Charles Darwin, the great 19th century British naturalist, is causing yet another stir in our modern world. We are not talking about the endless debates between evolutionists and creationists. We are talking about whether or not the bearded image of this venerable man is communicating with us through an eye scan.
This story begins at the Aintree Hospital in Liverpool, UK. An ophthalmic technician named Christopher McCleary took one look at a patient's eye scan and was shocked at what he saw. He has since shown this eye scan to many news outlets hoping to offer a rationalist alternative to the recent wave of religious imagery appearing on weird objects like burnt toast.
Following Darwin's more scientific way of thinking, McCleary said that he believes this eye scan is simply an example of pareidolia. Pareidolia is the phenomenon where our brains fill in the blanks of visual stimuli to form a more comprehensible, albeit mentally constructed, image. In pareidolia, the image that we perceive does not objectively exist, instead our mind just fills it in for the sake of coherence.
McCleary believes that this pareidolia image is a wonderful counter to the many religious pareidolia images that have been shown on the news recently. He also thinks that the fact that this image of Darwin was seen on a scientific scanner adds a bit of panache to this tale of rationalist revelation.
This image was taken on an OCT scanner, so people who look at this image will also see the patient's blood vessels. The profile of an older Darwin can easily be seen in the very middle of this scan. Although the patient's name has not been released, McCleary said that his patient was very happy to know that good old Darwin can be found in one of his/her eyes.
Charles Darwin is most famous for his work On the Origin of Species, which was published in 1859. For many biologists this text marks the beginning of modern evolutionary theory. Darwin had spent many years traveling the world and observing many different species, especially on the Galapagos Islands. His studies led him to propose the theory that all species gradually adapt and evolve over time in response to external pressure from their surrounding environments. Although he was lambasted for his theories during his lifetime, Darwin continued to develop his ideas on natural selection until his death in 1882.
The appearance of Charles Darwin's profile in this patient's eye adds another layer of irony to the many heated debates Darwin's theories provoked. Darwin himself famously admitted that the human eye was so complex that it could not easily fit into his theory of gradual natural selection. Many people who reject Darwin's views use this comment against evolutionists.
Thus, the fact that Darwin appeared in a person's eye scan could be interpreted whichever way the reader wants to interpret it. The only thing that is crystal clear from this Darwin eye scan is that Darwin's theories continue to enflame the hearts and minds of people living in the 21st century.