Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

"Intelligent" Design flaw?

Why would an intelligent designer (eg. God) design humans (and most other mammals actually) with really shoddely wired retinas?

In the eyeball, which most creationists seem to tote as being an example of a designer, all the light sensitive cells of the retina are partially covered with nerves and blood vessels that block light and inhibit vision. Not only that but where these nerves and blood vessels leave the eye the light sensetive cells are pushed aside which creates a blind spot.

Molluscs such as octopii and squids don't have this problem as their retinas are "wired" in a more appropriate fashion, from the back, so no light is blocked and no blind spot exists.

So going by this, what basis is there that the human (or rather generic mammal) eyeball is intelligently designed?


itsnotarealname: Bad argument. You're talking about physical advantage, not genetic, and as I said this flaw is present in most mammals. Mice do not have a physical advantage yet they still have this flaw in their vision.

Update 2:

Bob L: I do not dispute that evolution is not intelligent, in fact I agree that there are many pointless or badly formed components of life. The appendix is a good example of this, it is just a remnant of a previous "form" and serves no purpose and can be removed without loss.

Update 3:

Not only that, you're suggesting that mammals evolved from molloscs (which you've genericised as "sea animals"). I'm not going to go into this further as what you've posted is merely something you wrote without even knowing anything about what you're talking about and is therefore invalid.

Update 4:

anthonypaul - I'm not sure if your answer was attempted humor or not but.... anyway, I havent' shot myself in the foot. I never suggested that mammals have reverse evolved as molluscs are NOT an ancestor of mammals.

Update 5:

Cogito Sum: What you're saying is the there is no evidence that new genes ever arise. That's not me being closed minded, that's you ignoring the facts. There is evidence of genes being duplicated, other organisms inserting portions of DNA into other organism, even a simple translation error can produce an additional allele by accident. This isn't new information, but it provides space for development without loss of original function.

Even whole chromosome duplication can happen and does happen. This is commonly seen in all females, they have an additional X chromosome. It also sometimes happens in males and they end up with 2 X chromosomes. While the latter usually ends up in disability of some sort it demonstrates that genetic information can be created.

Also, the whole eye analogy is a pretty common one. "From looking at the eye, we can see that it is apparently designed..." gimme a break...

16 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Though you will ignore the answer, I'll try anyway.

    Your question, with explanation was a classic straw man, so I'll answer your question.

    I do not support ID as per se, but, all they are saying is the following:

    Step 1: dna exists.

    Step 2: later, new dna exists which could not have been eluciadated from existing dna, because there is unquestionably new and unique information in this new dna, which did not exist before.

    Step 3: how did it happen?

    Step 4: it either happened by some still unknown natural or biological mechanism, or it was caused, created.

    Step 5: the natural or biological mechanism seems unlikely as the cause for strictly reasonable and logical reasons. However, if it could be discovered, it would be one of the most important discoveries ever, and would be communicated as such. This is still one of the mysteries in biology.

    Step 6: new information is not created by natural and random processes. This just does not occur in nature. Based on experience and logic.

    Step 7: based on the above, it seems that design is involved.

    This is not hard logic. The point is that you have closed your mind to the issues the ID people are trying to consider, and ID people are fully engaged in science. What happens if you are wrong?

    Basically, ID does not say design is perfect, however, it could very well be optimal, and that takes intelligence, and then it is not a flaw. ID people have answered your question many times. Many you need to do some reading. I cannot say the retina is shoddely wired. Your remark was a rhetorical and opinionated remark.

    Not trying to give you a hard time. Just the facts.

    Edit: Anything that is proven by science, I agree with. Duplication is well known. I hope I was clear. The issue is: Here is dna without a certain new function, like a lung, or kidney, or brain, or eye, or skin, of bone, or hair, of tear duct, or immune response, etc. Later, a 100 lines, or millions of lines of new dna exist with this code. Duplication is not the mechanism, for the function did not exist, and requires some pretty profound new engineering to create. The unanswered question is: how did it happen? Randomness cannot be part of the solution, since the improbabilities are far too great.

    Can this question be answered, or is it still open? The answer I usually get is, well just because we do not know, does not mean we should accept the possibility of a creator. I say, you should consider both, until we have an answer. You may lean one way or the other, but both are still possibilities.

    The most knowledgeable scientists agree for example, in cosmology, the closer we get to the beginning of the universe, the more the questions become philosophical and theological. You are discounting a vital side of the story.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well the eye is not used this way in the intelligent design. The problem is that squids and human both have eyes that are similar yet their common ancestor does not. It seems strange that such an extremely complex structure such as an eye would develop both in humans and squid the same basic way. They may be "wired" differently but the "parts" basically are the same.

  • 1 decade ago

    Intelligent design is an argument from contingency. The theory says that certain structures on species could not have evolved on certain species because the structures in and of themselves are the simplest they could possibly be. If one part is removed from that structure, it would not function properly. It says it is highly unlikely that such structures evolved and such things suggest design. It says nothing about the designer. Intelligent Design would observe a mousetrap and conclude the mousetrap is built and say nothing about the builder, because if one were to remove any of the parts of the mousetrap, it would not work.

    What you are talking about has nothing to do with intelligent design theory, but rather how the media paints intelligent design. You are talking about teleological arguments, or arguments from design. Intelligent Design doesn't care about complex structures or who the the designer is. Second, it doesn't explain everything like retinas and what not because it is looking for the simplest structures. Intelligent Design is not an attempt to replace evolution, but to complement or help evolution where it is lacking.

  • Bob L
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Evolutionary Design Flaw:

    Since man's evolution from sea animals, the evolutionary example of the human eye stands out as problematic.

    Molluscs such as octopii and squids don't have this problem as their retinas are "wired" in a more appropriate fashion, from the back, so no light is blocked and no blind spot exists.

    Since evolution promotes the improvement and advanced adaptation of species, has the human eye actually become less efficient than those of our pre-human life forms?

    Is evolution in the case of the human eye actually proving to be de-evolution?

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If people grasped the fact that 99% of species that have existed went extinct because of their inability to adapt to this "perfectly designed" planet it would kill the intelligent design argument stone dead. This planet is such a hostile environment that it guarantees the demise of most species rather than their survival and what kind of deity would design a planet like that?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Probably for the same reason that the G-man put the tree of knowledge in Eden with Adam and Eve and told them not to eat from it.... after having deliberately given them the free will to do so, AND having made a creature who for some reason felt inclined to lure them into doing it.

    I mean... c'MON... Adam and Even were allegedly eternal... undying.... If you factor in that they would have been in Eden for eternity with free will, etc... the odds of them NOT eating the apple exponentially tend toward zero.

    The G-man apparently elates in setting up inescapable traps for his "creations" soley so he can punish them.

    Its not all that different to the many great examples he sets throughout the Old Testament... the absolute classic being, to rephrase it slightly: "Thou shalt not copy my habit of killing things all over the place"....

    Know what they say about bullies coming from abusive families?

    I expect, in-keeping with the kind of consistancy that most christians couldn't even comprehend..... god would make that blind spot soley so at some point in future we are told to watch something constantly that we are physically unable to watch BECAUSE of the blind spot... and then he can punish us for it.


    What a sadistic bastard. -_-;

    [An additional note for those people criticising evolution]: The octopus eye and the human eye were independantly derived, much like the "wings" of flies and birds. The nearest common ancestor of both didn't have eyes at all. Both, on separate divergances, have ended up developing pigmented pores that sealed themselves off with a transparent film (and that is where the similarity typically ends). Eyes, based on at least similar structure, have turned out to be rather efficient for what they are, and extremely useful..... but since they came about separately..... they will tend to have separate strengths and weaknesses. Octopus eyes for one thing don't work all that well out of water.

  • 1 decade ago

    You have, sir, shot yourself in the foot.

    It is an argument against intelligent design. It is also an argument against evolution! You see if "higher" animals like humans have worse eye-wiring than lower animals like squids it suggests that evolution has gone in reverse.

    I would suggest that this is an argument in favour of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. As the Pastafarians are at pains to point out His Noodly existence is proved by:

    1. The need for design

    2. That it was not INTELLIGENT design. It was stupid pasta-design.

    This is conclusively shown by the existence of the Duckbilled Platypus. Now you can't convince ME either:

    - That's well adapted or

    - That's the work of any creator who doesn't have spaghetti sauce for brains.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    actually, though our wiring produces a blind spot, the design increases resolution in our vision.

    Personally, I'd rather have the higher resolution because I just about never notice the blind spot.


    Source(s): jewish and comfortable with evolution but resents trite arguments.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well, the sheeple will say some mindless nonsense that doesn't explain anything, as usual. But, as an atheist, I will have to just agree with your indirect point, and applaude your knowledge of the inner workings of eye-balls. Kudos.

  • 1 decade ago

    If God designed life then he must have flunked engineering class. On a humurous note, look at the reproductive system. Who would build an amusement park next to a sewage plant anyway?

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.