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The Inverted Retina

The Inverted Retina

 Was It Designed?

The Inverted Retina

● The human eye contains a retina​—a membrane with approximately 120 million cells called photoreceptors, which absorb light rays and convert them into electric signals. Your brain interprets these signals as visual images. Evolutionists have contended that where the retina is placed in the eyes of vertebrates, creatures with a backbone, proves that the eye had no designer.

Consider: The retina of vertebrates is inverted, placing the photoreceptors at the back of the retina. To reach them, light must pass through several layers of cells. According to evolutionary biologist Kenneth Miller, “this arrangement scatters the light, making our vision less detailed than it might be.”

Evolutionists thus claim that the inverted retina is evidence of poor design​—really, no design. One scientist even described it as a “functionally stupid upside-down orientation.” However, further research reveals that the photoreceptors of the inverted retina are ideally placed next to the pigment epithelium​—a cell layer that provides oxygen and nutrients vital to keen sight. In fact, some experts say that sight would be far less efficient if this layer of cells were in front of the retina.

The inverted retina is especially advantageous for vertebrates with small eyes. Says professor Ronald Kröger, of the University of Lund, Sweden: “Between the lens of the eye and the photoreceptors, there must be a certain distance to get a sharp image. Having this space filled with nerve cells means an important saving of space for the vertebrates.”

Additionally, with the nerve cells of the retina tightly packed and close to the photoreceptors, analysis of visual information is fast and reliable.

What do you think? Is the inverted retina an inferior structure, a product of mere chance? Or was it designed?

[Diagram on page 15]

(For fully formatted text, see publication)

Photoreceptor cells


Pigment epithelium



Optic nerve