In a recent piece in Scientific American, neuroscientist Trevor Lamb wrote that vertebrate eyes contain numerous defects that he called “the scars of evolution.” He cited these “flaws” as powerful evidence that blind evolutionary forces are responsible for the “invention” of eyes.1 But research has proven that these supposed defects are entirely fictional.
Lamb described the first “flaw” in vertebrate eyes:
The retina is inside out, so light has to pass through the whole thickness of the retina—through the intervening nerve fibers and cell bodies that scatter the light and degrade image quality—before reaching the light-sensitive photoreceptors.1
Light does indeed pass through the whole thickness of the retina, but it does not intersect the intervening nerve cell bodies. This is because special funnel-shaped Müller cells channel light through the retina directly to the photoreceptors at the back of the eye, so that the image quality is excellent.2 Far from being flawed, this arrangement serves to protect the photoreceptors from damaging UV light and allows them access to nutritive fluid.3
And not only is the light not scattered before it reaches the photoreceptors, but the Müller cells actually refine incoming light, reducing scatter. Why did Lamb fail to mention this, or the fact that retinal neurons are organized to maximize reception of incoming light?….
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