Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Method for Making New Technology from ID


In a number of arguments for ID, such as Dr. Meyer, Dr. Dembski and Dr. Behe, the writers argue that there appears to be intelligent design in nature because natural entities resemble human engineered products, and human engineered products are intelligently designed.

If we look at this relationship formally, then it looks like biological/natural entity -> human engineered object -> intelligent design.  However, what if we reverse the relationship so it looks like intelligent design -> human engineered artifact -> natural entity?  This means if intelligent design theory is true, then perhaps we can use human engineering to predict the kinds of functionality we will find in the natural world.

For instance, consider a city.  To make a functional city, a wide variety of important technologies are required: communication, transportation, plumbing, power plant, fuel, waste disposal, construction, health, etc.

Where might such a system reside within the biological world?  Perhaps the human body?  A human body is composed similarly to a city, and accomplishes a similar function, providing for its own wellbeing and maintenance.  We can look at the body and then look for the components we'd expect in a city.

"But, how does this give us new forms of technology?" you may ask.  Well, for one thing we can look at how the same functionality is implemented in the body and then attempt to reverse engineer it to improve our existing technology.  There is currently a technology company doing exactly this by reverse engineering the motor in the bacterial flagellum.  Our body contains much, much more than new kinds of motors, however.  It has instantaneous communication systems, extremely effective repair and construction systems, and is amazingly effectively at extracting and utilizing energy from food.

That is not all.  Furthermore, we can learn of new kinds of technology.  While our body shares similar systems with cities, it also has systems and capabilities we have not thought of before that equally apply to a city.  And this is where the real promise lies in the technique of learning from nature.

Here are a couple examples to get things started.
- While our cities today have a very limited utility system, the body not only distributes power and water, but the body also has a system of very decentralized manufacturing.  Today, we are rapidly nearing the point where people can manufacture objects within their homes.  The innovation within the body is there is also a resource utility system, such that the basic resources for manufacturing are distributed throughout the body.  The same could be done within cities.
- All the systems in the body are autonomously run and optimized by a central processing unit, to which our cities have no existing analog, but would be very useful.
- The body is maintained by what amount to robots.  While manning our cities with robots is not possible yet, the body presents a example on how it can be done.
- The body is able to turn its fuel waste into a form that can be recycled right back into fuel again.

It has been noted by a number of scientists that biological organisms appear to be phenomenally optimized for their particular function.  The technology in nature far exceeds any technology we have ever been able to create.  If we can perfect our ability to reverse engineer natural systems, our modern technology will grow by incredible leaps and bounds, since we can see from nature that we are only beginning to touch what is technologically possible.  There is an enormous wealth of technological innovation that is ours for the taking, to which we have been blinded ever since the industrial revolution by Darwinism and methodological naturalism.

However, with the introduction of Intelligent Design, our blinders have been removed.  Forget mining for gold and diamonds.  Forget pumping oil.  We have vast untapped quantities of the most valuable resource in our universe: CSI.

Still feeling skeptical?  Well, ask yourself what the greatest technological innovation has been of the past century that has revolutionized our entire world.  It is information technology.  But where has information technology existed since the beginning of life?  Why, within the very DNA and protein production that make up all organism.  Think how much sooner we could have invented computers if we'd only known where to look.

What untold other technologies are lying out in the natural world just waiting for us to discover them?  It is time to look for Intelligent Design!


  1. If scientists and engineers were able to replicate photosynthesis, the process of energy conversion that plants naturally do, we would have an incredible facility to harness energy.