The eyeball as testimony to evolution?

The “we” is “theists.”

I’ve never seen a creationist argue that, so this example seems to be a straw man argument that creationists use fallacies.

Creationists have asked reasonable questions in the form of, “How can evolution account for this?”–and the questions remain unanswered. The eye is apparently designed, and the preponderance of the evidence supports that conclusion. The only reason to deny that it is actually designed is because of a prior commitment to naturalism that disallows any explanations other than naturalistic ones, because one doesn’t want to let design or intelligence to get a foot in the door.

Dawkins defines biology as ‘the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose." But he believes that appearances are deceiving. So we have to constantly remind ourselves that nothing biological is designed. Having to constantly remind ourselves is generally a sign that we are struggling to believe something that isn’t true.

Sorry for your child having to debate the evolutionary side on this issue. It is going to be an uphill battle.


Information is conveyed via matter, but is not material. The words and letters on this posting are contained on electronic media, but the electronic media is not “information.”

This thread is so 2020, but I think it is a really interesting question…

What should we do if scientists can’t explain X?

To begin, a lot of people make the mistake of only thinking that scientists can’t explain X, when really they are just ignorant of some topic. This is the most common mistake that people make with regards to rejecting evolution which really did occur.

However, more broadly speaking, let’s say that there genuinely doesn’t exist any scientific explanation for some phenomenon (at least not yet). It is a logical error (the false dilemma fallacy listed in the recent link) as much anti-evolution writing makes the case that if scientists can’t explain X, that means I’m right! This is seen simultaneously in anti-evolution writing of both old-earth and young-earth creationists. However, it is remarkable that says the lack of an adequate explanation of the origin of life is simultaneously evidence of both young-earth AND old earth creationism given how many of the articles are written. However, the lack of a scientific explanation is not positive evidence of a supernatural explanation.

What you really need to do, which is a problem that many people who reject portions of modern science, is state specifically what would it look like if an eyeball was designed instead of evolved. That is, stop using the argument, “well I think you can’t explain it therefore I’m right,” but actually put out specific expectations and predictions of what you should find.

The first topic is explored by this blog post a bit:


Hi Craig -

I believe that God created the universe and thus everything, including the eye, can by faith be traced to God’s hand.

A lot of evidence in favor of the evolution of the eye has been discussed in this thread already. You might try reading the earlier posts before you make such a radical statement.

No one has provided a molecule by molecule explanation of every single mutation in every species over hundreds of millions of years, of course. In the same way, no one is able to give a molecule by molecule account of how cookie dough gets transformed into a batch of cookies. Does this mean that cookies are directly designed and fabricated by God’s hand?

Or can we say that an overall understanding of the chemical processes involved in baking is explanation enough, given the congruence between the explanation and our observations? Which is of course parallel to the congruence between the explanations of evolution and our observations of the comparative genomics and paleontology of biological vision.

Straw man. It is far more likely that Dawkins reminds his readers of the deceptiveness of appearances because he believes some of his readers need the reminder.

Tell me this, Craig: the Bible reminds us quite frequently of the deceptiveness of riches. Does this mean that Biblical authors struggled to believe that riches are deceptive, and indeed the deceptiveness of riches is something that isn’t true? Or does the Bible remind us frequently because we readers need the reminder?

We share faith in God, Craig, so I hope you don’t feel there’s any hostility in this post. I certainly don’t feel that way, and I’m trying to offer this in a spirit of friendship. The point of this little post is simply to help you see some aspects of your reasoning might need to be updated.



Then point me to a creationist argument dealing with the eye that demonstrates the steps and mechanisms that created the eye, and the evidence that supports that argument. All I have ever seen is from creationists is “Evolution can’t produce an eye”. I have never seen any positive evidence for the processes they claim created the eye.

Such as???

If there is empirical evidence supporting a testable creationist hypothesis then the hypothesis is allowed within science.

Correct. The very reason we have science and the scientific method is because human intuition is fallible. That’s why we test ideas with empirical observations instead of opinions. “That looks designed” is a subjective opinion.

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you still have not explained what the mass of a physical law is.

To me a law is a set of rules that bind those who are subject to it to act in a way compliant with what is expressed in that law. In the laws of physics this is based on the observations of the behaviour of matter.
Now these laws are by definition grounded on an intelligent mind or would you doubt that

It’s the same as the mass of the number 1.

That is not how it is viewed in physics. Laws are simply a generalized and/or idealized description of what nature does.

You are conflating two different definitions of the word “law”. If the US Congress passed a law stating that the speed of light is just 100 mph we wouldn’t suddenly see photons start slowing down. There is nothing implicit in natural laws that indicates they require an intelligent mind.

speak for yourself :slight_smile:

Acquinas stated that reason reveals particular natural laws that are good for humans such as self-preservation, marriage and family, and the desire to know God.

Now I guess you think of the laws of nature / physics :slight_smile:

Do you really think that is how logic and reason works? You just declare that reason says such-and-such? Ok, let’s see how that goes.

I state that reason reveals that unicorns fart out rainbows.

Do you now believe that unicorns fart out rainbows because of reason?

than explain your reasoning behind that.

Explain your reasoning why laws require an intelligent mind.

What are the two different definitions of the term “law” that are used in the law maker argument? I don’t see them.

First, the laws of nature are not laws in the sense that you will be taken before a judge if you violate them. They are not moral laws.

They are most accurately descriptions of the regularities that we observe in nature. But why does nature and matter and energy work in a consistent manner? Because there is a creator (lawgiver) that designed and determined that consistent manner. If nature did not act in a predictable manner, then how could science ever be done?

Creationist don’t claim their was a “process” that created the eye. They claim that God created the eye.

your question makes one wonder :slight_smile:

A law can be a rule put in place by a government. A law can also be a general or idealized description of how nature works. Those are not the same thing.

Where is the evidence for this argument?

Of course. That is not the issue. The question was not the two definitions, but how they are conflated in the lawgiver argument. I don’t see that this is done. But if you do, please show how it is.

The evidence, as previously stated, is that nature and matter and energy work in a consistent (law like) manner. Do you deny that is how things work?

How familiar are you with quantum physics, Craig?

Wow, great insight and illustration. BTW, cookies are intelligently designed.

What we DO know is that there was a cookie maker, otherwise, no cookies,–Let’s call the cookie maker “Grandma Julie.” So why are there cookies? Because Grandma Julie made them. And why did she make them? Because she wanted to give them to her grandkids—a combination of love and nourishment.

So we now have two levels of explanation for the existence of the cookies. One is agency–a person; the other is purpose—to feed her grandchildren.

Of course, there is still another level of explanation for cookies, the molecular one that you say no one can give (but because cookies are much simpler than eyes, maybe someone can):

No, of course not. And as we have seen, it also doesn’t mean that the cookies were not directly designed and fabricated by Grandma’s loving hands. In fact, we know they were.

Really. You believe that, using your mind or brain (you choose), you are able to think rationally? How can you come to that conclusion without using your mind which is in question in the first place? Well, by faith. And what is that faith based upon? That faith is almost certainly borrowed from the Christian worldview that holds that we and are minds are created in the image of a rational God. If you can find it in another source, like a monkey brain upgraded by natural selection (which selects for survival, not truth), please illuminate us how that works.

“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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