Sunday, 12 July 2015

The Human Eye Is Amazing, Can Distinguish Between Virus-Sized Objects

Image courtesy of Wikipedia (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license).

Joel Kontinen

Richard Dawkins and all others who advocate the outdated bad design hypothesis of the human eye might not actually shout for joy if and when they hear about a new study that relegates their view to the dustbins of history.

Recently, the Optical Society of America published an article that states:

The human eye is an amazing instrument and can accurately distinguish between the tiniest, most subtle differences in color. Where human vision excels in one area, it seems to fall short in others, such as perceiving minuscule details because of the natural limitations of human optics.”

It then goes on to introduce a new study:

“In a paper published today in The Optical Society’s new, high-impact journal Optica, a research team from the University of Stuttgart, Germany and the University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland, has harnessed the human eye’s color-sensing strengths to give the eye the ability to distinguish between objects that differ in thickness by no more than a few nanometers — about the thickness of a cell membrane or an individual virus.”

Never knew we had such an amazing skill:

“ ‘We were able to demonstrate that the unaided human eye is able to determine the thickness of a thin film — materials only a few nanometers thick — by simply observing the color it presents under specific lighting conditions,’ said Sandy Peterhänsel, University of Stuttgart, Germany and principal author on the paper. The actual testing was conducted at the University of Eastern Finland.”

The research is a big nail in the coffin of the bad design hypothesis that has already met with enormous hurdles in the past few years.

For years, experts have been saying that the bad design argument is a bad myth.

Our eyes bear all the hallmarks of magnificent design.


The Optical Society of America. 2015. Human Color Vision Gives People the Ability to See Nanoscale Differences (9 July).