November 15, 2009 | David F. Coppedge

Insect Wing Photocopied for Good

Biomimetics is the new science of imitating nature – but why not save a step, and just copy the design directly?  That’s what Aussie and British researchers did.  They wanted a self-cleaning surface that could repel moisture and dust, so they made a template of an insect wing.  And why not?  “Insects are incredible nanotechnologists,” reported Science Daily.  Their wings are self-cleaning, frictionless and super-water-repellant.
    Insect wings have these properties due to their properties at the scale of billionths of a meter.  “For instance, some wings are superhydrophobic, due to a clever combination of natural chemistry and their detailed structure at the nanoscopic scale,” the article said.  “This means that the wing cannot become wet, the tiniest droplet of water is instantly repelled.  Likewise, other insect wing surfaces are almost frictionless, so that any tiny dust particles that might stick are sloughed away with minimal force.”  That’s a dream surface for many human applications.  Instead of having to invent a surface by imitation, the research team is developing a way to use the wing as a natural template to cast a polymer surface that duplicates the exact structure of the wing onto silicone gel.  “One of the advantages of this approach is that no prior ‘design’ of the surface of the material is needed and so the team can exploit the enormous diversity of surface types from different insects and so produce materials with specific characteristics.”
    Evolution was only mentioned once in the opening paragraph: “The surfaces of many insect wings have evolved properties materials scientists only dream of for their creations.”  Evolution and creation sometimes make strange bedfellows.

Next time you see a tiny little gnat flying around, take a better look at it.  Would you have thought that its wings have such amazing properties that top researchers want to copy it?  Who trained those little insects to be “incredible nanotechnologists”?
    Good grief, evolution has nothing to do with it.  This is design from beginning to end.  It’s design in the tiniest of flying creatures that is so good, materials scientists “dream of their creations.”  Humans create; so does their Creator.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but plagiarism is copying some other Designer’s work without giving credit.
Program Note: this is the 600th entry in Creation-Evolution Headlines tagged with “Amazing Facts.”  Follow the Chain Links back through the past 9 years and you will find a wealth of incredible facts about design in nature.  That’s plenty of material to leave Charlie perpetually sick, wondering how his hopeless little speculation will ever explain them.  He gets sicker listening to the joyful sound of Christians across town singing with more and more gusto, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation.

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