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
Give Today to Reach the Next Generation
North Texas Giving Day is here once again! Will you help us reach the next generation? Your generosity will empower ICR and the brand-new ICR Discovery...

NEWS
Fossil Ape Skull Is a Game Ender
A recent poll of college-age Americans showed that the single most convincing science-based argument for evolution is the lineup of supposed ape-like evolutionary...

NEWS
Over a Dozen More Dinosaur Soft Tissues
A trio of scientists used sterile techniques to collect 17 dinosaur fossils. They searched deep inside the specimens for original, still-soft tissue...

NEWS
Komodo Dragon Genome Bites Evolution
Komodo dragons are the largest lizards in the world and a top predator on the remote Indonesian islands they inhabit. Their sensory system allows them...

NEWS
ICR Discovery Center Hosts Grand Opening
This Labor Day, over 1,600 people flowed through the ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History to celebrate its grand opening. ICR staff and...