Theory of Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

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Biomimetics

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1 Biomimetics on Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:51 pm

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Biomimetics

http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1520-biomimetics

The evidence of the imitation
1. The hard work of the scientists to find and make the complex designs of nature is seeing and imitating the creation of the first creator who already created everything perfectly long time ago.
2. Thus, God the primeval supreme designer exists.

The smart money is on biomimetics, a hot new trend built on intelligent design principles, assuming, as it does, that nature's designs are so good they are worth imitating. If any investors want to send even a small portion of Lonsdale's promised funding to support biomimetics projects or intelligent design organizations, such as Biologic Institute, Discovery Institute or Illustra Media, they can rest assured it won't take 150 years to show some returns.

Darwins Theory, did it bring any good in scientific research ?
http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1647-darwins-theory-did-it-bring-any-good-in-scientific-research

Daniel Sinclair 
Evolutionary biology contributes nothing to medicine. Comparative biology? Sure. Scientific method? Yep. Information science? Yep. So I'd say everyone who uses these latter methods are more compatible with IDers than Darwiners. 



http://biomimicry.net/about/biomimicry38/institute/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomimetics

http://www.intechopen.com/books/advances-in-biomimetics

http://harunyahya.com/en/Books/3864/biomimetics-technology-imitates-nature

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/06/millions_to_cha_1061231.html

If Gods design is that bad, why do we imitate it always more ?







See how much brainpower was required to program and make these robots. In the natural world however, according to proponents of naturalism, the required coordination and invention of four leg walking was due just to random natural forces..... LOL....



Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, pp. 116–117....

there is enough information capacity in a single human cell to store the Encyclopaedia Britannica, all 30 volumes of it, three or four times over. ... There is enough storage capacity in the DNA of a single lily seed or a single salamander sperm to store the Encyclopaedia Britannica 60 times over. Some species of the unjustly called ‘primitive’ amoebas have as much information in their DNA as 1,000 Encyclopaedia Britannicas.


Suddenly, It's OK to Say that Owls Are Engineered

News from Lehigh University tells about a mechanical engineer who recognizes a good engineering design when he sees it. Case in point: the owl.

   These majestic birds, whose wingspans can be as long as a middle-schooler is tall, are a force to be reckoned with in the animal kingdom. Large owls, like the snowy owl, the great horned owl and the great gray owl, are silent hunters, giving them a predatory advantage over hawks and eagles, which depend on speed to catch prey.

   Understanding how these large birds swoop noiselessly, says Justin Jaworski (pictured above), an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics, may help engineers create quieter airplanes, wind turbines and underwater vehicles. (Emphasis added.)

Snowy owls, you may be aware, have been turning up in unexpected places of late and making headlines. Something to do with the frosty weather.

Jaworski points out three physical features of owls that allow them to hunt silently: (1) the leading edge of the wing "is made of stiff, evenly spaced, mostly aerodynamic fibers that reduce noise." (2) The upper surface of the wing is very fluffy, creating a buffer layer that reduces sound. It's organized fluff: "When examined under a microscope, said Jaworski, this structure looks like vertical strings with interlocking barbs at their tops." (3) The trailing feathers on the wing are flexible, reducing noise substantially.

Looking at the "elegant owl wing" with an engineer's eye leads to scientific understanding:

   "The trailing back edge is the predominant noise source for any blade that passes through the air -- not only the owl, but also aircraft and wind turbines," says Jaworski. "If you can eliminate the noise there you can have a lot of benefits.

   "To be sure, you want to look at all three of these features in concert. We're trying to understand, or at least to model in a useful way, each of these features in turn, and then see how they interact with each other."

With two other engineers, Jaworski is already working on designs for quieter blades for windmill farms, imitating the features of the owl's wing. "Commercial aircraft could also benefit from owl wing research," we learn. It's not clear how unguided processes of evolution could have arrived at this ideal combination of noise-reducing traits.

There's something about design thinking that inspires emotions. Jaworski is "excited about the progress he and his team are making." The source of the excitement is evident from this comment by Jaworski: "The more closely you look at owl feathers, the more amazing they reveal themselves to be."
Extreme strength observed in limpet teeth

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31500883

Engineers in the UK have found that limpets' teeth consist of the strongest biological material ever tested. Limpets use a tongue bristling with tiny teeth to scrape food off rocks and into their mouths, often swallowing particles of rock in the process. The teeth are made of a mineral-protein composite, which the researchers tested in tiny fragments in the laboratory. They found it was stronger than spider silk, as well as all but the very strongest of man-made materials. The findings, published in the Royal Society's journal Interface, suggest that the secret to the material's strength is the thinness of its tightly packed mineral fibres - a discovery that could help improve the man-made composites used to build aircraft, cars and boats, as well as dental fillings.

Prof Asa Barber discussing the research on Today
"Biology is a great source of inspiration as an engineer," said the study's lead author Prof Asa Barber, of the University of Portsmouth.

"These teeth are made up of very small fibres, put together in a particular way - and we should be thinking about making our own structures following the same design principles."

'Better than Kevlar'
Those fibres, consisting of an iron-based mineral called goethite, are laced through a protein base in much the same way as carbon fibres can be used to strengthen plastic.
The teeth themselves are less than a millimetre long, but Prof Barber and his colleagues ground 10 of them into a minuscule dog-bone shape in order to precisely measure the composite's tensile strength: the amount of force it can withstand before breaking.

http://rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/12/105/20141326

The teeth of limpets exploit distinctive composite nanostructures consisting of high volume fractions of reinforcing goethite nanofibres within a softer protein phase to provide mechanical integrity when rasping over rock surfaces during feeding. The tensile strength of discrete volumes of limpet tooth material measured using in situ atomic force microscopy was found to range from 3.0 to 6.5 GPa and was independent of sample size. These observations highlight an absolute material tensile strength that is the highest recorded for a biological material, outperforming the high strength of spider silk currently considered to be the strongest natural material, and approaching values comparable to those of the strongest man-made fibres. This considerable tensile strength of limpet teeth is attributed to a high mineral volume fraction of reinforcing goethite nanofibres with diameters below a defect-controlled critical size, suggesting that natural design in limpet teeth is optimized towards theoretical strength limits.



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2 Re: Biomimetics on Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:50 am

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Janine Benyus: 12 sustainable design ideas from nature

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n77BfxnVlyc

Bats inspire 'micro air vehicle' designs: Small flying vehicles, complete with flapping wings, may now be designed

By exploring how creatures in nature are able to fly by flapping their wings, Virginia Tech researchers hope to apply that knowledge toward designing small flying vehicles known as "micro air vehicles" with flapping wings.

More than 1,000 species of bats have hand membrane wings, meaning that their fingers are essentially "webbed" and connected by a flexible membrane. But understanding how bats use their wings to manipulate the air around them is extremely challenging -- primarily because both experimental measurements on live creatures and the related computer analysis are quite complex.

In Virginia Tech's study of fruit bat wings, the researchers used experimental measurements of the movements of the bats' wings in real flight, and then used analysis software to see the direct relationship between wing motion and airflow around the bat wing. They report their findings in the journal Physics of Fluids.

"Bats have different wing shapes and sizes, depending on their evolutionary function. Typically, bats are very agile and can change their flight path very quickly -- showing high maneuverability for midflight prey capture, so it's of interest to know how they do this," explained Danesh Tafti, the William S. Cross professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the High Performance Computational Fluid Thermal Science and Engineering Lab at Virginia Tech.

To give you an idea of the size of a fruit bat, it weighs roughly 30 grams and a single fully extended wing is about 17 x 9 cm in length, according to Tafti.

Among the biggest surprises in store for the researchers was how bat wings manipulated the wing motion with correct timing to maximize the forces generated by the wing. "It distorts its wing shape and size continuously during flapping," Tafti noted.

For example, it increases the area of the wing by about 30 percent to maximize favorable forces during the downward movement of the wing, and it decreases the area by a similar amount on the way up to minimize unfavorable forces. The force coefficients generated by the wing are "about two to three times greater than a static airfoil wing used for large airplanes," said Kamal Viswanath, a co-author who was a graduate research assistant working with Tafti when the work was performed and is now a research engineer at the U.S. Naval Research Lab's Laboratories for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics.

This study was just an initial step in the researchers' work. "Next, we'd like to explore deconstructing the seemingly complex motion of the bat wing into simpler motions, which is necessary to make a bat-inspired flying robot," said Viswanath. The researchers also want to keep the wing motion as simple as possible, but with the same force production as that of a real bat.

"We'd also like to explore other bat wing motions, such as a bat in level flight or a bat trying to maneuver quickly to answer questions, including: What are the differences in wing motion and how do they translate to air movement and forces that the bat generates? And finally, how can we use this knowledge to control the flight of an autonomous flying vehicle?" Tafti added.



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3 Fine-tuning photosynthesis on Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:54 pm

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Fine-tuning photosynthesis

The hope, being pursued by various research teams around the world, is to be able to eventually produce synthetic chemical systems that mimic nature’s process of photosynthesis and thereby produce a more efficient way of harnessing the sun’s energy than today’s photovoltaic panels, and that can be used to produce some kind of fuel that can be stored and used when needed, eliminating the intermittency problems of solar power.

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4 Re: Biomimetics on Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:26 pm

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bulletproof skin made from spider silk proteins and human skin cells

in collaboration with the forensic genomics consortium netherlands (FGCN), dutch artist jalila essaïdi has developed a material able to repel a moving bullet –
dubbed ‘bulletproof skin’. through seeding spider silk – proportionately many times stronger than steel and made by transgenic goats and worms –
with human skin cells, essaïdi created a new tissue able to stop ammunition fired at a reduced speed. the title of the project – ‘2.6g 329m/s’ –
references the maximum weight (2.6g) and velocity (329m/s) of a .22 calibre long rifle bullet from which a type 1 bulletproof vest should protect you.
though the experiments fell short of surviving a shot at normal speed from the .22 caliber rifle, the project prompts dialogue not only on the future
advantages of exploring new knowledge and materials within biotechnological research, but also the social, political, ethical and cultural issues
surrounding the concept of safety.

for essaïdi, the result of the ‘bulletproof’-skin being pierced or not was not the most important issue.

‘with this work I want to show that safety in its broadest sense is a relative concept, and hence the term bulletproof. even with the ‘bulletproof’-skin
being pierced by the faster bullet the experiment is in my view still a success. the art project is based on and leads to a debate on the question
‘which forms of safety are socially important? and last but not least the project leads to aesthetically very impressing and fascinating results.‘

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5 In search of nature’s camouflage on Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:20 am

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In search of nature’s camouflage

scientists at Harvard University and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) hope that gaining a new understanding of a natural photonic device that enables a small sea animal to change its colors dynamically will inspire development of improved camouflage for soldiers on battlefields.

The cuttlefish, known as the “chameleon of the sea,” can rapidly alter both the color and pattern of its skin, helping it blend in with its surroundings and avoid predators. In a paper to be published tomorrow in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the Harvard-MBL team reports new details on the sophisticated biomolecular nanophotonic system underlying the cuttlefish’s color-changing ways.

“Nature solved the riddle of adaptive camouflage a long time ago,” said Kevin Kit Parker, Tarr Family Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard. “Now, the challenge is to reverse-engineer this system in a cost-efficient, synthetic system that is amenable to mass manufacturing.”

In addition to textiles for military camouflage, the findings could also have applications in materials for paints, cosmetics, and consumer electronics.

The cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) is a cephalopod, like squid and octopuses. Neurally controlled, pigmented organs called chromatophores allow it to change its appearance in response to visual cues, but scientists have had an incomplete understanding of the biological, chemical, and optical functions that make this adaptive coloration possible.

To regulate its color, the cuttlefish relies on a vertically arranged assembly of three optical components: the leucophore, a near-perfect light scatterer that reflects it uniformly over the entire visible spectrum; the iridophore, a reflector containing a stack of thin films; and the chromatophore. This layering enables the skin of the animal to selectively absorb or reflect light of different colors, said coauthor Leila F. Deravi, a research associate in bioengineering at SEAS.

“Chromatophores were previously considered to be pigmentary organs that acted simply as selective color filters,” Deravi said. “But our results suggest that they play a more complex role; they contain luminescent protein nanostructures that enable the cuttlefish to make quick and elaborate changes in its skin pigmentation.”

When the cuttlefish actuates its coloration system, each chromatophore expands. The surface area can change as much as 500 percent. The Harvard-MBL team showed that within the chromatophore, tethered pigment granules regulate light through absorbance, reflection, and fluorescence, in effect functioning as nanoscale photonic elements, even as the chromatophore changes in size.

“The cuttlefish uses an ingenious approach to materials composition and structure, one that we have never employed in our engineered displays,” said coauthor Evelyn Hu, Tarr-Coyne Professor of Applied Physics and of Electrical Engineering at SEAS. “It is extremely challenging for us to replicate the mechanisms that the cuttlefish uses. For example, we cannot yet engineer materials that have the elasticity to expand 500 percent in surface area. And were we able to do that, the richness of color of the expanded and unexpanded material would be dramatically different. Think of stretching and shrinking a balloon. The cuttlefish may have found a way to compensate for this change in richness of color by being an ‘active’ light emitter (fluorescent), not simply modulating light through passive reflection.”

The team also included Roger Hanlon and his colleagues at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. Hanlon’s lab has examined adaptive coloration in the cuttlefish and other invertebrates for many years.

“Cuttlefish skin is unique for its dynamic patterning and speed of change,” Hanlon said. “Deciphering the relative roles of pigments and reflectors in soft, flexible skin is a key step to translating the principles of actuation to materials science and engineering. This collaborative project expanded our breadth of inquiry and uncovered several useful surprises, such as the tether system that connects the individual pigment granules.”

Parker is an Army reservist who completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan, so using the cuttlefish to find a biologically inspired design for new types of military camouflage carries special meaning for him. Poor camouflage patterns can cost lives on the battlefield.

“Throughout history, people have dreamed of having an ‘invisible suit,’” Parker said. “Nature God ( lets correct that )  solved that problem, and now it’s up to us to replicate this genius, so, like the cuttlefish, we can avoid our predators.”

In addition to Parker, Hu, Hanlon, and Deravi, the co-authors of the “Interface” paper are Andrew P. Magyar, a former postdoctoral student in Hu’s group; Sean P. Sheehy, a graduate student in Parker’s group; and George R.R. Bell, Lydia M. Mäthger, Stephen L. Senft, Trevor J. Wardill, and Alan M. Kuzirian, who work with Hanlon in the Program in Sensory Physiology and Behavior at the MBL.

The work was supported in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center at Harvard, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the NSF-supported Harvard Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

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6 Re: Biomimetics on Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:32 am

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You Won’t Believe These Designs

http://darwins-god.blogspot.com.br/2012/12/biomimetics-learning-from-biology.html

What happens when engineers look at biology? Unlike evolutionists, they see designs for all kinds of useful applications. “Biomimicry,” explains one article, “is an incredibly productive technique.”

There are the butterflies whose colorful wings arise from fine scales and ridges creating optical interference, a technology used in low-power video displays. And there is the mosquito's proboscis—its needle that we can barely feel because it is highly serrated. Now we have serrated hypodermic needles that are much less painful.

Termites build mounds that have incredible temperature control. They maintain 87 degrees with a system of vents, drawing air from the ground, which the termites open and close as needed. Now architects are using the same principles for better building designs.

The lotus plant is self-cleaning. Water rolls off its waxy leaves due to its tiny bumps which leave no room for droplets to accumulate. Dirt is picked up by the water rather than sticking to the leaf, a design now used in self-cleaning materials including windows and high-voltage power equipment.

Humpback whales have bumps on their flippers which would seem to create more drag but they actually work better, with a third less drag than smooth versions. Now you can see bumps on turbine and fan blades that are 20 percent more efficient.

The list goes on and on. The skin of sea cucumbers, which can rapidly stiffen, inspired a plastic that can switch from a stiff to a pliable state in seconds. The odd shape of the boxfish is surprisingly efficient and inspired a new automobile design. Rodents self-sharpening teeth inspired a new blade design that is self-sharpening. The amazing gecko feet, which provide strong adhesion via the weakest of forces (the van der Waals forces) inspired the Ghecko Tape and Geckskin, which can hold up 700 pound objects.

Biomimicry works not only because nature is chocked full of incredibly effective and efficient designs, but because so many of these designs are clever and non intuitive. We never would have thought of these designs. The sheer creativity evident in biology is far more striking than its incredible high functionality. Meanwhile evolutionists still can’t figure out why their theory keeps failing.

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7 Re: Biomimetics on Mon May 05, 2014 5:17 pm

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http://sciencenordic.com/top-10-best-copies-nature-part-1

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2918599/

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-20465982

A US start-up has turned to nature to help bring water to arid areas by drawing moisture from the air.

NBD Nano aims to mimic the way a beetle survives in an African desert to create a self-filling water bottle capable of storing up to three litres every hour.

The insect harvests moisture from the air by first getting it to condense on its back and then storing the water.

Using nature as an inspiration for technology, known as biomimicry, is increasingly widespread.

NBD Nano, which consists of four recent university graduates and was formed in May, looked at the Namib Desert beetle that lives in a region that gets about half an inch of rainfall per year.

Using a similar approach, the firm wants to cover the surface of a bottle with hydrophilic (water-attracting) and hydrophobic (water-repellent) materials.

The work is still in its early stages, but it is the latest example of researchers looking at nature to find inspiration for sustainable technology.

"It was important to apply [biomimicry] to our design and we have developed a proof of concept and [are] currently creating our first fully-functional prototype," Miguel Galvez, a co-founder, told the BBC.

"We think our initial prototype will collect anywhere from half a litre of water to three litres per hour, depending on local environments."
Continue reading the main story
Natural Managed

The founders want to use a fan to get the surrounding air to pass over the surface of the bottle. The air would then condense and get stored inside the device.

"Dry places like the Atacama Desert or Gobi Desert don't have access to a lot of sources of water," said Mr Galvez.

"So if we're creating [several] litres per day in a cost-effective manner, you can get this to a community of people in Sub-Saharan Africa and other dry regions of the world. And if you can do it cheaply enough, then you can really create an impact on the local environment."

About three billion people on Earth - almost one in two - live in water-scarce conditions, with demand growing drastically, while supply remains constant, according to the World Health Organization.
Energy efficiency

In some countries, condensation devices on rooftops already harvest water from the air - but these technologies consume large amounts of energy to produce small amounts of water.

NBD Nano's prototype seems to be more energy-efficient, but it still would not be able to satisfy the needs of an entire community, Erik Harvey from WaterAid charity told the BBC.

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9 Discovery Of Design: Biomimicry in Nature on Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:03 pm

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http://www.discoveryofdesign.com/id39.html

Sea Mouse à Nanowire


The sea mouse lives at the bottom of northern seas. Actually a worm, the creature’s name results from its furry appearance. The size of a thumb, the sea mouse is covered with many thousands of crystalline fibers called setae. These strands shimmer with iridescent colors as they reflect sunlight which filters downward hundreds of feet.


The setae are about 100 nanometers in diameter. This is about four millionths of an inch, several times smaller than a human hair. In addition, the sea mouse fibers are hollow tubes. Researchers in Finland and Norway have successfully used these fibers in a valuable high tech application. A fiber is taken from the animal and a charged gold electrode is placed at one end. Charged metal atoms, either copper or nickel, are then passed through the hollow channel where they are attracted to the gold on the opposite end. In time, the entire tube is filled with the metal atoms, resulting in an ultra fine strand called a nanowire.


The properties of these microscopic wires are in the experimental stage, and are proving invaluable for linking components in tiny electronic circuits. This application includes micro health sensors placed within the human body. Nanowires have been an ongoing challenge to fabricate and the sea mouse provides us with an efficient method. Of special advantage, the sea mouse fibers are found to be very durable, withstanding manipulation and electronic exposure without deterioration. The setae also result in nanowires up to an inch in length, one hundred times longer than alternative fabrication methods. Continued exploration of nature will uncover countless other practical ideas and applications, placed there at the beginning for our benefit by the Creator.

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If Nature's Designs Weren't So Good, Engineers Wouldn't Be Rushing to Imitate Them

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/07/if_natures_desi087361.html

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Who is the architect of the coconut ? 

Biomimetics is gaining traction in mainstream scientific research. Coconuts are able to survive even falling from heights almost unscathed, which is also due to its shape: But when they fall   in extreme cases from up to 30 meters tall coconut trees, the shell of the hard growths is usually hardly damaged. That makes biological sense, because only then  a seedling can drive out of the fruit, from which a new tree is created. What makes the palm fruit, which is not allocated to the nuts from a botanical perspective, but belongs to the family of stone fruit, so hard? And how can you take advantage of the architecture of the excellent static properties?

This  interested a group of researchers from Freiburg, Stuttgart and Tübingen. For the long-term project "Biological Design and Integrative Structures - Analysis, Simulation and Implementation in Architecture" they analyzed biomechanics along with architects, engineers and material scientists the structure of the coconut shell.

"By micrographs and CT scans, we have accurate insights gained in the endocarp structure," says biologist Stefanie Schmier of the University of Freiburg. The fruit was exceptionally well able to withstand impact forces. This was made possible primarily by the special design of woody cells, the cell walls are very thick. Moreover, it is in the so-called stone cells not to thin-walled hollow structures, but their thick cell walls consist of several layers high mechanical strength materials "


Transport of heat and mass in natural porous materials with graded structure: from functional properties of plant tissues towards customised construction materials 1

Its remarkable that a mainstream scientific website carries as title " Biological design and integrative structures "

Plants have developed an amazing resistance to various weather conditions. This is particularly evident when regarding frost-resistant plants, which are able to withstand many freezing and thawing cycles without any damage. Since plant tissues are formed by highly ordered arrangements of single cells with prescribed size, shape and cell-wall properties, they represent graded (anisotropic) natural porous materials. These structural traits are involved in dealing with frost events. In contrast, a phase change of the pore-water content within standard construction materials from water to ice frequently leads to damage, typically caused by repeated thawing and freezing cycles associated with volume changes of the pore water.
Since plants have developed individual strategies to adapt to various circumstances, it is the goal of this proposal to transfer some of these properties to industrially feasible, porous construction materials. Our intention is to obtain optimal building-physical properties with regard to frost resistance, thermal isolation and moisture transport in heterogeneous porous structures. To achieve this goal, several steps are necessary. Firstly, suitable frost-hardy plant species and plant parts, such as wood, must be selected. Secondly, distinct physical processes occurring within the microstructure of these plants must be studied via experiments under various temperature and moisture conditions. In this regard, interferences by metabolic processes must be reduced via the elimination of the influence of living cells. Thirdly, these experiments must be analysed in terms of damage, deformation of cells and tissues and the distribution of ice and gas spaces both qualitatively and quantitatively. In addition to these strategies, an accompanying customised modelling strategy is needed to integrate the functional behaviour of plants, i. e. their mass- and heat-transport properties, into a continuum-mechanical modelling approach. In this regard, standard continuum-mechanical models have to be extended for the description of the processes occurring in multicomponent tissue aggregates. In particular, the microstructural architecture of the solid skeleton under study and the phase-transition processes of pore water play a crucial role. To include all these features in a continuum-mechanical setting, we will proceed from the Theory of Porous Media (TPM) providing a suitable methodological framework for multicomponent and multi-physical continua. The development of a meaningful theoretical basis will furthermore enable a numerical investigation, which might clarify the involved processes and aid their detailed study. Finally, the identified functional properties will be transferred to customised construction materials in the subsequent funding periods. Therefore, the development of appropriate strategies for the transfer of these functions to industrially produced materials is required. This will allow a serial design of artificially created porous materials for specific conditions.

1. http://www.trr141.de/index.php/research-areas-2/research-areas/

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12 Re: Biomimetics on Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:37 am

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Hey, ‘Science Guy’ Bill Nye: Come Out of the Ark and Face the Flood of Evidence Against Darwinism

https://stream.org/bill-nye-science-guy-come-ark-face-flood-evidence-darwinism/

As a former Boeing engineer, he describes in his book the considerable effort that went into developing those turned-up tips on the ends of aircraft wings, called winglets. In the testing stages, winglets did more harm than good until the concept went through many rounds of revision. But after “countless hours of research and development” a beneficial winglet design finally emerged, after which these perfected winglets quickly became a standard feature of commercial jets. Barn owls have winglets too, but in this case Nye assures us “there is no evidence that they were deliberately designed.” Natural selection caused owl winglets to be invented by accident, Nye assures us. Humans design in a top-down way, where the low-level details are worked out in order to meet the top-level objective, but according to Nye, “nature works the other way around.”

Owl wings provide example for airplanes

http://www.dw.com/en/owl-wings-provide-example-for-airplanes/a-15865704

Engineers are trying to learn how owls fly through the night without making a sound. Their wings could serve as models for quieter planes, turbines, or air-conditioning systems.



Bionics is the technical term for a field of research where scientists try to emulate nature. Owls are among the animals that have much to teach mankind. It is fascinating, say the scientists from the RWTH Aachen University, how the birds of prey fly without making any sound when they're hunting.




Thomas Bachmann has found out why owls are so quiet when they fly "Owls hunt at night, when visual information is very limited," explains biologist Thomas Bachmann. "That's why owls have specialized in detecting their prey with their ears. And that can only work when they fly quietly." When analyzing the aerodynamics of an owl's flight, Bachmann noticed that barn owls weigh almost as much as pigeons, but their wings are considerably larger and more cupped. "This enables the bird to maximize uplift in fairly low speed," Bachmann says. Pigeons have to flap their wings considerably more and can therefore be heard from far away. But owls, on the other hand, hardly produce any friction between their feathers – and consequently, they produce less sound.




Small hooks on the wing's leading edge cause microturbulences Soft fluff produces shark effect Owl feathers vary in the way they're designed, too: On their leading edge, the wings have fine hooks and the feathers' surface is very soft, and this combination produces micro turbulences on the wings' surface.




Fringes on the wing-tips make for a smoother air current These microturbulences make sure that the air current stays on the owls' wings – in a similar way sharks' rough skin helps them glide through water without much friction. Owl feathers also have fringes on their tips which serve two purposes. They reduce the sound because the feathers overlap more smoothly, and the air currents from both the wings' top and bottom side behind the wings meet more smoothly. Storks as models for big jets Of course owls' wing characteristics cannot simply be adapted for building planes – after all, owls only fly at a speed of ten to fifteen kilometers per hour when they're hunting – but engineers could apply the physical principles for fans, wind turbines, or other turbines. Other birds' wings have already significantly influenced plane construction. Adding so-called winglets has meant that some commercial aircraft have less of a wake vortex – whirlwinds which can cause kilometers of heavy turbulence behind a jet plane, slowing planes down.
Engineers copied the winglets of vultures, eagles and storks. "You can see that these birds' feathers lift one after the other, and the winglets on the tip of every feather detach themselves, and this reduces the wing's resistance," explains Bachmann. 



Locating prey through asymetrical hearing
But owls can do more than fly without generating sound, adds the biologist. Their orientation happens almost entirely via their hearing system. The sounds are registered through the owl's face, and its asymmetrical ears – one points up, the other points down – help the bird recognize where the sound comes from.







One ear points up, the other down
This principle could serve as a model for video conferences, enabling the camera to always point at whoever is talking. "If somebody starts talking somewhere else the camera could turn there automatically," says Aachen-based biologist Hermann Wagner who analyses the barn owl's sensory system. Even if many conference participants talked at the same time, an owl-inspired steering system would still keep an overview. "Isolating sources is not easy, but barn owls are quite good at it. They know how to steer their focus," says Wagner, calling this the cocktail party effect: "At a cocktail party, where many people talk at the same time, we manage to listen to one person only. And barn owls are quite capable of doing the same."



Axe continues :  Why would an engineer be so quick to dismiss the lessons learned from engineering? If engineered aircraft winglets were at first worse than useless — “a waste of time and energy” — why be so quick to assume that a mindless and ruthlessly cost-cutting process like natural selection would be able to get over that hump? Engineers benefit from clear goals, dedicated research budgets, and the patience and foresight to stick with something that isn’t working at all, sensing that it will work. Those key ingredients of invention are completely absent from Darwin’s recipe for innovation. Whether essays or software or buildings, we never start a project without having thought about the objective. We always have a plan in mind, and while this plan may be revised as we work, we’re always working toward something. These plans of ours enable us to evaluate our work all along the way. Are we making good progress? If the answer is yes — judged with respect to the plan — then we’re motivated to double or efforts in anticipation of seeing the fruit of our labors. In this way we invest in our creations — pouring into them with the hope of future benefit.

Darwin’s blind evolutionary process has no way to do this. It has no ability to plan or to hope. Natural selection can’t labor in anticipation of future benefit. Instead, it goes with whatever works best now. The patience and foresight and insight we know to be absolutely essential for invention are completely absent from evolution. If things can’t be improved immediately, then they won’t be improved at all. We can dream up fanciful stories where amazing things happen though little Darwinian improvements, but the sober reality is that they are nothing more than that: fanciful stories.

Well explained, Douglas Axe !!

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