Eye of the sun

Eye of the sun

Our star, NASA
Our star, NASA

Out star is middle-aged, the lifespan of stars as a function of their mass. The smallest star should last trillions of years, much longer than the age of the universe. They don’t vary much in their materials when born (three-quarters hydrogen and one-quarter helium).

My eye
The photographer’s eye

Alison, the  optometrist, said my middle-aged eyes (above) are in good health. I needed reading glasses when I got to fifty and I still find them annoying. The eye may be a miracle, but there is no need to cite an argument from design.

The 19th C naturalist William Paley said that life’s complexity and apparent fitness of purpose suggested the existence of a designer. He said that a stone on a beach is natural, but finding a watch would lead one to assume the existence of a watchmaker.  Richard Dawkins points out that constraints on evolutionary change (gravitation, light, seasons, resources etc.) narrow the possibilities permutations of evolution. As a result evolution shows patterns of convergence: for example, the eye has evolved independently some 40 to 60 times. (The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution, 2004). Sight perception first evolved in trilobites in shallow Paleozoic seas. Their sight was unique, their eyes were made of six-sided calcite crystals.

The idea of the nobility and centrality of sight goes back to Greeks, sight’s reach and clarity were thought to clarify reason, but with the scientific/technological revolution, and the media revolution the spectacle and micro and tele – sight have gained even more power than before. The eye has become overpowering. Try my Ear.


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