Hitchens: The Blind Salamander

• Views: 1,549

Christopher Hitchens (yes, everyone knows he’s an unabashed atheist) makes an excellent point about a certain species of cave-dwelling salamander, related to a topic that keeps showing up in The LGF Creationism Cage Match—the evolution of the eye: How blind salamanders make nonsense of creationists’ claims.

Or in this case, the devolution of the eye, to adapt to an environment where vision is unnecessary for—even detrimental to—survival.

It is extremely seldom that one has the opportunity to think a new thought about a familiar subject, let alone an original thought on a contested subject, so when I had a moment of eureka a few nights ago, my very first instinct was to distrust my very first instinct. To phrase it briefly, I was watching the astonishing TV series Planet Earth (which, by the way, contains photography of the natural world of a sort that redefines the art) and had come to the segment that deals with life underground. The subterranean caverns and rivers of our world are one of the last unexplored frontiers, and the sheer extent of the discoveries, in Mexico and Indonesia particularly, is quite enough to stagger the mind. Various creatures were found doing their thing far away from the light, and as they were caught by the camera, I noticed—in particular of the salamanders—that they had typical faces. In other words, they had mouths and muzzles and eyes arranged in the same way as most animals. Except that the eyes were denoted only by little concavities or indentations. Even as I was grasping the implications of this, the fine voice of Sir David Attenborough was telling me how many millions of years it had taken for these denizens of the underworld to lose the eyes they had once possessed.

If you follow the continuing argument between the advocates of Darwin’s natural selection theory and the partisans of creationism or “intelligent design,” you will instantly see what I am driving at. The creationists (to give them their proper name and to deny them their annoying annexation of the word intelligent) invariably speak of the eye in hushed tones. How, they demand to know, can such a sophisticated organ have gone through clumsy evolutionary stages in order to reach its current magnificence and versatility?

Read the whole thing.

By the way, I also recommend the BBC Planet Earth documentary. I have the Blu-ray version and it’s one of the best films of its type ever made.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
Two More Women Accuse Sen. Al Franken of Inappropriate Touching wo more women have told HuffPost that Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) touched their butts in separate incidents. These are the third and fourth such allegations against Franken in the past week. Leeann Tweeden, a radio host, wrote last week ...
Thanos
10 hours, 21 minutes ago
Views: 122 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Portugal. the Man - Feel It Still [2017 American Music Awards Performance] portugaltheman.com WOODSTOCK available now!atlantic.lnk.to Go to feelitstill.com for the interactive version of the "Feel it Still" video. There you'll find 30 tools of #theresistance to fight apathy and injustice hidden in the film. Follow Portugal. The ManWebsite: portugaltheman.comFB: facebook.com ...
Thanos
1 day, 15 hours ago
Views: 194 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Donald Trump Doesn’t Believe Women, but He Does Believe Roy Moore. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump tiptoed up to the edge of (re)endorsing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has faced a barrage of credible allegations that he romantically pursued teenagers routinely in his hometown of Gadsden while he was ...
Thanos
1 day, 15 hours ago
Views: 145 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Smiths - How Soon Is Now? (Official Music Video) Watch the official music video for "How Soon Is Now"Amazon: po.stiTunes: po.stGoogle: po.stFacebook: po.st "How Soon Is Now?" was originally a B-side of the 1984 single "William, It Was Really Nothing". "How Soon Is Now?" was featured on the ...
Thanos
3 days, 22 hours ago
Views: 368 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
2017 Hurricanes and Aerosols Simulation This is fascinating, I recommend full screen How can you see the atmosphere? By tracking what is carried on the wind. Tiny aerosol particles such as smoke, dust, and sea salt are transported across the globe, making visible weather ...
Thanos
4 days, 2 hours ago
Views: 362 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Incredibles 2 Official Teaser Trailer The teaser trailer for "Incredibles 2" is here. Disney/Pixar's "Incredibles 2" opens in theatres in 3D June 15th, 2018. Everyone’s favorite family of superheroes is back in “Incredibles 2” – but this time Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is ...
Thanos
5 days, 1 hour ago
Views: 430 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Deadpool’s “Wet on Wet” Teaser After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice ...
Thanos
1 week ago
Views: 723 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Voice of America Reporter Outed as Alt-Right However, using information Fatzick himself posted on Reddit — including his age, girlfriend’s name, former employers, friends, location, educational background, and sports affiliations — this reporter was able to tie the vile posts of UncleSam4200 to the Voice of ...
Thanos
1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 908 • Comments: 4 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Gary Clark Jr - Come Together (Official Music Video) [From the Justice League Movie Soundtrack] Official Video for "Come Together" by Gary Clark Jr. featured in the Justice League Movie trailer. In theaters November 17th 2017.Directed by Kris Merc Get the song now at garyclarkjr.com Check out the Justice League soundtrack here: lnk.to Follow ...
Thanos
1 week, 3 days ago
Views: 816 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Kimbra - Top of the World (Official Music Video)New from Kimbra The new single Top of the World is available now on Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, and more. Get the single here - kmbra.me The new studio album Primal Heart out wwide January 19th, 2018Preorder now - ...
Thanos
1 week, 4 days ago
Views: 838 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0