11 Haziran 2010 Cuma


Imagine you’ve just bought an immensely detailed model airplane kit. How do you set about putting all the hundreds of tiny parts together? First, no doubt, you’ll examine the illustrations on the box. Then, following the instructions inside shortens the whole process of putting a model together in the best way possible, making no mistakes.

Even lacking any assembly instructions, you can still manage the task if you already possess a similar model airplane.  The first plane’s design can serve as an important guide in assembling any later one. In the exact same way, using a flawless design in nature as a model provides shortcuts to designing technological equipment with the same functions in the most perfect possible manner. Aware of this, most scientists and research and development (R&D) experts study the examples of living things before embarking on any new designs, and imitate the systems and designs that already exist. In other words, they examine the designs God has created in nature and, then inspired, go on to develop new technologies.

This approach has given birth to a new branch of science: biomimetics, which means the imitation of living things in nature. This new study is being spoken of more and more often in technological circles and is opening up important new horizons for mankind.
As biomimetics emerges, imitating the structures of living systems, it presents a major setback for those scientists who still support the theory of evolution. From an evolutionist’s point of view, it’s entirely unacceptable for men—whom they regard as the highest rung on the evolutionary ladder—to try to draw inspiration from (much less imitate) other living things which, allegedly, are so much more primitive than they are.

If more advanced living things take the designs of “primitive” ones as models, that means that we’ll be basing a large part of our future technology on the structure of those so-called lesser organisms. That, in turn, is a fundamental violation of the theory of evolution, whose logic maintains that living things too primitive to adapt to their environments soon became extinct, while the remaining “higher” ones evolved and succeeded.

Biomimetics, while placing the proponents of evolution in a vicious circle, is expanding by the day and coming to dominate scientific thought. In the light of this, yet another new scientific branch has emerged: biomimicry, or the science of imitating the behavior of living creatures.
This book considers the advances that biomimetics and biomimicry have made by taking nature as their model. It examines the flawless but hitherto, little noted systems that have existed ever since living things were first created. It also describes how nature’s many varied and highly efficient mechanisms, which baffle the proponents of evolution, are all products of our Lord’s unique creation.

What Is Biomimetics?

Janine M. Benyus and her book Biomimicry
Biomimetics and biomimicry are both aimed at solving problems by first examining, and then imitating or drawing inspiration from models in nature.
Biomimetics is the term used to describe the substances, equipment, mechanisms and systems by which humans imitate natural systems and designs, especially in the fields of defense, nanotechnology 1, robot technology, and artificial intelligence (also known as AI, for short).
The concept of biomimicry, first put forth by Janine M. Benyus, a writer and scientific observer from Montana, was later taken up and begun to be used by a great many others. One of their accounts describes her work and the whole development of biomimicry:
A naturalist and author of several field guides to wildlife, she visited the laboratories of a number of scientific researchers who are taking a more modest approach to unraveling nature’s secrets. 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. 2
David Oakey is a product strategist for Interface Inc., one of the firms making use of nature to improve product quality and productivity. On the subject of biomimicry, he has this to say:
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. 3

This rapidly expanding concept found favor with scientists, who were able to accelerate their own research by drawing for inspiration on nature’s incomparably flawless models. Scientific researchers working on economic systems and raw materials—in the industrial field in particular—have now joined forces to determine how best to imitate nature.

Designs in nature ensure the greatest productivity for the least amount of materials and energy. They’re able to repair themselves, are environmentally friendly and wholly recyclable. They operate silently, are pleasing in aesthetic appearance, and offer long lives and durability. All these good qualities are being taken as models to emulate. As the journal High Country News wrote,“By using natural systems as models, we can create technologies that are more sustainable than those in use today.” 4
Janine M. Benyus, author of the book Biomimicry, came to believe in the need for imitating nature by considering its perfections. Following are some of the examples she cites, which led her to defend such an approach:
  • Hummingbirds' ability to cross the Gulf of Mexico on less than 3 grams of fuel,
  • How dragonflies are more maneuverable than even the best helicopters,
  • The heating and air conditioning systems in termite mounds—in terms of equipment and energy consumption, far superior to those constructed by man,
  • Bats’ high-frequency transmitter, far more efficient and sensitive than radar systems created by human beings,
  • How light-emitting algae combine different chemical substances to give off light without heat,
  • How arctic fish and temperate-zone frogs return to life after being frozen, with the ice doing their organs no harm,
  • How anole lizards and chameleons change their colors—and how octopi and cuttlefish change both their colors and patterns in a moment—to blend in with their surroundings,
  • Bees’, turtles’ and birds’ ability to navigate without maps,
  • Whales and penguins diving underwater for long periods without scuba gear,
  • How the DNA helix stores information in all living things,
  • How, through photosynthesis, leaves perform an astounding chemical reaction to create 300 billion tons of sugar every year.
These are just a few examples of the natural mechanisms and designs that create great excitement, and have the potential to enrich a great many areas of technology. As our information accumulates and technological possibilities increase, their potential becomes ever clearer.

In the 19th century, for example, nature was imitated only for its aesthetic values. Painters and architects of the time, influenced by the beauties of the natural world, duplicated these structures’ external appearance in their own creations. But the deeper one looks into the fine detail, the more astonishing nature’s immaculate order becomes. Gradually, as the extraordinary nature of natural designs and the benefits that their imitation would bring to mankind, natural mechanisms began to be studied more closely—and finally, at the molecular level.
The emerging materials, structures and machines being developed through biomimetics can be used in new solar cells, advanced robots and future spacecraft. From that perspective, nature’s designs are opening incredibly broad horizons.

How Will Biomimetics Change Our Lives?

Our Lord has given us the designs in nature as great blessings. Imitating them, taking them as models will direct mankind toward what is right and true. For some reason, only recently has the scientific community understood that nature’s designs are an enormous resource and that these need to be made use of in daily life.
A great many authoritative scientific publications accept that natural structures represent a huge resource for showing mankind the way toward superior designs. Nature magazine expresses it in these terms:

Yet fundamental research on the character of nature’s mechanisms, from the elephant to the protein, is sure to enrich the pool from which designers and engineers can draw ideas. The scope for deepening this pool is still tremendous. 5
The correct use of this resource will certainly lead to a process of rapid developments in technology. Biomimetics expert Janine M. Benyus has stated that imitating nature will let us advance in a great many fields, such as food and energy production, information storage, and health. As examples, she cites mechanisms inspired by leaves, which work on solar energy; the production of computers that transmit signals the way cells do; and ceramics made to resist breakage by imitating mother-of-pearl. 6

Therefore, it’s evident that the Biomimetic Revolution will influence mankind profoundly and let us live in ever greater ease and comfort.
One by one, today’s developing technologies are discovering the miracles of creation; and biomimetics is only one of the fields that’s putting the extraordinary designs of living things to use as models in the service of mankind. A few of the scientific papers dealing with these matters include:
  • "Learning from Designs in Nature" 7
  • "Projects at the Centre for Biomimetics" 8
  • "Science Is Imitating Nature" 9
  • "Life’s Lessons in Design" 10
  • "Biomimicry: Secrets Hiding in Plain Sight" 11
  • "Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature" 12
  • "Biomimicry: Genius that Surrounds Us" 13
  • "Biomimetics: Creating Materials From Nature’s Blueprints" 14
  • "Engineers Ask Nature for Design Advice" 15
Perusing articles like these demonstrates how the results of this scientific research are, one by one, revealing proofs of the existence of God.


In order to create, God has no need to design

It’s important that the word “design” be properly understood. That God has created a flawless design does not mean that He first made a plan and then followed it. God, the Lord of the Earth and the heavens, needs no “designs” in order to create. God is exalted above all such deficiencies. His planning and creation take place at the same instant.
Whenever God wills a thing to come about, it is enough for Him just to say, "Be!"
As verses of the Qur’an tell us:
His command when He desires a thing is just to say to it, “Be!” and it is. (Qur'an, 36: 82)
[God is] the Originator of the heavens and Earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, “Be!” and it is. (Qur'an, 2: 117)


Currently, many scientists are studying the structure of natural materials and using them as models in their own research, simply because these structures possess such sought-after properties as strength, lightness and elasticity. For example, the inner shell of the abalone is twice as resistant as the ceramics that even advanced technology can produce. Spider silk is five times stronger than steel, and the adhesive that mussels use to moor themselves to rocks maintains its properties even underwater. 16

Gulgun Akbaba, a member of the Turkish Bilim ve Teknik (Science and Technology) Magazine research and publication group, speaks of the superior characteristics of natural materials and the ways in which we can make use of them:
Traditional ceramic and glass materials have become unable to adapt to technology, which improves almost with every passing day. Scientists are [now] working to fill this gap. The architectural secrets in the structures in nature have slowly begun to be revealed… In the same way that a mussel shell can repair itself or a wounded shark can repair damage to its skin, the materials used in technology will also be able to renew themselves.

These materials which are harder, stronger, more resistant and have superior physical, mechanical, chemical and electromagnetic properties, possess lightness and the ability to withstand high temperatures required by such vehicles as rockets, space shuttles, and research satellites when leaving and entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Work on the giant supersonic passenger carriers planned for intercontinental travel also requires light, heat-resistant materials. In medicine, the production of artificial bone requires materials that combine spongy appearance with hard structure, and tissue as close as possible to that found in nature. 17

To produce ceramic, used for a wide range of purposes from construction to electrical equipment, temperatures greater than 1,000-1,500 oC (1,830-2,730oF) are generally needed.

Several ceramic materials exist in nature, yet such high temperatures are never used to create them. A mussel, for instance, secretes its shell in a perfect manner at only 4oC (39oF). This example of nature’s superior creation drew the attention of Turkish scientist Ilhan Aksay, who turned his thoughts to wondering how we might produce better, stronger, useful and functional ceramics.

Abalone shell consists of microscopic bricks in a layered structure that prevents any cracks in the shell from spreading.
Inspired by such models, Aksay developed some very hard, resistant ceramic-metal composites. After being tested in various US Army laboratories, a boron-carbide/aluminum composite he helped develop was used as armor plating for tanks! 19

In order to produce biomimetic materials, today’s scientists are carrying out research at the microscopic level. As one example, Professor Aksay points out that the bioceramic-type materials in bones and teeth are formed at body temperature with a combination of organic materials such as proteins, and yet possess properties much superior to those of man-made ceramics. Encouraged by Aksay’s thesis that natural materials’ superior properties stem from connections at the nanometric level (one-millionth of a millimeter), many companies aiming to produce micro-tools at these dimensions have embarked on bio-inspired materials—that is, artificial substances inspired by biological ones. 20

All too many industrial products and byproducts, produced under conditions of high pressures and temperatures, contain harmful chemicals. Yet nature produces similar substances under what might be described as “life-friendly” conditions—in water-based solutions, for example, and at room temperature. This represents a distinct advantage for consumers and scientists alike. 21

Producers of synthetic diamonds, designers of metal alloys, polymer scientists, fiber optic experts, producers of fine ceramic and developers of semi-conductors all find applying biomimetic methods to be the most practical. Natural materials, which can respond to all their needs, also display enormous variety. Therefore, research experts in various fields—from bullet-proof vests to jet engines—imitate the originals found in nature, replicating their superior properties by artificial means.

Coral rivals the mussel shell’s mother-of-pearl in terms of solidity. Using the calcium salts from seawater, coral forms a hard structure capable of slicing through even steel ships’ hulls.
Man-made materials eventually crack and shatter. This requires replacement or repairs, carried out with adhesives, for instance. But some materials in nature, such as the mussel’s shell, can be repaired by the original organisms. Recently, in imitation, scientists have begun development of substances such as polymers and polycyclates, which can renew themselves. 22 In the search to develop strong, self-renewing bio-inspired materials, one natural substance taken as a model is rhinoceros horn. In the 21st century, such research will form the basis of material science studies.

The U.S. Army subjected the substance inspired by the abalone to various tests and later used it as armor on tanks. 

A great many substances in nature possess features that can be used as models for modern inventions. On a gram-for-gram basis, for example, bone is much stronger than iron.

Most of the materials in nature consist of composites. Composites are solid materials that result when two or more substances are combined to form a new substance possessing properties that are superior to those of the original ingredients. 23 

The artificial composite known as fiberglass, for instance, is used in boat hulls, fishing rods, and sports-equipment materials such as bows and arrows. Fiberglass is created by mixing fine glass fibers with a jelly-like plastic called polymer. As the polymer hardens, the composite substance that emerges is light, strong and flexible. Altering the fibers or plastic substance used in the mixture also changes the composite’s properties. 24

Thanks to their superior properties, light composite materials are used in a wide number of purposes, from space technology to sports equipment.

Composites consisting of graphite and carbon fibers are among the ten best engineering discoveries of the last 25 years. With these, light-structured composite materials are designed for new planes, space shuttle parts, sports equipment, Formula-1 racing cars and yachts, and new discoveries are quickly being made. Yet so far, manmade composites are much more primitive and frail than those occurring naturally.

Like all the extraordinary structures, substances and systems in nature, the composites touched on briefly here are each an example of God’s extraordinary art of creation. Many verses of the Qur’an draw attention to the unique nature and perfection of this creation. God reveals the incalculable number blessings imparted to mankind as a result of His incomparable creation:
If you tried to number God’s blessings, you could never count them. God is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Qur’an, 16: 18)
Fiberglass Technology in Crocodile Skin

The fiberglass technology that began to be used in the 20th century has existed in living things since the day of their creation. A crocodile’s skin, for example, has much the same structure as fiberglass.
Until recently, scientists were baffled as to why crocodile skin was impervious to arrows, knives and sometimes, even bullets. Research came up with surprising results: The substance that gives crocodile skin its special strength is the collagen protein fibers it contains. These fibers have the property of strengthening a tissue when added to it. No doubt collagen didn’t come to possess such detailed characteristics as the result of a long, random process, as evolutionists would have us believe. Rather, it emerged perfect and complete, with all its properties, at the first moment of its creation.

Steel-Cable Technology in Muscles

Another example of natural composites are tendons. These tissues, which connect muscles to the bones, have a very firm yet pliant structure, thanks to the collagen-based fibers that make them up. Another feature of tendons is the way their fibers are woven together.

Ms. Benyus is a member of the teaching faculty at America’s Rutgers University. In her book Biomimicry, she states that the tendons in our muscles are constructed according to a very special method and goes on to say:
The tendon in your forearm is a twisted bundle of cables, like the cables used in a suspension bridge. Each individual cable is itself a twisted bundle of thinner cables. Each of these thinner cables is itself a twisted bundle of molecules, which are, of course, twisted, helical bundles of atoms. Again and again a mathematical beauty unfolds, a self-referential, fractal kaleidoscope of engineering brilliance. 25

In fact, the steel-cable technology used in present-day suspension bridges was inspired by the structure of tendons in the human body. The tendons’ incomparable design is only one of the countless proofs of God’s superior design and infinite knowledge.

Multi-Purpose Whale Blubber

Whale blubber

A layer of fat covers the bodies of dolphins and whales, serving as a natural flotation mechanism that allows whales to rise to the surface to breathe. At the same time, it protects these warm-blooded mammals from the cold waters of the ocean depths. Another property of whale blubber is that when metabolized, it provides two to three times as much energy as sugar or protein. During a whale’s nonfeeding migration of thousands of kilometers, when it is unable to find sufficient food, it obtains the needed energy from this fat in its body.

Alongside this, whale blubber is a very flexible rubberlike material. Every time it beats its tail in the water, the elastic recoil of blubber is compressed and stretched. This not only provides the whale with extra speed, but also allows a 20% energy saving on long journeys. With all these properties, whale blubber is regarded as a substance with the very widest range of functions.

Whales have had their coating of blubber for thousands of years, yet only recently has it been discovered to consist of a complex mesh of collagen fibers. Scientists are still working to fully understand the functions of this fat-composite mix, but they believe that it is yet another miracle product that would have many useful applications if produced synthetically. 26

Mother-of-Pearl’s Special Damage-Limiting Structure

The nacre structure making up the inner layers of a mollusk shell has been imitated in the development of materials for use in super-tough jet engine blades. Some 95% of the mother-of-pearl consists of chalk, yet thanks to its composite structure it is 3,000 times tougher than bulk chalk. When examined under the microscope, microscopic platelets 8 micrometers across and 0.5 micrometers thick can be seen, arranged in layers (1 micrometer = 10-6 meter). These platelets are composed of a dense and crystalline form of calcium carbonate, yet they can be joined together, thanks to a sticky silk-like protein. 27

This combination provides toughness in two ways. When mother-of-pearl is stressed by a heavy load, any cracks that form begin to spread, but change direction as they attempt to pass through the protein layers. This disperses the force imposed, thus preventing fractures. A second strengthening factor is that whenever a crack does form, the protein layers stretch out into strands across the fracture, absorbing the energy that would permit the cracks to continue. 28

The internal structure of mother-of-pearl resembles a brick wall and consists of platelets held together with organic mortar. Cracks caused by impacts change direction as they attempt to pass through this mortar, which stops them in their tracks. (Julian Vincent, “Tricks of Nature,” New Scientist, 40.)

The structure that reduces damage to mother-of-pearl has become a subject of study by a great many scientists. That the resistance in nature’s materials is based on such logical, rational methods doubtlessly indicates the presence of a superior intelligence. As this example shows, God clearly reveals evidence of His existence and the superior might and power of His creation by means of His infinite knowledge and wisdom. As He states in one verse:
Everything in the heavens and everything in the earth belongs to Him. God is the Rich Beyond Need, the Praiseworthy. (Qur’an, 22: 64)
The Hardness of Wood Is Hidden in Its Design

In contrast to the substances in other living things, vegetable composites consist more of cellulose fibers than collagen. Wood’s hard, resistant structure derives from producing this cellulose—a hard material that is not soluble in water. This property of cellulose makes wood so versatile in construction. Thanks to cellulose, timber structures keep standing for hundreds of years. Described as tension-bearing and matchless, cellulose is used much more extensively than other building materials in buildings, bridges, furniture and any number of items. 

The Second World War's Mosquito aircraft, which so far have shown the greatest tolerance to damage, were made by gluing dense plywood layers between lighter strips of balsa wood. The hardness of wood makes it a most reliable material. When it does break, the cracking takes place so slowly that one can watch it happen with the naked eye, thus giving time to take precautions. 30

Above left: Wood consists of tube-like fibers which give wood its resistant properties.
Above right:Wood’s raw material, known as cellulose, possesses a complicated chemical structure. If the chemical bonds or atoms comprising cellulose were different, then wood wouldn’t be so strong and flexible.

Left: A structure modeled on wood for the making of bullet-proof clothing. If wood had a different structure, it could not possess such resilient hardness.
1. Carefully placed fibers to imitate the spiral winding of the tube walls in wood.
2. Resin reinforced with glass fibers.
3. Corrugated layer between flat plates.
4. Layers arranged to imitate the tube structure of wood.

These materials, modeled on the structure of wood, are believed to be sufficiently strong to be used in bullet-proof vests. (Julian Vincent, “Tricks of Nature,” New Scientist, 40.)

Wood consists of parallel columns of long, hollow cells placed end to end, and surrounded by spirals of cellulose fibers. Moreover, these cells are enclosed in a complex polymer structure made of resin. Wound in a spiral, these layers form 80% of the total thickness of the cell wall and, together, bear the main weight. When a wood cell collapses in on itself, it absorbs the energy of impact by breaking away from the surrounding cells. Even if the crack runs between the fibers, still the wood is not deformed. Broken wood is nevertheless strong enough to support a significant load.

Material made by imitating wood’s design is 50 times more durable than other synthetic materials in use today. 31 Wood is currently imitated in materials being developed for protection against high-velocity particles, such as shrapnel from bombs or bullets.
As these few examples show, natural substances possess a most intelligent design. The structures and resistance of mother-of-pearl and wood are no coincidence. There is evident, conscious design in these materials. Every detail of their flawless design—from the fineness of the layers to their density and the number of vessels—has been carefully planned and created to bring about resistance. In one verse, God reveals that He has created everything around us:
What is in the heavens and in the earth belongs to God. God encompasses all things. (Qur’an, 4: 126)

Spider Silk Is Stronger Than Steel

A great many insects—moths and butterflies, for example—produce silk, although there are considerable differences between these substances and spider silk.
According to scientists, spider thread is one of the strongest materials known. If we set down all of a spider web’s characteristics, the resulting list will be a very long one. Yet even just a few examples of the properties of spider silk are enough to make the point: 32
  • The silk thread spun by spiders, measuring just one-thousandth of a millimeter across, is five times stronger than steel of the same thickness.
  • It can stretch up to four times its own length.
  • It is also so light that enough thread to stretch clear around the planet would weigh only 320 grams.
These individual characteristics may be found in various other materials, but it is a most exceptional situation for them all to come together at once. It’s not easy to find a material that’s both strong and elastic. Strong steel cable, for instance, is not as elastic as rubber and can deform over time. And while rubber cables don’t easily deform, they aren’t strong enough to bear heavy loads.
How can the thread spun by such a tiny creature have properties vastly superior to rubber and steel, product of centuries of accumulated human knowledge?

Spider silk, possessing an exceedingly complex structure, is but one example of God’s incomparable art and infinite wisdom.

A detailed view of the spigots.

Spider silk’s superiority is hidden in its chemical structure. Its raw material is a protein called keratin, which consists of helical chains of amino acids cross-linked to one another. Keratin is the building block for such widely different natural substances as hair, nails, feathers and skin. In all the substances it comprises, its protective property is especially important. Furthermore, that keratin consists of amino acids bound by loose hydrogen links makes it very elastic, as described in the American magazine Science News“On the human scale, a web resembling a fishing net could catch a passenger plane.” 33

To catch their prey, spiders construct exceedingly high-quality webs that stop a fly moving through the air by absorbing its energy. The taut cable used on aircraft carriers to halt jets when they land resembles the system that spiders employ. Operating in exactly the same way as the spider’s web, these cables halt a jet weighing several tons, moving at 250 kmph, by absorbing its kinetic energy.

On the underside of the tip of the spider's abdomen are three pairs of spinnerets. Each of these spinnerets is studded with many hairlike tubes called spigots. The spigots lead to silk glands inside the abdomen, each of which produces a different type of silk. As a result of the harmony between them, a variety of silk threads are produced. Inside the spider’s body, pumps, valves and pressure systems with exceptionally developed properties are employed during the production of the raw silk, which is then drawn out through the spigots. 34

Most importantly, the spider can alter the pressure in the spigots at will, which also changes the structure of molecules making up the liquid keratin. The valves’ control mechanism, the diameter, resistance and elasticity of the thread can all be altered, thus making the thread assume desired characteristics without altering its chemical structure. If deeper changes in the silk are desired, then another gland must be brought into operation. And finally, thanks to the perfect use of its back legs, the spider can put the thread on the desired track.

Once the spider’s chemical miracle can be replicated fully, then a great many useful materials can be produced: safety belts with the requisite elasticity, very strong surgical sutures that leave no scars, and bulletproof fabrics. Moreover, no harmful or poisonous substances need to be used in their production.
Spiders’ silk possesses the most extraordinary properties. On account of its high resistance to tension, ten times more energy is required to break spider silk than other, similar biological materials. 35

As a result, much more energy needs to be expended in order to break a piece of spider silk of the same size as a nylon thread. One main reason why spiders are able to produce such strong silk is that they manage to add assisting compounds with a regular structure by controlling the crystallization and folding of the basic protein compounds. Since the weaving material consists of liquid crystal, spiders expend a minimum of energy while doing this.

This example alone is enough to demonstrate the great wisdom of God, the Creator all things in nature: Spiders produce a thread five times stronger than steel. Kevlar, the product of our most advanced technology, is made at high temperatures, using petroleum-derived materials and sulfuric acid. The energy this process requires is very high, and its byproducts are exceedingly toxic. Yet from the point of view of strength, Kevlar is much weaker than spider silk. (“Biomimicry,” Your Planet Earth; http://www.yourplanetearth.org/terms/

The thread produced by spiders is much stronger than the known natural or synthetic fibers. But the thread they produce cannot be collected and used directly, as can the silks of many other insects. For that reason, the only current alternative is artificial production.
Researchers are engaged in wide-ranging studies on how spiders produce their silk. Dr. Fritz Vollrath, a zoologist at the university of Aarhus in Denmark, studied the garden spider Araneus diadematus and succeeded in uncovering a large part of the process. He found that spiders harden their silk by acidifying it. In particular, he examined the duct through which the silk passes before exiting the spider's body. Before entering the duct, the silk consists of liquid proteins. In the duct, specialized cells apparently draw water away from the silk proteins. Hydrogen atoms taken from the water are pumped into another part of the duct, creating an acid bath. As the silk proteins make contact with the acid, they fold and form bridges with one another, hardening the silk, which is"stronger and more elastic than Kevlar [. . .] the strongest man-made fiber," as Vollrath puts it. 36

Kevlar, a reinforcing material used in bulletproof vests and tires, and made through advanced technology, is the strongest manmade synthetic. Yet spider thread possesses properties that are far superior to Kevlar. As well as its being very strong, spider silk can also be re-processed and re-used by the spider who spun it.

If scientists manage to replicate the internal processes taking place inside the spider—if protein folding can be made flawless and the weaving material's genetic information added, then it will be possible to industrially produce silk-based threads with a great many special properties. It is therefore thought that if the spider thread weaving process can be understood, the level of success in the manufacture of man-made materials will be improved.

This thread, which scientists are only now joining forces to investigate, has been produced flawlessly by spiders for at least 380 million years. 37 This, no doubt, is one of the proofs of God’s perfect creation. Neither is there any doubt that all of these extraordinary phenomena are under His control, taking place by His will. As one verse states, “There is no creature He does not hold by the forelock” (Qur’an, 11: 56).

The Mechanism for Producing Spider Thread Is Superior to Any Textile Machine

Spiders produce silks with different characteristics for different purposes. Diatematus, for instance, can use its silk glands to produce seven different types of silk—similar to production techniques employed in modern textile machines. Yet those machines’ enormous size can’t be compared with the spider’s few cubic millimeters silk-producing organ. Another superior feature of its silk is the way that the spider can recycle it, able to produce new thread by consuming its damaged web.


Fiber-optic technology, which has recently begun to be employed, uses cables capable of transmitting light and high-capacity information. What if someone were to tell you that living things have been using this technology for millions of years? These are organisms you know very well, but whose superior design a great many people never even consider—plants.

Because so many look at their world around them in a superficial way, out of familiarity, they never see the examples of superior design in the living things that God has created. But in fact, all living things are full of secrets. Asking why and how is enough to let you raise this curtain of familiarity. Anyone who thinks about these questions will realize that everything we see around us is the work of a Creator possessed of reason and knowledge—our All-Powerful Lord. As an example, take the photosynthesis that plants carry out—a miracle of creation, whose mysteries have not yet been uncovered.

Photosynthesis is the process whereby green plants turn light into carbohydrates that human beings and animals can consume. Perhaps at first sight, this description might not seem too remarkable, yet biochemists believe that artificial photosynthesis could easily change the whole world.

Plants carry out photosynthesis by means of a complex string of events. The exact nature of these processes is still unclear.  Just this feature alone is enough to silence the proponents of the theory of evolution. Professor Ali Demirsoy describes very well the dilemma that photosynthesis represents for evolutionist scientists:

Photosynthesis is a rather complicated event and appears impossible to emerge in the organelles within the cell. That is because it is impossible for all the stages to come about at once, and meaningless for them to do so separately. 38

Plants trap sunlight in natural solar cell parts known as chloroplasts. In the same way, we store in batteries the energy we obtain from artificial solar panels, which turn light into electrical energy.
A plant cell’s low power output necessitates the use of a great many “panels,” in the form of leaves. It’s enough for leaves, like solar panels, to face the sun in order to meet human beings’ energy needs. When the chloroplasts’ functions are fully replicated, tiny solar batteries will be able to operate equipment requiring a great deal of energy. Spacecraft and artificial satellites will be able to operate using solar energy alone, with no need for any other energy source.
Plants, which possess such superior capabilities and astound the scientists who try to imitate them, bow their heads to God, like all other living things. This is revealed in a verse:
Shrubs and trees both bend in worship. (Qur’an, 55: 6)
What mankind has to learn from plants isn't limited to solar cells. Plants are opening up many new horizons, from construction to the perfume industry. Chemical engineers producing deodorants and soaps are now trying to produce beautiful fragrances in the laboratory by imitating the scents of flowers. The scents produced by many famous houses, such as Christian Dior, Jacques Fath, Pierre Balmain, contain floral essences found in nature. (“The History of Parfume;” http://www.parfumsraffy.com/history.html)
Protected Surfaces

Any surface can be damaged by dirt, or even by bright light. That is why scientists have developed furniture and car polishes, and liquids to block ultraviolet rays and protect against any possible wear and tear. In nature also, animals and plants produce in their own cells a variety of substances to protect their outer surfaces against external damage. The complex chemical compounds produced by the bodies of living things astound scientists, and designers seek to imitate many examples.

Coating wooden surfaces is important to protect them from dirt and wear and tear, particularly against water, which can enter and rot soft timber. But did you know that the first wood coatings were made from natural oils and insect secretions?
Many protective substances used in our daily lives were actually used long before in nature by living things. Wood polish is just one example. The hard shells of insects also protect them against water and damage from the outside.

Insects’ shells and exoskeletons are reinforced by a protein called sclerotin, making them among the hardest surfaces in the natural world. Furthermore, an insect’s protective chitin covering never loses its color and brightness. 39
Clearly, considering all this, the systems construction firms use to cover and protect external surfaces will be much more effective if they have a composition similar to those found in insects.

The external surfaces of leaves are covered with a thin, polished coating that waterproofs the plant. This protection is essential because carbon dioxide, which plants absorb from the air and is essential to their survival, is found between the leaf cells. If these spaces between the cells filled with rainwater, the carbon dioxide level would fall and the process of photosynthesis, essential to plants’ survival, would slow down. But thanks to this thin coating on their leaves’ surface, plants are able to carry on photosynthesis with no difficulty.
The Constantly Self-Cleaning Lotus
The lotus plant (a white water lily)grows in the dirty, muddy bottom of lakes and ponds, yet despite this, its leaves are always clean. That is because whenever the smallest particle of dust lands on the plant, it immediately waves the leaf, directing the dust particles to one particular spot. Raindrops falling on the leaves are sent to that same place, to thus wash the dirt away.

This property of the lotus led researchers to design a new house paint. Researchers began working on how to develop paints that wash clean in the rain, in much the same way as lotus leaves do. As a result of this investigation, a German company called ISPO produced a house paint brand-named Lotusan. On the market in Europe and Asia, the product even came with a guarantee that it would stay clean for five years without detergents or sandblasting. 40

Of necessity, many living things possess natural features that protect their external surfaces. There is no doubt, however, that neither the lotus’s external structure nor insects’ chitin layer came about by themselves. These living things are unaware of the superior properties they possess. It is God Who creates them, together with all their features. One verse describes God’s art of creation in these terms:
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, 59: 24)

During his microscopic research, Dr. Wilhelm Barthlott at the University of Bonn realized that leaves that required the least cleaning were those with the roughest surfaces. On the surface of the lotus leaf, the very cleanest of these, Dr. Barthlott found tiny points, like a bed of nails. When a Speck of dust or dirt falls onto the leaf, it teeters precariously on these points. When a droplet of water rolls across these tiny points, it picks up the speck, which is only poorly attached, and carries it away. In other words, the lotus has a self-cleaning leaf. This feature has inspired researchers to produce a house paint called LOTUSAN, guaranteed to stay clean for five years. (Jim Robbins, “Engineers Ask Nature for Design Advice,” New York Times, December 11, 2001.)

How a raindrop cleans a lotus leaf
The effect of a raindrop on a normal surface
The effect of raindrops on a building exterior covered with Lotusan.

Plants and New Car Design

In a field like automobile technology that freely displays the very latest innovations, a simple plant, living in nature since the very first day it came into being thousands of years ago, provided engineers and designers with a source of inspiration. Evolutionists—who maintain that life came about by chance and whose forms developed over time, always moving in the direction of improvement—find this and similar events difficult to accept.

How can human beings, possessed of consciousness and reason, learn from plants—devoid of any intelligence or knowledge, which cannot even move—and implement what they learn to achieve ever more practical results? The features that plants and other organisms display cannot, of course, be explained away as coincidences. As proofs of creation, they represent a serious quandary for evolutionists.

Plants that Give Off Alarm Signals

Nearly everyone imagines that plants are unable to combat danger, which is why they easily become fodder for insects, herbivores, and other animals. Yet research has shown that on the contrary, plants use amazing tactics to repel, even overcome their enemies.
To keep leaf-chewing insects at bay, for example, plants sometimes produce noxious chemicals and in a few cases, chemicals to attract other predators to prey on those first ones. Both tactics are no doubt very clever. In the field of agriculture, in fact, efforts are going on to imitate this very useful defense strategy. Jonathan Gershenzon, researching the genetics of plant defenses at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, believes that if this intelligent strategy can be imitated properly, then in the future, non-toxic forms of agricultural pest control could be provided. 42
When attacked by pests, some plants release volatile organic chemicals that attract predators and parasitoids, which lay their eggs inside the living body of pests. The larvae which hatch out inside the pest grow by feeding on the pest from within. This indirect strategy thus eliminates harmful organisms that might damage the crop.

Again, it is by chemical means that the plant realizes that a pest is eating its leaves. The plant gives off such an alarm signal not because it “knows” it’s losing its leaves, but rather as a response to chemicals in the pest species’ saliva. Although superficially, this phenomenon appears to be quite simple, actually quite a number of points need to be considered:

1)  How does the plant perceive chemicals in the pest's saliva?
2)  How does the plant know that it will be freed from the pest's ravages when it gives off the alarm signal?
3)  How does it know that the signal it gives off will attract predators?
4)  What causes the plant to send its signal to insects that feed on its assailants?
5)  That signal the plant gives off is chemical, rather than auditory. The chemicals employed by insects have a most complex structure. The slightest deficiency or error in the formula, and the signal may lose its efficacy. How is the plant thus able to fine-tune this chemical signal?
No doubt it is impossible for a plant, lacking a brain, to arrive at a solution to danger, to analyze chemicals like a scientist, even to produce such a compound and carry out a planned strategy. Very definitely, indirectly overcoming an enemy is the work of a superior intelligence. That intelligence’s possessor is God, Creator of the plants with all their flawless characteristics and Who inspires them to do what they can to protect themselves.
Therefore, current biomimetic research is making a great effort to imitate the astonishing intelligence that God displays in all living things.


Manduca moth caterpillar
One group of researchers, from both the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya and Britain's Institute of Arable Crops Research, carried out a study on this subject. To remove pests among maize and sorghum, their team planted species that the stem-borers like to eat, pulling the pests from the crop. Among the crops, they growed species that repel stem-borers and attract parasitoids. In such fields, they found, the number of plants infested with stem-borers dropped by more than 80%. Further applications of this incomparable solution observed in plants will make for still further advances. 43

Wild tobacco plants in Utah are subject to attack by caterpillars of the moth Manduca quinquemaculata, the eggs of which are a favorite food of the bug Geocoris pallens. Thanks to volatile chemicals that the tobacco plant releases, the G. pallens is attracted, and number of M. quinquemaculata caterpillars is reduced. 44

Fiber Optic Design in the Ocean Depths

"The Originator of the heavens and earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, 'Be!' and it is." (Qur’an, 2: 117)

Rossella racovitzae, a species of marine sponge, possesses spicules guiding light as optic fibers do, which of course is employed in the very latest technology. The optical fibers can instantly transport vast amounts of information encoded as light pulses across tremendous distances. Transmitting laser light down a fiber-optic cable makes possible communications unimaginably greater than with cables made of ordinary materials. In fact, a strand no thicker than a hair, containing 100 optical fibers, can transmit 40,000 different sound channels.

This species of sponge which lives in the cold, dark depths of Antarctic seas is easily able to collect the light it requires for photosynthesis thanks to its thorn-shaped protrusions of optical fibers, and is a source of light for its surroundings. This enables both the sponge itself and other living things that benefit from its ability to collect and transmit light to survive. Single-celled algae attach themselves to the sponge and obtain from it the light they need to survive.

Fiber optics is one of the most advanced technologies of recent years. Japanese engineers use this technology to transmit solar rays to those parts of skyscrapers that receive no direct light. Giant lenses sited in a skyscraper’s roof focus the sun’s rays on the ends of fiber optic transmitters, which then send light to even the very darkest parts of the buildings.
This sponge lives at some 100 to 200 meters depth, off the shores of the Antarctic Ocean, under icebergs in what is virtually total darkness. Sunlight is of the greatest importance to its survival. The creature manages to solve this problem by means of optical fibers that collect solar light in a most effective manner.

Scientists are amazed that a living thing should have used the fiber optic principle, utilized by high-tech industries, in such an environment for the past 600 million years. Ann M. Mescher, a mechanical engineer and polymer fiber specialist at the University of Washington, expresses it in these terms:
It’s fascinating that there’s a creature that produces these fibers at low temperature with these unique mechanical properties and fairly good optical properties. 45
Brian D. Flinn, University of Washington materials scientist, describes the superior structure in this sponge:

It’s not something they’re going to put into telecommunications in the next two or three years. It’s something that might be 20 years off. 46
This all demonstrates that the living things within nature harbor a great many models for human beings. God, Who has designed everything down to the finest detail, has created these designs for mankind to learn from and think upon. This is revealed in the verses:
In the creation of the heavens and the Earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are signs for people with intelligence: those who remember God, standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the Earth: “Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Qur’an, 3: 190-191)