As of 2007.02.05, none of my questions have been answered. I will begin doing research on the internet to find the best answer to each question below. I'd rather have a knowledgable professional in the appropriate field of study supply the answers, so if you are someone with this knowledge, please help. If you know someone with that knowledge, please ask them politely to help.
There are many sites on the internet that propose a sequence of intermediate steps in the development of an eye from a patch of light-sensitive skin. I have a few questions that will help me refine my viewpoint on the matter. If you can answer any of my questions below, please let me know.
I'm not attempting to make a case either way at this point in time. I just want to clarify and understand what the current paradigm is as presented by evolutionists.
We start with an organism that has no facility for perceiving light (no visual sensory system). It has absolutely no knowledge or perception of the light radiation spectrum (from infrared to the colors we see).
Q: What kind of organism is this?
Q: Where is it on planet earth?
Q: Does it move around? How?
Q: What does it eat?
Q: What are its predators? Would it have any danger sense at all at this point?
The first living organism would have no predators. Tangentially: When does predation begin?
Q: What kind of sensory system does it have at this point?
Q: Are there any organisms that exist today that would be analogous to (or even exactly like) this first "potential visionary?"
It was "good enough" to distinguish between sunshine and darkness so a sea creature could tell if it were day or night (so it knew when to feed). [At this point, light/darkness has nothing to do with its eating patterns. Did it not know when to feed before this? How does light sensitivity all of a sudden trump 'hunger pangs?'] Even a badly positioned retina system would allow a fish to tell if it were entering a cave [for what benefit?] or if a potential predator [what kind of predator is this?] moved over it (blocking out the sun). [This assumes every attack came from above. How likely is that?] As the millions of years went by evolution selected the eye to perform more complex tasks and true vision came about probably with the evolution of a good lens. [I'd prefer some evidence than the overarching assertions.] Source; my comments bold in brackets
All items below these lines can be ignored until foundational answers are provided to the questions above the line. Watch this page as we progress downward... (2005.09.20)
This organism has an outer layer of cells. What is the function of these cells?
A light-sensitive cell (LSC), or a patch of them, appears on the organism. How?
How does the LSC react to a photon striking it? Does it produce a chemical? Does it generate an electrical charge?
The evolution of ocular structures has proceeded in two stages. First was the production of simple eye spots which are found in nearly all the major animal groups and contain a small number of receptors in an open cup of screening pigment. Source.
Q: Where are the examples of these "simple eye spots," which are found in "nearly all the major animal groups?"
Q: What mechanism exists that would give a functioning biological cell the ability to perceive or detect light (photons) when it had no such ability before? What has to change in the functioning of a cell to give it this novel ability?
Q: How exactly does the cell respond to photons making contact with it? Is it chemical? electrical? Does it perceive a single wavelength? a range of wavelenghts?
Q: How does the organism itself perceive the new influx of light data?
For human beings, we have the receptor (eye) and processor (brain). Without one of these, we could not see. Eye evolutionists would (apparently) have us believe that two extremely complicated systems sprang up magically, all at once, to provide a functional visual system.
The system for perceiving light would probably be just as advanced, if not more so, than the actual sensory organ itself. On a technological level, isn't our brain more advanced than our eye?
The problem: our organism is suddenly receiving a stream of new data for which it has no ability to process!
This is like the person who cannot feel pain (it's called a congenital indifference to pain). You can press a sharp instrument against his skin and he won't feel it and, therefore, won't react to it. Relate that to a cell that has a new sensitivity to photons "pressing against it." The organism won't perceive the photon strikes because there's no transmission pathway from the cell to the nervous system center of the organism. And because it confers no survival advantage, there would be no selecting it.
Q: Does the organism have a system already in place to deal with the influx of light data (input)? If yes, where did that come from? What connection is made between the reacting cell and the nervous system of the organism? Explain the sensory and internal nervous system that allows the creature to react to the electrical/chemical/??? response generated in the cell when light strikes it.
Evolutionists like to suggest that light-sensitivity helped in avoiding predators.
How can this be a survival advantage when the organism has no preconceived notions that a change in the amount of light striking the cell means a predator is near? The organism with light sensitivity would die just as quickly as an organism with no light sensitivity because the one with light sensitivity doesn't know what it means.
Q: How does it know that a "shadow," "dimmed light," or any change in the light striking the cell means there is a "predator" or "something to avoid?"
Q: How many in the population suddenly find themselves with this mutation? How many survive? How many reproduce with the mutation intact?
Evolutionists suggest, "Random changes then created a depression in the light-sensitive patch, a deepening pit that made 'vision' a little sharper."
Q: How does a slight deepening of a flat patch of light-sensitive skin cells sharpen the "light" striking the cell such that it would have a "little sharper" perception of the light? Why are we calling it vision at this point?
Continuing the quote from PBS: "At the same time, the pit's opening gradually narrowed, so light entered through a small aperture, like a pinhole camera."
We have two, simultaneous lucky mutations occurring here: a deepening of the cells into a depression, along with the narrowing of the top of the depression until it can be described as a "pinhole camera."