Speed!

 

Which lifeforms hold the record when calculating speed by body lengths per second?  The world’s fastest land animal, relative to size is a mite the size of a sesame seed. Paratarsotomus macropalpis clocks speeds up to 322 body lengths per second. If that were converted up to a speed in human terms it approaches 1,300 miles per hour. While this is much slower than a pistol bullet, no-one in their right mind would want to be hit by anything small and hard travelling at that speed. This finding is considered by the research team which discovered it as opening new possibilities in the design of robots and in biomimetics.  If so it will be just another example of science learning from nature. Exquisite engineering produced by evolution, and therefore without  design, totally out-competing all mankind’s best efforts at design. Two comments could be made in response to that fact: isn’t evolution astonishing, or isn’t evolutionary theory fatally flawed.

But back to speed. What about optimum speeds in liquid? A top Olympic swimmer can move through water at a speed of about one body length per second.  The simplest of all living organisms are prokaryotic cells: so what can bacterial life achieve by way of speed? The current record holder is Ovobacter propellens. It is a very large bacteria that looks like a ciliate,  ( protozoan / a single celled microscopic animal ). It has around 600 flagella protruding from a tuft which provide the rotary motorisation and its speed: 200 body lengths per second. There are others that seem faster, two clocked at 400 to 500 blps, but they are significantly smaller so their actual speed is less.

Biomimicry is now a well established branch of science. Studying nature has enabled scientists to learn how to innovate with novel environmentally clean solutions to design problems. The core idea is that nature has already solved many of the problems facing mankind. It has been proved that animals, plants, and microbes are either consummate engineers or were engineered by a consummate being. As the last part of the previous sentence cannot be true according to atheism, the official story goes like this: over billions of years of unconscious research and development nature evolved a treasure trove of design solutions, many of them solving 21st century design problems. The surprising aspect of this is that an undirected process, which has no concept of engineering, has the innate capacity to teach the most highly evolved creatures on earth lessons in design. If you believed in God as designer of all things you would not be surprised, in fact you might expect, even predict this development. If not you are stuck with happenstance.

The question is simple? For mankind miniaturisation is difficult at best, at nano technology size, extremely difficult. You can reference You Tube videos by James Tour on evolution that relate to his ground breaking work on nano-cars. The difficulties are enormous and his opinion is that evolution is incapable of solving the design problems involved. For an evolutionary process these efficiently geared and motorised systems should be beyond any serious hope of realisation. That these are considered possible is an example of how the mind of mankind, even at its most intuitive and finely tuned, can still be blinded by faith. Faith in a process that can create out of nothing biological machines capable of performances that dwarf anything man can make. And this is not at the peak of evolutionary attainment, on the contrary it is at the lowest levels, right at the very beginning of what can be described as life on earth. Rule a Creator God out as an explanatory source and there are consequences. Science is made to look like an ape with a piece of wood, pondering how to make a violin for his mate, and a wheelbarrow for himself. We all know this cannot be done however many billions of years are available. I suggest this is even more obvious in relation to evolution and these molecular machines.

The video below is about the rotary motors, called flagella which power these bacteria at such speeds through their liquid environments.

 

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