The Evolution of Eyes

  • John Ellis


One of the many impressive aspects of On the Origin of Species is that Darwin devotes an entire chapter to what he terms ‘Difficulties of the Theory’. This is not a habit common among leading scientists today. One of the difficulties he discusses is the evolution of eyes. He starts by pointing out what many people feel when considering these organs in terms of evolutionary theory:


Pigment Granule Pax6 Gene Unicellular Eukaryote Transparent Layer Cambrian Explosion 
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Further Reading

  1. 1.
    Animal Eyes. Michael F. Land and Dan-Eric Nilsson. Oxford Animal Biology Series. Published by Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-19-850 9685.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Master Control Genes in Development and Evolution, Walter J. Gehring, Yale University Press 1998. ISBN 9780300074093.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    How to build a microbial eye. Thomas A. Richards and Suely L. Gomes. 2015 Nature 523: 166–167. A summary of a paper in the same issue by Gavelis et al describing the structure of an ocelloid.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Ellis
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarwickCoventryUK

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