On a new episode of ID the Future, host Andrew McDiarmid draws on an essay at Evolution News to explore some intricate optimized insect designs that are inspiring human engineers and raise the question, Could evolution have done that? Download the podcast or listen to it here.
Cicadas and dragonflies use an exquisitely engineered “bed of nails” on their wings to disarm and neutralize bacteria. Butterflies and bird feathers also use this trick. There are fruit flies that have multiple navigation systems, complete with error correction for hard turns. And the sea skater insect is able to walk on water and launch itself explosively thanks to an impressive combination of engineering marvels. Did evolution really bring all those design factors together? Or was something else required — intelligence and foresight?