News from various sources

NATURE’S STEALTH FLYERS

According to Science Daily (6th November 2018) some moths have “developed types of ‘stealth coating' that serve as acoustic camouflage to evade hungry bats.” Researcher Thomas Neil of the University of Bristol believes this “could contribute to the development of biomimetic materials for ultrathin sound absorbers and other noise-control devices.” This coating consists of fur on the moth’s thorax. Many moths are deaf, but Thomas Neil said, "The thorax fur of moths acts as a lightweight porous sound absorber, facilitating acoustic camouflage and offering a significant survival advantage against bats." It is claimed that moths  have “evolved [these] passive defenses over millions of years to resist their primary predators.”

COMMENT: Human engineers began to develop stealth technologies in the 1950s. Perfecting this involved lots of intelligence. The moths’ superior system could never have evolved gradually over millions of years.


“GO TO THE ANT”!

Science Daily (5th November 2018) reported how scientists at the University of Colorado have been studying how Fire Ants clump together to form bridges, ladders and rafts (right). A raft may comprise as many as 100,000 of these insects, and this enables them to escape floods. They follow “statistical rules” to achieve these feats. Scientists hope to use this information to help them develop better molecular machines and swarming robots. Researcher Shankar Lalitha Sridhar said that fire ants are "a bio-inspiration," and that the goal is "to mimic what they do by figuring out the rules.” Although “they've only just scratched the surface of the mathematics of fire ant colonies… their calculations are general enough that researchers can already begin using them to explore designs for new dynamic networks, including molecular machines that deliver drugs directly to cells.”

COMMENT: These scientists are — perhaps unknowingly — taking the advice of Scripture: “Got to the ant… consider its ways and be wise!” (Proverbs 6: 6). The amazing instinct by which these tiny insects perform these feats has a mathematical basis, which must have come from God — the supreme Mathematician!


MODERN LUNGS IN BIRD FOSSIL

Live Science (19th October 2018) reported that scientists have found what they believe are fossilised lungs in a “120-million-year-old” bird called Archaeorhynchus (left). “Ancient organs rarely fossilize, so paleontologists were stunned to find the incredibly well-preserved remains of a lung that belonged to a bird from the dinosaur age.” It had “exquisitely preserved feathers, including a unique pintail that isn't seen in any other Cretaceous bird, but is common in birds nowadays.” The lungs resembled those of modern birds. According to the researchers, “The finding reveals that the lung structures in early birds are similar to the lungs of modern birds.”

COMMENT: We don’t accept the dating of this fossil, but it does support the view that birds have always had their unique respiratory system since they were created.


DANDELION SEEDS’ “CHARMING” FLIGHT

Science News (17th October 2018) reported that scientists have discovered a new way of moving through the air — by studying dandelion seeds! “Dandelion seed flight is… utterly charming, yet inexplicable when it comes to physics — until now. When a gust of wind plucks a seed from the plant’s fuzzy head, a fluffy structure called the pappus keeps the seed aloft before it ultimately falls to the ground. The structure, which extends from the seed, is made up of tiny hairlike filaments, making it mostly empty space.” Naomi Nakayama, a biophysicist at the University of Edinburgh, said, “It’s a weird structure. Nobody really knew how it could fly.” Using high-speed video and mathematical simulations they have found that “the way the dandelion moves through air is four times as efficient at generating drag — and therefore fighting against gravity — as a more parachute-like structure would be.

COMMENT: Next time you blow away the seeds of a dandelion, remember that scientists have only just discovered how and why the seeds fly so efficiently.


OUR SUN SHINES!

“Many sunlike stars are eerie clones, but ours is an individual.” reported Science News (3rd August 2018). “A study of solar twins reveals that the sun’s chemical makeup is surprisingly different from that of its nearby peers, while those stars are almost identical to one another.” A team at the Flatiron Institute Center for Computational Astrophysics in New York found that the sun’s elements come in subtly different proportions. “For example, the sun is missing about four Earth masses worth of rocks and metals — the very elements that the planets are made of.” This is a puzzle to them, because they believe that “stars and their planets form from the same original cloud of gas and dust.”

COMMENT: There is another possibility that these scientists have not considered: that our sun and the planets did not evolve from a mass of similar material, but were created as the Bible says.


E.T. MAY BE EXTINCT!

According to Scientific American (27th September 2018), the reason why we have not found alien civilisations is that they may be already dead. Astronomer Abraham Loeb of Harvard University, writes: “The rate of growth of new technologies is often proportional to past knowledge, leading to an exponential advance over time. This explosive process implies that very quickly after a civilization reaches technological maturity, it will develop the means for its own destruction through climate change, for example, or nuclear, biological or chemical weapons… When exploring habitable worlds around other stars, we might therefore find planets with burnt-up surfaces, abandoned mega-structures or planetary atmospheres rich with poisonous gases and no sign of life.”

COMMENT: Belief in E. T. life is based on the false assumption that life will arise if conditions  are right. However, there is no evidence that this happened on earth, so why expect it to happen elsewhere? The most likely explanation for the failure to find aliens is that they don’t exist, and never have!


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