News from various sources

A WHALE OF A TALE?

Science Daily (6th February 2019) reported “the remarkable diving behaviors of Cuvier's beaked whales,” (left), the world's deepest-diving mammals. Data from almost 6,000 tagged whales revealed that "Their deep dives average about 1,400 meters, lasting about an hour, while they are feeding near the sea floor. They typically only spend about two minutes at the surface between dives…. How they continuously dive to these depths without long recovery periods is still a mystery to scientists.” Jeanne Shearer, a doctoral student in ecology at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, said, "It's amazing that they can dive to such depths, withstand the pressure, and be down there that long, with such brief recovery times…. Their dives push the limits of mammalian physiology, but we still don't know how they're able to behave this way."

COMMENT: According to evolutionists, whales evolved from land mammals which “went back to the sea.” They can’t explain how gradual changes could equip these whales to undertake such amazing diving feats. The facts point to special creation.


BEE BRAINS NOT SO DIM

“Researchers have found bees can do basic mathematics, in a discovery that expands our understanding of the relationship between brain size and brain power”, according to Phys.org (6th February 2019) . “The revelation that even the miniature brain of a honeybee can grasp basic mathematical operations has implications for the future development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), particularly in improving rapid learning.” Professor Adrian Dyer of RMT University, Mebourne, said numerical operations like addition and subtraction are complex because they require two levels of processing. "Our findings suggest that advanced numerical cognition may be found much more widely in nature among non-human animals than previously suspected.”

COMMENT: This puts a whole new perspective on the concept of being “bee-brained”!  If scientists can improve AI by studying bees,  they will have to use their intelligence to do so. This surely implies that the bees themselves were designed by an intelligent Mind — God the Creator!


SCIENTIST AWED AT FEATHER DESIGN

Science Daily (16th January 2019) reported that the “magical zipping mechanism” in  bird feathers “could provide a model for new adhesives and new aerospace materials.” Dr. Tarah Sullivan, of Jacobs School of Engineering in San Diego, took “a detailed look at the general structure of bird feathers… She 3D-printed structures that mimic the feathers' vanes, barbs and barbules to better understand their properties.”  She said, "The first time I saw feather barbules under the microscope I was in awe of their design: intricate, beautiful and functional."

COMMENT: Design demands a Designer. As Dr Sullivan envisages copying this design, will she be humble enough to say with the Psalmist: “How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all” (Psalm 104: 24).


INSPIRED BY LUNGS

Science Daily (20th December 2018) reports that scientists have been inspired by the mammalian lung to design an electrocatalytic mechanism that converts water into fuel. “The act of inhaling and exhaling is so automatic for most organisms that it could be mistaken as simple, but the mammalian breathing process is actually one of the most sophisticated systems for two-way gas exchange found in nature.” By mimicing a lung, scientists have designed a mechanism which “splits water to produce hydrogen gas, a clean fuel.. However, this lung-inspired design still has some room for improvement before it will be ready for commercial use.”

COMMENT: So there is “room for improvement” before this lung-inspired design can function effectively, but mammalian lungs must have been 100% perfect from the start and couldn’t have evolved gradually.


DINOS HAD AIR-CONDITIONED SNOUTS

Researchers at Ohio University have discovered that “heavily armored, club-tailed ankylosaurs (left) had a built-in air conditioner in their snouts,” reported Science Daily (19th December 2018). Heat exchange through “highly convoluted nasal passages….  warmed and humidified the inspired air on its way to the lungs but also cooled the blood running through the nasal veins, much of which was destined for the brain. In this way, the brain was protected from the high temperatures of the hot arterial blood coming from the body core.”

COMMENT: Air conditioners are now an essential part of modern life, allowing us to cool homes, businesses, hospitals, laboratories and other buildings. This technology did not arise by chance, but is the result of scientific research. The ankylosaurs didn’t evolve their specially-designed snouts. They must have had them from the beginning to prevent their brains from frying!


BEETLES BEAT SPACE SHUTTLE!

Click Beetles (right) have a unique mechanism which enables them to jump at high acceleration without using their legs. Phys.org.news (18th February 2019) reported that researchers at Illinois Department of Entomology were the first to study the click beetle’s unique ability to jump without using its legs. “The beetle is segmented by a hinge, which allows it to invert and then flex into a near vertical jump, using it as a way to reposition after becoming inverted. The researchers are creating a self-righting mechanism for autonomous robots inspired by the click beetle.” The beetles have a take-off acceleration of 25g, compared to the 3g of the Space Shuttle! The article claimed that “Click beetles have evolved a unique ‘clicking’ mechanism.”

COMMENT: In response to that last statement, we would simply ask “How?” How could natural selection produce step-by-step changes, each of which would be beneficial to the beetle, before the design was finally perfected? We believe this is another of God’s special designs.


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