By Design

An article published in USA Today (Feb. 13, 2007) was titled “Flying creatures may help create aviation of future.” In it, Alan Levin makes interesting observations.

He notes: “As the nocturnal owl stalks its prey, a quirk on its wings enables a silent hunt. Fringe-like feathers hang off the bird and muffle the whooshing air. Even a sharp-eared mouse can't hear the owl swoop in. That lesson in aerodynamics provides a valuable guide for aviation experts who are crafting a new technology. They've incorporated the concept into the Silent Aircraft Initiative, a plan to create a plane that would make no noticeable noise outside an airport.”

“In labs around the world, biologists and aerodynamicists are studying birds, bats, insects and even extinct flying dinosaurs for new ideas.”

"It's plagiarism if you copy a term paper, but it's absolute good design if you copy nature," says Perdue's Weisshaar. "Nature doesn't have a copyright."

Now that’s interesting. Scientists recognize that there is a source for advanced design principles for the study of physics, fluid dynamics and flight. The wings of birds and insects already have design characteristics that engineers are trying to discover and duplicate. With untold millions of dollars being spent on high-tech aviation development, engineers have decided that one of the best ways to advance man’s technology is to copy off of God’s blueprints.

What a marvel. If scientists recognize that the wings of animals display an advanced knowledge of aerodynamics, then how did these structures come to exist? Trial and error? What intelligent force was doing the trial? We know that the Wright brothers extensively researched birds in flight and spent enormous effort observing them. Based in large measure on those observations they built the first flying machines. How remarkable that the concept of flight itself came from observing and copying things that were already flying! And scientists admit that they are seeing not just functional design in living things but superior design. That requires an explanation and there is one.

Nature does have a copyright. To an observant eye, the intricate design of every living thing around us is stamped “made by God.” “Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse;” (Romans 1:20 NRSV).

- Tim Orbison


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