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A light-sensitive region in certain protozoa,[1] such as Euglena.

D. E. Nilsson and S. Pelger [2] used computer modeling of the evolution of eyes to find out if it was possible for there to be a smooth gradient of change from a pigmented eye spot to an eye with a lens and cornea, and how long such a transformation would take. They used highly conservative figures for the possible change in each generation. Many human traits are over 50% heritable, and they gave their model a lower figure. They also chose very conservative values for the amount of possible variation in a population. Using these figures, they calculated that through the mechanism of evolution an eyespot could evolve into an eye with a lens and a cornea in less than a half a million years.

This scenario is contested by Young Earth Creationists, who point out that the scenario begins with a highly-complex structure, and doesn't include the supporting neural structures, without which the eye would be useless.[3]


  1. Wile, Dr. Jay L. Exploring Creation With Biology. Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. 1998
  2. D. E. Nilsson and S. Pelger, "A pessimistic estimate of the time required for an eye to evolve" (Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 1994, v.. 256, pp. 53-58)
  3. Sarfati, Jonathan , with Matthews, Michael, Refuting Evolution 2, chapter 10.