Whales Inspire New Turbine Design | The Institute for Creation Research

Whales Inspire New Turbine Design

For decades, human design engineers have been laboring to make more efficient machines, like propeller blades that produce steady airflow patterns. Our thinking has been fixed on the idea that smooth surfaces are the best basic form, but studies on whales and dolphins are changing that.

A whale flipper has a bumpy edge. After incorporating some bumpy, irregular features into experimental fan blades, Dr. Frank Fish of West Chester University observed, “This design has been shown to be more efficient and also quieter, but defies traditional engineering theories.”1 It turns out that the bumps on whale flippers have a purpose—to reduce drag, increase lift, increase fluid flow efficiency, and decrease the risk of stalling.

Scientists have increasingly looked to nature for structural design elements, a practice known as biomimicry. The obvious inference is that better engineering design requires smarter engineering, and that therefore whale flippers and dolphin tails must have been designed by a smart engineer. However, the report on Dr. Fish’s findings—which were presented at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting on July 8th—started with, “Sea creatures have evolved over millions of years to maximise [sic] efficiency of movement through water; humans have been trying to perfect streamlined designs for barely a century.”1

The vast majority of biologists have been trained to attribute the origins of advanced design features in living creatures to nature itself. For instance, one correspondent to Nature magazine stated that researchers who use the word “design” to describe the way a system is organized “fail to note that its construction is a consequence of the incremental, biased random walk of evolution.”2

We have good reasons, however, to doubt that an “incremental, biased random walk of evolution” could be the author of such advanced design features as fast-flow flippers. No one has ever observed nature producing a new, more advanced design. It is a much poorer candidate for a designer than an all-wise God.3 Truly, “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”4

References

  1. Whales and dolphins influence new wind turbine design. Biology News Net, based on information provided by the Society for Experimental Biology. Posted on Biologynews.net July 8, 2008, accessed July 16, 2008. [Link to:
  2. Sever. R. 2008. Reduce confusion by using ”design” more intelligently. Nature. 454 (7200): 27.
  3. Romans 16:27.
  4. 1 Corinthians 3:19.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.

Article posted on July 24, 2008.

The Latest
NEWS
Thanks for Everything
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20) Being thankful for...

NEWS
Even Sherlock Holmes Can’t Explain African Dinosaurs
A new species of duck-billed dinosaur, Ajnabia odysseus, was recently unearthed in North Africa.1 This is the first hadrosaur-type dinosaur...

NEWS
Glow-in-the-Dark Platypuses Illuminate the Creator
The platypus is perhaps the most evolution-defying creature on Earth. It’s not enough that it’s a mammal that lays eggs, has a bill like a...

NEWS
Rapid Crystal Growth Supports Flood Model
Secular scientists are finding exactly what Flood geologists have predicted all along—huge crystals can and did grow extremely fast. In other words,...

NEWS
Hot Neptune Atmosphere "Shouldn't Exist"
An exoplanet 260 light-years away is being described as the first of its kind ever detected.1,2 This exoplanet, catalogued as LTT 9779b, is...

NEWS
Inside November 2020 Acts & Facts
Where can we see God’s engineering? What is ICR’s new scientific theory? How do hummingbirds reveal God’s design? How can you refute...

ACTS & FACTS
Thankful Remembrance
We all have so much to be thankful for. Even after such a trying year, we must admit that God has been so very good to us. The Lord has not only shown...

APOLOGETICS
Mayflower Pilgrims, Simian DNA, and Straw Men
Both the Mayflower Pilgrims and biblical creationists are unjustly targeted for straw man vilifications using misleading, false accusations. A straw...

ACTS & FACTS
How Can You Refute Evolution?
Darwinian evolution promotes a mantra that “all creatures great and small—natural processes made them all.” Just one creature somehow...

ACTS & FACTS
Hummingbirds by Design
Zoologists have wonder and appreciation for the animals they investigate, whether the creatures fly through air, swim in water, or walk on land. Stanford...