Talk about inspiration! Everywhere they look in the biological world, scientists and engineers are finding marvelous designs that inspire new technology. In fact, this conscious imitation of nature has opened a whole new field of science, called biomimicry.
A new source of ideas for technology has invigorated industry: mimicking the “designs” in living things. Biomimetics (or biomimicry) is the official name for this new “life imitating” field of science. By copying the world around us, scientists believe they can find innovative solutions to almost any problem imaginable.
Biomimetics has already led to the development of technology as diverse as airplanes, Velcro, windshield wipers, and sharkskin swimsuits. Who knows what wonders await?
Biomimetics is often considered a branch of green science. By mimicking natural processes and products, a new generation of green technology is being born. Expecting to find all sorts of creative new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle, industrialists and governments are prepared to plunk down an estimated $300 billion (US) on biomimicry research over the next decade alone.
To see scientists looking to nature for technological ideas is a refreshing change of pace. The great accomplishments of the Age of Reason gave rise to a prevalent attitude that everything could be answered by the brute force of human intellect, given enough time. Scientists were heralded as the undisputed, unbiased masters of the world. People saw them as guarding the keys of the universe.
Scientists are now recognizing, more than ever before, the incredible and sustainable design in the world, and they want to dissect and replicate it. Their newfound humility is encouraging as they focus on understanding the world around them. Yet biomimicry only goes so far. Much of the time, scientists give evolution the credit for the exquisite designs, rather than the Creator who spoke the universe into existence. Despite their brilliance, many researchers honor the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25). God’s children, however, see a whole new layer of meaning in these developments, adding to the infinite number of reasons to give Him glory and praise.
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