Monday, 15 February 2016

One-Celled Hercules Causes Evolutionists to Invoke “Evolutionary Design”

Diatoms. Image courtesy of Damián H. Zanette, public domain.

Joel Kontinen

Design and evolution don’t go well together. Either an organism evolves or it is designed, but it seems that often design is so obvious in the animal kingdom that experts just can’t avoid the D-word.

And that D does not stand for Darwin.

A new paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) features a tiny creature with a single cell:

Diatoms are unicellular algae that form an intricate silica cell wall. A protective shell that is light enough to prevent sinking while simultaneously offering strength against predators is of interest to the design of lightweight structural materials. Using three-point bending experiments, we show that the diatom shell has the highest specific strength of all previously reported biological materials. Fracture analysis and finite element simulations also suggest functional differentiation between the shell layers and features to mitigate fracture. These results demonstrate the natural development of architecture in live organisms to simultaneously achieve light weight, strength, and structural integrity and may provide insight into evolutionary design.”

(bold added)

There you have it: evolutionary design. To all intents and purposes, it looks designed. It is so well designed that engineers are interested in copying its structure. It is anything but heavy, yet it is extremely strong and does not break easily.

Creation abounds in intelligent solutions that strongly suggest design that cannot be explained away by evolution.

No wonder biomimicry or copying these solutions is such a flourishing field of research. Here are some inspiring examples:

· The moth’s eye
· Super sunscreen
· Mantis shrimp club
· Gecko feet
· The human eye


Aitken, Zachary H. et al. 2016. Microstructure provides insights into evolutionary design and resilience of Coscinodiscus sp. Frustule. PNAS (published online on 8 February ahead of print).