I recently had the opportunity to ride in one of the newer Tesla electric cars. The dashboard had a single touchscreen which displayed a perspective view of the vehicle itself – as if seen by a bird following the vehicle by 300 feet at about 100 feet in altitude. The screen also displayed grayscale model representations of all surrounding vehicles, along with the markings on the road, the speed limit, nearby traffic lights, and other driving information. In principle, you could drive the car without ever looking out the window by looking only at the screen. Apparently, cameras surrounding the vehicle feed images into a computer which constructs a 3D virtual model of its environment, which is then displayed on the screen. In other words, it does in a very limited way what your eyes and brain do with much higher fidelity every second of your conscious life.
Our eyes and brain provide us with a nearly instantaneous mental picture of our immediate surroundings. This in itself is amazing and should prompt us to thank and worship our Creator. But the Lord has enhanced our visual experience with a wonderful feature: color. What exactly is color, and how do our eyes and brain process it?
The human eye is a marvel of design. All the parts work together to provide us with a vivid and colorful mental picture of our surroundings. As an astronomer, one aspect of human vision that I find particularly amazing and useful is the ability of the eye to adapt to extremely different lighting conditions. At night, the eye adjusts to be able to see stars that are 12 trillion times fainter than the sun. The way this mechanism works is ingenious and is merely one example of the cleverness of the Lord and of His grace toward us.
Having examined some of the remarkable design features of the human eye, we here look at a feature that is sometimes claimed to support evolution: the inverted retina. Evolutionists claim this is a backward system that resulted from chance mutations. Far from being evidence of evolution, the inverted retina is extremely well planned. Furthermore, not all creatures have an inverted retina. Rather, each creature has a vision system that is well-designed for its environment.
We previously explored the differences between the inverted retina of the human eye, and the verted retina of cephalopods. We found that each system was well-designed for the typical environment in which the creature lives. This prompts us to ask what other types of eyes the Lord has created. From a biblical creation perspective, we expect to find both similarities (due to having a common Creator who is a God of order) and differences (due to the Lord’s creativity) in the eyes of different varieties of animals. Furthermore, we would expect each type of eye to be well-suited for the organism in its environment, and irreducibly complex. And this is indeed exactly what we find.
Transhumanism is the attempt to artificially improve humans: to enhance their physical and/or mental abilities either by genetic modification, by incorporating technology, or a combination of the two. The World Economic Forum is vigorously pursuing transhumanism with the goal of creating a better society by actually modifying the individuals. The idea is that genetically or technologically enhanced humans might have extraordinary athletic abilities, extremely high intelligence, resistance to disease, and lengthened lifespans. Is such a goal possible? If so, is it something that we should pursue? What are the scientific and moral implications?