Desert wrote: So somehow this ... would have to deliver benefits exceeding its costs.
But is that how nature works? Or does a mutation just have to confer an advantage over the critter's peers, in say avoiding prey, attracting mates, finding food.
In fact, 5% of an eye is an extremely complex system that would require (if one has faith in time and mutation) millions of years to form.
... Perhaps it started as just an opening.
It's just an arbitrary number. It may have been started by Stephen Jay Gould. Can't remember.
I think most scientists agree that it likely started with a light-sensitive patch of skin or other exterior tissue. Nothing complex.
Yeah, I didn't intend to be offensive about the 5%, I just wanted to try to state just how complex the eye and optic nerve, etc. really is.
And regarding a light-sensitive patch of skin, I think such a structure would be extremely complex. Maybe not relative to other body structures, but still enormously complex. Where does the faith in random mutation over long times come from? It's an interesting theory, but it simply makes no sense to me. And of course none of it begins to explain the formation of the first living, reproducing cell. How in the world could that just happen? A reproducing cell ... thing of the enormous complexity in that.
By the way, I'm currently reading a book by atheist author Thomas Nagel called "Mind & Cosmos, Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False." It's been a great read so far; I'll write a bit of a summary here when I'm done reading it.
Edited to add this link with a brief description of irreducible complexity, and the complexity of a single celled organism.
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/sh ... php/id/840
My take on evolution is basically this:
1. The basic concept makes little to no common sense. Mutations are overwhelmingly negative, not positive, and the series of positive mutations required to produce even small improvements in a life form are extremely unlikely.
2. Evolution depends on the existence of reproducing life in the first place. It's not sensible to believe that the level of complexity contained in a single-cell, reproducing organism somehow just happened from some sort of soup.
3. Evolution depends on long time frames to do the heavy lifting. The more preposterous the claim, the more zeroes behind the number of years it forces. But time by itself does not produce complex designs. In fact, entropy increases over time, and order decreases over time.
4. Evolution was birthed by man's need to explain the wonder of ourselves and our surroundings in the absence of a designer. It's the foundation of humanistic, materialistic thought. There is a lot riding on it, and the huge secular "science" industry will do anything to support it and defend it, even in the face of huge problems or holes in the evidence. But they must support it, because if it dies, there isn't much to take its place: we're then down to aliens or God.
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn't really matter.
- D.L. Moody
Diversification means always having to say you're sorry.