Beetles Beat Us to Screws

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Beetles beat us to screws, according to articles in ScienceNOW and Science, vol. 333, p52 and New Scientist, 30 June 2011. Alexander Riedel of the State Museum of Natural History in Karlsruhe, Germany, and colleagues, are studying a group of weevils of the genus Trigonopterus and have discovered their legs are attached to their bodies by a structure that works like a screw and nut. The uppermost part of the leg, called the trochanter, has a spiral ridge which fits into a groove in the coxa – the part of the body where the legs attach. The trochanter can rotate like a screw in a nut. The screw thread extends for 410 degrees – more than one full rotation around the leg, although the beetle can only move its front legs through 90 degrees and its mid and hind legs through 130 degrees. The screw thread joint seems to give the beetle more flexibility for moving around on twigs and leaves, but is stronger than a ball and socket joint because it is harder to pull apart. The New Scientist article concludes with the comment: “The weevils are another example of evolution coming up with the same solutions to problems as human engineers. Bacteria had continuously rotating wheels long before we did, in the form of spinning ‘tails’ called flagella. It seems the weevils beat us to threaded screws and nuts”.

Editorial Comment: Now that’s how to really insult human engineers whom history tells us have come up with solutions to problems, only because they have minds that can analyse and understand the properties of matter and then apply that knowledge to a problem. The comparison between evolution and human engineers is a common one in popular science articles about structures in living things, but it is foolish to the point of absurdity. Evolution is a mindless process of chance random or naturalistic processes that involves no plan or design. Dawkins and Attenborough may be fooled by it, but rather hypocritically they still employ intelligent engineers to solve their mechanical problems.

Want to really give the put down to a human engineer? Then just go to print claiming a device the engineer designed and patented could have happened by chance random processes. You may end up in court for defaming his intelligence and his professional reputation, yet evolutionary biologists and science writers regularly insult the Creator God by claiming the many wondrous devices we see in living things required no design and have zero engineering. One day they will answer for such foolish claims. (Ref. mechanical engineering, arthropods, locomotion)

Evidence News 31 August 2011

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