How to explain the changes between two steps in the way of the human eye?

First, I’m Sorry about my english, I’m Not a Native english person…

This question is a doubt about my Reading of “where the conflict really lies”, book of Alvin Plantinga.

In the book, he is doing an analysis of the Dawkins argument about the development of the human eye by unicelular individuals. To Plantinga, there is some level of improbability to this development. My doubt is:

How the christians could understand the process of natural selection? Specifically in this question about the human eye, may we believe that there was untransponible walls between two steps of the process that can be explained only with the Divine intervention? How did God acted in this process?

Welcome! Welcome! Jonatas. Don’t feel bad. I am from here and have no idea what’s going on.


Eyes are not actually that complex. We can see what they often call the “ stages of the eye” throughout the animal kingdom”. Eyes still function for what they need to do for each species as just photosensitive cells, depressed photosensitive cells, the depression deepens ,we see conclave cells so deep with pinholes and convex lenses and so on.

There is a good episode on this from “ The Common Descent”

If you use iTunes it’s episode 68.

If it’s easier for you to read then to listen to the podcast there is also a decent Wikipedia page to prime anyone interested.


Platinga: ‘I reject unguided evolution’. There’s the problem.

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Hi, Jonatas - and welcome to the forum.

I don’t know if you’ve found any responses useful so far. But I’ll suggest Richard Dawkins’ book “Climbing Mt. Improbable”. In that book he has at least a chapter devoted to the evolution of the eye, that should be easy for a non-scientist to follow. He isn’t friendly toward the Christian faith, but his science is still well written and very educational if one is willing to ignore his poor straw-man theology.


Young Dickie ain’t friendly to any faith, with every reason. His science is as good as it gets including his ‘poor straw-man theology’. You of all people surprise me Mervin. Faith must be humble, must acknowledge the truth of everything he says, and still come back. In humility.

I’m afraid I must continue to disappoint, then. I can’t go along with Dawkins in his caricature of the Christian God (which is echoed by some right here in this forum - ostensibly from the opposite side of Dawkins - so at least he comes by it honestly - I guess I can say that for him). But I will say this … there are many gods that need to die - and the one spoken of by Dawkins is likely one of that set. So perhaps his atheology is a service to Christianity yet, though the medicine is put in a pill designed to assure that the patient will find it abhorrent and leave it untouched.


How could we, christians, understand the evolution? Is It really unguide? How God Intervenes?

Thank you, Mervin.

Well… My point here is Not exactly the development of the eye, but the question: how to understand God’s intervention in the “unguided process” of the natural selection? Is it really unguided?

When you flip a coin to see which side lands up … would you say the result of your coin toss was guided?

Whatever the correct answer is to that question: the same answer would be correct for everything else, including evolution.

[My answer to that? I take it as a faith proposition that everything is within God’s providence. I can’t tell you how or where such guidance comes into play because such propositions (or convictions if strongly held) are not put forward as attempted explanations of anything. They are rather an accepted context for everything.]

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Thankfully, science stopped using human intuition as evidence for theories a long time ago. If you are basing conclusions on “I just can’t see how it is done” then you aren’t doing science.

I ran across a great article on eye evolution the other day, you should give it a read.

The evolution of eyes: major steps. The Keeler lecture 2017: centenary of Keeler Ltd

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If you want to take your cues from the Bible and Christian life then the involvement of God is infrequently big and mostly quite subtle. Think about how God has answered your prayers. The big interventions are almost desperate corrections such as the flood when all of mankind had only thoughts of evil continually. In evolution this might be compared to an asteroid wiping out the dinosaurs. In the subtle parts of this, as Christians we know that God wants a relationship with us where He is a participant in our lives. In my experience that is more like learning the small lessons He would teach us in life, if we pay attention – how about you?

The watchmaker designer notion of God is more a product of Deism, while in the Bible God is more of a shepherd. And frankly, we have now learned in the development of AI that mechanical learning processes (which evolution is an example) is vastly superior to human design efforts. Thus in the creation of things like the human eye, why wouldn’t God avail Himself of such a superior method of design – because… why waste time with what is just a long boring mechanical process?


What caricature of how many of over a billion Christians’ Gods? And over a billion Muslims’ Gods? Who of the billions is not damnationist? Not sexist? Or not homophobic? Or not theocratic? Theocapitalist? Exceptionalist? Placist? You’re not, you don’t believe those caricatures believed by billions, these adventures in missing the point. Dawkins isn’t interested in those who have a caricature of God finding his pointing out their naked emperor abhorrent. Where does he ever caricature your God and mine?

When he calls him a nasty, brutish, murderous monster … or words to that effect (which may not be your god or mine … but Dawkins denies your or my trying to split any hairs about it - if you call yourself a Christian, he has insisted that this is what your god is.)

Facts, truth, science, rationality are not touched by faith Jonatas. There is no filter, no lens for nature but the senses, sharpened by science. Faith can’t change what is. Nature is completely free, autonomous. If God guided it, it would be obvious.

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Don’t mind Klax. I sent you a PM.

Klax   The only thing that matters is faith expressed in love.

What was that faith in, exactly?


I’m sorry you have never experienced God’s providence, at least not that you are aware of or are willing to admit.

God is sovereign over mutations in DNA, and providentially intervenes, not that science can detect it, of course.

Here’s a little illustration: Nephrectomy. Another example of how God is sovereign without breaking any natural laws (making his activity scientifically undetectable) is Maggie’s testimony.

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I also agree with Klax that science has nothing to do with my faith. I don’t think there is any scientific reason to believe in God. I definitely don’t believe in there being any scientific evidence to believe that evolution lacked the free will of animals and chance. I don’t think God caused a meteor to hit earth to help bring about conditions that makes earth better for mammals or that he made mammals body temperature less favorable for fungal infections and so on. Why would I think God helped evolve mankind from primates in the trees into bipedal hunters so that we could prey on animals to potentially have more nutrition to help with brain development and so on.

If someone believes science shows that God guided human evolution then they need to back it up. They need to show what specifically evolved. Consciousness? Self awareness? Larger brains? Then show why natural selection does not better answer it.

It’s a form of concordism and intelligent design. It would be like saying humans ears evolved so we could hear the gospel being preached. It’s just silly.

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I experience it all the time just like everybody else, not sorry to admit that, so you have nothing to be sorry for. If I experience a theophany, you’ll be the first to know.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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