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Our eyes are like a camera with a lens that focuses an image on a collection of specialized cells called the retina at the back of the eye. The retina converts the energy of the light into electrical signals that are sent to the brain which gives us an image. The complexity of this system certainly speaks of design and is difficult to explain by any chance process. It is fascinating that there are many other eye designs in the animal kingdom, and each of them has a common purpose — to enable the animal to survive.

The box jellyfish is a great example of a completely different kind of eye. This animal is simply a gelatinous, pulsating blob with bundles of stinging tentacles hanging underneath. It does not have a brain — just a ring of neurons running around its bell. The box jellyfish has 24 eyes which are grouped into four clusters called rhopalia. Some of the eyes look ahead to spot obstacles. The jellyfish has upper eyes that have weights attached to them so that the eyes are always looking up, even if the jellyfish swims upside down. If the jellyfish is swimming under mangroves where its primary food source of crustaceans is found, the other eyes function. If the upper eyes detect bright light, the jellyfish has strayed into open water where there is no food, and it will change its direction of travel.

Another example of specialized eyes that aid in survival is the mantis shrimp. This animal has three sets of eyes which can all focus on a single object. The information coming to the eyes gives perfect depth perception allowing the animal to know exactly how far away the prey or an enemy is. Scallops have rows of eyes along their mantles, and sea stars have eyes on the tips of their arms. A common house fly has a compound eye that divides light into thousands of separate units with each unit having its own lens and receptor. Some eyes have mirrors in them to aid in the control of light. Some animals see only in black and white while others can see colors that our eyes cannot see. There is no single thread of evolution in the design of the eye, but each eye is tailored to the survival needs of the organism. Truly “we can know there is a God through the things he has made” (Romans 1:20). Source: The Week, March 4, 2016, page 40.

Picture credits:
© Irina Bg. Image from BigStockPhoto.com