The First Eye on Earth Trilobite, 543 million years ago
The Cambrian Explosion Began 543 million years ago. Origin of 35 animal phyla in a duration of only 5 million years.
Was the Eye a Catalyst? Australian zoologist Andrew Parker: In the Blink of an Eye – The first eye initiated an arms race among predators and prey. – New defenses, such as armor, spines, and protective skeletons were a direct result of eyes in predators.
Light Switch Theory The critical step of evolution was the development of eyes. – Expansion of the food chain. – Predator-prey co-evolution. – Demand for a complex nervous system and brain to process visual information. Over 95 percent of all animal species have eyes.
Doubts Darwin: “To suppose that the eye…could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.”
Sources Charles Darwin. Origin of Species, Sixth Edition. Senate, London, 1872. Chapter 6. Andrew Parker. In the Blink of an Eye. Perseus Publishing, 2003. Pages 172-174. “Richard Dawkins on the Evolution of the Eye.” [Online] October 27, 2008. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUOpaFVgKPw “Dawkins Makes an Eye.” [Online] October 27, 2008. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEKyqIJkuDQ&feature=related “How Could an Eye Evolve?” [Online] October 27, 2008. http://www.don-lindsay- archive.org/creation/eye.html Dan Nilsson and Susanne Pelger. “A Pessimistic Estimate of the Time Required for an Eye to Evolve.” Proc Roy Soc London, 1994. “Evolution of the Eye.” [Online] October 27, 2008. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_eye Michael Shermer. How We Believe, Second Edition. Holt Paperbacks, 2003. Page 110 Richard Dawkins. “Where d’you get those Peepers?” Vol. 8, New Statesman & Society, 06-16- 1995, pp 29. Gert Korthof. “The Cambrian Explosion and Eye Evolution Solved at One Stroke.” [Online] November 22, 2008. “Compound Eye: Dragonfly.” [Online] November 23, 2008. http://student.britannica.com/eb/art-55462/Dew-covers-the-body-and-two-large-eyes-of- a “Giant Jellyfish.” [Online] November 23, 2008. http://www.extremescience.com/GiantJellyfish.htm Christopher Hitchens. “Losing Sight of Progress.” Slate, Posted Monday, July 21, 2008, at 11:34 AM ET. http://www.slate.com/id/2195683/ “Fresh Fossil Evidence of Eye Forerunner Uncovered.” ScienceDaily. November 24, 2008.