Stunning New Book Traces Evolution of The Eye Through Centuries Supports Darwin's Theory of Evolution Over Intelligent Design

Dec 02, 2011, 10:23 ET from Dr. Ivan Schwab

Author Ivan Schwab traveled around the globe for

answers to the wondrous ocular evolution

NEW YORK, Dec. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Oxford University Press announced today the publication of Evolution's Witness: How  Eyes Evolved, a riveting account of the remarkable ocular evolution in species on earth over a period of  3.75 billion years.  It was written by Dr. Ivan R. Schwab, a renowned ophthalmologist and professor at the University of California, Davis.

While studies suggest that 40% of Americans don't believe in evolution, Dr. Schwab's extensive research on the eyes tells a far different story.  His book vividly explains the progression from the first photoreception to compound and camera style eyes, effectively countering "Intelligent Design" – a belief that creation and development of life is best explained by an intelligent agent not evolution. 

"Similar to evolution of life in general, the eye's early trail is obscure," Dr. Schwab says.  "Evolution's Witness tracks the advancements, springing them to life. Spiders develop tiny, well-formed eyes with scanning optics and three visual pigments, scallops use 40-100 eyes circling their mantle, birds possess the ability to see up to five times better than humans.  It's the storybook tale of life, and how eyesight evolved from a primeval organism to an unending variety of eyes with at least ten fundamental designs."

With more than 400 stunning color images of critical species and their ocular microscopy, Evolution's Witness is an extraordinary voyage through time that is a must read for ophthalmologists, optometrists, biologists, neurophysiologists and anyone interested in science. Yet everyone will be enthralled; the pages lead the mind through a fascinating world of discovery about vision, a saga rarely told before, and never with such intrigue, detail and imagery. Evolution's Witness is a leisurely stroll through earth's history, one that brings a delightful balance of entertainment and intellectual stimulation.           

Already, it is receiving rave reviews.

Dan Agin writes in the Huffington Post:  "Life on Earth has an apparent history of 3.75 billion years. Immerse yourself in this book and you will come away with a firmer understanding of what you are and where you've come from and where we all may be going. It's the Grand Trip, isn't it? The voyage of our species on this planet through space and time -- a short voyage for each of us but a long voyage for our species, a voyage so readily dramatized by the story of the evolution of the human eye."

Hank Campbell of Science 2.0 writes: "Because it's difficult to convey. Even a brilliant thinker like Charles Darwin could not fathom how an eye formed by natural selection, though he knew it must have. He did not have parsimony analysis and molecular biology but modern scientists do, they just need someone who can communicate it all.  Enter Dr. Ivan Schwab, M.D., ophthalmologist and professor at the University of California Davis and his new book Evolution's Witness: How Eyes Evolved from Oxford University Press. Schwab sets out to decipher the complex amalgam that goes into this organ, and assuage the concerns of those who are skeptical because soft tissue like an eye won't have a complete fossil record."

Evolution's Witness: How Eyes Evolved is available at and

About the Author

Dr. Schwab is a professor of ophthalmology at the University of California, Davis, where he has worked for more than twenty years. His strong interest in biology and natural history has led him to investigate ocular stem cells, bioengineered tissues for the eye and comparative optics and physiology. He has published extensively in these fields, with three previous books to his credit, and he was the winner of the 2006 IgNobel for Ornithology. He has combined those interests with one in evolution to produce his exciting new book, Evolution's Witness: How Eyes Evolved.

CONTACT: Michael K. Frisby, +1-202-625-4328,

SOURCE Dr. Ivan Schwab