Insight Into Eye Evolution Deals Blow To Intelligent Design

The Intelligent Design movement has long contended that the lack of an apparent evolutionary pathway for complex eye development indicated the presence of a supreme designer.

The complexity of the human eye

In research reported this week, the evolutionary history of a family of critical eye proteins (βγ-crystallins) has revealed a previously unrecognized link between certain components of sophisticated vertebrate eyes and those of the primitive light-sensing systems of invertebrates. The findings have put in place a conceptual framework for understanding how the vertebrate eye, as we know it, has emerged over evolutionary time.

One remarkable finding is that expression of the (invertebrate) sea squirt crystallin gene is controlled by genetic elements that also respond to the factors that control lens development in vertebrates — this was demonstrated when regulatory regions of the sea squirt gene were transferred to frog embryos where they drove gene expression in the tadpoles’ own visual system, including the lens.

This article interests me because it’s great to gain insights into the evolution of complex structures. It’s a shame that the ID bollocks had to be brought into it. Inevitable though – they make such a big deal out of eyes.