Ear Inspires Radio Receiver

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Ear inspires radio receiver according to a report in New Scientist, 13 June 2009, p17. Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have made a computer chip “modelled on the human ear” that could be used in FM radios, cellphones, wireless internet devices and other electronic gadgets that receive radio-frequency signals. Human ears work by converting a wide range of sound waves frequencies to electric signals using a long row of hair cells that respond to different frequencies. These signals are then sent to the brain which interprets the signals from different hair cells as different sound frequencies. The MIT researchers built a “chip that creates an electromagnetic wave in response to radio frequencies. The wave activates a network of transistors that act like hair cells in the ear to reveal the wave’s frequency.” The ear-inspired chip can process frequencies ranging from 600 megahertz to 8 gigahertz.

Editorial Comment: This is another example of the burgeoning science of biomimetics – copying the way living things work in order to achieve a purpose. It took intelligence to understand how the ear works and understand radio waves. It took creative design and engineering to put the two together and apply them to other devices that were also the product of creative design. We still do not know everything about how the ear works, but we predict whatever else we learn about the ear, it will have more in common with engineering than with chance random processes. It is foolish to claim the ear got here by chance evolution when we know the ear-inspired device was created by clever designers and engineers. (Ref. electronics, hearing, transducers)

Evidence News, 26 May 2010

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