In the realm of technology and science, a new field of study has become quite popular. It is called “biomimicry.” The word biomimicry comes from two Greek words: bios—meaning life, and mimesis—meaning to imitate. Therefore, the word biomimicry means the imitation of life. Basically, this field of study looks at certain things in nature, and attempts to use the designs and structures found in nature to create technology that is beneficial to humans.
To illustrate more fully how biomimicry works, consider the origin of the substance we call Velcro. This adhesive fabric was created when a man noticed how efficient cockleburs were at sticking to pant legs and dog hair. Or consider the ever-advancing technology behind cameras. Almost all of the structures, lens, and film are patterned after the human eye or some other biological eye found on an animal.
The list of things that fall under the term biomimicry is very long. Recently, scientists have begun to develop a tiny flying robot that mimics a fly. Interestingly, it is about the size and weight of a fat housefly. Many uses have been proposed for this “robofly,” including helping firefighters locate people during fires or spying on potential terrorists. Why would anyone want to copy a fly? The reason is very simple. Flies are some of the most well-designed flyers in the world. Ron Fearing, the scientist behind much of the research on the robofly, said that flies are “the fighter jets of the animal world.” They can change speed and direction in a fraction of a second, and they can even land upside down. Just try catching one with your hand to see how great they are at flying! Dr. Fearing went on to say: “There are all kinds of things nature can do that we don’t know how to do yet” (as quoted in Squatriglia, 1999, p. 4).
Dr. Fearing and some of the other people who study biomimicry say that all these wonderful designs and structures are the result of evolution. But that does not make any sense. If humans, who are very intelligent, have not been able to create designs and structures as efficient as those in nature, then how could evolution have done it by blind chance and random mutations over millions of years? Doesn’t it make much better sense to conclude that God, the great Designer of the Universe, created the “fighter jets of the animal world” with all of their amazing designs. The German astronomer Johannes Kepler is credited with saying that through his study of the Universe, he was “thinking God’s thoughts after him.” Isn’t it amazing how God’s design—found in a common housefly—is better than some of the technology found in our most advanced jet planes? The apostle Paul had it right when he wrote: “The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25).
Squatriglia, Chuck (1999), “Spy Fly: Tiny Winged Robot to Mimic Nature’s Fighter Jets,” San Francisco Chronicle, [On-line], URL: http://www.mvcf.com/news/Tracking_Locusts/000001.htm, November 2.
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