The human eye is an exquisitely complicated organ. It acts like a camera to collect and focus light and convert it into an electrical signal that the brain translates into images. But instead of photographic film, it has a highly specialized retina that detects light and processes the signals using dozens of different kinds of neurons. So intricate is the eye that its origin has long been a cause célèbre among creationists and intelligent design proponents, who hold it up as a prime example of what they term irreducible complexity—a system that cannot function in the absence of any of its components and that therefore cannot have evolved naturally from a more primitive form. Indeed, Charles Darwin himself acknowledged in On the Origin of Species—the 1859 book detailing his theory of evolution by natural selection—that it might seem absurd to think the eye formed by natural selection. He nonetheless firmly believed that the eye did evolve in that way, despite a lack of evidence for intermediate forms at the time.