The two mechanisms of colouration in animals are pigmentation and highly periodic ultrastructure. Whiteness requires an aperiodic ultrastructure so that incident sunlight can be scattered. Material scientists have recognised this need for scattering and have produced surface coatings with the appropriate ultrastructure to yield high whiteness. Recent studies of the unusually brilliant white beetle Cyphochilus reveals that the thickness of the scattering layer is only 5 micrometers, at least two orders of magnitude thinner than man-made coatings with the same degree of whiteness. The scales of the beetle contain a sparse, random network of cuticular filaments that are optimal for the efficient scattering of light. Senior author Peter Vukusic commented that were the filaments crowded more or crowded less, the whiteness would be reduced: "It's a fine line, but this beetle seems to have achieved a good compromise." This research points the way to a new generation of thin optically white materials.
We hear arguments from Darwinists that design in nature is "cobbled together" by the unguided processes of mutation and natural selection. However, whilst a few examples of darwinian design appear convincing, most are definitely not! The discipline of biomimetics is testimony to exquisite design in nature, giving inspiration to scientists and engineers for innovative new materials and products. Intelligent agency is the rationale for exquisite design, just as the "blind watchmaker" is the rationale for "cobbled-together" design.
Brilliant Whiteness in Ultrathin Beetle Scales
Pete Vukusic, Benny Hallam, and Joe Noyes
Science 315, 19 January 2007: 348.
Abstract: The colored appearances of animals are controlled by pigmentation, highly periodic ultrastructure, or a combination of both. Whiteness, however, is less common and is generated by neither of these, because it requires scattering processes appropriate for all visible wavelengths. We report whiteness resulting from a three-dimensional photonic solid in the scales of Cyphochilus spp. beetles. Their scales are characterized by their exceptional whiteness, their perceived brightness, and their optical brilliance, but they are only 5 micrometers thick. This thickness is at least two orders of magnitude thinner than common synthetic systems designed for equivalent-quality whiteness.
See also: Cartwright, J., Tropical beetle has the brightest whites, PhysicsWeb, Jan 18 2007.
This essay has images of the beetle, the internal structure of the scales, and an image of several beetles to demonstrate the unusual whiteness of Cyphochilus.
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Evolution has become a favorite topic of the news media recently, but for some reason, they never seem to get the story straight. The staff at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture started this Blog to set the record straight and make sure you knew "the rest of the story".
A blogger from New England offers his intelligent reasoning.
We are a group of individuals, coming from diverse backgrounds and not speaking for any organization, who have found common ground around teleological concepts, including intelligent design. We think these concepts have real potential to generate insights about our reality that are being drowned out by political advocacy from both sides. We hope this blog will provide a small voice that helps rectify this situation.
Website dedicated to comparing scenes from the "Inherit the Wind" movie with factual information from actual Scopes Trial. View 37 clips from the movie and decide for yourself if this movie is more fact or fiction.
Don Cicchetti blogs on: Culture, Music, Faith, Intelligent Design, Guitar, Audio
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Most guys going through midlife crisis buy a convertible. Austrialian Stephen E. Jones went back to college to get a biology degree and is now a proponent of ID and common ancestry.
Complete zipped downloadable pdf copy of David Stove's devastating, and yet hard-to-find, critique of neo-Darwinism entitled "Darwinian Fairytales"
Intelligent Design The Future is a multiple contributor weblog whose participants include the nation's leading design scientists and theorists: biochemist Michael Behe, mathematician William Dembski, astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, philosophers of science Stephen Meyer, and Jay Richards, philosopher of biology Paul Nelson, molecular biologist Jonathan Wells, and science writer Jonathan Witt. Posts will focus primarily on the intellectual issues at stake in the debate over intelligent design, rather than its implications for education or public policy.
A Philosopher's Journey: Political and cultural reflections of John Mark N. Reynolds. Dr. Reynolds is Director of the Torrey Honors Institute at