Some Biomimetics

And you thought we were finished with Chitin… Today’s DpSU is called Shrimp Shells Inspire New Biodegradable Material.

Chitin diagram

Harvard’s Wyss Institute specializes in designing new materials and devices that mimic patterns found in living things. Their latest contribution was inspired by the versatile material found in insect cuticle, which is strong and flexible, yet remarkably lightweight.

The result was “shrilk,” a moldable, biodegradable substance derived from shrimp shells and silk that is as strong as some aluminum alloys but only half their weight.

“Shrilk could be used to make trash bags, packaging, and diapers that degrade quickly,” according to a Wyss Institute press release.

You can see where he is going with this – if life can serve as inspiration for human design, mustn’t it be designed better than humans can, i.e. by God?

This is fallacious reasoning on two levels. For one, the process via which evolution operates is not the same as design, thus the comparison is irrelevant. See this old DpSU, if you haven’t already.

Additionally, if life is apparently designed better than we could do so, wouldn’t that only support the conclusion that design is not what is happening here?

There’s also a bit of Irreducible Complexity in the article as well, with B.T. claiming that you need the genes, the arrangement of the molecules and the meta-arrangement of the molecules for the whole system to work. An argument from personal incredulity, evidently – this particular instance of the IC argument isn’t really justified at all, it’s merely that Mr Thomas is unable to think of a way for the system to evolve.

From what I can tell from history, articles from the ICR thin out over the Christmas period. there may not be that many more DpSUs before the end of the year. If they’re this bad then that’s all for the good…

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One thought on “Some Biomimetics

  1. Pingback: Spiders Web Biomimicry « Eye on the ICR

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