back to article Living optical fibres found in the eye

It is an old question: how does light make its way through all the retinal layers to finally strike the light sensitive cells at the back of the eye? A group of researchers at the Paul-Flechsig-Institute of Brain Research, Universität Leipzig in Germany, thinks it has the answer. They have demonstrated that light is collected …


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  1. Robert Forsyth

    Used in reverse

    Could these light funnels be used in reverse for (video) displays? If you could make overlapping red, green, and blue funnels, then LCD or Plasma screens might have more contrast.

  2. Clive Harris

    Poor old Darwin must be turning in his grave

    You've just torpedoed one of the best arguments against Intelligent Design!

    It goes something like this: The human eye is built back-to front, with blood vessels and nerves covering the front surface, obstructing the light from getting the the sensitive area. Since only an idiot would design it like this, therefore there is no Intelligent Designer. QED

    Now it seems what we really have is a brilliant arrangement where the light, the power supply (blood vessels) and the connectivity (nerves) all get to the front surface of the photo-receptor - where they're needed - without getting in each others' way. That takes some genius! I don't think I could come up with a better design myself (and some of my designs are pretty intelligent). I'd like to see how they explain that one away.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reply to Clive Harris

    Um... a little thing called evolution?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Explaining away Clive's comment...

    Dead easy Clive...

    Over a few million years, all of the vertebrates that didn't have anything like this arrangement (the ones that couldn't see properly) got killed off much more quickly, and thereby had their genes removed from the gene pool.

    Basic evolution really... like Creationists who keep knocking away uselessly at fact-based scientific theories... they make such prats of themselves, and lose so much credibility, that even their good ideas are regarded with suspicion as complete bunkum, thus ensuring the inevitable extinction of Creationists as a whole...

  5. elder norm

    Lets keep religion out of this


    Lets keep religion out of this. Engineers design and build VCRs that regular people cannot program the time on. Does this mean that Gods creation is dumber than something simple that man creates??

    See, its easy to use false logic or bad reasoning.

    "LIfe is like Apple. It just works. " :-)


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Poor old Darwin

    Hey Clive, Here's your answer

    It's called natural selection

    Sorry if this conflicts with your chosen superstition.

  7. Jim

    To elder norm

    I can't believe you asked that religion be kept out of this and then promptly declare that Apple builds better computers...


  8. Jeremiah Steidl

    Re: Clive

    Am I the only one who thought that Clive's comment was intended to be funny?

  9. Fred Fnord

    The simple answer

    It appears, Jeremiah, that that would be a 'yes'.


  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet another block knocked away

    And as we all know "Nature is so clever" as Reichenbach said.

    There is nothing so funny as a believer in the Creation myth of the Atheist, who hasn't actually thought it out, trying to defend his belief in 'blind' evolution. Yet again _real_ science demonstrates that Evolution is more hole than substance.

    Don't worry, in a little while one of your high priests will explain how it actually demonstrates Evolution to be true, just like the tissue found in dino bones.


  11. Gabor Laszlo

    The other simple answer

    Actually, 'no'. Clive's comment was so obviously ironic that this whole debate seems terribly pointless. I'll just delete this post now...


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where's the article??

    Can't find the PNAS article, and there's no such thing as the April 30th edition (there's a May 1st w/ no sign of this). -David

  13. Tom

    I can see clearly now....

    .... the rain is gone,

    I can see all obstacles in my way,

    Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.

    It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) sunshiny day.

    It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) sunshiny day.


    Vision is a wonderful thing. Even as we (I) age and the ability to focus diminishes. Oh, well.

  14. John Porter

    Life just works....

    "LIfe is like Apple. It just works. " :-)

    Good grief I hope not,

    slow, unable to easily exchange information, expensive, triumph of style over function ... then again you might be right :)

  15. R M Hill

    "evolution" is not an "explanation"

    Many of those who have responded to Clive's comments have displayed an amazing degree of blind faith in naturalistic evolution (or Darwinism for short). The design inference that this newly upgraded level of specified complexity discovered in vertebrate eyes bolsters cannot be so easily dismissed with words like " a little thing called evolution" or appeals to "Natural Selection" devoid of evidence. To claim that vertebrates who did not have this feature died out over millions of years does nothing to prove that vertabrates without these cells ever existed. This is merely an assumption with no supporting evidence.

    Such, it would seem, is the course of those who mock a valid design inference as "religious". They deplore Intelligent Design, claiming that it is a faith commitment, and all the while, they rest their case on the undemonsrated creative power of natural selection acting on random varriation like gene mutations. Now that is blind faith and as much a dogma as any religious doctrine.

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