It Takes More Than Eyes to See | The Institute for Creation Research
It Takes More Than Eyes to See

The eye is an amazing instrument, but it does not function alone. Even with visual receptors rapidly sending data along the optic nerve, no mental image will form at all unless the brain is properly equipped to manage the input. One data processing feature of the brain enables what is called perceptual stability. This ensures that when the eye moves rapidly, as it does two to three times each second, the viewer sees a steady image rather than streaks and blurs.

New research from Rutgers University offers insights into how brains accomplish this. For over a century, scientists thought that perceptual stability occurred by the brain blocking out the blurred images entirely, so that humans are effectively blind during those short, quick eye movements. The Rutgers research shows that model to be false. The brain processes the data, rather than blocking it, but it does not report the results to the conscious awareness center of the brain. The researchers found “that things are much more complex than we suspected.”1

The researchers also suspect that an important function is served when the brain processes the blurred images—even though they go unreported—instead of completely blocking them from entering the visual processing center. If people were indeed effectively blinded two to three times per second, then it would be difficult to re-orient the position of new images in relation to prior ones. This processing likely aids perceptual stability by providing information on “how much and how fast the eye moved,”1 allowing the brain to more readily assimilate subsequent images.

Each specification that is discovered, not only in the eyeball, its retina, and in the brain, but also in the informational programming required to process images, presents an additional hurdle for naturalistic origins theories to overcome. Since each specification must be present for any visual system to work at all, they add up to a mountain-sized hurdle to any evolutionary formation-by-accident explanation.

People seem to have a visual system that is optimized for excellence, both in precise retinal construction and precise involuntary mental image processing.2 Such finely-engineered systems would be exactly what a Creator would be expected to have formed, in order to make known His genius and caring provision.

References

  1. Rutgers Research: Discoveries Shed New Light on How the Brain Processes What the Eye Sees. Rutgers University press release, June 2, 2009, reporting on research published in Watson, T. L. and B. Krekelberg. The Relationship between Saccadic Suppression and Perceptual Stability. Currently Biology, published online May 28, 2009.
  2. Thomas, B. Retinal Coordination: Picture Perfect Presentation of Design. ICR News. Posted on icr.org April 15, 2009, accessed June 15, 2009.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on June 25, 2009.

The Latest
NEWS
Speciation of Bears, Birds, and Bacteria is not Evolution
Speciation may be defined as the separation of populations of animals or plants that resemble one another closely and originally able to interbreed—into...

NEWS
'Prehistoric' Paddlefish?
Evolutionists consider the freshwater paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) of the class Actinopterygii to be a prehistoric creature, a primitive bony fish “50...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Earth
by Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation...

ACTS & FACTS
To the End of the Earth
The book of Acts recounts the apostles’ journeys across the Roman Empire from Jerusalem and Judea “to the end of the earth,” preaching...

APOLOGETICS
Lightning, Soil Bacteria, and God’s Providence
Nitrogen is vital for human survival, yet few appreciate how lightning and soil bacteria contribute to Earth’s nitrogen cycle. That Earth’s...

ACTS & FACTS
The Bobtail Squid's Living Cloaking Device
Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) live among the sand flats and sea plants of the Hawaiian archipelago. Along with other bobtail squid, these...

ACTS & FACTS
Seeing Distant Starlight in a Young Universe
Many see distant starlight as an unanswerable objection to recent creation. Both creationist and evolutionist astronomers agree that distant galaxies...

ACTS & FACTS
Yellowstone National Park, Part 2: Canyons and Catastrophe
by Tim Clarey, Ph.D., and Brian Thomas, Ph.D.* About three million visitors tour Yellowstone National Park’s 3,440 square miles each year.1...

ACTS & FACTS
How Did the Bat Get Its Wings?
Where did bats come from? Evolutionists presuppose that some kind of rodent received just the right mutations to over “a few million years”...

ACTS & FACTS
Biblical Insights into Today’s Violent Mob Mentality
Some scenes from the evening news get etched into our memories. I recall seeing a college professor step outside his building and become suddenly surrounded...