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Biomimetics Is On a Roll
Heres a short list of the animals that were inspiring their design plans: flying snakes, sharks, birds, whales, hummingbirds, and jellyfish. These scientists from far-flung fields share a common conviction: that future engineering has a great deal to learn from the natural world. The article quoted a USC engineer who said, The number of people who are developing, encouraging, thinking about biologically inspired designs is vastly more than it was five years ago, two years ago even.
A journal called Bioinspiration and Biomimetics published a special edition called Bioinspired Flight this month, said PhysOrg. And its not just for the birds. Scientists analyzed controlled falling and gliding by geckos, snakes and insects. Bioengineering brings together engineers and biologists, who have typically lived in different academic worlds. Because biologists and engineers are typically trained quite differently, there is a gap between the understanding of natural flight of biologists and the engineers expertise in designing vehicles that function well, David Lentink from Wageningen University said. In the middle however is a few pioneering engineers who are able to bridge both fields. The article includes three video clips, one of a falling gecko flipping over and landing on its feet like a cat, one of a test robotic fly, and an amazing series of snake flights showing how they can maneuver and even turn while gliding.
The Biomimicry Institute is open for business with a website, newsletter, educational resources, and even a childrens music CD. Why? Biomimicry is the science and art of emulating Natures best biological ideas to solve human problems, the website explains on its front page. Non-toxic adhesives inspired by geckos, energy efficient buildings inspired by termite mounds, and resistance-free antibiotics inspired by red seaweed are examples of biomimicry happening today -- and none too soon. Humans may have a long way to go towards living sustainably on this planet, but 10-30 million species with time-tested genius to help us get there. Another of their websites, AskNature.org, provides a database of natures strategies with 1360 entries so far.
Not everybody is inspired to the same degree. The PhysOrg article about the Long Beach convention quoted USC engineer Geoffrey Spedding cautioning, Just because it exists in nature doesnt mean its an optimum ... the designs that come through evolution are just good enough to survive, thats all, adding that Nature has yet to come up with a decent wheel.
What is Spedding talking about? Hasnt he seen a bacterial flagellum? Its a more efficient wheel than anything man ever invented. And his logic is bad. Like a Darwinian, he has to see everything in terms of mere survival. The world has a great deal of useless beauty that goes beyond mere survival. Look at the coloration on birds and insects, the patterning on mammal fur, and the shapes and colors of flowers. Survival does not require these things, or every bird, mammal, and flower would be so decorated. Beauty and elegance are not incompatible with survival; they provide frosting on the cake, making this a world of incredible variety and beauty. Even evolutionary scientists can recognize that animals are overengineered for the functions they require for survival (03/23/2004).Give your eyes a break. A story on rapid geology from 11/27/2002 includes links to some pretty (amazing) pictures.
Is SETI Morphing Its Mission? 11/29/2009
Who knows; perhaps the economy has affected funding and, like a private company, they feel the need to diversify. Perhaps Paul Allen is re-evaluating his charitable contributions (10/12/2007). Perhaps the public is losing interest in SETI after 50 years of failure to find anybody out there. Or perhaps SETI advocates are smarting from accusations that they are using intelligent-design methods inconsistent with their Darwinian world view (see 12/03/2005 and this Brett Miller cartoon). Astrobiology is a bigger, warmer tent. The life can be microbes on planet Xircon Z589 and an astrobiologist will be happy.Nov 28, 2009 Does God Exist? A high-quality, professionally produced DVD of the 2009 debate between Christopher Hitchens and William Lane Craig has just been released by La Mirada Films (makers of The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith), in conjunction with Biola University, where the debate was held April 4, 2009. The trailer at LaMiradaFilms.com illustrates how the multi-camera angles and editing professionalism of the producers makes this a highly attention-holding debate on the most fundamental, intriguing and important topic of all is there a God?
The two-DVD set, very respectful and fair to both debaters, includes a dynamic introduction and bonus features. Its balanced treatment of the debaters and high production values make this a good gift or loaner for friends and neighbors (especially skeptics). Even though Craig acknowledged he felt like he was playing to the home field, Hitchens considered this a contest between two Goliaths, and moderator Hugh Hewitt welcomed him to the den of lambs at Biola. The DVD set, including 73 minutes of bonus features (interviews, Q&A, and press conferences) is available from LaMiradaFilms.com and from RPI.
Next resource of the week: 11/21/2009. All resources: Catalog.
Seeing Sound and Hearing Light 11/28/2009
Our bodies are marvelously designed whole entities. Evolution cannot tinker with one thing without affecting other things. Applying a proverb by John Muir to anatomy, the more we try to pick out one function, the more we find it tied to everything else in the body.Notable Notes and Quotable Quotes
According to the BBC News, the Herschel NASA telescope discovered a star that is so big (How big is it?) that if placed where our sun is, would have a surface engulfing Saturn.
Gap Between Origin-of-Life Research and Simplest Life Grows 11/27/2009
If cells are so well designed they can even regulate errors to maintain their genetic integrity, how could life evolve? This might be a defeater for neo-Darwinism. And if even the most minimal life is so complex it surprises scientists, how can origin-of-life researchers keep up hope? Their simple experiments are like baby steps on the beach with an ocean to cross, and no motivation for the baby to go in that direction.We critiqued Michael Shermers baloney-detecting skills in our 10/30/2001 and 11/29/2001 entries. These might provide useful background material for those watching his upcoming debate with Donald Prothero against Stephen Meyer and Rick Sternberg on Nov 30 (see American Freedom Alliance).
Can Scientists Conspire to Mislead? 11/26/2009
A week ago, hackers released 160 mb of emails, data, and computer code from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. The data extends back a decade, and rather clearly documents an astonishing pattern of manipulation of evidence, concealment of doubts about whether the validity of global warming, destruction of data not favorable to global warming, fantasizing violence against prominent climate skeptic scientists, and a long series of communications discussing how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process. The data reveal extensive scientific misconduct and even criminal fraud in the top echelons of the pro-global warming scientific community.The scandal is exploding on conservative TV news, in newspapers, and radio, though liberal media are trying to ignore it. Some are comparing it to the video embarrassments at ACORN. The internet is on fire with blogs (example in The Telegraph), jokes and cartoons prompting a flood of repostings of the emails with commentaries (example in the Wall Street Journal); Climate Depot is keeping a list of links to articles and editorials. While AGW advocates are scrambling to re-interpret the emails and gloss over the implications, as popular science journalist (and consensus science ally) Chris Mooney attempted to do in quotes in the Michael Egnor piece, these attempts appear to be backfiring. Outrage and ridicule are growing in the public illustrated by a viral music video on YouTube that says Al Gore and the perpetrators belong in jail. AGW skeptics (often dubbed deniers or denialists by the consensus, to suggest they are kin to Holocaust deniers) are feeling vindicated; some are on the warpath, calling for investigations and indictments (example in The Telegraph).
This week in Evolution News, Michael Egnor has been applying the lessons of this scandal to the Darwinist consensus (see also here). He noted that British AGW skeptic Christopher Monckton has called the climatologists caught with their pants down as criminals, and that the scandal should make us angry (Evolution News). Like Michael Crichton (12/27/2003), Egnor pointed out the inherent oxymoron in consensus science. He said, Invocation of consensus science is merely a tactic to insulate bad science from scrutiny. Consensus science is to science as money-laundering is to finance.
The unfolding of this scandal will be instructive to students of philosophy of science. It remains to be seen whether the advocates can weather this storm, or if the scandal will deflate upcoming policy discussions in Copenhagen. Ignoring the scandal (an inconvenient truth), the BBC reported that the UN Secretary-General is pushing for world leaders to seal a deal on a legally binding climate treaty. Can they get it done before the roof caves in? Its possible the perpetrators will get away with their lies and crimes. Its happened before with the UN Oil-for-Food scandal (05/12/2008 commentary). When power corrupts this far, dont expect an ethical response from the perpetrators, even when they are exposed.Photo Op
Stunning photographs from Cassinis Nov. 21 flyby of Saturns geysering moon Enceladus can be found at the Imaging Team website, with captions at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and story at BBC News.
Ardi Party Is Over 11/25/2009
*Sigh.* The Darwin Party song and dance is getting so tiring. Lots of old apes and monkeys went extinct. Who cares about another? Considering the rivalries and ambitions among the paleoanthropologists, and the ever-changing stories, and the leeway for fudging that exists, why do we even pay these guys any attention? Here at CEH we have to, in order to forestall the misguidance of the public that results from one-party rule in Science.Last of the Darwin Celebrations 11/24/2009
Nov 24, 2009 On the 24th of November 1859, 150 years ago today, Darwins On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection and the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life sold out. Biographer Janet Browne (03/07/2009) explained in the bonus features of the film The Voyage that Shook the World (see Resource of the Week for 09/19/2009) that the image of people rushing into bookstores, bumping elbows to grab copies of Darwins bombshell book, is a myth. It was only a modest run of 1750 copies, for one thing far less than the hundreds of thousands of copies a Dickens novel might obtain, or the 60,000 copies of the solidly religious Bridgewater Treatises that had accumulated on the nations shelves by 1860.1 And the Origin was sold out to booksellers not to the public. Nevertheless, the impact of Darwins ideas is no myth.
With the passing of the second big Darwin celebration this year (see 02/13/2009), it is perhaps appropriate to note some of the last hurrahs of the season. Live Science reported that Darwin is going digital as drafts of rare Darwin manuscripts are being posted online by the Darwin Manuscripts Project. Making this information accessible can, of course, benefit both supporters and critics of Darwinism. The BBC News published winning entries in a Darwin photo competition that celebrated exploring and investigating nature (a worthy activity engaged in by both creationists and evolutionists). A cartoony image of Darwin graced Science Magazines Darwin Anniversary blog Origins announcing that the National Science Foundation posted an interactive, online report on The Evolution of Evolution i.e., on the influence of Charles Darwin on many walks of science. National Geographic allowed evolutionist reporter Ker Than to clobber Discovery Institute rep Casey Luskin with a quote from Don Prothero that intelligent design advocates simply ignore the evidence. (Luskin typically answers such charges on Evolution News and Views.) Over at New Scientist Rowan Harper gathered quotes from Darwins letters and writings and organized them in interview fashion. First Q&A: What was it like, coming up with the idea that changed the world? to which Darwin replied, Like confessing a murder (see 11/30/2005).
One last anecdote: PhysOrg reported that a rare 1st-edition copy of the Origin was discovered on a toilet bookshelf of a guest lavatory in Oxford. Perhaps its owner hoped the guest would become intrigued enough by the subject to motivate a Victorian download.
1. Janet Browne, Charles Darwin: The Power of Place (Princeton, 2002), p. 88.
Whew. Now that the silliness is over, lets; get on with 200 years of intelligent design science.150 years ago, Darwin called the origin of flowering plants an abominable mystery. Nine years ago, Scientific American said it was a mystery (11/08/2000). Today it remains a mystery to evolutionists. How much time do the Darwinists get before truth-loving people call their game?
Hammerhead Sharks Have 360-degree Stereo Vision 11/23/2009
Its one of evolutions most eccentric creations: a head shaped like a hammer. Now, a study suggests that the hammerhead shark may have evolved its oddly shaped snout to boost the animals vision and hunting prowess.In the second sentence, Barley made it sound like the shark actively evolved its vision for a purpose a very un-Darwinian notion. Her choice of title suggests the explanation is, instead, Kiplingian: Why the hammerhead shark got its hammer.
On a related subject, New Scientist and the BBC News reported on research by marine ecologist Andrea Marshall, queen of the manta rays. The shark relatives she studies enjoy a remarkable mutualistic symbiosis with other fish that groom and clean them in beauty parlors. Marshall told New Scientist,
Cleaning stations are pretty well known in the marine environment, but for manta rays its an extraordinary event. Because they are so large, cleaner fish partition up the ray and clean different parts of the animal. It looks so co-operative and gentlemanly. The mantas have to eat 14 per cent of their body weight a week in plankton, so any time taken out from feeding has to be invested in something important. As they can spend up to 8 hours having parasites removed and shark bite marks cleaned, it must be detrimental if theyre not groomed.Evolution was only mentioned briefly in the BBC article to say that a vestigial sting in the manta suggests it evolved from the sting ray. Both articles contain video clips of manta rays in action. In the New Scientist clip, Marshall said that when she saw one of the giant rays swim over her head in the waters off Mozambique, she was awestruck by its beauty.
Who gave hammerheads 360-degree stereo vision? Did they think it up on their own and evolve their heads and eyes on purpose? That would be oxymoronic. Theres nothing evolutionary about this. In the manta ray beauty parlors we see cooperation among creatures not competition and survival of the fittest. The cleaner fish act like mechanics on fighter jets that keep the craft in good repair while earning gainful employment.Giraffe Has Supercharged Heart 11/22/2009
Nov 22, 2009 In many ways, the giraffe has been an icon of evolution. Why, and how, did it get its long neck? These questions have often been the focal point of a clash of Darwinian and Lamarckian explanations. Today, many just assume it evolved somehow. For instance, BBC News article stated flatly, A giraffes heart has evolved to have thick muscle walls and a small radius, giving it great power.
Diversions into how and if it evolved, however, should not distract from the point of the story: the giraffes heart is strong. The BBC article said, Now research reveals that giraffes have a small, powerful, supercharged heart that is different to that possessed by other similar mammals. Apparently this has not been studied before. South African biologists studied dead specimens culled from Zimbabwe over the last few years and found that the giraffe has multiple mechanisms to pump blood two meters up to its neck to its head. The giraffe heart is smaller than youd expect in similar-sized animals, but the walls are incredibly thick, the researchers found. It delivers blood pressure twice that in most mammals. This also means that the blood vessels have to be thick to compensate for the high pressure.
The blood vessels actually thicken with age. As the giraffe grows, and its neck reaches ever higher, the thickness of the vessels is regulated. Giraffes have got a way of adjusting the capacity of the cardiovascular system and are able to shrink and expand their blood vessels to change the volume of the cardiovascular system very efficiently.
Blood pressure and heart efficiency are just two of the questions the researchers are exploring with a rare chance to analyze giraffe anatomy. What they would really like to do is further these discoveries with live giraffes in the field. To measure blood pressure in a free living giraffe doing its thing, that would be really interesting, said a researcher who classed himself with people just like me who wonder how giraffes get it right. Taking the blood pressure of a galloping giraffe is a challenge. Does one tighten the cuff around its neck?
The strong heart is only part of the story. Giraffes need mechanisms to prevent damage to the brain when they bend over to drink. Some of these are explained in the film Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution (10/03/2009), volume I. There are so many mechanisms that had to be in place simultaneously, it strains credulity to think they could have evolved by accident. Another problem with the evolution tale is that the giraffe is a mammal; what about the more primitive dinosaurs, not in the giraffes supposed evolutionary ancestry, who had much longer necks? Two meters is nothing. Supersaurus weighed 40 tons and reached 34 meters as much as 112 feet. While the Darwinists get sick thinking about that, the rest of us can enjoy marveling at these wonders of design.Nov 21, 2009 Is Darwins Origin a work of profound scientific logic and evidence? John Angus Campbell, one of the founding fathers of a branch of Philosophy of Science called Rhetoric of Science, examined Darwins one long argument in rhetorical terms in a memorable interview you can watch on YouTube.
Campbells presentation, in Q&A format, is calm, fair, clear, informed, reasonable, and thought-provoking. Campbell speaks for nearly an hour without notes. He draws on a wealth of knowledge of history, philosophy, argumentation and literature. His diction and vocabulary are exemplary. It is a pleasure to listen to a leading scholar who understands the issues and can articulate them with such clarity and fairness. His analysis should be considered an essential antidote to the emotional sway of Darwins celebrated prose, so that you maintain your logical equilibrium while reading the Origin and see how the father of evolutionary theory is manipulating your mind and emotions.
Next resource of the week: 11/14/2009. All resources: Catalog.
Origin 150th: Time to Mock the Creationists 11/20/2009
A gracious man once said, I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. However, it seems that some contemporary atheists dont share such honorable convictions. When they found out that I was writing an Introduction to this book, they threatened lawsuits, tried to organize themselves into gangs with the intent of tearing the Introduction out of the book, and have even talked about book burnings.The site also cites Darwins own words from his Introduction to the Origin: A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question. Richard Dawkins allegedly told students to rip out Comforts introduction. Comfort responded, It seems very strange that Professor Dawkins would say that my Introduction didnt worry him at all, and in the next breath tell university students to rip it out. If, I am, as he says, an ignorant fool, then what I have written will be nothing but ignorance and foolishness. So why is he so concerned? I think the man protesteth too much.
You can read Amandas hot air if you want to (remember, shes the one whose motive-mongering piece was pulled by New Scientist see 02/26/2009, but two months later described her vertigo when she was slain in the spirit of Charlie, 04/11/2009). Notice that something different happens here at Creation-Evolution Headlines. We give you the original sources and quote extensively from the evolutionists best champions. Then we set apart our editorializing which, though spicy and satirical sometimes, is directly related to things just said by the champions in the body of the article. It critically examines their own specific statements and logic. You can check it all for yourself. Gefter, and her henchmen at New Scientist, by contrast, hand you predigested us-vs-them, either-or verdicts like this: As for the creationist Origin, I see no need to seriously worry about it. The arguments in Comforts introduction are so outdated, wrong and at times downright bizarre that anyone with a half a brain will realize immediately that it is bogus; meanwhile, Darwins well-reasoned, evidence-based text that follows shines with added brilliance by comparison.We respect our intelligent readers too much to hand them such shallow rhetoric full of loaded words. Here is a link to the Introduction Gefter swept into the trash, hoping you wouldnt look at it: Introduction (PDF). Go ahead and read it yourself and form your own opinion. Gefter then appealed to authority by calling in the Darwin Dobermans, Eugenie Scott and Ken Miller, hoping you would fear them instead of forming your own opinion.
Our commentary should not be construed as an endorsement of Comfort or his approach, but his website at Living Waters is completely up-front, honest and open about what he is trying to do. He certainly has the right in a free country to present his point of view with his ministrys own money. If you think some of his arguments are weak, you can judge for yourself. Some of them might be strong. Keep in mind that one strong, true argument can overcome a thousand volleys of mudslinging. Our readers are intelligent enough to discern valid arguments on their own.
The Darwin Party already has complete control of the universities, the textbooks, the media, the courts and the government. Why are they so paranoid about one man handing out free material that is 90% Charlie and 10% critical analysis? Who is really going bananas here? They retort and deride; we report so you can decide.
Next headline on: Darwin Media Bible and Theology Responsibility is just a game, the Darwinians say. Stick out your tongue as in the picture when reading this one from 11/22/2008.
Evolutionary Explanation Is Always a Work in Progress 11/19/2009
We keep showing you ad nauseum how the Darwinians play their game (see How not to work a puzzle in the 05/01/2008 commentary). Their explanations are not conclusions emerging naturally from the observations; they are beliefs imposed on the observations by a prior chosen world view. Watch for the tricks of the trade: extrapolating microevolution (which is not disputed even by Biblical creationists) to molecules-to-man Darwinian evolution, tossing in ample fudge-words (e.g., this suggests that such-and-such might, could have, may have, or probably evolved); promissory notes (this promises to shed light on evolution), composite cop-outs (such-and-such evolved because of climate, or a social change, or whatever), assuming evolution instead of demonstrating it, and failing to deal with the primary question of the origin of genetic information for complex, functional capabilities.Consequences of Bad Choices: Well, Duh 11/18/2009
Nov 18, 2009 Responsibility integrity honesty respect healthy choices. Those are the values of a bygone generation. Do we need science to tell us that our grandparents were right?
PhysOrg reported that Teen sexual activity and gambling [is] associated with taking nonprescribed medications to get high. And Live Science reported, Coed Dorms Fuel Sex and Drinking. Some 90% of college dorms are now coed. A new study of 500 students from five college campuses, published in the Journal of American College Health, found that students in coed dorms were 2.5 times more likely to engage in binge drinking weekly. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study found students in coed dorms were significantly more likely to have had multiple sexual partners in the past year, Science Daily added. Pornography use was also higher among students in coed dorms.
The profligate students were not necessarily correlated with frats or sororities. Students in gender-specific dorms were usually placed there by the administration, not by their own choice. That sounds so 1950.
When you find something incredibly obviously stupid going on in public life, that makes no sense at all, and produces terrible consequences, you can usually find a Darwin-based liberal policy behind it. Whats Darwin got to do with the above stories, you ask? Well, since the 1960s, Judeo-Christian values have been marginalized in society under the guise of separation of church and state. Universities have stepped on themselves to remove anything resembling the Ten Commandments. Simultaneously, the Church of Darwin has been preaching in their sanctuaries (the school classrooms) that we are all evolved animals and that selfishness and promiscuity are just natural.In Brains, Its Quality, Not Quantity, that Counts 11/17/2009
Nov 17, 2009 Most anthropologists are obsessed with brain size. How many ccs (cubic centimeters) of brain could fit in the skull of this or that hominid? PhysOrg reminds us that Bigger not necessarily better, when it comes to brains. Heres a shocker from scientists at Queen Mary University: Tiny insects could be as intelligent as much bigger animals, despite only having a brain the size of a pinhead.
The article describes the brain range: from pinhead sizes in insects to the 9kg computers in whales. What we dont often think about it is that not all that matter is devoted to intelligence. Some of it is redundant, or offers refinement of existing functions. A large animal may need more brain because it has more body to control. One researcher said, To use a computer analogy, bigger brains might in many cases be bigger hard drives, not necessarily better processors. Theres no reason a high degree of intelligence could not fit in a very small space.
Its not the hardware; its the programming. And with human brains, as with computers, no amount of good programming can compensate for a stupid user.Could Mt. St. Helens grow to its pre-eruption size in less than two centuries? That possibility was reported in our 11/21/2007 entry. And that same month, on 11/30/2007, we asked Who knows the age of the Grand Canyon?
New Word Means Green Living: Bioplastics 11/17/2009
Science is one of mans most valuable activities when it is done right. It is an organized form of knowledge construction that should result in benefits for mankind and the environment. Absent from this project were useless excursions into storytelling. The researchers made a discovery, tested techniques to amplify the output, applied it, and now have the opportunity to market it.Darwinizing Everything 11/16/2009
Nov 16, 2009 150 years after The Origin of Species, its clear that Darwin succeeded in one thing: granting biologists free rein to speculate about how everything under the sun evolved. Anything not understood, or seemingly contrary to the law of natural selection, or to previous speculations, can be shuttled off to future research.
In his paper, which was more a challenge to fellow biologists than an announcement of a scientific finding, he gave some suggestions for narrowing the mountain of data to focus on the relevant factors. He used a mathematical analysis to show how trends in evolution might be predicted once genomes and phenomes are mapped to each other. But he admitted, the need [of such mapping] in evolutionary biology is particularly acute, because no predictive science of evolutionary dynamics can emerge without such understanding. Indeed, The study of natural selection is even more primitive than our knowledge of phenotypes, he said. It sounds like the challenge of understanding the origin of species by evolution is still primitive 150 years after Darwin. At least now we can celebrate the sophistication of our ignorance.
1. David Houle, Numbering the hairs on our heads: The shared challenge and promise of phenomics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online October 26, 2009, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0906195106.
The Darwinians, who took over biology in the 19th century, are still busily engaged in mythmaking, comforting the feebleminded who accept their explanations as wisdom, denouncing the heretics who call their bluff. They wear S on their chests: Science, the equivalent of Superman in intellectual circles. They are phonies. Bring out the kryptonite of critical analysis. It scares them to death, even though they never had special powers to begin with.Insect Wing Photocopied for Good 11/15/2009
Nov 15, 2009 Biomimetics is the new science of imitating nature but why not save a step, and just copy the design directly? Thats what Aussie and British researchers did. They wanted a self-cleaning surface that could repel moisture and dust, so they made a template of an insect wing. And why not? Insects are incredible nanotechnologists, reported Science Daily. Their wings are self-cleaning, frictionless and super-water-repellant.
Insect wings have these properties due to their properties at the scale of billionths of a meter. For instance, some wings are superhydrophobic, due to a clever combination of natural chemistry and their detailed structure at the nanoscopic scale, the article said. This means that the wing cannot become wet, the tiniest droplet of water is instantly repelled. Likewise, other insect wing surfaces are almost frictionless, so that any tiny dust particles that might stick are sloughed away with minimal force. Thats a dream surface for many human applications. Instead of having to invent a surface by imitation, the research team is developing a way to use the wing as a natural template to cast a polymer surface that duplicates the exact structure of the wing onto silicone gel. One of the advantages of this approach is that no prior design of the surface of the material is needed and so the team can exploit the enormous diversity of surface types from different insects and so produce materials with specific characteristics.
Evolution was only mentioned once in the opening paragraph: The surfaces of many insect wings have evolved properties materials scientists only dream of for their creations. Evolution and creation sometimes make strange bedfellows.
Next time you see a tiny little gnat flying around, take a better look at it. Would you have thought that its wings have such amazing properties that top researchers want to copy it? Who trained those little insects to be incredible nanotechnologists?Nov 14, 2009 Darwin Was Wrong is a conference that was held at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa on Nov 13-14, 2009. A slate of PhD speakers from Logos Research Associates explained the scientific evidence against Darwin. The lectures are being made available on combination disks with DVD and MP3 files by The Word for Today, Calvary Chapels online store. Heres a list of the speakers and their topics:
This series was perfectly timed right before the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species.. The speakers unmasked the speculation masquerading as science that sent the world down a wrong path.
Next resource of the week: 11/07/2009. All resources: Catalog.
The moon a hot spot to hang out? You thought it was a dull, geological dead zone. Not as this story from 11/09/2006 indicated.
Is the Universe Evolving Upward? 11/13/2009
You may find an article posted this month in ICR Acts & Facts magazine pertinent to this discussion.Where Chairman Mao and Teenage Nihilists Got Their Motivation 11/12/2009
Nov 12, 2009 What propelled Mao Zhedong to become the biggest mass murderer in world history? Let a professor of Chinese history answer the question. James Pusey (Bucknell U), writing in Nature this week for a series on Global Darwin,1 was explaining the vacuum left by the collapse of the reform movement in the early 20th century. A group of intellectuals found Marxism attractive. It was the fittest ideology:
Many tried to fill it: Sun, Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kaishek) and, finally, the small group of intellectuals who, in indignation at the betrayal at Versailles, found in Marxism what seemed to them the fittest faith on Earth to help China to survive.The ideology that led Mao to murder 77 million of his own people (11/30/2005) began with a view of nature that values struggle and fitness over the individual. Though acknowledging that the political currents in China were complex, with reformers like Yan Fu and Sun Yat-sen incorporating Darwinian principles without radical revolution, Pusey placed the worldview that empowered Marxist ideology squarely at the feet of Darwin. Darwin was Maos ideological mentor.
Darwinian ideas can produce murderous results in individuals, too. The Sunday Times Online printed an article that described the Darwinian motivations behind some of the serial killers of recent memory. The naturalist [Darwin] outraged the church, prompting a bitter debate that still sets creationists against evolutionists, Dennis Sewell wrote. Now a sinister link has emerged between his work and the recent spate of high-school killings by crazed, nihilistic teenagers. Despite Darwins personal reputation as an amiable Victorian gent, Sewell continued, he has been fingered as a racist, an apologist for genocide, and the inspiration of a string of psychopathic killers. The shooters at Columbine High School, for instance, saw themselves as eliminators of the weak. Harris wore Natural Selection on his T-shirt the day of the shooting spree. Many other artifacts gathered afterwards, described in the article, uncovered the boys fascination with survival of the fittest.
In 2007, detectives intercepted a school shooting in Pennsylvania. They discovered that their suspect often logged on to a social networking site called Natural Selections Army, the article says. Sewell discussed a personality cult around Harris and Klebold in certain chatrooms and websites, including a computer game that lets the player act out the massacre. Natural Selection apparel is hot with these aficionados, and Natural Selection is the name of a popular computer game in which competing teams attempt to annihilate one another a sign that Darwins term is still associated by many teenagers with sudden and extreme violence. Another case is the killing spree in 2007 in Finland by Pekka-Eric Auvinen, who declared in his manifesto before the event that he was a social Darwinist wanting to weed out the unfit. In his words: Its time to put natural selection and survival of the fittest back on track.
Sewell acknowledged that Darwin himself would have been horrified by all this. He knows that other great figures have been used by murderers as their inspiration. Still, he was not ready to let the bearded old man off the hook. One conclusion implicit in evolutionary theory is that human existence has no ultimate purpose or special significance.... Darwin also taught that morality has no essential authority, but is something that itself evolved, he continued. These simple (and simplistic) ideas are certainly accessible to disturbed adolescents who feel nothing stops them from taking natural law into their own hands. And Darwin himself wrote in 1881, Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.
Sewell is author of the book The Political Gene: How Darwins Ideas Changed Politics. His Times article was published on the Science page, not the Opinion page. On page 2, he continued supporting his premise that Darwins views feed into the nihilism behind high school shootings and political genocides because it destroys all moral restraint. One particular example shows this is not an isolated interpretation. He said, Cheerleaders celebrating Darwins 200th birthday in colleges across America last February sang Randomness is good enough for me, If theres no design it means Im free lines from a song by the band Scientific Gospel. With a gospel like that, no wonder some go beyond the mere abandonment of sexual mores taught by their parents. But wackos such as Harris and Auvinen can just as readily interpret it as a licence to kill. Sewell ended by pointing out that we cannot begin to address the issues when presented only with a bowdlerized account of Darwins work i.e., a sanitized version portraying Darwin as a scientific saint. He said, The more sinister implications of the world-view that has come to be called Darwinism — and the interpretation the teenage nihilists put on it are as much part of the Darwin story as the theory of evolutions [sic].
1. James Pusey, Global Darwin: Revolutionary road, Nature 462, 162-163 (12 November 2009) | doi:10.1038/462162a.
You have just seen what two scholars said who were not intelligent design leaders, creationists, or Bible-thumping preachers. If you will not listen to the latter, then listen to the former. You heard them saying what the preachers would have said anyway. Lets recap the list of principles that Pusey said you have to believe in to be a Marxist:Leaping to Evolutionary Conclusions 11/11/2009
Nov 11, 2009 In classical science, researchers were reluctant to announce bold conclusions without sufficient data. These days, it seems that science reporters are quick to announce sweeping conclusions that go far beyond the evidence especially if they appear to support some sort of evolution.
1. Konopka et al, Human-specific transcriptional regulation of CNS development genes by FOXP2, Nature 462, 213-217 (12 November 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature08549.
2. Martin H. Dominguez and Pasko Rakic, Language evolution: The importance of being human, Nature 462, 169-170 (12 November 2009) | doi:10.1038/462169a.
Its kind of funny watching the Darwinists go ape in their news stories. They are desperately trying to shore up support for Darwin by showing that naturalistic science can do the job from the bottom up. This has all the hallmarks of East Germany boasting the day before the Berlin Wall fell. In spite of his collapsing economy, Honnecker was so confident of his ideology, he was planning a new high-tech fence that didnt need guards to mow down its citizens wishing to escape to freedom; it could do the job automatically. Before he knew what hit him he was history.A chilling reminder of the death toll brought by Darwin defenders: 11/30/2005.
Darwin Marketed to Kids 11/10/2009
Those who care about public reason are routinely shocked by opinion polls and surveys showing high levels of credence given to the idea of intelligent design. The most recent poll purported to demonstrate that a majority of Britons think that it should be taught alongside evolution in schools.Repeatedly in his article, Copson characterized the Darwin doubters as ignorant, but refused to acknowledge any ideological bias on his part. He also made it seem as if all evidence is for evolution and against religion despite numerous evidential claims by intelligent design against evolution. He spoke favorably of a slate of new childrens books on evolution such as What Darwin Saw, How Whales Walked Into the Sea, and Mammals Who Morph. This is a good thing, because as evolution is arguably the most important concept underlying the life sciences, he said, winning SEQOTW for the following non-sequitur: providing children with an understanding of it [evolution] at the earliest possible age will surely help lay the foundations for a surer scientific understanding later on.
A new company is making Darwin toys for tots. Charlies Playhouse offers Evolution for kids in the form of apparel, games, cards, and a giant evolution timeline kids can hop and skip on. Of special interest is their 30-second commercial, Why are we making evolution toys? The answer: nobody else is. The commercial laments the thousands of toys about physics, biology and chemistry even all those popular dinosaur toys that dont mention evolution. But we do! a cartoony Darwin exclaims, dancing proudly at the end of the video.
William Dembski, the double-PhD scholar of the intelligent design movement, has had enough with all this. His latest article on Uncommon Descent is called Getting over our love for Darwin. In it he quotes Malcolm Muggeridge, who wrote, I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which its been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books in the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has.
We can only hope some of the silliness will end when the Darwin Party packs the circus tents and fires the clowns for the next 50 years. Youll notice we are not the only ones calling him Charlie. Picture Lucy (the fossil) saying, Youre a blockhead, Charlie Clown, to which Charlie replies, I cant help what my groupies do.How a Christian Family Stood Up to Tyranny 11/10/2009
Nov 10, 2009 When the Berlin wall fell 20 years ago, Dorothee Hubner first dared to think, Are we allowed to leave and finally be free? Her story and that of her parents Gerhard and Gertraude, scientists trapped in East Germany, was told by Andrew Curry, a freelance writer, in Science.1 Dorothee was 23 years old in 1989. Her parents, also biochemists, had spent decades struggling to do research in East Germany without compromising their personal ideals with allegiance to the ruling Communist Party.
By not pledging allegiance to the ruling Communist Party, the Hubners faced a life of difficulty. Everything from university admissions to teaching positions depended on allegiance to the Communist Party, Curry wrote:
It was a difficult offer to refuse. In exchange for signing a loyalty oath and an agreement to report back to the Stasi on friends and colleagues, you could attend international conferences and have your career fast-tracked, Gunter Fischer [a colleague of the Hubners] says. If you said no, youd have no higher-ranking position or travel, and you might lose your job, he notes. The pressure went beyond career and travel to petty indignities. Party members were given the best lab times. Non–party members could only use equipment between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m., Gerhard recalls.In fact, the Hubners found out from Stasi records that at the time the wall fell, the Party was planning to force Fischer and the Hubners out of their jobs. It was the last indignity for a life of nonconformism. They had to be very careful. You couldnt speak your mind, Gerhard said. There was always the fear that you could say something that could have harmed your spouse or kids by accident. It was difficult for them to get their three children into the university. Ideology infected everything: Before 1989, science in the German Democratic Republic, like almost everything else, was political. Curry said. Everything from university admissions to teaching positions depended on allegiance to the Communist Party. The Stasi were constantly pressuring scientists and citizens to work for them and spy on their families and neighbors. By remaining faithful to their principles, the Hubners placed themselves at a severe disadvantage.
Currys article mentions other evils behind the Iron Curtain: the pressure on Olympic athletes to dope their bodies, the discrimination against women, the collaboration of many top scientists with the regime, and the constant poor economy: Like most of the Communist bloc, East Germany was in a perpetual state of financial crisis. Dorothee readily acknowledges that the fall of communism changed everything. Now she lives in the United States and enjoys her freedom to work at top labs with state of the art equipment. Discovering what had gone on in East German labs, though, was like opening a rotten egg: The Stasi archives were opened in 1991, revealing that some of the countrys top scientists had been collaborators and forcing them out of universities, Curry wrote. In the social sciences, entire institutes were simply closed, their scholarship too tainted by ideology to salvage.
Gerhards integrity and hard work paid off. And after decades of isolation, an entire generation of scientists suddenly had to compete for jobs with West Germans and others, Curry wrote. Gerhard found himself the lone East German in the running for a position as the chair of his department, up against more than 30 West Germanshe won. And his friend Gunter Fischer is now at the Martin Luther University at Halle-Wittenberg.
1. Andrew Curry, Twenty Years After the Wall: Profile: Hubner Family: Big Dreams Come True, Science, 6 November 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5954, pp. 792-793, DOI: 10.1126/science.326_792.
This inspiring story with a happy ending of character enduring hardship is provided as an antidote to the year of Darwin. What historical scientist inspired the communist worldview? What historical worldview provided the courage to stand for freedom of conscience? Which worldview tried to suppress the other one? There are many lessons here. Dig them out.Darwinizing of Religion Continues 11/09/2009
Nov 9, 2009 In an ongoing series for the Year of Darwin in Science magazine,1 Elizabeth Culotta wrote an article with the Darwinesque title, On the Origin of Religion.2 The editors summary acknowledges that No consensus yet exists among scientists, but sought the only answer in Darwinian terms: in the past 15 years, a growing number of researchers have followed Darwins lead and explored the hypothesis that religion springs naturally from the normal workings of the human mind. This new field, the cognitive science of religion, draws on psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to understand the mental building blocks of religious thought. Building blocks theres a suggestive phrase right out of origin-of-life labs.
Culotta began with a Darwin imprimatur. To Charles Darwin, the origin of religious belief was no mystery. As soon as the important faculties of the imagination, wonder, and curiosity, together with some power of reasoning, had become partially developed, man would naturally crave to understand what was passing around him, and would have vaguely speculated on his own existence, he wrote in The Descent of Man. Culotta acknowledged that Darwins scientific descendants are not quite so sure, but we can trust them, because potential answers are emerging from both the archaeological record and studies of the mind itself.
Heres a quick rundown on those potential answers. Evolutionary sociologists are studying the propensity of humans to infer agents acting when things happen. Evolutionary archaeologists are looking for clues of symbolic behavior. Cognitive neuroscientists are looking for parts of the brain that tend toward purpose-driven beliefs that might be a step on the way to religion. Evolutionary psychologists investigate theory of mind explanations that see people attributing mental states to others and to things. Evolutionary anthropologists consider the social aspects of sharing beliefs in gods to develop social cohesion. Its Darwins game from start to finish.
Each discipline seeks to explain their piece of the religion puzzle in adaptationist, progressive terms. The psychologists, for instance, reason that if people from childhood onward develop a tendency to see the natural world acting in a purposeful way, Its a small step to suppose that the design has a designer. Stewart Guthrie sees the invisible hand of Darwin in primitive mans thinking processes. Guthrie suggested that natural selection primed this system for false positives, because if the bump in the night is really a burglaror a lionyou could be in danger, while if its just the wind, no harm done. The anthropologists find other ways to see religion as adaptive: By encouraging helpful behavior, religious groups boost the biological survival and reproduction of their members.
Here, though, Culotta admitted others see such explanations as little more than just-so storytelling. She quoted Pascal Boyer cautioning, It is often said that religion encourages or prescribes solidarity within the group, but we need evidence that people actually follow [their religions] recommendations. Speaking of evidence, which is supposed to elevate science above other forms of explanation, she admitted to large gaps. For instance, she said there is a yawning gap between the material evidence of the archaeological record and the theoretical models of psychologists. The archaeologists have a hard time inferring beliefs from artifacts, and the psychologists are crying, we need more evidence. What about the cognitive scientists? They try to get at the roots of innate tendencies vs. learned beliefs, but they are crying for more evidence, too: I havent seen lots of empirical evidence that you can get from there to religious beliefs, said social psychologist Ara Norenzayan. Culottas last sentence, quoting Norenzayan again, amounted to a promissory note admitting to gaps in evidence: In the next 10 to 15 years theres likely to be quite a transformation, with a lot more evidence, to give us a compelling story about how religion arose.
1. Intro, On the Origin of Religion, Science, 6 November 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5954, pp. 784-787, DOI: 10.1126/science.326_784
2. Elizabeth Culotta, Origins: On the Origin of Religion, Science, 6 November 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5954, pp. 784-787, DOI: 10.1126/science.326_784.
Whats this? You were told that science was science, and religion was religion, and never the twain shall meet. What are the Darwinists doing putting your dear pastor, priest or rabbi in the test tube? Didnt Stephen Jay Gould promise that science would stay out of religion if religion stayed out of science? What is this evolution of religion talk?Nov 7, 2009 Heres a fascinating diversion for our Resource of the Week: a creation-based novel. Take a break from technical books on science and imagine what life was like after the Tower of Babel. This period, so tantalizingly brief in Genesis, has become the real-world stage for a fascinating story by Jon Saboe, The Days of Peleg. Part historical novel and part science fiction, Peleg recreates a little-known world filled with change and intellectual ferment, deception and violence, tragedy and hope. Contrary to the evolutionary picture of primitives emerging from the apes, Jon takes the Biblical picture of man seriously: people were more intelligent, stronger, and more capable than we have become after millennia of physical deterioration from the curse. Dont be surprised to see characters out-thinking and out-performing their mutation-challenged descendants (thats us).
Jon Saboe (M.A., Johns Hopkins University) is a multi-talented renaissance manmartial arts expert, chess player, masterful concert pianist, network engineer, history enthusiast, lecturer, and now novelist. Hes also a long-time fan of Creation-Evolution Headlines. Peleg is full of surprises. You never know how it will end. Each twist and turn of the plot leaves you in suspense, eager to keep reading. Interspersed among the narrow escapes and intrigues and unexpected encounters are thought-provoking dialogues about knowledge, logical inference, the purpose of life, and the plan of the Creator knowledge that the post-Babel civilization is rapidly choosing to ignore or reject. Each chapter begins with a point to ponder: e.g., Is it the destination that is important, or the journey itself?, or, Free willwithout guidanceis the most terrifying prison of all. Throughout its far-reaching, creative portrayal of characters, places and adventures, the novel is anchored to archaeology, science, historical records and the Bible narratives. If this is not what really happened, you may wish it had. It really fills in the blanks of a crucial period in world history. One caution: after reading Chapter 1, youll be hooked.
Find The Days of Peleg on Amazon.com or look at the link on his other website Evolution Is Dead where you might notice some familiar looking Headlines. Read Peleg first, before going to the authors Days of Peleg website, where you will find historical support for the accounts described in the book and evidences for the high intelligence of the ancients.
Next resource of the week: 10/31/2009. All resources: Catalog.
Soft Muscle Tissue Found in Fossil Salamander 11/06/2009
Notice that the evolutionists dont want to tell the truth; they want to paint a picture. Evolutionary time is dancing in the visions of their closed eyes. Instead of seeing the falsification of evolutionary time, they see its vindication sketched out on the canvas of imagination. View their picture as abstract art of visions and dreams, not as the history of the world.One of the most interesting articles weve explored about the human body was the 11/18/2004 story about distance running. Most runners probably never considered all the factors necessary to run a marathon and how unique it is to humans. If you havent read it yet, its worth looking into.
What Is Man? 11/05/2009
Humans are unique, and everybody knows it. You own your cat; your cat does not own you. (On second thought, maybe theres a better example.) Animal intelligence, though real, does not rise to the level of the arts and sciences. Animals do not pray; they do not send relief to people they dont know across the world; they do not write symphonies and novels; they do not derive equations; they do not seek to understand black holes; they do not communicate in abstract language; they do not blush or need to.Notable Notes and Quotable Quotes
PhysOrg reports, Study says dogs have larger carbon footprint than SUV. What? No way. Dogs are natural. Thanks for killing the planet, dog owners, the article says. Well, thats a rough paraphrase of a New Zealand study that claims a medium-size dog leaves a larger ecological footprint than an SUV. This should start some interesting discussions by the water cooler. Short of eating the dogs, what should be done about these four-legged eco-Hummers before they kill us all?
Polar Bears and Grizzlies Hybridize 11/04/2009
Hybrids are common in plants and animals. This is nothing all that unusual. It attracts attention because of the large size of the animals and their distinctive colorations. Creationists commonly believe that most bears are descendants of a single bear kind or baramin. Thats not evolution in the sense Darwin used the word (common ancestry of all life by unguided processes of variation and selection). Its just a sorting out of traits. The sorting persists according to adaptation to the local environment. For instance, thick hair on Alaskan dogs helps them survive the cold winter, even though all domestic dogs are the same species. That kind of natural selection is not controversial. The genetic information was already present. Coming up with a dog from bacteria is another issue altogether.Ferocity of Geological Change Stuns Scientists 11/04/2009
Nov 4, 2009 A crack in Ethiopia 500 meters long took just days to form. New Scientist reported about a team of scientists who used seismic sensors to reconstruct the event. They found that a 60-kilometre-long, 8-metre-wide dike of solidified magma formed in the rift, causing the crack, in a matter of days. They believe the crack will some day form a new ocean like the Red Sea.
The team was amazed by the rapid change. The ferocity of what we saw during this episode stunned everyone, said a team member who came over to study the continental rift that began in 2005 as plates began to shift (12/09/2005). Similar dikes in Iceland are typically around 10 kilometres long and 1 metre wide and can take years to form, the article said. The new study shows the formation of dikes can occur in larger segments and over much shorter periods of time than previously thought. They estimate it will take 4 million years for an ocean to form in the rift.
The report on PhysOrg called this a magnetic deformation. The scientist interviewed was also interested in how quickly this occurred but said the ocean formation is happening slowly, likely to take a few million years.
Whats ferocious is the hubris of scientists. The speed of this episode amazed them. They learned that big changes can occur faster than they thought. Then they turned right around and announced confidently that we will have to wait 4 million years to go surfing. Then spend millions and millions as recklessly as an identity thief with a stolen credit card. Who is going to wait those millions of years to tell them if they were right or wrong? Its a built-in confidence scam.Inefficiency Made You Complex 11/03/2009
Nov 3, 2009 Remember the old Darwinian story? Slight variations that prove beneficial are naturally selected when they help an organism adapt to its environment. Wrong. According to Ariel Fernandez of Rice University, we humans are complex because natural selection is inefficient. He said, the origins of some key aspects of the evolution of complexity may have their origins in completely nonadaptive processes. His tale is told by Science Daily.
According to Fernandez, bacteria are better at natural selection than humans are. Humans and other complex animals tend to accumulate paralogs or partially-functional copies of genes. Some paralogs actually decrease fitness. Some, whether beneficial or not, accumulate like employees that cant be fired. He used an analogy of two delivery drivers that start out being redundant, but eventually specialize on certain parts of town. Eventually, even if times become tough, you cannot lay off either of them because they each became so specialized that your company needs them both.
Humans need many specialized organs and proteins to function, he admitted and even more specialized parts to regulate them all. How did all this integrated complexity arise? The article did not mention genetic information, function or innovation once. Somehow the genetic information must arise from duplicate genes that act as a jack-of-all-trades but are not removed by selection; this can only occur if selection is inefficient, he thinks. This is frequently a point of contention between proponents of evolution and intelligent design, the article said.
What does all this have to do with Darwinism? This supports the case for evolution because it shows that you can drive complexity with random mutations in duplicate genes, Fernandez said. But this also implies that random drift must prevail over Darwinian selection. In other words, if Darwinian selection were ruthlessly efficient in humans as it is in bacteria and unicellular eukaryotes then our level of complexity would not be possible.
Fernandez confuses complexity and coordination. A random pile of Scrabble letters is complex but it doesnt spell anything. He had nothing to say about how genes and proteins can develop into a complex being that can compose a symphony in his head or do a triple-twisting dive off a 10 meter platform.Frustrated that so many Americans still dont get evolution, an evolutionary biologist pondered how best to persuade them in the 11/21/2003 entry. He thinks the consilience of inductions method will work. Find out why our commentary has a surprising suggestion: teach Darwin to Darwinist professors.
Comets Didnt Bring Earths Oceans 11/03/2009
1. Hutsemékers, Jean Manfroid, Emmanuël Jehina, and Claude Arpigny, New constraints on the delivery of cometary water and nitrogen to Earth from the 15N/14N isotopic ratio, Icarus, Volume 204, Issue 1, November 2009, Pages 346-348.
The paper constrains, not disproves, naturalistic models, but it is clear that secular planetary scientists are running out of options (see 03/26/2002, 12/27/2007). Cometary delivery was already a last resort for the bottom-up worldview. The top-down worldview, that the Earth was created with its water and was designed with habitation in mind, has less arthritis and dandruff (i.e., less hand-wringing and head-scratching).Photo Op
Nov 03 New pictures of the geysers on Enceladus have just come in from yesterdays flyby: Ciclops.org (Cassini Imaging Team). Thats incredible activity for a small icy moon the width of Arizona. How long has that been going on?
How a Biotoxin Evolved 11/02/2009
This case might provide a test of Michael Behes ideas about limits to evolutionary change. It appears the changes to this enzyme are minor something like opening up the active site a little wider and allowing the substrate easier access. If so, it is no more the evolution of new protein function than changing the concentration or pH of an existing acid. It does not involve adding new functional information. This is horizontal evolution that enhances and distributes existing traits according to the environment.To Advance Science, Imitate Nature 11/01/2009
Nov 01, 2009 Biomimetics the imitation of nature continues to be one of the hottest areas in science. Here are a few of the latest findings coming from the world of living creatures.
In the mantis shrimp story, Science Daily speculated about the evolution of the remarkable eye. Exactly why the mantis shrimp needs such exquisite sensitivity to circularly polarized light isnt clear. Was it for sex, or for avoiding predators? If this mechanism in the mantis shrimp provides an evolutionary advantage, it would be easily selected for as it only requires small changes to existing properties of the cell in the eye. They need to read Michael Behes book The Edge of Evolution. Strange that a blind process produced a system that seeing scientists cannot imitate.Why you should believe the Big Bang (preach it, brother) see 11/02/2002.