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Biotech Science

Mimicking Materials and Structures In Nature 92

Posted by samzenpus
from the hornet-cannon dept.
eldavojohn writes "From special organic molecules to organic surfaces with special properties to organic concrete, MIT's Technology Review takes a look at inspirations in nature that materials scientists are currently mimicking for human purposes. You may be able to name other fields that have turned to evolution for inspiration as well."
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Mimicking Materials and Structures In Nature

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  • by Tynin (634655) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @09:41PM (#30068774)
    Other fields like ID/creationism have been evolving their arguments over time?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by HBoar (1642149)
      Hmmm, I wonder what parameters give a mutation of ID/creationism an advantage.... A higher degree of logical circularity maybe?
      • by sznupi (719324)

        Religions don't appear to be common at all in present species, though there are strong hints for the presence of them in Neanderthals. And, of course, homo sapiens sapiens. Granted, there's not a lot of data points in one of those subsets but, taking all things into consideration, there are strong hints that religions are memetic contructs. ;p A bit out of scope of genetics and mutations (as commonly understood, regarding genes; even if there might be some that contributed to particular structure of society

      • by Jakeva (1429603) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:20AM (#30069616)

        Hmmm, I wonder what parameters give a mutation of ID/creationism an advantage.... A higher degree of logical circularity maybe?

        If creationists are right, then God created circular logic............. ohmygod! I just proved nothing!

    • by Imrik (148191)

      Just remember, both sides are evolving their arguments over time, its not the exclusive domain of the religious.

    • The greatest miracle would be if God designed a universe where natural selection could result in such wonders. I for one believe that is exactly what happened.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @09:55PM (#30068866)

    Although Nature is random and haphazard in its designs, it still has to follow the laws of physics. So large structures like trees, termite hills, and basalt cliffs are structured to be very strong.

    Structures that must hold their form like honeycombs and coral reefs have interesting geometric structures.

    And things that must be flexible, lightweight, and resistant to breakage like spider webs use multiple methods of increasing tensile strength.

    If they didn't, physics would force them to break. So for each iteration of Nature, you get some strong and some weak structures, but due to the constant barrage of forces only the most adaptable survive. If genetically controlled, these traits get passed down to subsequent generations.

    • by HBoar (1642149)
      Not sure about your example of a basalt cliff... How exactly does a cliff evolve?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)

        I never said it evolved. I simply said that large structures must have strong structures.

        The hexagonal "honeycomb" structure of basalt cliffs gives it resistance to landslides.

        • by khallow (566160)

          The hexagonal "honeycomb" structure of basalt cliffs gives it resistance to landslides.

          That's not what I see when I look at a columnar basalt structure. Instead I see an avenue for more rapid destruction than would be present in a monolithic structure that didn't fracture that way. Water and ice can penetrate through these flaws in the structure and break it up.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)

            Consider the time required to create either of those "solutions" though. The basalt quickly solidifies into its columnar shape while granite may take many multiple times that amount to become monolithic in the same scope.

            Are there points of weakness in columnar basalt? Undoubtedly. But the rapid development and reasonable lifespan of these is a pretty good tradeoff.

      • by plover (150551) * on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @10:19PM (#30069016) Homepage Journal

        Not sure about your example of a basalt cliff... How exactly does a cliff evolve?

        Look at his nick: BadAnalogyGuy. What did you expect from him, a car analogy?

        • by Cryacin (657549)

          Look at his nick: BadAnalogyGuy. What did you expect from him, a car analogy?

          Um, yes. That is what we have come to expect of him.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by kimvette (919543)

          I'll take a shot at it!

          See, it's like this: I see strong structures like basalt columns as volkswagons, which as you know, are arch-shaped and therefore strong. Weak structures on the other hand, such as grasses, are more like smart cars: easily crushed and, well, no where to go from here. I got nothin'. Sorry. Ask BadAnalogyGuy.

      • by sznupi (719324)

        You can see mostly cliffs that survive the elements for any significant amount of time? (owing to their structure - in this case, specific materials)

    • by physburn (1095481) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:48AM (#30069954) Homepage Journal
      I wouldn't catgeorize nature as random or haphazard. Although in quantum mechanics particle movements are intrisically random, as soon as you get to thermodynamically significant ammounts of 'stuff'', physics acts very regularly. Even for non-living things, nature is often produces very regularly and mathematically precise objects from the spiral arms of a galaxy to the pattern of snowflakes.

      ---

      Materials Science [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

    • In other words, we can make use of the fruits of billions of machine-hours on a huge supercomputer that's been running Evolution software for a long time. The results are quite solid, having been run through the equivalent of millions of test-driven development [wikipedia.org] cycles. There's an environment that will only give a passing result to designs which meet its strict criteria, and millions of designs thrown at it, with only a small number passing. And then the tests change, with new designs having to pass the new
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Although Nature is random and haphazard in its designs

      These are not designs, they're results.

      Design implies a conscious, driving force. As you say, it's merely the laws of physics ending up with results we didn't think of.

      Cheers

  • Biomimetics (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @10:16PM (#30069000)

    Regardless of ones theological views i've always found the field of biomimetics fascinating. Looking at systems in the world around us to find better ways of doing human things creates novel solutions for oftentimes complex problems. Personally i believe in an intelligent Creator, and to me i cannot help but marvel at the inherent wisdom in these complex systems and the incredible harmony they share. Again for the sake of the hypersensitive evolutionists out there, i'm not trying to change beliefs here, but from my perspective this is an especially interesting subject.

    • Re:Biomimetics (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @10:34PM (#30069098) Homepage
      It doesn't take a "hypersensitive evolutionist" to see that this argument is incredibly weak. If an intelligent designer was constructing clever solutions and using them for life then it seems incredibly strange that solutions don't get used multiple times. A material can be incredibly strong and yet it will show up only in a handful of generally related lineages. Moreover, if one looks at a scale beyond the details of exceptional materials the designer made some really strange decisions. The recurrent laryngeal nerve for example which goes from the brain to the voice box feels a need to loop already down around the heart and back up. This makes perfect sense from an evolutionary perspective given the essentially segmented form that vertebrates arose from (and hence that mammals were forced to work with). Yes any reasonable engineer would just have this use the direct path. This is even more glaring in other animals: The giraffe for instance has the exact same thing. That means that there are about 15 feet of extra nerve tissue. It seems pretty clear that if there is a creator, the creator was either very stupid or simply hasn't involved itself in the design of life. Which of those do you prefer?
      • by Alphanos (596595)

        Also, tonsils and the appendix are useless. Since we've figured everything out, we could design much better humans! Oh wait...

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by JoshuaZ (1134087)
          Your argument seems to be "look! Here are things we thought we're useless and now they aren't. Therefore we should conclude that everything falls into that category even if we have no good reason to think so and no hypothetical mechanism for what it is doing usefully." That's great. Because after the laryngeal nerve I've got dozens of other examples. And your point doesn't deal with the primary issue raised which is that the mysterious designer seems oddly unwilling to use his clever solutions. And as long
          • by baKanale (830108)

            Because after the laryngeal nerve I've got dozens of other examples.

            Honestly I'd love to hear more of those. They're super-interesting, and it's always good to have more ammunition against the ID crowd.

            • by JoshuaZ (1134087)

              Other examples include the structure of the human eye. There's a blind spot because the nerve connections go in front of the cells that receive light and then go through a hole, the "blind spot" to meet up with the optic nerve. Creationists have tried to claim that this is actually optimal design but fail for the simple reason that many other living beings such as the octopus don't have their eye set up this way.

              Another example is the human appendix. Not that the appendix does nothing. But that for what

              • It would seem you don't understand the perspective that the average ID/creationist comes from. As convenient as it sounds, the average ID/creationist believes that the world is in a fallen state. A state of disrepair and disarray. If you've read the bible then the passage that speaks of the world 'waxing old like a garment' springs to mind.

                Unfortunately, the bible doesn't document in detail (to a scientists satisfaction) the changes that the known universe went through when humanity 'fell'. Suffice to sa
                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by JoshuaZ (1134087)

                  I'm familiar with the notion of a fallen world. I didn't address it above for the simple reason that the individual wanted more examples. If we want to discuss that bit of apologetics we can. First of all, the whole notion of a fallen world really only makes much theological sense in Judaism and Christianity not for Islam or the Ba'hai. So we need to narrow the set of discussion a lot if we are going to use that particular argument.

                  The entire claim has much less theological justification in either Judais

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It seems pretty clear that if there is a creator, the creator was either very stupid or simply hasn't involved itself in the design of life.

        I believe what you are referring to is called a "false dichotomy."

      • In nature there are many examples of solutions that get used time and time again (e.g. DNA replication: used by all life) ... and there are the unique solutions too (niche anyone?). Neither fact does much to prove or disprove ID or evolution. Seems pretty non-sequitur to me... comes off a bit hypersensitive too.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by JoshuaZ (1134087)
          No. There's a big difference. DNA replication is used by all life because all life has common descent and the code used for DNA is very fundamental to how life functions so tampering with it isn't going to create viable offspring. The type of solutions that don't get reused are precisely the sort of clever biological structures that TFA is talking about. These are exactly what you would not expect to be duplicated if evolution is correct. Moreover, the niche example is again an argument for evolution rather
          • If an intelligent designer was constructing clever solutions and using them for life then it seems incredibly strange that solutions don't get used multiple times.

            an example in evolutionary terms is convergence (don't know/care what it would be in ID)... whether evolution or the flying spaghetti monster is the driving force, your statement above is fallacious.

            • by JoshuaZ (1134087)
              Please read the rest of this thread. Convergence is not an example of that at all. If you had an engineer then they wouldn't construct almost identical solutions to the same problem repeatedly. Convergence aren't the same thing. They are examples of evolution finding very similar solutions to the same problem in different contexts. Thus for example, in Australia one has all sorts of marsupials that converge to what mammals do in most other continents. A designer would presumably just use the same species fo
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by turing_m (1030530)

        It seems pretty clear that if there is a creator, the creator was either very stupid or simply hasn't involved itself in the design of life. Which of those do you prefer?

        The former doesn't really make sense, especially when it is evident that there are a bunch of immutable laws (physics) that govern the behavior of things and he is both too stupid to design things properly and at the same time too clever to allow his immutable laws, er, not to be. If the latter, perhaps those laws were designed along with

        • by Imrik (148191)

          Kind of like Blizzard not intentionally designing the evolution of battle tactics in Starcraft, but creating a system where it will happen. (If this sort of creator is in existence, we might expect periodic nerfing of exceptionally successful forms of life, and buffs applied to the losers of life.)

          Like for example, causing the temperature of the planet to drop for a period of time to nerf cold-blooded animals?

          • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @03:22AM (#30070274) Homepage Journal

            >>Like for example, causing the temperature of the planet to drop for a period of time to nerf cold-blooded animals?

            Yeah, God took out Velociraptors in the 1.2 patch. They were too OP.

            Reptile players kind of bitched about it on the forums, but the introduction of flying units in 1.3 gave them a strong advantage that only late game mammal players can counter.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ShakaUVM (157947)

        >>It doesn't take a "hypersensitive evolutionist" to see that this argument is incredibly weak. If an intelligent designer was constructing clever solutions and using them for life then it seems incredibly strange that solutions don't get used multiple times.

        Good thing birds and bats evolved from the same lineage, or you'd have a problem with your argument, eh? (You may want to start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_examples_of_convergent_evolution [wikipedia.org])

        Besides, intelligent design is not creation

        • Re:Biomimetics (Score:4, Informative)

          by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:34AM (#30069692) Homepage
          Convergent evolution is an example where it isn't the same thing at all. Why would an intelligent designer redesign the same thing for multiple lineages instead of using the same lineage? That's precisely what makes sense under evolution. It doesn't make sense for an intelligent designer to go through all the work again. It makes perfect sense for these to evolve. And note the original context we were discussing about really clever biological materials that aren't reused. This actually provides a perfect example; despite bats converging similarly to birds (albeit with very different muscle and skeletal structures you would expect from evolution), bats still don't get feathers. And nocturnal birds don't get the whole sonic radar system.

          Besides, intelligent design is not creationism (though creationists tend to use it as a sort of disguise, hence the confusion). ID simply says that an intelligent wossname helped guide evolution. Depending on how you formulate it, it's either the weak form: a nice thought but not really provable either way (the approach the Vatican takes, FWIW), or the strong form, which says evolution couldn't happen without a guiding hand.

          People may use "intelligent design" to mean something other than strict young earth creationism, but the term was made specifically to disguise to get creationism into the American public schools. In 1987, in Edwards v. Aguillard, the US Supreme Court ruled that "creation science" was the same thing as "creationism" which couldn't be taught in public school biology classes because it violated the First Amendment. Then the creationists decided to start talking about intelligent design. Indeed, the very next draft "Of Pandas and Peoples", a creation science textbook that was in the works did a search and replace for every single use of "creationists" or "creation scientists" or "creationism" and replaced them with the correct form of "intelligent design." However, in a truly ironic step, they screwed up in the next draft and actually left a transitional form of "cdesign proponentsists". This strange hybrid of "creation scientists" and "design proponents" was corrected in the next draft. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cdesign_proponentsists#Pandas_and_.22cdesign_proponentsists.22 [wikipedia.org] However, this draft, which remained unpublished, was disclosed during the Kitzmiller v Dover trial where it was decided that intelligent design really was just a cheap disguise for creationism. The decision in the Dover trial is really worth reading. The text can be found at http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf [uscourts.gov]. It includes a lot more very clear evidence that ID was made solely as a term to disguise creationism and get it into our public schools.

          • by ShakaUVM (157947)

            >>In 1987, in Edwards v. Aguillard, the US Supreme Court ruled that "creation science" was the same thing as "creationism"

            Yes, because the supreme court is the ultimate source of definitions in America. Is it chaired by Emanuel Lewis, too? Do they carry a golden dictionary from which they make pronouncements from upon high? These are the same people that ruled the obscene is that which is without any redeeming social value.

            And I agree, by and large the ID movement is, as I said, YEC's using it as a di

          • by Imrik (148191)

            It doesn't make sense if the creator's objective is to fill the niche, but what if the objective is to occupy himself by creating a creature that fills the niche?

          • by lawpoop (604919)

            It doesn't make sense for an intelligent designer to go through all the work again.

            This is part of the problem of critiquing the intelligent designer thing. If the Creating Entity is all-powerful or God-like or whatever, non of the standard concerns of human creators need apply. When I want a particular goal accomplished, I have to deal with all sorts of constraints, like energy, resources, enthusiasm, motivation. Some projects are vital, like maintaining a decent job, and without doing it well enough, I suffer. Some projects, like eating or drinking, will result in my death if not carrie

        • by Microlith (54737)

          Besides, intelligent design is not creationism (though creationists tend to use it as a sort of disguise, hence the confusion).

          Despite how you try to slant it, ID only exists as a facade that the creationists put up to try and present a "theory" to throw at evolution. It is of little use except as an example of quackery.

          ID simply says that an intelligent wossname helped guide evolution.

          Which is an entirely useless statement, especially in the context in which those who promote it try to pitch it. However "

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by ShakaUVM (157947)

            >>Despite how you try to slant it, ID only exists as a facade that the creationists put up to try and present a "theory" to throw at evolution. It is of little use except as an example of quackery.

            While I agree it is probably often used as a facade, it is a testable (and therefore a scientific theory) that someone rigged the dice during evolution. You can make statistical tests for loaded dice - gaming commissions do this sort of testing all the time, in fact.

            Of course, it's not really very popular to

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              How is intelligent design testable? I really am curious. Keep in mind that 'testable' is equivalent to 'falsifiable.'

              Here's a simple example, simplified: DNA analysis shows that human and chimp DNA is about 99% identical. I hypothesize that DNA is the mechanism by which genes are inherited and evolution happens. By this hypothesis, I should be able to look back in the fossil record and see human and chimp ancestors becoming more and more similar until there is no distinction. My hypothesis is falsif

              • by ShakaUVM (157947)

                >>How is intelligent design testable? I really am curious. Keep in mind that 'testable' is equivalent to 'falsifiable.'

                Suppose Jurassic Park was real, and you could get a complete DNA record of every generation of an animal going back however many millions of years. You examine the mutation pattern and see if it corresponds to how mutations should occur, and see if there's any bias in the distribution pattern. That's the simplest way, I'd imagine.

                • Your suggestion is impossible to implement so it doesn't constitute an example of a method of falsifying Intelligent Design. I've spent a moderate amount of time looking into Intelligent Design and haven't found anything that I understand to be a legitimate proposal for falsifiability. Are you aware of any other tests?
                  • by ShakaUVM (157947)

                    With the same rationale, evolution is impossible to falsify as well, since like most things in science, it happened (or didn't) and we have imperfect knowledge of past events. It's the best match for the data, but the premise of Strong ID is that while evolution happened, some entity interfered in the process. If this happened, then there should be some evidence of the interference that should show up statistically.

                    Likewise, if intercessionary prayer works (frequently enough to be detected), then statistica

      • by Victa (186697)

        IF there is an intelligent creator, and he/she/it is capable of creating universes/planets/life out of nothing...

        What makes you think that you could possibly understand his/her/it's design decisions?

        For the record I do not beleive in such an entity...

        • by JoshuaZ (1134087)
          Right. So it makes decisions that are absolutely indistinguishable from what one would expect from no designer? It is a good thing you don't believe that because that seems to be such a bad example of special pleading that it isn't funny.
          • by Imrik (148191)

            But would you expect them from no designer or have we constructed a theory that causes us to expect what we already know exists?

      • by pwolk (912457)
        In other words: "reasonably intelligent design"
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Oh, yes the amazing designer. Who for some reason gave whales hips and leg bones, fused inside their bodies. He/she gave flightless birds wings with light weight bones. He/she gave us eyes with the nerves and blood vessels in front of the retina instead of behind, what a designer. At least the dude who invented the octopus got the eye thing right.

      So much wisdom and love went into the design of cancer, MS and typhoid, the designer loves us so much he prefers us to painfully die so we can be closer to him. /s

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No, you see, we were put into this world of suffering and death so we can grow and learn! I mean, sure, God is omnipotent and omniscient and all and created us directly and presumably could've done all this growing and learning of us himself much more easily. But somehow this is different and magic and I'm totally not desperately trying to prop up my beliefs no matter how nonsensical my justifications may be at all!

        • Funny, but not quite right. =)

          Put it more like this and you'd be closer to the mark:

          We're created creatures with the sole purpose of honouring the person who created us. It doesn't matter what situation God has put you in, that's his right. This is his game after all. Here's a classic example from the bible its self; what right does the clay pot made by the potter have to say, "why did you make me like I am? I want to be blabla". The answer given? No right whatsoever. Sounds harsh, I know - but that's
      • by MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @11:24PM (#30069312)

        You sir are and moron.

        you sir, made my day. ;)

        • by Eudial (590661)

          You sir are and moron.

          you sir, made my day. ;)

          "You sir, are a mormon" is also an accepted variation.

      • I think the biggest stroke of ingenious design was giving male terrestrial mammals external gonads. Must have been the same day MJ was created.

    • What's most fascinating is how most of the earth's "elements" are a mix of a few base elements in varied densities and forms, and one has only to study the "work" nature does to recreate them. Clay, for example, is a result of carbonic acid 'weathering' (dissolving) silica (sand) based minerals... so if clay is rare and sand is abundant, why not do all the "work" ourselves?

      We have the chemical composition of most everything on this planet mapped - as a layman, I don't at all understand why we don't have the

    • by ozbird (127571)

      Looking at systems in the world around us to find better ways of doing human things creates novel solutions for oftentimes complex problems.

      ... and then patent them. Never mind the fact that people have been using them for thousands of years and/or nature for millions or billions of years - it's "intellectual property", baby! >:-|

    • by radtea (464814)

      i cannot help but marvel at the inherent wisdom in these complex systems and the incredible harmony they share

      Others have pointed out what a weak argument this is, to no good effect because obviously you aren't interested in anything that contradicts your faith (by definition: it wouldn't be faith otherwise).

      But I'm entirely unsure what you mean by "inherent wisdom" and "incredible harmony" of complex natural systems.

      There are some pretty clever hacks, but so many amazingly stupid kludges and disgusting in

  • Humans are really quite bright and can think. Evolution has one serious advantage over humans: Evolution has had millions of years to try stuff out. When you've got millions of years of mutation and natural selection you are still going to do better than humans who've only been thinking about these things for a few centuries. The one serious advantage of intelligent entities is that we can look at the solutions used elsewhere and adopt them to our purposes. Nature doesn't have that option.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rarel (697734)

      The one serious advantage of intelligent entities is that we can look at the solutions used elsewhere and adopt them to our purposes. Nature doesn't have that option.

      That's the basis behind Primer:

      No one would say that what they were doing was complicated. It wouldn't even be considered new, except for maybe in the geological sense. They took from their surroundings what was needed and made of it something more.

      :)

  • Though not strictly a physical material, this got me thinking.
    What would be the underlying metaphorical model for /.
      ?

    Ants, piranha, beavers, jellyfish, cats?

    Leave It to Beaver, The Honeymooners, Star Trek?

    The school lunch room, D&D party, After work at the pub, French salons on hypnotics?

    Logical / illogical anarchy at its finest?

    ?????

    • by MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:21AM (#30069622)

      Ants.

      the suggestion made me laugh, it reminded me of a Radio Lab episode where they were discussing patterns of life. they interviewed a researcher of some nature (pun) that examined the behavior of ants and she marveled at how frustrating it was to watch them try to move a leaf or a twig "one would tug it a millimeter this way, the other would tug it that way, still another a different direction and it would go on for weeks" yet out of all that seemingly thoughtless effort a working community managed to sustain itself.

      at the best of times, when i'm feeling optimistic, i feel that /. is a colony of ants.

      • My initial gut reaction was also ants.
        But ants are unconsciously programmed to create a huge feeding mechanism for their queen and her progeny. They throw themselves on the metaphorical sword in its defense. I don't see that in /.
        More like piranha at times.

        Maybe some kind of hybrid ? Or ants on LSD? I remember reading some time ago they somehow dosed a spider with LSD and the resulting web was pretty bizarre and unsymmetrical.

        This is /. after all -- free your mind. I've had my fill of the Bickersons.

  • Speaking of mimicking natural materials for human purposes, the invention of velcro is a good example as it is based off of hitchhikers [palomar.edu].
  • Ask Nature (Score:5, Interesting)

    by axlrosen (88070) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @11:36PM (#30069372) Homepage

    Check out the bio-mimicry database: http://asknature.org/ [asknature.org]

    Here's the really interesting TED talk where the founder introduces it, and describes some examples of nature's engineering at work: http://www.ted.com/talks/janine_benyus_biomimicry_in_action.html [ted.com]

    • by radtea (464814)

      Check out the bio-mimicry database

      Awesome. Please post this as a reply to every story on /. that introduces the "new" idea of engineers looking to nature for solution ideas, which has been a "new" idea for over a century.

      After a couple of decades of posting this database link ever couple of months when we get stories on this "new" idea maybe, possibly, people will learn that engineers have been looking to nature for inspiration for over a century.

      The notion that this is a new idea or phenomenon is one of t

  • Name an example where chaos and entropy designs something..... Evolution is a sick joke.
    • by XSpud (801834)

      I think your equation's wrong. It should be:

      random mutation + natural selection = something that appears to be designed to some people

    • by lessthan (977374)
      Have you ever seen a frozen waterfall? The water falls from a high energy position to a low energy position. There is certainly a "design" created. The trip from high to low energy doesn't have to be linear.
  • I'm reminded of the movie, "The Last Mimzy", not the short story. There was a scene of a group of spiders building a bridge, together. Talk about communicating to an alien intelligence. What a Thesis to read, something about mimicking spiders in space to create a tether for space elevator applications.
  • You thought the MAFIAA was bad. Just wait until Mother Nature sues you in a natural court of law for copying her works without compensation...

Parkinson's Law: Work expands to fill the time alloted it.

Working...