Exploring Our World

Biomimicry 3

The Inspiration for the Design of the Helicopter

“The helicopter must also be able to fly forward, climb, cruise at speed, and then descend and come back into a hover for landing.  This is the dream of true flight, a feat only achieved in nature by the hummingbird or dragonfly.  Nature has inspired humankind for literally hundreds of years before the vertical flight machine we now know as a helicopter became a practical reality.”

Learning to Increase the Flying Speed of Aircraft

This is a B 2 Bomber.  The maximum speed of a B-2 Bomber is about 628 mph. It is the most feared warplane on earth.  Do you know what it was designed after?

A falcon.

The Inspiration for the Nautilus Submarine

The Nautilus Submarine has special tanks that fill with water to make the sub sink.  When the water is pumped out of the tanks, the sub rises.  It was designed after the Nautilus Squid, thus its name.

The chambered Nautilus squid has small chambers which it fills with water to sink, or empties out in order rise.

Learning to Make Better Light Bulbs

Fireflies help make LED light bulbs more efficient. The bugs’ lanterns have microstructures, or asymmetrical microscopic projections, that release light.

Researchers from Penn State found that adding microstructures to the surface of LEDs, which typically have symmetrical projections, allows more light to escape, making them more efficient and improving light extraction by 90 percent.


Evolutionary Biologist Kenneth Miller, a biologist at Brown University, and co-author of a biology textbook published by Prentice Hall that is used widely in high school classes across the country, in his book: Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul, he admitted that structural and molecular biologists, as they study the natural order, routinely mention the presence of design in their explorations.  He, himself, admits that the human body shows evidence of design, pointing out examples like the design of the ball and socket joints of the human hips and shoulders, as well as the “S” curve of the human spine that allows us to walk upright (2008).  So powerful is the design inference, Dawkins was forced to grudgingly admit: “So compelling is that illusion of design that it has fooled our greatest minds for centuries, until Charles Darwin burst onto the scene” (2009, p. 416).

Is "design" in nature just an illusion?  I will predict your answer to that question will be dictated by your chosen philosophical worldview.