October 2, 2007 | David F. Coppedge

New Atomizer Mimics Bombardier Beetle

There’s a new technology coming to market, thanks to a little bug.  The bombardier beetle has long been used by creationists as a creature with a weapon against evolutionary theory.  Its tightly-integrated combustion apparatus would be useless or dangerous to the beetle unless all the parts worked together from the start.  This, creationists argue, is evidence against gradual evolution (e.g., AIG).
    Now, a creation physicist has imitated the beetle’s controlled explosions.  Andy McIntosh, Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory at Leeds University (UK), has “developed new technology” based on the bombardier beetle “which has the potential to become the platform for the next generation of more effective and eco-friendly mist carrier systems.”  (For more on Dr. McIntosh, see 11/27/2006 and 05/17/2002).
    The press release from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, explains the significance of this advance:

The [Micro]MistTM spray technology enables droplet size, temperature and velocity to be closely controlled, allowing advancements in a variety of areas where the properties of the mist are critical.  Such applications include fuel injection, medical drug delivery systems, fire extinguishers and fire suppression, all of which face major challenges relating to the demands of greater performance and reduced environmental impact….
    Prof McIntosh likens the beetle’s defence mechanism to a pressure cooker controlled by a complicated system of valves: “Essentially it’s a high-force steam cavitation explosion.  Using a chamber less than one millimetre long, this amazing creature has the ability to change the rapidity of what comes out, its direction and its consistency.
    “Nobody had studied the beetle from a physics and engineering perspective as we did – and we didn’t appreciate how much we would learn from it.”

The invention is only 2 cm long.  It “uses heat and flash evaporation technique to propel a variety of liquids over distances of up to 4m or produce a mist with droplets as small a 2 microns.”  McIntosh has been studying the beetle’s mechanism for years (12/08/2003).
    Swedish Biomimetics 3000 Ltd has signed a worldwide exclusive licensing agreement for development and commercialization of the technology, the press release states.  Potential applications include fire suppression, fuel injection and medical drug delivery.  Eureka Magazine in the UK also had a write-up on the new invention inspired by a bug.

Congratulations to Dr. McIntosh for great work inspired by creation.  This is in a long line of inventions by creationists, including such little, inconsequential things like motors, generators, reflecting telescopes, microscopes, the telegraph, refrigeration, vaccines, and peanut butter.  Yet Wired magazine had the audacity to say, “McIntosh is a well-known creationist.  Acknowledging that he’s created a cool beetle cannon is not an endorsement of his belief structure.”  Talk like that to Faraday, you jerks.  If MicroMist is intelligently designed, on what basis could you claim the bombardier beetle’s technology, which is even more wondrous than this (it can reproduce itself, for one thing), was not intelligently designed?
    While some UK scientists were sitting on their fluffy couches at Darwin Party storytelling banquets (12/22/2003), weaving myths and violating the laws of logic (09/30/2007), this UK scientist was imitating nature to improve our lives.  Someday when life-saving drugs are given you by MicroMist machines, or your car uses less-polluting, more efficient fuel injectors, or firefighters save your house with these devices, thank a creationist.  More than that, thank a Creator who put technologies into living creatures that can inspire and motivate us to explore, learn, and apply our intelligence for good.
    Incidentally, the bombardier beetle shows no gradual evolution in the fossil record (see 09/23/2007).  Like most other animal technologies, it appears abruptly, fully formed, working superbly from its first appearance.

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