Let's think of an aspirin pill for a moment; you will immediately recall the mark in the middle of it. This mark is designed in order to help those who intake half a dose. Every product that we see around us is of a certain design even though not as simple as the aspirin pill. Everything from vehicles we use to go to work, to TV remotes.
"Design", briefly, means a harmonious assembling of various parts into an orderly form towards a common goal. Going by this definition, one would have no difficulty in guessing that a car is a design. This is because there is a certain goal, which is to transport people and cargo. In realization of this goal various parts such as the engine, tires and body are planned and assembled in the plant.
However, what about a living creature? Can a bird and mechanics of its flying be a design as well? Before giving an answer, let us repeat the evaluation we did for the example of a car. The goal at hand, in this case, is to fly. For this purpose, hollowed bones, strong muscles that move these bones are utilized together with feathers capable of suspending in the air. Wings are formed aerodynamically, and metabolism is in tune with the bird's need for high levels of energy. It is obvious that the bird is product of a certain design.
If one explores other creatures besides a bird, similar facts are attained. There are examples of a certain meticulous design in every creature. If one continues further on this quest, one would discover that our selves are also a part of this certain design. Your hands that hold these pages are functional as no robot hands could ever be. Your eyes that read these lines are making vision possible with such focus that the best camera on earth simply cannot.
Hence one arrives at this important conclusion; all creatures in Nature, including us, are of a Design . This, in turn, shows the existence of a Creator Who designs all creatures at will, sustains the entire nature and holds absolute power and wisdom.
However, this truth is rejected by the theory of evolution that was formed in the middle of 19th century. The theory set forth in Charles Darwin's book " On The Origin of Species " asserts that all creatures evolved within a chain of coincidences and essentially mutated from one another.
According to the fundamental assertion of this theory all living things go through minute and coincidental changes. If these coincidental changes help the creature then it gains advantage over the others, which in turn is carried onto following generations.
This scenario has been passed around as if it is a very scientific and convincing one for 140 years. When scrutinized under a bigger microscope and when compared against the examples of the Design in creatures Darwin's theory paints a very different picture i.e. Darwinism's explanation of creation is nothing more than a self-conflicting vicious circle.
Let us first focus on the "coincidental changes". Darwin could not provide a comprehensive definition to this concept due to lack of genealogical knowledge in his time. The evolutionists who followed him put forth the concept of "mutation" on this subject. Mutation is arbitrary disconnections, dislocation or shifts of genes in living things. Most important point is that there is not one single mutation in history that is shown to improve the condition of genetic information of a creature. Nearly all the known cases of mutations disable or harm these creatures and the rest are neutral in effect. Therefore, to think that a creature can improve through mutation is same as shooting at a crowd of people and hope that the injuries will result in healthier and improved individuals. This would clearly be nonsense.
As importantly, on contrary to all the scientific data, even if one assumes that a certain mutation could actually improve a being's condition, Darwinism still cannot be delivered from inevitable collapse. The reason for this is a concept called "irreducible complexity".
The implication of this concept is that majority of systems and organs in living things function as a result of various independent parts working together, elimination or disabling of even one of which would be enough to disable the entire system or organ.
For example, an ear perceives sounds only through a chain reaction of a series of smaller organs. Take out or deform one of these, e.g. one of the bones of the middle ear, and there would be no hearing whatsoever. In order for an ear to perceive a variety of components such as auditory meatus, malleous, incus and stapes bones, tympanic membrane, cochlea and fluid, sensory cells, vibration sensor extensions of these cells, net of nerves that connect to brain and hearing center in the brain have to work together without exception.
The system could not have developed in segments because none of the segments could possibly function alone at all.
Hence the concept of irreducible complexity demolishes the theory of evolution from its foundations. What is really interesting is the fact that Darwin also worried about these very prospects. He wrote in On The Origin of Species :
"If the impossibility of formation of a complex organ through a series of small changes was ever to be proven my theory would have certainly collapsed. However I could not find such an organ..." (Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition , Harvard University Press, 1964, page 189.)
Darwin could not or might not have wanted to find such an organ at the premature levels of 19th century science. However the science of 20th century did study the nature down to minute details and proved that majority of living structures embody irreducible complexity. Therefore, Darwin's theory has most "certainly collapsed" just as he feared.
As we examine the living beings we will not only see an immense error Darwinism makes but also witness the greatness of wisdom that these systems were created with . These mechanisms will be found anywhere from the wings of a bird to inside a bat's skull. Hence we will see the indisputable evidences of God's creation without error. Likewise, the power and faculty of God to create without error is expressed in a surah of Qur'an as follows:
"He is God - the Creator, the Maker, the Giver of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise." (Qur'an, Al-Hashr, 59:24)
Drawing Inspiration From the Design in Living Things
All animals possess many features that amaze human beings. Some have the ideal hydrodynamic shape that allows them to move through water, and others employ senses that appear very foreign to us. Most of these are features that researchers have encountered for the first time, or, rather, that they have only recently discovered. On occasion, it is necessary to bring together prominent scientists from such fields as computer technology, mechanical engineering, electronics, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology in order to imitate just one feature of a living thing.
There is instruction for you in cattle. From the contents of their bellies, from between the dung and blood, We give you pure milk to drink, easy for drinkers to swallow. (Qur'an, 16:66)
And there is certainly a lesson for you in your livestock . We give you to drink from what is in their bellies and there are many ways in which you benefit from them, and some of them you eat; and you are conveyed on them and on ships as well. (Qur'an, 23:21-22)
Before scientists and research and development experts embark on new projects, they usually look for models in living things and imitate their systems and designs. In other words, they see and study the designs created in nature by Allah and, inspired by these, go on to develop their own new technologies.
This approach has given birth to biometrics, a new branch of science that seeks to imitate living things. In recent times, this branch of science has come to be widely applied in the world of technology. The use of the word “ ibratan ,” (to learn from, advice, importance, important thing, or model) in the above verses is most wise in this regard.
Biomimetics refers to all of the substances, equipment, mechanisms, and systems that people produce in order to imitate the systems present in nature. The scientific community currently feels a great need for the use of such equipment, particularly in the fields of nanotechnology, robot technology, artificial intelligence, medicine, and the military.
Biomimicry was first put forward by Janine M. Benyus, a writer and scientific observer from Montana. This concept was later analysed by many other people and began to find applications. Some of the comments made regarding biomimicry are as follows:
The theme of "biomimicry" is that we have much to learn from the natural world, as model, measure, and mentor. What these researchers have in common is a reverence for natural designs, and the inspiration to use them to solve human problems. 1
David Oakey, product strategist for Interface Inc., a company that uses nature to increasing product quality and productivity, says:
Nature is my mentor for business and design, a model for the way of life. Nature's system has worked for millions of years … Biomimicry is a way of learning from nature. 2
Scientists who began to favour this rapidly spreading idea accelerated their studies by using nature's incomparable and flawless designs as models. These designs represent models for technological research, for they provide the maximum productivity for the least amount of materials and energy, and are self-maintaining, environmentally friendly, silent, aesthetically attractive, resistant, and long-lasting. The High Country News newspaper described biomimetics as “a scientific movement” and made the following comment:
By using natural systems as models, we can create technologies that are more sustainable than those in use today. 3
Janine M. Benyus, who believed that models in nature should be imitated, gave the following examples in her book, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature (Perennial: 2002):
• Hummingbirds cross the Gulf of Mexico on less than 3 grams (one tenth of an ounce) of fuel,
• Dragonflies outmanoeuvre our best helicopters,
• Heating and air-conditioning systems in termite mounds are superior in terms of equipment and energy consumption to those made by human beings,
• A bat's high-frequency transmitter is more efficient and sensitive than our own radar systems,
• Light-emitting algae combine various chemicals to illuminate their bodies,
• Arctic fish and frogs freeze solid and then spring to life, having protected their organs from ice damage,
• Chameleons and cuttlefish change the pattern of their skin to blend instantly with their surroundings,
• Bees, turtles, and birds navigate without maps, and
• Whales and penguins dive without scuba gear.
These astonishing mechanisms and designs in nature, of which we have cited only a few, have the potential to enrich technology in a wide range of fields. This potential is becoming ever more obvious as our accumulated knowledge and technological means increase.
In the nineteenth century, nature was imitated only in aesthetic terms. Artists and architects of that time were influenced by nature and used examples of the structures' external appearances in their works. Yet the realisation of nature's extraordinary designs and that these could be used to benefit human beings only began in the twentieth century with the study of natural mechanisms at the molecular level. Scientists today are learning from living things, as revealed in the Qur'an 1,400 years ago.
Scientists are amazed when confronted with the incomparable structures and systems they are discovering with every passing day, and use that amazement to inspire themselves to produce new technologies for humanity's benefit. Realising that the existing perfect systems and extraordinary techniques applied in nature are far superior to their own knowledge and intellect, they became aware of these matchless solutions to existing problems and are now resorting to the designs in nature to resolve problems that have eluded them for years. As a result, they will perhaps achieve success in a very short time. Moreover, by imitating nature, scientists are making very important gains with regard to time and labour and also to the targeted use of material resources.
Today we see the developing technology gradually discovering the miracles of creation and using the extraordinary designs in living things, as in the case of biomimetics, in the service of humanity. Benyus has stated that “‘Doing it nature's way' has the potential to change the way we grow food, make materials, harness energy, heal ourselves, store information, and conduct business.” 4 The following are just a few of the many scientific papers to have considered such subjects:
“Science is Imitating Nature,” 5
“Life's Lessons in Design,” 6
“Biomimicry: Secrets Hiding in Plain Sight,” 7
“Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature,” 8
“Biomimicry: Genius That Surrounds Us,” 9
“Biomimetics: Creating Materials from Nature's Blueprints,” 10 and
“Engineers Ask Nature for Design Advice.” 11
1- Frederick Pratter, “Stories from the Field Offer Clues on Physics and Nature,” Christian Science Monitor, www.biomimicry.org/reviews_text.html.
2- “Biomimicry,” www.bfi.org/Trimtab/spring01/biomimicry.htm.
3- Michelle Nijhuis, High Country News, 6 July 1998, vol. 30, no. 13, www.biomimicry.org/reviews_text.html.
4- “Biomimicry Explained: A Conversation with Janine Benyus,” www.biomimicry.org/faq.html.
5- Bilim ve Teknik Dergisi (Journal of Science and Technology) (August 1994): 43.
6- Philip Ball, “Life's lessons in design,” Nature 409 (2001): 413-16, www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v409/n6818/full/409413a0_fs.html&filetype=&_UserReference=C0A804EF465069D8A41132467E093F0EDE99.
7- “Biomimicry: Secrets Hiding in Plain Sight,” NBL (New Bottom Line) 6, no. 22, 17 November 1997, www.natlogic.com/resources/nbl/v06/n22.html.
8- Janine M. Benyus, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature (New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.: 1998), www.biomimicry.org/reviews_text.html.
9- Ed Hunt, “Biomimicry: Genius that Surrounds Us,” Tidepool editor, www.biomimicry.org/reviews_text.html.
10- Robin Eisner, “Biomimetics: Creating Materials from Nature's Blueprints,” The Scientist, 8 July 1991, www.the-scientist.com/yr1991/july/research_910708.html.