The Eye and Technology
Along with the improvements in medical technology, we have come to realize how miraculous the human eye actually is. Whenever a new discovery about the eye is made, a new camera or optical system based on it is released very soon afterwards. The camera is the most common artificial impersonation of the eye and the human visual system. But however much technology may advance, no man-made optical equipment, including computerized cameras, can compete with the eye. No electronic systems have been anything more than primitive copies of the eye.
To support this claim, compare the features of a camera and the human eye.
A basic camera lens is designed to focus a three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional surface. As a result, the picture is inverted and considerably smaller than the real-life scene.
Similarly, the eyes' cornea and lens are designed to focus the image inside the human eye, whose interior is like a dark room—although we shouldn't forget that this "room" is alive. The tissue whereon the inverted image is formed is called the retina. It works like the film in a camera, although its job is to transmit the images it receives to the brain, in the form of electrical signals.
Before taking a photograph, the first thing you should do is focus the image to make it clear and sharp. In the eye, our lens adjusts itself according to its distance from the object we're looking at. With a camera, and also on instruments like microscopes and telescopes, adjustments must be done by hand, unless the machine is automatic. In each instance, this focusing takes some time.
In the human eye, however, focusing takes far less than a second, using a method that no technology can copy. Surrounding muscles located within the eye can stretch or squeeze the lens and focus images on the retina without interruption. Thanks to its flexible structure, the lens changes its shape, ensuring that light constantly falls on the same spot on the retina.
If the lens couldn't adjust by itself, we'd have to find some other means to focus in on objects. This would require manual effort and great inconvenience on our part, since our vision would often remain foggy before we could complete the focusing process. Simply looking at an object would take time, slowing down our lives considerably.
But when we do want to focus in on an object at a certain distance, we need not make any measurements or optical calculations. To see, all we need to do is look. Everything else is done for us by the eye and the brain, automatically. What's more, it takes place in a fraction of a second.
Photographs taken during the day generally come out clear. At night, however, a photograph taken with same film and camera tends to be extremely dark. But when we open our eyelids for even a fraction of a second, we can still see the stars, because, thanks to muscles around the pupil, the eye can adjust itself to differing levels of brightness. Under dark conditions, the pupil expands to admit more light. Similarly, in bright surroundings, the pupil contracts to allow less light inside the eye. This way, vision becomes clear as possible, both night and day.
A Window Opening to a World of Color
The human eye "photographs" its images in both black-and-white and in color. These images are then synthesized by the brain into the sights we see.
For example, when we look at a particular object, it is our rod cells that determine its shape. However, these cells can produce only an image in tones of gray; so an extra set of cells, the cones, are needed to determine the color. The final result, the combined effort of both types of cell, produces our window to the outside world.
We have been comparing the eye to a camera solely as an analogy to assist in understanding. When any camera is placed next to the eye, it is clear which has the more primitive design. The eye's method of image transmission is many times superior to that of even the most advanced modern camera. Put another way, man cannot replicate the quality and perfection of the images transmitted by his own eyes.
(Figure 4.1). Nerve links connecting the eye to the brain. It is crucial that the two organs be in constant communication; and interesting that special lines are used to enable this. If you come across a telephone, a computerized switchboard and a network connecting all three, you would not doubt that they were created for a common purpose. A telephone with no switchboard, a switchboard with no telephone, or a telephone network with no telephone or switchboard is completely useless. All three must be present at the same time. Nobody claims that this system arose as the result of a series of coincidences. Yet the theory of evolution continues to claim that the eye, the brain, and the nerves connecting the two—a far superior system to any technological device—came to be as a result of a series of coincidences. It is clear that the Almighty God created the eye, the brain, and all the links between the two.
To gain a better understanding, let's analyze a TV camera in greater detail. The television does not work by projecting whole images onto the screen, but by transmitting lines of dots to reproduce an image. The TV camera records an image by breaking it up into a series of lines, and so a procedure called "scanning" is used during broadcast. A photocell lamp scans the dots in each line, from left to right. When the scanning is complete, it gives off special signals, based on the levels of light of the dots. Once a line is scanned, the lamp goes on to scan the following line. In Europe, television images are broken down into 625 lines, and are scanned 25 times per second to produce an image on the television screen. The scanning process then begins all over again.
If you think the television's mechanism is amazing; the eye's is even more superior. What is more, its parts do not need changing, nor does it ever need to be serviced. This makes the eye, without question, the most staggeringly perfect optical organ in existence.
The Common Use of Routes
The retina's cells are connected to the brain by a network of nerve routes called the retinal ganglia, the medium through which cells send their signals. But there are significantly fewer ganglion cells than there are cells in the retina: only about one ganglion cell for every 140 retinal cells. Normally, this would be a grave problem leading to congestion and incomplete vision. But clearly such is not the case. So how do the visual signals of each cell manage to reach the brain so flawlessly?
Before answering this, let's analyze the current state of man-made telecommunication systems. A large number of advanced devices are used for intercontinental communication, with thousands of connections at any one moment. But there are far more connections made than there are lines. The latest technology allows for more than one telephone conversation, for example, to take place on a single line. The system works by sending each separate signal down in turn, at high speed, leading communicators to think they alone are using the line. Nobody notices that hundreds of connections are made, transferred and finished on a single line every second. This system saves huge amounts of resources, but the concept is identical to that used in eye-to-brain communications. Just as one telephone line can support hundreds of calls, a ganglion can support hundreds of electrical signals on their way to the brain at any one time.
As this example demonstrates, the human body is made up of countless advanced systems. Now, pushing aside impossibility for a moment, let's try to explain this system in line with the theory of evolution.
Assume that all the layers that make up the eye—including the lens, cornea and eye muscles, the brain, one million ganglion cells, 140 million retina cells, eyelids, tears and blood vessels—all evolved at the same time, through a series of coincidences. But if this impossibility were so, the eye would still not function, because there wouldn't be an adequate number of nerve routes connecting the retina to the brain, with the result of broken and missing signals. Only one in every 140 signals would be able to reach the brain.
How was this obstacle overcome? Did all the nerve cells and retina cells communicate and make a plan? Or did they attend a telecommunications course and consequently, devise a system by which one route could be used for 140 separate signals? The obvious answer is that the cells somehow organized themselves and unanimously adopted the current system. Eventually, every ganglion started to support the signals of an average of 140 sources—shifting the order of the sources and transmitting thousands of signals every second.
But simply devising this system was not enough; the system had to be passed onto succeeding generations. This meant that thousands of lines of genetic information had to be placed flawlessly inside the reproductive cells, which were quite a distance away from the eye cells. If this never took place, children would be born blind, and eventually mankind would become extinct.
If this problem concerning the retina and nerve cells had not been solved, other eye components—such as the cornea, lens, pupil and eye muscles—would be rendered completely useless. These superior mechanisms would disappear when the host body died, never to be seen again.
Every component and layer of this system has to be together for it to function as a whole, meaning that the eye had to appear in the body whole and complete. This is proof that the eye, and the entire human body, was created by God.
Say: "Have you thought about your partner gods, those you call upon besides God? Show me what they have created of the earth; or do they have a partnership in the heavens?" Have We given them a Book whose clear signs they follow? No indeed! The wrongdoers promise each other nothing but delusion. (Surah Fátir, 40)