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Happy Engineers Week — Let’s Remember Intelligence Is at the Heart of It All

Sarah Chaffee


It’s National Engineers Week — so we wanted to give a shout out to our CSC Fellows and Evolution News contributors who are in the world of engineering. As we’ve observed in the past, engineering and medicine differ from evolutionary biology in that they focus on how things work. Evolutionists can seem at times to disregard function, but doctors and engineers never can.

Speaking of engineering, here’s a rundown of news on one of the most exciting fields where the science of intelligent design really shines: biomimetics. This field uses designs from nature to boost efficiency and create new products.

  • Meet the gecko astrobot.

  • According to Emilie Snell-Rood in Nature, “With around 1.5 million described species, and probably some 9 million eukaryotic species in existence, researchers pursuing biomimetic approaches have barely scratched the surface of biological inspiration.”

  • The Burj Khalifa, Dubai’s 2,722 foot tower, was built with inspiration from the desert flower Hymenocallis.

  • Whales inspire turbine design, birds bullet trains, and butterfly wings electronics displays, the BBC reports.

  • And apparently “e-whiskers” are a thing. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says, “Whiskers present yet another important class of sensor components that can monitor the airflow, mediate tactile sensing for spatial mapping of nearby objects, and even enable balance during motion for advanced robots with capabilities resembling those found in certain insects and mammals.”

For more on the topic, take a look at Casey Luskin’s review of Engineering and the Ultimate. Casey cites Jonathan Bartlett, editor and contributor to the book:

He begins by observing, “At the core of engineering is human problem-solving,” and notes that human minds have been called “an oracle machine,” where an “oracle” is something that “enable[s] the modeling of processes in the mind which are not computationally based.” In mathematics, there are certain problems which have not been solved, but there are also problems that were once thought unsolvable, but have now been solved. According to Bartlett, this could mean that the human mind may “have access to an oracle which is more powerful than finitary computational systems.” (p. 113) He concludes: “There is good evidence human cognition goes beyond what has been traditionally considered as ‘physical.'” (p. 118)

Mind over matter — it holds true and leads to advancement in technology, science, math and engineering.

Photo credit: © ballabeyla —