Yes, it does. The ability to avoid or recover from predation often makes the difference between life and death, and is therefore one of the strongest components of natural selection. One of the many hypotheses for "causes" of the Cambrian explosion is the "Light Switch" theory of Andrew Parker: It holds that the evolution of eyes started an arms race that accelerated evolution. Before the Cambrian explosion, animals may have sensed light, but did not use it for fast locomotion or navigation by vision. The rate of eye evolution is difficult to estimate, because the fossil record, particularly of the lower Cambrian, is poor. How fast a circular patch of photoreceptor cells can evolve into a fully functional vertebrate eye has been estimated based on rates of mutation, relative advantage to the organism, and natural selection. However, the time needed for each state was consistently overestimated and the generation time was set to one year, which is common in small animals. Even with these pessimistic values, the vertebrate eye would still evolve from a patch of photoreceptor cells in less than 364,000 years.