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Creation 34(2):56, April 2012

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DVD makers copy mantis shrimp eye design



We have already reported on the amazing mantis shrimp,1 highlighting its powerful punch due to a catapult mechanism—it can accelerate up to 10,600 g (humans pass out at 10g). Its superb colour vision system includes 12 primary colour receptors—four times as many as humans have. Australian satellite designers wanted to design satellite cameras based on that, making the pithy comment, “Instead of throwing a shrimp on the barbie, I want to put a prawn into space.”

A 2009 update2 pointed out that the mantis shrimp also has remarkable light-sensitive cells that rotate the plane of polarization3 in light. Manmade systems can do this, but work well only in one colour; the mantis shrimp worked almost perfectly throughout the visible spectrum and even beyond: near ultra-violet to infra-red.

Transferring the same multi-colour ability into a DVD player could enable it to handle far more information.

“The mechanism we have found in this eye is unknown to human synthetic devices. It works much, much better than any attempts that we’ve made to construct a device,” said University of Bristol researcher Nicholas Roberts.4 He and his colleagues observed that the mantis shrimp had cell membranes rolled into tiny tubes (nanorods).

Now some engineers from National Taipei University of Technology, Taiwan, have made waveplates based on the mantis shrimp eye lenses. Waveplates change polarization, and these new ones could highly improve DVD definition and storage capacity. A report explains:

“The research team’s waveplate is made of two layers of nanorods that are structurally similar to those in the eye of the peacock mantis shrimp.”5

These layers (of tantalum pentoxide) are deposited by different methods. Both produce parallel layers of nanorods, but one is upright. Each stage of the waveplate comprises a sandwich of the non-upright layer between two upright layers. Then these sandwiches are stacked to make the required waveplate.

Furthermore, this ingenious technique uses relatively inexpensive methods within the thin-film industry.

This is only one in a long list in the field of biomimetics (or biomimicry)—human designers copying the ingenious designs of the Master Designer, i.e. the One who made the heavens and the earth and the seas and all that is in them (Exodus 20:11).6,7

References and notes

  1. Sarfati, J., Shrimpy Superboxer, Creation 30(2):12–13, 2008; creation.com/shrimpy-superboxer. Return to text.
  2. See the box section titled ‘Super sight’ in Ref. 1. Return to text.
  3. Polarized light comprises waves that vibrate only in one plane, instead of in random directions as in ordinary light. Polaroid sunglasses produce polarized light by absorbing light that doesn’t vibrate in a given plane, which is why they appear dark. Reflected ‘glare’ is also quite polarized, and sunglasses are designed to block out the polarization direction of glare. Return to text.
  4. ‘Sexy’ shrimp eyes help DVD technology, www.news.com.au, 26 October 2009. Return to text.
  5. Stress relief: Mantis shrimp eye could improve high-definition CDs, DVDs, www.asminternational.org, 29 June 2011. Return to text.
  6. Expert engineer eschews evolutionary design : Philip Bell interviews creationist and Professor of Engineering Design, Stuart Burgess, Creation 32(1):35–37, 2009; creation.com/burgess; also the many other examples in creation.com/biomimetics. Return to text.
  7. Hat tip to Hans Van Den Berg (New Zealand) for alerting me to this. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments

michael S.
It’s an excellent example of design Jonathan, once again I love these things you bring to our attention but unfortunately evolutionists will point blank refuse to accept it as design.

It's frustrating because the argument-from-Biomimetics is plainly sound, and I submit the following implication;

  • If design is poor in nature, it wouldn't require a designer, and it follows that we would not use nature to influence technology.

  • We DO USE nature's designs (as they are better than our own) THEREFORE design is not poor, and does need a Master Designer.

Evolutionists tend to define evidence for God as none-existent, but if this example you provide is NOT evidence consistent with a designer, then would they qualify ANYTHING as evidence? Surely they must submit what WOULD be design (logically). Yet have you ever known them to? I haven't.

In my opinion, they take what they know to exist, and class everything in existence as "NOT evidence for God."(logically)

I think the onus is upon us, to force them to define in a logical context, what evidence of design would look like. After all, if I shown someone the differential in a car, and how it solved wheel-spin, and they said, “where is the design?” then they are basically admitting that if the design is under their nose, they will not accept it. ERGO, what is there definition of design? It seems to be the following;

“There is no such thing as design or designers, and ALL evidence in existence is NOT evidence consistent with God.” Lol.
Michael B.
What’s the point of this article? To point out that the “Master Designer” gave humans an inferior eye in comparison to a shrimp? Whoops! LOL
Jonathan Sarfati
What’s the point of that comment? To knock down a straw man version of creationist arguments: that the Creator must have given humans the best version of everything? I know of no reputable creationist who thinks that. Most of us believe that birds are better fliers than humans, for example. Conversely, there are plenty of ostensible evolutionists who resort to such straw men (see Müller cells refuting Dawkins: feedback) or other deceptions.
Aleksandar K.
Isn't the field called bionics?
Jonathan Sarfati
This is one possible name, but the term biomimetics is older. Also, bionics commonly refers, at least in medicine, to replacing or enhancing biological organs with mechanical or electronic ones. This is also the main meaning in popular culture, e.g. TV series such as The Bionic Woman.
Chandrasekaran M.
How can this creative complexity come about without any causality even in trillions of years just using mutations and natural selections?

Of all the world views, Christ world view is the only one that is consistent with all the evidences in the cosmos.

Jesus the Lord is not only my Lord but also the Lord of technology.

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