Evolution is an enigma. I recently enlightened myself with a Youtube video that sheds light on the evolution of the human eye, a sublime exemplar of ingenious biological engineering Darwin once regarded its evolution to be “…absurd in the highest possible degree.” (as mentioned in the video below).
It delineates its evolution from the inception of the eye as a light-sensitive protein spot that can be found in single cell organisms and how its structure began to dent into a superficial concave designed to enhance the detection of light direction. Eventually, this epidermal sink began to deepen into a dome and its rim contracted into a narrow orifice to form an ocular camera obscura for bettered, focused image. Following this upgrade was the development of a transparent cellular strata, what we now call the cornea, that covers the ocular opening to ward off infections and permit the interior of the eye to be flooded with a transparent fluid to regulate light sensitivity and processing. The lens is then gradually installed adjacent to the opening to focus the influx of light into a singular point on the retina and provide the resilience of near and far vision. And slowly, the common trappings of the human eye began to appear, such as the sclera and iris.
Such work of genius would require an individual of supreme smarts and unwavering concentration to create and succeed. Yet evolution has done so without a brain.
This leaves me to cogitate the course taken by a light sensitive dent on an organism’s skin to become this complex functional biological electromagnetic radiation detection apparatus we all have in our skulls. The question is: why did it happen the way it happened?
To disintegrate this inquisitive generality into its constituents: why does the dent on the organism’s skin recede in the first place? What causes it to deepen and the rim to peter into a minute pinhole to allow for a clearer optical projection? Genetic mutation.
So how did it “figure out” to do that? Is there a pre-established archive of information, laws or writs woven into the genetic constitution of an organism that governs its mutative reaction towards its ever changing surroundings? Is there a divine architect of the design and functionality of an organism whose job is as never finished as fashion? Or is it all just a natural continuum of biological, physical and chemical cause and effect, operating on an abstruse and concatenate plane?
It seems that the genetic evolution can be likened to us, mankind, a highly evolved, complex and curious race of earthly life. We explore, discover and learn; we encounter issues, dilemmas and hardship; and we derive solutions to improve, adapt and survive.
So is evolution a sharp cookie? Who am I to say it isn’t.