Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Biomimicry at its Finest

Which is more resouceful, inventive and smarter: natural biological processes or very intelligent and educated human beings? If the need to borrow ideas is an indicator than perhaps it is the biological processes. And to think that such processes are simply blind, brute forces of nature. Or are they? We won't get definitive answers from an article I'll link to but what we do get are some interesting examples of human technology which have biological precursors.

The 15 Coolest Cases of Biomimicry is a well illustrated and easy to read piece of interest to biology, technology and design aficionados. The list of 15:

1. Velcro
2. Passive Cooling
3. Gecko Tape
4. Whalepower Wind Turbine
5. Lotus Effect Hydrophobia
6. Self-Healing Plastics
7. The Golden Streamlining Principle
8. Artificial Photosynthesis
9. Bionic Car
10. Morphing Aircraft Wings
11. Friction-Reducing Sharkskin
12. Diatomaceous Nanotech
13. Glo-Fish
14. Insect-Inspired Autonomous Robots
15. Butterfly-Inspired Displays

Artificial photosynthesis hopefully will become a technology of the future enabling stronger economies and healthier environments. Photosynthesis Inspires "Green Fuel" Breakthrough is an article which contains the following remarks:

Could the selection of random mutations, as neo-Darwinists propose, have led to such an amazingly coordinated, sophisticated system? The most that current research can do, having left no part to randomness, is to produce a pale copy of just one part of photosynthesis.

Where did photosynthesis come from? Those who develop machines by copying the ordered processes of intricate, efficient machines found in nature ought to recognize that millions of years could not, and thus did not, build them. Nevertheless, Professor Spiccia stated that his team was able to split water by using “the very chemical that nature has selected for this purpose."2

Inanimate objects and undirected processes, no matter what their ages are projected to be, are not observed to “select” things—scientists, inventors, and other rational beings are. Therefore, the more reasonable possibility is that the Creator God created manganese, then selected it as a catalyst to supply the oxygen and plant growth necessary for life here on earth.

Photosynthesis is one of those many cellular processes which lends support for a design inference.

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