Engineer Envies Plant Cell Structure | The Institute for Creation Research

Engineer Envies Plant Cell Structure

Whether considering squishable apple tissue or resilient tree trunks, researchers say that plants "build" their parts using only four ingredients. Precise measurements of plant tissue strengths show that they vary across three orders of magnitude. How do plants so effectively use the same four building blocks to manufacture materials with such widely varying strengths?

MIT engineering professor Lorna Gibson found five features that plants "control and coordinate" when building tissues of various strengths. According to MIT news, "It turns out the large range in stiffness and strength stems from an intricate combination of plant microstructures."1

She published her review in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, where she wrote, "Apples and potatoes are examples of a simple tissue: parenchyma with thin-walled, polyhedral cells resembling an engineering closed-cell foam." Researchers deem that hardwoods contain complex tissue because in addition to parenchyma cells they have vessels and fibers. "The fibre cells provide structural support and have a honeycomb-like structure" similar to that used in hexagonal building supports.2

But whether it contains fiber cells or parenchyma tissue, plants all build their cell walls using cellulose, lignin, hemicellulose, and pectin. Plants expertly arrange these ingredients to form tissues of widely ranging strengths. Gibson wrote, "These large ranges arise from the composition of the cell wall, the number of layers in the cell wall and the volume fraction and arrangement of cellulose fibres in those layers, as well as the cellular structure of the plant tissue."2

"Gibson sees plant mechanics as a valuable resource for engineers concerned with designing new materials. But researchers have been unable to fabricate cellular composite materials with the level of control that plants have perfected," according to MIT news.1 What or who deserves the credit for the masterful way that lowly plants organize their own building materials?

Gibson said that "plants have developed" their own microstructures. Cornell plant biologist Karl Nicklas told MIT that because plants evolved, "We can learn things from nature and apply it to construct better panel boards, styrofoams and photovoltaics that will help society."1

But what reason or evidence even hints that plants or nature can engineer anything, let alone construction techniques and material management that surpasses man-made technology? Plants don't have brains or hands like human engineers possess.3 Those who deem plants to be expert engineers would not entrust a plant to produce even something so simple as a fork. When it comes to origins science, brilliant engineering professors are barking up the wrong tree.

References

  1. Chu, J. Plants exhibit a wide range of mechanical properties, engineers find. MIT news. Posted on mit.edu August 14, 1012.
  2. Gibson, L.J. The hierarchical structure and mechanics of plant materials. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Published online before print, August 8, 2012.
  3. According to Scripture, God did not necessarily use brains or hands to create either. However, He has something far more effective: audible commands spoken from beyond this universe. See Psalm 33.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on August 22, 2012.

The Latest
NEWS
Remembering Dr. Kevin Anderson
Dr. Kevin Anderson went to be with the Lord on January 16, 2022. He served the people of the Lord’s Kingdom with a lifetime of good scientific research. He...

NEWS
"Ancient" Fish Brain Evidence of Evolution?
A recent secular news article confidently asserts that a fish fossil discovered in 1995 “is an ancestor of the first land animals or four-limbed...

NEWS
The Role and Realm of Science
In society today, “science” often takes center stage as a significant influencer on policy decisions and public opinion. Climate change, pandemic...

NEWS
FOX News Discusses Creation, Evolution, and Adam
FOX News recently ran internet and television coverage discussing the creation/evolution controversy. Specifically, they discussed Adam’s place in...

CREATION PODCAST
Is Creation Science Really That Important? | The Creation Podcast:...
What is creation science, and why is it important? Why did an evolutionary scientist become a creationist? And how can you defend Christianity using...

NEWS
Evidence Supports Post-Flood Wet Climate for Egypt
Evolutionary scientists found evidence that the Sahara Desert was green and fertile at the end of the Ice Age, allowing people to live hundreds of miles...

NEWS
ICR Announces New Logo
After 52 years of fruitful ministry, the Institute for Creation Research is renewing its commitment to rigorous scientific research that affirms the...

NEWS
Inside January-February 2022 Acts & Facts
How can we use the Bible to guide scientific research? Why is counting ice core layers an insufficient way to determine Earth’s age? How does...

NEWS
Pterosaur Contours Look Engineered
Flying reptiles once flew through ancient skies. Most of our knowledge of these fascinating animals, called pterosaurs, comes from their fossils. But how...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Our Young Solar System
by Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation...