For many years now, atheists and evolutionists have claimed that the human eye is poorly designed because it is wired backwards. At the same time, a number of creationists have written about the miraculous design of the human eye because of the backward wiring. Due to the plethora of material already written on both sides, this article is not going to deal with this aspect of the design of the human eye. Instead, I want to look at miracle of restored sight.
In March 2009, news was made when a 73-year-old man named Ron was fitted with what they called a bionic eye. The doctors surgically implanted a series of electrodes on to Ron’s retina. The other end of the electrodes was attached to a tiny receiver on the outside of his eye. Ron was then fitted with a pair of special glasses that had a video camera and processor that sent a wireless signal to the receiver. After 30 years of blindness, Ron is now able to see well enough to sort his socks and follow the white lines on the road. Note that Ron had been sighted and only lost it when he was an adult.
Ron’s experience is a great example of modern medical technology as is our next subject.
Now I would like you to meet Miikka Terho, a 46-year-old man from Finland. Miikka had an inherited form of blindness that has caused him to go blind over time. The doctors surgically implanted a small computer chip just behind Miikka’s retina. The computer chip converts light into electrical impulses that it sends directly to the optic nerve, which then sends the signal to the brain.
Several days after his surgery, Miikka reported that he started to see flashes of light. Each day he would practice and work with the unit and slowly he began to process images better. Miikka said that he had to train his mind to take the various components of what he was seeing and merge them together to form whole images. For example, the people working with him had placed some large white letters on a black table. When he first looked at the letters, he saw a series of white lines. In time, he learned to mentally merge the lines to allow him to discern the letters. They had purposely misspelled his first name and Miikka saw well enough to see the misspelling and correct the researchers.
It took time for Miikka and several others that had received the chip implants to be able to mentally process the images they saw. It wasn’t instantaneous.
I recall watching one of those medical programs a number of years ago that dealt with a man that had lost his vision before he turned 2-years-age due to a very high fever. The man was now in his later 40’s and had no memory of ever having been able to see. The doctors performed surgery to correct the problems in his eyes in hopes of at least restoring some of his vision.
When they removed the bandages, the man could begin to see, however he had no clue what he was seeing and it was more than he could bear. Without any memory of vision, his brain was incapable of interpreting what he was seeing. The images were so overwhelming and disorienting to him that he ended up covering his eyes. Even after several months of repeated attempts to understand what he was seeing, he said it was like a form of insanity. Eventually he went back to wearing black blinding eyeglasses and eye patches. This man could not function with his new vision, but could function with his blindness.
The doctors in this program said that they were just understanding that our ability to interpret visual images is a learned process that starts from birth. When babies stare wide eyed at different things, part of it is because their brains haven’t yet learned what to make of the images and are in the process of storing the information. Just like the stages an infant goes through in sitting up, walking, taking, etc., our vision develops over time as well.
Since the man had lost his sight at such a young age, his brain never had the chance to fully develop that ability to fully interpret the visual signals it received. Thus, when his sight was restored as an adult, he wasn’t capable of coping with the barrage of new sensations. It was the same as if the man had been born blind.
This got me thinking about the account of the man born blind in John 9:1-7:
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’ Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
Everyone today reads this account and thinks that the miracle Jesus performed was nothing more than making the man’s eyes function so that he could see. Yet, from the experiences shown above, there was so much more to that miracle that we don’t realize. Not only was the man able to physically see, but he was also instantly able to interpret what he saw. There was no gradual progression of trying to train his mind to be able to process the images, like what Miikka Terho had to do.
Sight truly is something that could not have evolved, but had to be created from the very beginning. Not only do you have to have a functioning eye, you also need to have a way to send the signals from the eye to the brain and then the brain has to be able to interpret the signals it receives. It’s like setting up a webcam on your computer. You need the camera (eye), the cable or wireless signal to carry the signal from the webcam to the computer (optic nerve) and then you need the software in the computer (brain) that takes that signal and form the visual image you see on the screen.
The more we study and learn the complexities of sight, we see that from the creation of Adam in Genesis 1 to today, vision is a miracle that truly is a testimony to our Creator God.
By David Jolly