by David E. Stoltzmann

Abstract

An optical image is a very organized and specified collection of information governed by the laws of optics. The formation of an image, and its correct interpretation by sighted living creatures, is a unique example of the great complexity in the living world. While many other functional features of living organisms are extremely complex and point to the handiwork of a designing God, an optical image demonstrates a unique mapping process of the eye-brain system that is very useful to the organism. The transfer of light from an object scene to a visual detection system involving the eye and brain conveys an enormous amount of information. Unless that information is correctly organized into a useful image, however, the exchange of information is degraded and of questionable use. In this paper I examine the “connections” necessary for images to be interpreted correctly. I also address the additional complexity required for the dual-image mapping involved in stereovision. Statistics are presented for “simple eyes” consisting of a few pixels to illustrate the daunting task facing random-chance, purposeless, undirected evolution in the origin of any form of a functional eye. It is concluded that evolutionary processes cannot account for the perception of images by living organisms and that only a creator could produce complex visual systems.

Introduction

The object-image mapping process is quite complex and ubiquitous throughout nature in sighted creatures. Many organisms have the additional capability of overlapping fields of view providing for stereovision and depth perception. How imagery of one eye can be correctly sampled and reassembled to form a good image is truly remarkable, while correlating two separate images, one from each eye, is astoundingly complex. It is worth examining the intricacy of this image-mapping process to determine if random processes could effectively account for the origin of vision.

The object-image mapping process seems to be dealt with sparsely in the literature, if at all. DeYoung (2002) touched on this issue to some extent by describing an insect that has multiple eyes, each of which has a separate retina. The mapping process for that insect’s visual system first needs to invert each retinal image and then combine the various images into one contiguous field of view. For other Creation Research Society Quarterly papers dealing with eyes and vision, consult the references of Crofut and Seaman (1990), Hamilton (1985, 1987a, 1987b, 1988, 1991, 1993), and Sherwin and Armitage (2003).

 

The Human Eye Compared to Images from Digital Cameras

The human eye (Hecht, 2002; Walker, 2000; and Smith, 1990) is roughly a 25-millimeter diameter sphere with a retina that contains about 120 million rods (black and white sensitive receptors) and about 6 million cones (color receptors). The region of greatest acuity is the foveola, which contains about 15,000 cones and is centered in the fovea. Today’s digital cameras use a sensor made up of picture elements called “pixels,” each of which detects light intensity, gray scale, and color. One could think of the structures of the retina in terms of pixels that sample the retinal image, as depicted in Figure 1. By “sample” I mean that the image falling on the retina gets divided into a large number of individual picture elements (pixels), all of which must be reassembled by the brain to reestablish a good image. Thus, the foveola could be thought of as a 125 by 125 pixel camera. At first glance this seems to be a very small number of pixels compared to today’s rather ordinary eight megapixel sensor cameras, which have something on the order of 3500 by 2300 pixels in their field of view (FOV). But the total “pixel” count for the human eye is about 126 megapixels, far beyond the 8-megapixel camera example. The cones of the fovea are individually connected to nerve fibers for high-resolution imagery. In this paper I will deal mostly with human eyes, but the basic premise will apply also to other sighted species with various forms of vision, such as compound eyes….

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