Evidence for Intelligent Design Part 1 – The Biochemical Equation for Vision

Psalm 94:8-9 “Understand you senseless among the people. And you fools, when will you be wise? He who formed the eye, shall He not see?”

In ‘The Origin of Species’, Charles Darwin, makes this very honest confession about our eyes and how they came to be through his theory of evolution: “The eye to this day gives me a cold shudder. To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.”

The fact that Darwin himself doubted our eyes evolved makes it puzzling why our own Lees Summit area high school text books teach our teenagers they did evolve: “Evidence today supports the hypothesis that all complex eyes evolved from a simple ancestral patch of photoreceptor cells through a series of incremental modifications that benefited the owners at each stage.” (Biology – Concepts and Connections, 5th Edition’). We should be explaining to our teens that our eyes perform many functions that could only be accomplished if they had been DESIGNED. For example, our textbooks don’t describe the biochemical differential equations that the eye’s retina solves every split second so you can see. Here’s a brief explanation of how vision works. Don’t you think we should be teaching this to our high school students?

Step 1 of Vision: A photon of light striking the retina changes the shape of a molecule called 11-cts-retinal. This activates the much larger protein rhodopsin (to which it’s attached) to change its shape, which creates a new molecule called metarhodopsin II.

In Step 2, metarhodopsin II is activated to stick to another protein, called transducin (before bumping into metarhodopsin II, transducin had been tightly bound to a small molecule called GDP. GDP now falls off transducin).

In Step 3, once GDP detaches from transducin, the molecule GTP is activated to bind to it. This then activates the multi-molecule GTP-transducin-metarhodopsin II to bind to a protein called phosphodiesterase (found in the cell’s inner membrane).

In Step 4, phosphodiesterase is now activated to lower the concentration of cGMP molecules in the cell (much like pulling the plug in a bathtub lowers the water level).

In Step 5, when the cGMP concentration drops, the ion channel is activated to close, causing the positively-charged sodium ion level to reduce (since they are still being pumped out).

And in Step 6, the reduction in sodium ion levels within the cell causes an imbalance of charge across the cell membrane, producing an electric current that is transmitted down the optic nerve to the brain. This electric current to the brain results in what we call VISION, which is technically the brain’s interpretation of this electrical signal coming from the optic nerve.

Dr. Richard Swenson, in his book ‘More than meets the Eye’, explains this engineered marvel we call the eye’s retina: “While today’s digital hardware is impressive, the human retina’s real-time performance goes unchallenged. To simulate 10 milliseconds of the complete processing of even a single nerve cell from the retina would require the solution of about 500 simultaneous nonlinear differential equations 100 times and would take at least several minutes of processing time on a Cray supercomputer. Keeping in mind that there are 10,000,000 or more such cells interacting with each other in complex ways, it would take a minimum of 100 YEARS of Cray time to simulate what takes place in your eye many times every second.”

So why are we subjecting our young people to a philosophical hypothesis that this engineered system came about through millions of small unguided incremental changes to a simple glob of photoreceptor cells in a primitive life form millions of years ago? Our teenagers compete in today’s global marketplace, where the sharpest minds around the world are vying for the best jobs. Shouldn’t schools require a deeper level of critical thinking than the storytelling of evolution? If the eye’s biochemical engineering gives evidence of design, then teach this as a competing explanation and let the teenagers decide for themselves.

In our verse this week, God not only calls those who deny the evidence of design in the human eye as senseless and fools, but that our physical sight is meant to be a way for us to know that God personally “sees” each of us every second of every day. One of His names that points to Him as a personal God is  ‘YHWH ROI’, ‘The God who Sees and Looks After me’ (Genesis 16:13). In today’s secular American culture, Christians more than ever need to teach their children about the engineered marvel of our eyes and the One responsible for creating them, who lovingly watches over their lives – the God of the Bible.

The Evidence of Faith’s Substance _ Article #513

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.