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.


  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 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
First Tapejarid Pterosaur Found In Great Britain
The very first tapejarid pterosaur identified in the United Kingdom was recently found on the Isle of Wight along the southern coast of England.1...

COVID-19 Infection Rates Lower at High-Altitudes
On March 24, 2020, we ran a news article about how warmer weather appeared to hamper COVID-19 infections.1 New evidence could indicate that...

Testing a Climate Change Assumption: Update
About a month ago, some experts suggested that the coronavirus shutdown presented an opportunity to test the assumption that humans are responsible for...

Plethora of Life Found On Sea Turtle Shells
An amazing abundance of life can be found in the strangest places—such as the backs of turtles. It was previously known that an array of life was...

Sweden’s Fun in the Sun, Nature Hiking
Sweden is encouraging Hittaut (recreational nature hiking) with the added encouragement of exploring places to find specific checkpoints along the hike.1 With...

First Land Bug Buried in the Flood
The Scottish island of Kerrera has produced the earliest known bug in the fossil record, a millipede.1 It was found in Silurian System rocks...

Oysters and Opportunities
Under ideal circumstances, we can do a lot of good. But when circumstances handicap or restrict our potential—in ways we cannot circumvent—we...

Micro-Plastic Wastes, European Dippers, and the Genesis Mandate
European dippers are making the news lately, including science news in Wales.1-3 These riparian habitat birds are indicators4...

Looking for Provision
Lawmakers are at it again as they vote on the latest stimulus bill. This potential “relief” might bring you some much-needed peace, or perhaps...

Desperate Dinosaurs Cannibalized During Global Flood
Scientists recently discovered evidence that large theropods were possibly guilty of cannibalism.1 The new study, published in PLOS ONE,...