All posts tagged Design

Wonderfully Made

 

Note: If you haven’t yet heard, we are excited to announce that we are pregnant and expecting our first child in June, 2014! We praise God for answering our prayers and giving us the blessing of children!

baby-6-months-illustThere is something mysterious and wonderful about having a baby growing inside of you. He or she is about the size of a pea pod now, and it still seems incredibly surreal. Pregnancy still felt like something my imagination had conjured up, until we got to have an ultrasound and hear our little one’s heartbeat. My teary eyes saw little arm and leg buds wiggling, and our amazed ears heard the whooshing of a tiny heart beating. We could see the silhouette of this little person inside my belly! If I could look inside now, I would see a little nose and other facial features, tiny arms with hands and fingers, and little legs. His or her joints are mostly formed, and small fingerprints are forming. And within my baby’s wee body ribs and vocal chords will soon be developing.  Bones are hardening.[1] This little person is looking like a baby!

When I consider all this, I marvel and am amazed at the design of our Creator God. Soon after we found out that we were expecting, my husband and I watched “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made,” a lecture by Dr. David Menton. This is an excellent explanation of how the many detailed stages of the reproduction process, from fertilization to delivery, are examples of design. There are countless mechanisms and processes of development that, if they developed gradually, would cause the death of either the mother or the baby. To say that the process of evolution slowly fixed the problems just doesn’t make sense in light of the disastrous effects of something being just a little bit wrong. In general, it happens so perfectly that it can only be attributed to a designer.

As I give thanks to my gracious God for the honor and privilege of caring for this tiny creation, I am reminded of the words of David in Psalm 139:

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.
 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.”

(Ps. 139:13-15)

To God be the glory, great things He has done

 

Aimee Mariani

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An Engineered Marvel in a Wall

 

Interior wasp nest in wall cavityOver the past few months I have been in the process of updating the windows in our older home (built in 1950), adding insulation in the wall cavities, and upgrading the electrical system. Apparently fuel for heating was very cheap back when the house was constructed, because the carpenters did not put any insulation in the walls. As you can imagine, it has been difficult and expensive to keep the house warm during the winter and cool during the summer.

To my surprise, I found in one small section of a wall where I was replacing a very old door, we did have a little insulation of sorts made out of paper – not manmade paper, but paper in the form of a wasp’s nest!

We have a lot of exterior wasp nests (not only the paper nests, but also mud nests) around our home, and every year I usually get stung once or twice during the summer season. Fortunately the wasp’s nest in the wall had been abandoned for some time, so I was not attacked by a horde of angry wasps.

Exterior wasp nestWhat was very interesting was the unique design of this ‘interior’ paper wasp nest compared to the ones hanging outside. The outside paper ones are usually in a cone shape. However, the ones in our walls were layered – each layer was constructed of hexagonal cells above and below, attached back to back. Between each layer were very thin and hard ‘stilts’ spaced at intervals. The purpose of these ‘stilts’ seem to be to add access space between layers, and possibly for ventilation/cooling of nest.

As I look at each of the nests around my home, I recognize that none of them were constructed in a random, haphazard manner. Each was engineered and constructed with intelligence and great design – and yet the constructed nests are much less complex than the wasps that made them. The wasps and their nests are engineering marvels that should tell us that an intelligent Designer created them and their abilities.

To read more about how wasps build nests go to How Wasps Build Wasp Nests.

To see how the wasps build the cone shaped nest watch: Paper Wasp building nest and feeding Larvae  or Wasps – Building Home  (NOTE! – I do not endorse the music attached to this video. I suggest you mute your sound and just watch the wasps at work).

 

Lanny Johnson

The intelligence we see at every level of the creation offers strong evidence against the claim that intelligence is a product of evolution. Intelligence is a gift of the Creator to His creatures!

 

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3-D Brain

 

Brain 3DMy first recollection of 3-D technology was as a kid going to the 3-D movies, where we were handed a pair of cheap, cardboard colored glasses, with one red lens made of a flimsy plastic material, and the other lens of blue plastic. It wasn’t very exciting, but with a little imagination you thought you were seeing in three-dimensions. I understand the 3-D movies today are a vast improvement over the movies of old.

Today we know that brain cells communicate with each other through connections which reach out in three dimensions. The speed at which cells communicate with each other has been shown to be very rapid, even while we sleep.

Until recently, the “thinking” parts of a computer have only been able to communicate using two dimensional flat chips. Scientists felt computers could be greatly enhanced if they could develop a three-dimensional computer chip that mimicked the wiring of the brain.

The first 3-D chip arrangement was in cell phones, however these are just individual flat chips stacked on top of each other. Researchers have recently developed true three-dimensional chips (called TSVs). These TSVs are more efficient than flat chips – they pack more “thinking” power into a smaller space, work faster, and use less power. Chip manufacturers are working on methods to mass produce TSVs.

Scientists understand that mimicking the 3-D wiring of the brain greatly improves computer technology (at least in the area of calculation), but they also understand that they are nowhere close to mimicking the total power of the brain… a brain that points to the creative genius of a Creator!

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

The Human Brain – A Problem for Chance an Accident

 

BrainIn my last blog (The Mind Boggling Speed of the Human Brain) I wrote about the incredible speed of the human brain  … a man-made supercomputer (consisting of 82,944 processors … only 1 per cent of the neuronal network of a human brain) completed in 40 minutes the equivalent amount of activity that is observed to take place in the living brain within one second! To put that in perspective, that supercomputer is the equivalent of 250,000 personal computers.

Yet the human brain, weighing in at only three pounds, can do the work of 1,000 super computers. The brain doesn’t need an external power source or cooling system because it makes its own electricity and operates with chemicals and only microvolts of power. If the brain’s estimated 10 trillion cells were placed end to end in a single line, that line would be over 100,000 miles long!1

The human brain has an estimated ten billion neurons (specialized impulse-conducting cells) and billions upon billions of connections.2

It has been calculated that the human brain can store up to 100 trillion bits of information. The most powerful supercomputer today can only approach 1/10th of one percent of that.3   The brain’s memory is able to hold an estimated 100 billion bits of information … that’s equivalent of the information found in 500 sets of encyclopedias.4

Computers are the product of incredible design, yet they cannot even begin to compare with the efficiency or complexity of the human brain. Is it really reasonable to believe that only time and accident could design such a marvelous structure? The evidence points to a designer, not to chance and accident!

 

1 http://www.creationmoments.com/radio/transcripts/darwins-child-murdered

2 http://www.creationmoments.com/content/most-complex-structure-universe

3 http://www.creationmoments.com/radio/transcripts/most-complex-structure

4 http://www.creationmoments.com/radio/transcripts/your-20-watt-brain

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

The Confounding Mouse Trap

 

Everywhere I look I see design in nature. At one time, I removed God from the equation and assumed that all design had happened through the processes of evolution. I began to believe (without much thought behind it) what I was taught … that small changes over huge periods of time produced the wonders of nature. My main argument with my ‘Jesus freak friends’ was “Given enough time, anything is possible.”

But is this true? Just one of the many problems with evolution is the interdependence of different functions of any organism. On a molecular level this precept has been called irreducible complexity1 - for most biological features to operate there is a minimum number of parts or steps which must be present.

Mouse TrapMichael Behe explained irreducible complexity with the analogy of a simple mouse trap. The mouse trap has only five basic parts – the base, the hammer, the catch, the spring, and the hold-down lever. Yet if any of these parts is missing the trap will never function properly. Even if you had the needed 5 parts, you could put them in a paper bag and shake and dump them out for billions of years, yet you would never come up with a working mouse trap. For the mouse trap to work, each part needs to be performing the right job and be in the right position. The same is true for the clotting of blood and all of life on both a molecular and a macro scale.

Bruce A. Malone explains about irreducible complexity and the chameleon tongue: “Evolution proposes two explanations for complex structures such as the chameleon tongue. “Phyletic gradualism” assumes small changes add up over time. “Punctuated Equilibrium” assumes structures stay the same for a long time (equilibrium) but then change rapidly without leaving any fossil record of the change (punctuation). Skeptics try to avoid the creation implications of irreducible complexity by showing that the individual parts of a machine could have other functions – thereby implying that the new function could develop in some step-by-step manner (either slow or fast). For example, in the mouse trap analogy: the base, spring, and hammer could be used as a crude tie clip; however, this does not explain how a tie clip could develop into a critter-killing machine. Nor does it explain how the other parts could be added one step at a time, with each step along the way producing a useful, functioning machine. If any intermediate “tie clip/mouse trap” link were not useful, natural selection would eliminate it from further development. So is the chameleon’s tongue best explained by an intelligent designer or by time and chance alone? Which possibility is really easier to believe?”2

When I really began to think about it and look at the evidence, God was the answer! The time and chance of evolution just doesn’t answer what we actually observe.

1Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Michael Behe, Free Press, 1998.

2Censored science, the Suppressed Evidence, Bruce A. Malone, www.searchforthetruth.net

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Using the Technology of the Gecko

 

 

Does the GripGo Phone Mount work?

A gecko is an amazing lizard that can stick to almost any surface, even when inverted on a mirrored ceiling. It is able to do this because of an amazing foot design.

The ribbed pads on the bottom of the gecko’s feet are covered with very tiny hair like bristles called setae. These setae (1/10th mm long) are packed tightly together (three million per square inch or 5,000 per square millimeter), and each seta has about 400 to 1,000 branches that resemble tiny (0.2-0.5 microns or less than 1/50,000 in. long) spatula-shaped prongs.

It appears that the sticking power of the setae is due to weak short-range bonds between molecules, known as Van der Waals forces. One of the requirements for these weak forces to work is a very large contact area between the foot and surface. The huge number of spatula on the foot provides the needed contact. Millions of weak forces add up to a very strong force.

Biologists and engineers tested the adhesive force of one seta and found it was strong enough to hold up an ant. A million setae could carry the weight of a small child!

The gecko must also be able to unstick his foot quickly as it walks – after all, what good is a sticky foot if you can’t move? By using a complicated blood reservoir system, see an article we wrote called The Grand Design of a Gecko, and uncurling and unpeeling of its toes, the gecko is able to walk or run along!

 

GripGo Technology

Today, scientists and engineers have been inspired by the ‘natural technology of gecko foot hairs’ and developed ‘remarkably effective adhesives’. Two robot ‘champion climbers’ have been developed with sticky feet that walk the way geckos do by using an uncurling and unpeeling action.

I recently bought, “as seen on TV,” the GripGo-Phone-Mount. It has a large suction cup that attaches to your windshield. On the end of a swivel mechanism, it has a green sticky adhesive pad to which you are able to stick a mobile phone, Ipod, or other smooth device.  To remove you ‘simply’ lift from one side and peel the device off. How is this possible? The manufacture claims that “The secret is a unique polymer surface that acts as millions of suction cups that instantly grip and release over and over again.” In other words – Gecko Technology.  And it works … if you keep the sticky surface clean! Amazingly, the gecko’s feet are self-cleaning. Scientists are still trying to find out how geckos do that.

Once again, whether they recognize it or not, many scientists and engineers are looking to God’s designs in nature for solutions to modern day problems.

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

What is The Main Ingredient of WD-40?

 

I saw this on a friend’s Facebook page and found it interesting. I have been using this stuff for a long time; I really like to use it to clean the grease and oil off of my hands, but didn’t know it had so many other uses. Here is a condensed version of the article.

What is The Main Ingredient of WD-40? Did you know? (Read to the end, to find out).

“Water Displacement #40″
The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts. WD-40 was created in 1953, by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company. Its name comes from the project that was to find a ‘Water Displacement’ Compound. They were finally successful for a formulation, with their fortieth attempt, thus WD-40. The ‘Convair Company’ bought it in bulk to protect their atlas missile parts. Ken East (one of the original founders) says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you.

WD-40 Uses:
1. Protects silver from tarnishing.
2. Removes road tar and grime from cars.
3. Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
4. Gives floors that ‘just-waxed’ sheen without making them slippery.
5. Keeps the flies off of Cows, Horses, and other Farm Critters, as well. (Ya gotta love this one!!!)
6. Restores and cleans chalkboards.
7. Removes lipstick stains.
8. Loosens stubborn zippers.
9. Untangles jewelry chains.
10. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
11. Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
12. Keeps ceramic / terracotta garden pots from oxidizing.
13. Removes tomato stains from clothing.
14. Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.
15. Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
16. Keeps scissors working smoothly.
17. Lubricates noisy door hinges on both home and vehicles doors.
18. It removes that nasty tar and scuff marks from the kitchen flooring. It doesn’t seem to harm the finish and you won’t have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off. Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
19. Remove those nasty Bug guts that will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly!
20. Gives a children’s playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
21. Lubricates gearshift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers…
22. Rids kids rocking chair and swings of squeaky noises.
23. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
24. Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
25. Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
26. Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
27. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
28. Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
29. Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
30. Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
31. Removes grease splatters from stovetops.
32. Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
33. Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
34. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
35. Removes all traces of duct tape.
36. Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.
37. Florida’s favorite use is: ‘cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers.’
38. The favorite use in the state of New York, it protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
39. WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a little on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time. Also, it’s a lot cheaper than the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose.
Keep in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some states.
40. Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.
41. It is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray it on the marks and wipe with a clean rag.
42. Also, if you’ve discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash. Presto! The lipstick is gone!
43. If you spray it inside a wet distributor cap, it will displace the moisture, allowing the engine to start.

As for that Basic, Main Ingredient … it’s FISH OIL!
Once again … looking to God’s designs to solve problems!

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Trying to Copy the Bombardier Beetle*

 

One of my favorite insects to talk about, to show God’s design in nature, is the bombardier beetle. Even though the bombardier beetle is only ½ to ¾ of an inch long (1.27 to 1.9 cm), it packs a powerful defense mechanism to protect itself from predators.

When in danger, the bombardier beetle mixes different chemicals (hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone) from different glands and then injects them into an explosion chamber containing mostly water. Within the explosion chamber another chemical is added (catalase), which causes a rapid chemical reaction to an explosive force. The resulting water/steam (2120 F or 1000 C) is then fired out through 2 ‘cannons’ (nozzles) at 65 ft. (20 meters) per second. The bombardier beetle opens and closes the inlet valve to its combustion chamber with great precision to prevent blowing itself up. The beetle can also control the pressure and direction of the explosion with pinpoint accuracy at whatever is trying to eat it. What once appeared to be one explosion has now been shown to be multiple discharges of around 500 pulses per second!

Andy McIntosh, professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory at the University of Leeds, has been studying the bombardier’s combustion mechanism, hoping to engineer more efficient reigniters (small devices that shoot charged chemicals into the engine if it stops at high altitude) in aircraft engines. Professor McIntosh stated, “It’s become evident that the dimensions of the chamber and the nozzle coming out of the back are crucial.” However just copying the dimensions of the bombardier’s explosion chamber does not make a more efficient reigniter. He went on to say, “In reality the combustion involved is complicated by the catalytic processes associated with the muscle lining of the chamber.”

Professor McIntosh, with many years of engineering research experience, readily admits that all the complex machinery that God has designed in nature is far more complicated than man’s. “They can even repair and reproduce themselves,” he says. “So how much more do they declare ‘… his eternal power and divine nature.’ (Romans 1:20).”

 

*Much of information derived for blog is from, Bombardier Idea, David Catchpoole, Creation27 (3):50-51

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.