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Discovery Magazine 1/1/2003

Copying God's Design

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, biomimicry means the imitation of life. This field of study looks at certain things in nature, and attempts to use the designs and structures found there to create technology that is helpful to humans.

The list of things included 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 same 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 “thefighter jets of the animal world.” They can changespeed 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.”

Dr. Fearing, and many of the people who study biomimicry, concluded that 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 accident? Doesn’t it make much better sense to believe that God, the Great Designer of the Universe, created the “fighter jets of the animal world” with all of their amazing designs? 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 said that “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25).

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