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Author Topic:   Evolution would've given us infrared eyesight
RickCHodgin
Member (Idle past 3651 days)
Posts: 44
From: United States
Joined: 01-20-2009


Message 1 of 265 (494932)
01-20-2009 5:24 AM


As I was walking into the kitchen this morning, it was dark and I didn't want to turn on the lights and wake anybody else up. As a result, I made my way by memory, some very small visual cues from outside lights, and touch. A thought occurred to me:

The Earth is dominated by 12 hours of daylight, a couple hours of twilight, and then 10 hours of mostly darkness. In the extreme northern and southern hemispheres it's even more hours of darkness (or lightness) for half the year. And while there are some stars at night, and there is the moon, often times the skies are cloudy or overcast, resulting in an inability to see clearly the ground. Anyone who's ever tried to hunt at night knows what I'm talking about.

If evolution were true, there would've been significant advantages to having infrared vision, since infrared is "always on," constantly emitting heat information about the temperature of objects. Even extremely mild cues in minor heat differences would've been of benefit - especially in searching for other warm blooded animals as hunters. We've seen nocturnal animals with huge pupils. The ability to see infrared would've significantly reduced that eyeball landscape requirement, and would've provided an advantage so substantial that all offspring would've had it in short order (small number of generations).

The fact that we don't have this, and no land animals have this (to my knowledge and I could be wrong, though I know some fish have this ability), suggests evolution did not happen, but rather by design we were created this way for the express purposes of God's will.


- Rick
Replies to this message:
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 Message 8 by Annafan, posted 01-20-2009 9:35 AM RickCHodgin has responded
 Message 9 by Coragyps, posted 01-20-2009 9:38 AM RickCHodgin has not yet responded
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Message 2 of 265 (494948)
01-20-2009 8:00 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
Larni
Member
Posts: 3976
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 3 of 265 (494952)
01-20-2009 8:12 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RickCHodgin
01-20-2009 5:24 AM


Hi Rick, welcome to EvC. I hope you want to learn.

If evolution were true, there would've been significant advantages to having infrared vision, since infrared is "always on," constantly emitting heat information about the temperature of objects. Even extremely mild cues in minor heat differences would've been of benefit - especially in searching for other warm blooded animals as hunters.

How would this be a benefit to warm blooded humans? The radiant heat from our heads would spoof the receptors. Imagine trying to see when your eyes are glowing like light bulbs.

So, the significant advantage you trumpet would be practically useless for mammals.

You also imply that evolution ‘should’ have found a solution that your particular god has not deigned to use.

If it’s not good enough for your particular god (I have no idea which god you are referring to however), why should evolution select it?

Kind of points to your god of choice being too dumb to give us this tremendous advantage.

I can’t help thinking (yet again) that as a creo you have no idea what ToE actually states.

The fact that we don't have this, and no land animals have this (to my knowledge and I could be wrong, though I know some fish have this ability), suggests evolution did not happen, but rather by design we were created this way for the express purposes of God's will.

I think you will find that fish (such as piranha) don’t have a thermographic sense like vipers do (they however, do have fully fledge thermo receptors a la Predator). The fish can simply see into the near infra red where the wavelength is better at penetrating the sediment of the Amazon.

Vipers and some pythons actually do see like Predator but they are cold blood so their relatively low body heat will not interfere with the heat sensitive pits on their snouts (not their eyes).

You see, the thing about evolution is that it takes the path of least resistance form any given point. So when our shrew-like ancestors where scampering through the trees the visible spectrum was adequate (not perfect) for the job. With no selection pressure to select thermograpic optics (which would require a radical retune of the eye) you won’t see it.

By your logic humans should have wings, too.

Animals have the sense they need to get by. If humans really did have thermographic vision on top of visible spectrum vision (with the extra cells, insulation and neural pathways to use it) it would be very strange indeed from an evolutional perspective.

This would be evidence against evolution.

You have created a strawman ‘vision’ of what natural selection ‘should’ have produced and tilted against it a la Don Quixote.

After all, we would be asleep most of the time it would be useful. Seems that the survival advantage it would bring would be less than you think.

The bottom line is that we don’t have Predator vision because we don’t need it to survive long enough to breed.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RickCHodgin, posted 01-20-2009 5:24 AM RickCHodgin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Dr Jack, posted 01-20-2009 9:18 AM Larni has responded
 Message 15 by RickCHodgin, posted 01-20-2009 11:34 AM Larni has not yet responded
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 Message 182 by RCS, posted 03-02-2009 2:25 AM Larni has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 265 (494955)
01-20-2009 8:30 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RickCHodgin
01-20-2009 5:24 AM


If evolution were true, there would've been significant advantages to having infrared vision

In addition to what Larni said, I don't think infrared vision would be a greater advantage (towards better reporduction) than evolving sleep. Having a time of rest increases the lifetime of the species. This would give them a better oportunity for more progeny, which I think would out compete better vision.

The fact that we don't have this, and no land animals have this (to my knowledge and I could be wrong, though I know some fish have this ability), suggests evolution did not happen, but rather by design we were created this way for the express purposes of God's will.

Even assuming you are right about the vision thing, that it would be evidence against the Theory of Evolution does not mean that it would not be evidence for design.


Science fails to recognize the single most potent element of human existence.
Letting the reigns go to the unfolding is faith, faith, faith, faith.
Science has failed our world.
Science has failed our Mother Earth.
-System of a Down, "Science"

He who makes a beast out of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man.
-Avenged Sevenfold, "Bat Country"


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RickCHodgin, posted 01-20-2009 5:24 AM RickCHodgin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Larni, posted 01-20-2009 8:43 AM New Cat's Eye has responded
 Message 16 by RickCHodgin, posted 01-20-2009 11:45 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Larni
Member
Posts: 3976
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 5 of 265 (494956)
01-20-2009 8:43 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by New Cat's Eye
01-20-2009 8:30 AM


Having a time of rest increases the lifetime of the species.

Good point. We also have a dire need to sleep (humans, that is) and constant activity would have been a hinderance to resting and refuel the old hypocampus and amygdala ATP levels.

Also, I would imagine that it is more energy efficent to sleep than to compete with animals 24 hours a day.

This makes me wonder: do Predators have heat proof eyelids? How else would they get any shut eye?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-20-2009 8:30 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-20-2009 9:00 AM Larni has not yet responded
 Message 18 by RickCHodgin, posted 01-20-2009 11:49 AM Larni has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 265 (494961)
01-20-2009 9:00 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Larni
01-20-2009 8:43 AM


We also have a dire need to sleep (humans, that is) and constant activity would have been a hinderance to resting and refuel the old hypocampus and amygdala ATP levels.

I suppose if we went down the evolutionary path towards infrared vision and sleeplessness, then the hinderances from that would get evolved out in the wash. We'd prolly be totally different though.

do Predators have heat proof eyelids? How else would they get any shut eye?

heh, maybe some eye gear like this:

or bedrooms like this:

Maybe they explain it somewhere in the Alien vs Predator graphic novels.....


ABE:

Wait....

Doesn't the Predator get his extra visions from his helmet? Without the helmet, doesn't he just have regular vision?

Edited by Catholic Scientist, : see ABE:


This message is a reply to:
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Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 212 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 7 of 265 (494964)
01-20-2009 9:18 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Larni
01-20-2009 8:12 AM


Vipers and some pythons actually do see like Predator but they are cold blood so their relatively low body heat will not interfere with the heat sensitive pits on their snouts (not their eyes).

The body temperature of an active Viper is only about 5 degrees less than that of a human. I doubt that would be sufficient to make it practical or not.

I suspect the real answer lies in the nature of the infrared sensing pits. As you noted, snakes don't "see" infrared with their eyes, but with specialised organs. Why is that?

I think there are two likely reasons:

1. Thermoreceptors need a system of cooling; putting such a system into the retina would considerably degrade visual quality.

2. Photoreceptors work via certain pigments that are modified (bleached) by incoming photons. I'd hazard a guess that the lower energy levels of infrared photons aren't high enough for this method to function efficiently.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Larni, posted 01-20-2009 8:12 AM Larni has responded

Replies to this message:
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Annafan
Member (Idle past 2686 days)
Posts: 418
From: Belgium
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 8 of 265 (494966)
01-20-2009 9:35 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RickCHodgin
01-20-2009 5:24 AM


Hi Rick! Welcome to EvC. :)

A couple of good responses already. Let me also kick in (sorry in advance for repeating some stuff).

RickCHodgin writes:

If evolution were true, there would've been significant advantages to having infrared vision

The additional ability (just the fact by itself, not considering possible "engineering" consequences as already pointed out by Larni) to have infrared vision would indeed be an advantage. But even acknowledging this, it doesn't follow that because of our lack of infrared vision evolution must be false.

Evolution does not predict that organisms should be perfect. In fact, one of the consequences of evolution is that often an organism has to, metaphorically speaking, "row with the oars it has available" (is this English? :) ). Evolution has taken a certain path somewhere in the past, and as a consequence other paths which may have been followed by other organisms (branched off in the tree of life earlier in history), are simply not available to its own lineage. Bats for example will never have feathers like birds (though strictly spoken it might be possible in the very very far future), while it might possibly have helped to improve their flight abilities, because they took a different evolutionary path before feathers evolved in (the evolutionary branch of) birds.

The principle that there is no "directed perfection" is quite obvious, because apart from the human brain you would probably find a better (than human) engineered alternative bodypart or function in at least some animals out there. Many animals have superior senses (the octopus eye without a blind spot, just sharper eyesight in general, additional senses like electrosensitivity in sharks etc.), or stronger bodies, or superior stamina, or superior reaction speed etc.

As pointed out, this is in line with what we would expect if common descent is correct, but not at all obvious if a designer would be at work: why would he keep using inferior designs when better is available? Why would he use some of those inferior designs in the organism that is supposed to be the crown on his creation? Why would he follow a design pattern that is consistent with common descent?

I will also speculate that most animals with infrared vision abilities are insects (?). Which could indicate that from an "engineering" point of view this ability is a more straightforward path to take for compound eyes than for our design of eyes.

Edited by Annafan, : corrected English as suggested by Huntard


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RickCHodgin, posted 01-20-2009 5:24 AM RickCHodgin has responded

Replies to this message:
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 Message 21 by RickCHodgin, posted 01-20-2009 12:17 PM Annafan has responded

  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5381
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 8.1


Message 9 of 265 (494967)
01-20-2009 9:38 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RickCHodgin
01-20-2009 5:24 AM


suggests evolution did not happen, but rather by design we were created this way for the express purposes of God's will.

And He wants us to bump into crap in the kitchen at night? Twisted old Geezer, ain't He?

That's not a very convincing argument. But welcome to EvC!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RickCHodgin, posted 01-20-2009 5:24 AM RickCHodgin has not yet responded

  
Larni
Member
Posts: 3976
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 10 of 265 (494969)
01-20-2009 9:57 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Dr Jack
01-20-2009 9:18 AM


Seems that snakes detect far infra red with thermo receptors that function like a pin hole camera and then clean the image up with some fancy snake brain alogrithm.

It's pretty clear that the kind of tectum humans have would require radical retuning if (for the sake of arguement) we had heat pits.

http://www.physorg.com/news76249412.html

This means that the way they work is not (as you say) by bleaching rods or cones but by direct thermoception.

Good old wiki points out that these snakes frequent colder areas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_sensing_in_snakes

ABE: Your kitty is so cute!

Edited by Larni, : Cat praise


This message is a reply to:
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Huntard
Member (Idle past 402 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 11 of 265 (494971)
01-20-2009 10:04 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Annafan
01-20-2009 9:35 AM


Hey Annafan, great post, one little thing though.

Annafan writes:

row with the blades it has available


That would be oars, not blades. Still not sure if it is an english expression though. :)


I hunt for the truth
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Larni
Member
Posts: 3976
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 12 of 265 (494978)
01-20-2009 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Huntard
01-20-2009 10:04 AM


A better expression would be to play with cards you have been dealt.
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3393
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 8.3


Message 13 of 265 (494980)
01-20-2009 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RickCHodgin
01-20-2009 5:24 AM


So then, Rick, because we don't have infra-red vision even though you think it'd be very useful you say that is evidence of intelligent design.

But your Intelligent Designer also failed to install those features that you believe we should have if we were properly designed. That means that you believe in an incompetent Fool of a Designer who can't get anything right. Why do you want to believe in such a god?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RickCHodgin, posted 01-20-2009 5:24 AM RickCHodgin has responded

Replies to this message:
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8842
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 7.7


Message 14 of 265 (494981)
01-20-2009 11:27 AM


Getting there from here....
I don't see the point made that it doesn't matter at all if IR vision would be very useful to humans. There are lots of things that would clearer be more useful.

It doesn't matter how useful something is if it simply never happens to arise through mutation. Natural selection works with what comes up.

We do row with the oars we have as noted above.

Maybe there happens to be no path from what we have to IR vision.


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RickCHodgin
Member (Idle past 3651 days)
Posts: 44
From: United States
Joined: 01-20-2009


Message 15 of 265 (494982)
01-20-2009 11:34 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Larni
01-20-2009 8:12 AM


In response to Larni:

How would this be a benefit to warm blooded humans? The radiant heat from our heads would spoof the receptors. Imagine trying to see when your eyes are glowing like light bulbs.

We have blood rushing through our ears right now, and yet unless we have something wrong with us we don't hear those noises. Life is designed (by God, by the way :)) to accommodate such things. Were it evolution based, an infrared cue of some sort would be of extreme benefit, even if it required significant evolutionary "capital" to get there, the reality is in the end it would be of much advantage.

Also, infrared cameras today are a particular temperature, their lenses, cases, internals, etc., they automatically calibrate themselves. So do infrared temperature sensors that are $50 at Radio Shack.

If it’s not good enough for your particular god (I have no idea which god you are referring to however), why should evolution select it?

I am a Christian. My Lord is Jesus, and I believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe that God gave man what was needed to operate here in this flesh. We don't need infrared because he provided us with a place to live and everything we needed to survive here. That's part of my belief that evolution does not exist in the macro form, such as some earlier form evolving over time into multiple other forms.

Vipers and some pythons actually do see like Predator but they are cold blood so their relatively low body heat will not interfere with the heat sensitive pits on their snouts (not their eyes).

The vipers' and pythons' eyes do function when they are 60F as well as 100F though, right? So the system is auto-correcting in a snake. There's no reason to believe it wouldn't operate similarly in humans. Our testacles descend regularly to maintain their temperature adequately. There is no reason to believe something similar couldn't be done with our eyes, and even via a more complex regulated circulatory system that pumps cooler materials around like an A/C unit - much as our skin and blood vessels change as our exposure to environment changes.

Animals have the sense they need to get by. If humans really did have thermographic vision on top of visible spectrum vision (with the extra cells, insulation and neural pathways to use it) it would be very strange indeed from an evolutional perspective.

I agree that animals have the senes they need to get by. I believe it's because God designed it that way. I disagree, however, that evolution would not have created infrared eyesight as the benefits of having such an ability would be extreme. The ability to see your prey even when fully camouflaged to their background surroundings, just by body heat alone ... it would enable creates to survive that could not have survived based on other evolutionary limitations - from an evolutionary point of view I mean.

I appreciate your response. I'm not trying to argue with you or be negative. I am just stating what I believe - and trying to do so in a matter-of-fact way.


- Rick
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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