Monday, 13 April 2015

Fine-Tuning in Sea Spong Speaks of Intelligent Design

Image courtesy of NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration.

Joel Kontinen

Fine-tuning is not only associated with the laws that govern the universe. It is also evident in living creatures. The latest discovery features a sea sponge.

According to a press release issued by Brown University:

The Venus’ flower basket sea sponge has hair-like appendages that hold it in place on the sea floor. Research led by Brown University engineers shows that the internal structure of those fibers is fine-tuned for strength. The findings from this natural system could inform the engineering of load-bearing structural members.”

There’s no shortage of intelligent solutions in the animal kingdom. Like this one, many are so good that engineers are trying to copy the strategy that they use.

Life may seem precarious for the sea sponge known as Venus’ flower basket. Tiny, hair-like appendages made essentially of glass are all that hold the creatures to their seafloor homes. But fear not for these creatures of the deep. Those tiny lifelines, called basalia spicules, are fine-tuned for strength, according to new research led by Brown University engineers.”

The press release describes this structure as remarkable:

In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers show that the secret to spicules’ strength lies in their remarkable internal structure. The spicules, each only 50 microns in diameter, are made of a silica (glass) core surrounded by 10 to 50 concentric cylinders of glass, each separated by an ultra-thin layer of an organic material. The walls of each cylinder gradually decrease in thickness moving from the core toward the outside edge of the spicule.”

In explaining such fine-tuning, Darwinian just-so stories have no merit. All the evidence points to design.

And design suggests a Designer.

You can read more about amazing design in the animal and /or plant kingdom here, here, here, here, here and here.


Brown University. 2015. Sea sponge anchors are natural models of strength (6 April).