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Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Some people claim that Christians must have blind faith in the Bible. I agree with what the Bible says but I don’t know that I would call the faith or trust that I have in its veracity is blind. I think that my faith is reasonable. Without going into a long explanation as to why it is reasonable let me just say that everything I have read and learned from the Bible has been true. Therefore, I have no reason to question the portions that I have yet to verify or validate. I would say that the Bible is the rule of faith and is the benchmark of all truth. I approach life in this way. Scripture is right and where others disagree they are in error.

Others approach truth differently. Those with a materialist or naturalistic worldview place science as their locus of truth and anything that cannot be empirically verified is regarded as false. Now, this worldview has many problems but in the world of academia this is where you must start with people understanding that most people today in America come from this perspective.

I do not believe in evolution. I am with Ronald Reagan who said it was just a theory. It is not a bad theory. In some ways it makes sense but I reject the Neo-Darwinian theory of general common descent because it flies in the face of the Bible which, as I already mentioned, is my measure of truth. However, not everyone comes from that perspective so I think that I also need to evaluate evolution as a theory from a scientific perspective as well. This is why I would like to share with you some scientific insights into evolution with you. This particular insight comes from Dr. Cornelius Hunter who has a Ph.D. in Biophysics and Computational Biology from the University of Illinois.

Dr. Hunter demonstrates how unlikely or probabilistically impossible it would be for evolution to be true based on protein-protein interactions which are fundamental to life. He describes how difficult it is to get two proteins to interact with each other not to mention the fact that the correct amino acid would have to be used to get the interaction to have a meaningful result. Here is what he says about evolution and the random chance that such a “mutation” could occur:

But evolution does not have such resources. It cannot conduct millions of evolutionary experiments in order to luckily find amino acid sequences on protein surfaces that are required for important biological functions. And even if it could, that would only be the first step, because molecular machines are often comprised of multiple proteins, interacting with each other at multiple sites. So evolution would have to luckily find several sequences, in multiple proteins, and get them to arise in similar time frames, so the molecular machine would function.

I am an engineer, not a scientist. But this scientist has skillfully pointed out how such a basic but amazing building block of life on its own makes evolution almost certainly false. We are talking probabilities here which doesn’t prove or disprove anything but it does make evolution very unlikely and makes you wonder why the scientific community so readily and blindly accepts it. To read more from Dr. Hunter read his blog here. To read more about these protein-protein interactions pick up a copy of The Edge of Evolution by Michael Behe and study chapter 7.

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You may have recently read that the teaching of creationism is now banned in any school that receives government funding in Great Britain.  It is interesting that the government there has taken a very narrow view of the theories of the origin of life.  They seem to think that any idea that is not evolution is creationism.  This is a very narrow view and misrepresents evolution and creationism.  They make it sounds like evolution is the only scientific view and if you accept creationism you reject science and reason.  Cornelius Hunter has pointed out that this is just a straw man.  They misrepresent anyone who questions evolution and dismiss them as an anti-science creationists.  Creationism is not anti-science, by the way, and is distinct from another theory known as intelligent design.  This is just a way that they blackball their opponents because their view is weak and doesn’t stand up to scientific investigation.  To read more about this visit Dr. Hunter’s blog here.

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I have been noticing a very interesting phenomena in engineering known as biomimicry.  According to the Biomimicry Guild the definition of biomimicry is:

“Biomimicry is an innovation method that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies—for example, a solar cell inspired by a leaf. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well-adapted to life on Earth over the long haul. Biomimicry follows life’s principles, such as build from the bottom up, self-assembly, optimize rather than maximize, use free energy, cross-pollinate, embrace diversity, adapt and evolve, use life-friendly materials and processes, engage in symbiotic relationships, and enhance the biosphere. By following these principles you can create products and processes that are well-adapted to life on Earth.”

One really interesting example of biomimicry I learned at ASME.org.  There is an article that explains how a Japanese engineer used biomimicry to eliminate the sonic boom caused by the Japanese bullet train.  When the bullet train emerges from a tunnel at 200 mph, it created a sonic boom.  Japanese engineer Eiji Nakatsu copied the beak of a kingfisher because this beak allows the bird to fly at high speeds into water without making much noise and creating only a small splash.  You can see the similarity in the pictures below.

biomimicry

Amazingly the sonic boom has been eradicated but the new design made the bullet train more energy efficient and allows it to travel at greater speeds.

Scientists will tell you that they are learning from nature’s millions of years of evolution.  Well, this is actually counter-intuitive.  I think this idea of biomimicry points to a creator rather than evolution.

First, engineers are copying from nature what phenomena already exist.  For example, would one say that the bullet train was the result of evolution?  No.  It took the hard work of engineers to design.  What is more complex: a bullet train or a kingfisher, a living animal?  I believe that the existence of complex life forms points to a creator.  The creator is the master-engineer and engineers like Nakatsu who use biomimicry are copying what the master-engineer already engineered.

Second, could the bullet train come into being by chance?  Even if all of the parts were put in a warehouse together what are the chances that someone could put the parts together to make a bullet train without drawings and instructions?  Furthermore, what are the chances of the the bullet train parts putting themselves together or by chance falling into place.  The thought is crazy.  How much crazier is it to think that the kingfisher came into being by chance by evolution over millions of years.

Third, some of the best engineers of our day are copying engineering feats found in nature.  Do we really believe that these feats are a result of chance?  If they are by chance, are our best engineers so dumb that they have to copy things that happened by chance rather than ideas that they can come up with on their own?  No, they are copying the work of a greater engineer — the creator God — who knows everything and to whom there is nothing new under the sun including engineering ideas.

So, biomimcry points to God.  God is the creator.  God is the master designer.  God is the greatest engineer.  It is his designs that the brightest engineers are copying.  May we give glory to God and not to dumb chance.

 

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