice that he comments on our “backwards” eyes)

and the follow up video on:

I especially enjoyed the second video because now I know why the sky is blue!!!

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [awesomely] and wonderfully [famously] made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14

To find out the truth about how smart our Designer God is see Velcro, Technology and the Designer

Pronghorn WikiCommons

Pronghorns, some of God’s fastest Creatures

 

Pronghorn Male WikiCommons

A few years ago, my family was driving through Utah on our way to Seattle, and I got to watch herds of these amazing animals. We were driving I-70 trhough eastern Utah and the Pronghorns were visible in the stretch between us and the Book Cliffs. They were grazing on the few bushes and grasses left on the high plain in February.

I remember being amazed at how they could survive when the land for hundreds of miles seems to be half-frozen mud with only the occasional sage bush to break up the flatness of the valleys.

CS4K-Antilocapra_americana_range_map

Pronghorns live where the map shows green

Utah is right in the middle of Pronghorn country.  Their range runs from the central plains of southern Saskatchewan and Alberta (where Winter temps often reach -50) down through the Great Plains of the American West through Texas and over to California and on down into northern Mexico.  Like the American Bison, the Pronghorn went from abundant populations to near extinction in the early 1900s.  There are some groups that are still in trouble, but we are working to increase local populations as much as possible.  Numbers are back up near a million total, which is less than 1/30th of what they were in the 1800s.

Unlike the antelope (which they are occasionally compared to), Pronghorns really don’t like to jump, in fact, they would rather crawl under a fence than jump over even a low one.  There have been times where they almost starved because they got caught in an inclosed area and they wouldn’t jump out to the plentiful grazing beyond.  Because of this, Pronghorns have a much harder time than deer and such with all the fencing in the North American West.  This is the main reason their numbers are so low.

The other problem Pronghorns face is that they like to eat a lot of the same plants as cows and sheep.  Especially where sheep are feeding, it is difficult for Pronghorns to find enough food to stay healthy.  However, Pronghorns can eat a much greater variety of plants then these domestic animals.  They are especially fond of flowers and fruit in the Summer months and don’t have problems digesting a lot of plants that sheep and cows have to avoid.  They also don’t have to stay near water sources as God designed their systems to be very careful with water.

Pronghorn up closeTurns out these are another one of the Evolutionary-tree stumpers. This time it’s the Pronghorn’s horn/antlers that won’t fit neatly into a group of animals. The horns are made of keratin (the stuff your fingernails are made of) like a sheep’s or cow’s, rather than bone like a deer’s antlers. But late in the Fall of each year, they fall off leaving only a bony center like what you would find under a cow’s for a couple of months.

The other specialty is that the Pronghorn is the only animal with a keratin horn that is branched. That’s how they got the name “prong” horn! I even found a website discussing whether you are allowed to use a Pronghorn’s horn as a Jewish trumpet (Shofar). That would be awesome to hear (although it probably wouldn’t sound too impressive since they’re so small).

Pronghorn’s are mid-sized grazing animals.  They grow to a little over 3ft (1m) high and weigh between 75-125lb (34-57kg), with the largest being the dads.  They have really good vision with eyes nearly the size of an elephant’s and they always stay in open areas where any predator will be quickly seen and an escape path won’t be slowed down by trees.

Pronghorn runningThis brings us to their coolest feature, their speed. We all know that the Cheetah is the fastest animal still alive today, but they’d be no match for a Pronghorn. A Cheetah can only keep up their speed of 62mph (100 kph) for a couple hundred yards (meters) or they would die of overheating, but not a Pronghorn. They can run up to 55mph (88kph) and can maintain speeds of 30mph (48kph) for at least 20 miles! Only the ostrich can keep up with that kind of speed.

A mother Pronghorn takes as long to grow her babies as a human (250 days).   She usually bears twins, but although the little ones can soon run, they are vulnerable to predators and only about 2 out of 5 babies make it to grow up.  Pronghorns take just over a year to be adults and can live for up to 12 years, although that isn’t likely in the wild.

In the Summer and Fall, Pronghorns live in small groups with one dad and several moms, but the Winter is different.  Turns out my February trip was the best time of year to see the large groups that form then.  Hormone levels have dropped then, so the guys aren’t all fighting each other for the ladies!

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.  And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:24,25

Other Sites I got my info from:

US Fish and Wildlife Service: Pronghorns

National Wildlife Federation: Pronghorn

Desert USA: The Pronghorn “Entirely unique on this planet, the Pronghorn’s scientific name, Antilocapra americana, means “American antelope goat.” But the deer-like Pronghorn is neither antelope nor goat — it is the sole surviving member of an ancient family dating back 20 million years.”  Just switch that out for 6,000 years!

Great Plains Nature Center: Pronghorns “The eyes of a Pronghorn are nothing short of exceptional. They can pick up movement as far as three miles away. The eyes are located far back on the head so they can keep watch even while the head is down during feeding. Human eyes need a pair of binoculars to see as well as a Pronghorn.”

And a few details from Wikipedia: Pronghorn 

Quotes: Aardvark

To accompany Aardvarks: Unique, Unchanging, Cool:

An aardvark at Detroit Zoo

“Aardvarks are a blast from the past. The genetics of the Aardvark goes back 160 million years, back to the Jurassic period” What Do Animals Eat?

Well, not that far back, but aardvarks do go back to just 6 days after the universe got started!

Antelope male looking up

“The aardvark is the last surviving member of an odd and primitive order of ungulates (hooved animals) and might have survived by evolving away from hooves, and developing the incredibly powerful claws it uses to dig sleeping burrows and devastate termite mounds. The aardvarks closest living relative is probably the elephant.” Animal Facts Encycolpedia

“Might have survived by evolving…”? We finally have a set of “fuzzy words” to work with! Sounds to me like they’re dreaming up a just so story.

Elephant shrew

Elephant shrew

Recent genetic studies (increasingly supported by morphological and palaeontological studies) have suggested that aardvarks are closely related to the dassies (hyraxes), elephants (proboscideans), golden-moles (chrysoclorids), manatees and dugongs (sirenians), tenrecs, and more closely the elephant shrews (macroscelids) Aardvark Africa.org

These genetic studies make fun reading. It used to be the only thing Evolutionists had to go on when putting together a “tree of life” was how something looked and acted. Now, things are getting completely reshuffled because of genetic studies.

Lego bricks

Here’s what they won’t think about. When a Lego (or any other) designer plans out a new item, do they make every piece from scratch? Not if they can help it. They repurpose and recycle perfectly good designs from other projects for the next one. Just because a lot of pieces are similar or even the same doesn’t mean one gave birth to the other.

You don’t have to have a common ancestor to have similar plans and parts, a common designer makes just as much sense, or really, way more sense!

I made the earth and all the people on it. I made all the animals on the earth. I did this with my great power and my strong arm. Jeremiah 27:5 Easy-to-read Version

Mossy Rock