April 1, 2007 | David F. Coppedge

Box Jellyfish Sees and Reacts with “Human-Like Vision”

Who would expect a jellyfish to have complex eyes?  Updating what we reported previously about complex optics in the 24 eyes of the box jellyfish (see 05/15/2005), Live Science says the most complex eyes are found on the top and bottom of the cube-like “head” of the animal, “giving it an extreme fish-eye view, so it’s watching almost the entire underwater world.”  Scientists experimented with objects in a tank and found that the box jellyfish can avoid objects based on color and shape.  “Unlike normal jellyfish, which drift in the ocean current, box jellyfish are active swimmers that can rapidly make 180-degree turns and deftly dart between objects,” the article says.  There was no mention of evolution till the last line: “Because jellyfish belong to one of the first groups of animals to evolve eyes (the phylum Cnidaria), [Anders] Garm [Lund U, Sweden] said, understanding how their eyes operate will show scientists what eyes were like early in evolutionary time.”

Notice that the evolution talk is always in past and future tense: someday they might figure out what might have happened before there were observers, assuming evolution before thinking.  In the present, where we can observe things, we don’t see anything evolving.  Go back and read the 05/15/2005 entry about box jellyfish superb optics – and no transitional forms among multiple groups of animals with complex optics.  For a jellyfish – one of the most primitive animals in evolutionary thinking – to have “human-like eyes” is an astonishing upset.  It’s almost like God threw in surprises here and there to falsify evolutionary notions.
Suggested reading: Billions of Missing Links by Geoffrey Simmons, MD, available from ARN.

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Categories: Marine Biology

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