[cap-talk] Bee Eyes

Matej Kosik kosik at fiit.stuba.sk
Mon Feb 2 17:49:43 EST 2009

Mike Samuel wrote:
> 2009/2/2 Steve Witham <sw at tiac.net <mailto:sw at tiac.net>>
>     About charging into the valley of blindness, Jesus said, "If your right
>     eye causes you to sin, pluck it out."  But upon consideration he said,
>     "First remove the plank from your own eye."
>     Evolution seems to have crossed the gap between compound and
>     single eyes in both directions.  There's a fascinating variety of
>     approaches including parabolic mirrors, corner reflectors,
>     segment walls that retract under low light, and simple eyes wedged
>     within compound eyes.  The eye of some flying insects, including the
>     bee, has a fovea--an area in the middle that gets better resolution
>     using larger lenses.
>     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compound_eye
>     I'm pretty sure the gene-activation signal for "form an eye here" is
>     the same for humans, bees and octopi, erm,
>         While marveling at your own eye
>         give a thought to the octopi
>             whose optical nerves
>             straighten out all the curves
>         that cause blind spots for you and for I.
> I thought mollusc and vertebrate eyes were a case of convergent
> evolution.  From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_eye
> The different forms of eye in, for example, vertebrates and mollusks are
> often cited as examples of parallel evolution
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_evolution>.
> and
> At a cellular level, there appear to be two main "designs" of eyes, one
> possessed by the protostomes <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protostomes>
> (molluscs, annelid worms and arthropods), the other by the deuterostomes
> (chordates and echinoderms)

What I have said I did not verify (bee eye being or not being able to
evolve into human eye. Please forget that). Although the idea comes from
prof. Dawkins lecture where he speaks about eyes and such. I am not sure
if it was exactly "Mountain Improbable" or some other lecture of that
series. Nevertheless, concerning the eye of the nautilus he said that it
is inferior to our eyes, nautilus had plenty of time to improve it but
improvement further did not happen. We can ask why. He stated a theory,
(and points to the "Mountain Improbable" model) that nautilus occurs at
the top of some sub-peak.

That was quite interesting explanation.

I would guess that it is not completely inappropriate to think about
technology in a similar way.

>     MarkM says:
>     >These have come up before on this list, and we've always concluded
>     >(correctly IMO) that HCSs have no technical advantage over pure
>     ocap systems
>     >used with the Horton pattern. However, HCSs may provide the path
>     through the
>     >valley of blindness that allows us to reach the higher hill.
>     By technical advantage you mean in terms of the kinds of effects you
>     could achieve if starting from scratch.  But, migration also has its
>     technical problems.  We need a capital-O notation for human effort.
>      --Steve
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