Postcripts to letter to God: On why the eye lacks intelligent design

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7555.1454-d (Published 15 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1454
  1. Andy Wood, senior house officer, ophthalmology (andydjw{at}yahoo.co.uk)
  1. Glasgow

    EDITOR—If the eye was designed, the designer is in need of urgent reappraisal.1

    The eye is an organ of unsurpassed beauty, its evolution thought to be “absurd in the highest possible degree.”2 But it is hardly a perfect organ or represents perfect design. Its lens becomes cloudy, causing visual loss; its anterior chamber may be too narrow, predisposing to angle closure glaucoma. The vitreous detaches causing visual obscuration and predisposes to retinal detachments. The retina is back to front, prone to holes and tears. The blood supply of the retina and optic nerve is prone to occlusion or inflammation with resultant irreversible visual loss.

    The nerve supply of the extraocular muscles also shows quite remarkable design flaws in their origin, pathways, and terminations. The optic pathways are hardly organised in a sensible fashion, indeed they may be affected by a stroke, resulting in visual loss with anatomically untouched eyes.


    • Competing interests None declared.


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