Research on Intelligent Design

To put together scientific advances from the perspective of Intelligent Design.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Intelligent Design Discovered in Flies and in the Bees Flying Code

Tethered fly from the front. Credit: Michael Dickinson and Tom Irving (from:

Next we will see three examples on how to use the wonderful designs present in nature for our own robotics and medical study. We, a smaller engineer learning from the biggest engineer! Isn’t that what Intelligent Design with your support will be doing? ID should be making a free and most friendly environment for development and progress than the current one!
The first story, by Michael Schirber who posted on 27 January, 2005 The Flight of the Fly where he wrote: "... their [the Insects] amazing ability to turn their powerful flight muscles on and off so quickly,

"For an insect, it is too difficult to have an electrical signal go from the brain to the muscle 200 times per second," says Tom Irving of the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Instead – for many insects – the wing-moving muscles, which are located in the thorax, operate by something called stretch activation, wherein one set of muscles automatically fires when the contraction of the opposing muscle group causes it to stretch.
This internal feedback loop goes on without any nerve impulses from the brain."

"A fly, it turns out, will adjust the frequency of its wing beats to match what it believes to be its forward motion. By timing the opening of their shutter with the fly’s frequency, the researchers were able to record eight separate time steps of a wing beat. (You can see the X-ray movie in mpg, mov, or wmv format.)

"We were actually seeing the movement of the molecules in a cycle," Irving said.
The data indicate previously unsuspected interactions of various proteins as the muscles stretch and contract. The implications may go beyond insect flight.

"We might look for this mechanism in heart muscles," Irving said. "It opens up new questions for us."
Irving is quick to point out that the heart will not beat without a signal from the brain, but the processes in the fly’s muscles could play some part in how heart muscles work. If so, it may be possible to genetically engineer fruit flies to mimic some kinds of heart problems.

The second story, also by Michael Schirber who posted on 27 May 2005 Dancing Bees Speak in Code
Bee with tracking device attached. Credit: BBSRC/Rothamsted Research.

"Bees outfitted with tracking devices responded to the wiggling of one of their fellow foragers, who had just returned to the hive from some newfound bee vittles. The dance... is performed on one of the honeycomb walls..."

"The central element of the choreography is a shimmy, or waggle, along a straight line. For emphasis, the bee repeats this move several times by circling around in a figure-8 pattern. The angle that the shimmy makes in relation to an imaginary vertical line is the direction to the food source with respect to the sun. For example, a waggle dance pointing towards 3 o’clock is bee talk for: "Hey, there’s food 90 degrees to the right of the Sun."

"This solar compass in honeybees was originally observed in the 1960s by the Nobel Prize winner Karl von Frisch. Later, it was noticed that the number of waggles in one figure-8 corresponds to the distance to the meal. These remarkable relations have been supported by other experiments, including one in which a mechanical bee danced for the hive and the real bees responded."
"The dance isn’t a trivial demonstration, but an abstract code," says J. R. Riley of Rothamsted Research, UK.
"This is the most definitive proof that recruited bees read the waggle dance, since the transplanted bees [another experiment described in that article] chose the foretold trajectory without any of the possible other cues – odors (bees have a strong sense of smell), landscape, other bees – that might exist along the true hive-to-feeder route."

Then we have the third story, which wisely MSNBC subtitled as:

Robotic wings mimic insects’ rapid beat and could inspire new designs
"In the last 10 years, flight biologists have gained a remarkable amount of understanding by shifting to experiments with robots that are capable of flapping wings with the same freedom as the animals." [Douglas Altshuler, a researcher at California Institute of Technology]
"The scientists analyzed pictures from hours of filming bees and mimicked the movements using robots with sensors for measuring forces. Turns out bee flight mechanisms are more exotic than thought."
"The honeybees have a rapid wing beat… In contrast to the fruit fly that has one eightieth the body size and flaps its wings 200 times each second, the much larger honeybee flaps its wings 230 times every second." [Altshuler]
"This was a surprise because as insects get smaller, their aerodynamic performance decreases and to compensate, they tend to flap their wings faster."

"In order to understand how bees carry such heavy cargo, the researchers forced the bees to fly in a small chamber filled with a mixture of oxygen and helium that is less dense than regular air. This required the bees to work harder to stay aloft and gave the scientists a chance to observe their compensation mechanisms for the additional toil. The bees made up for the extra work by stretching out their wing stroke amplitude but did not adjust wingbeat frequency."
"They work like racing cars," Altshuler said. "Racing cars can reach higher revolutions per minute but enable the driver to go faster in higher gear… "And this was just for hovering," Altshuler said of the bees. "They also have to transfer pollen and nectar and carry large loads, sometimes as much as their body mass, for the rest of the colony."
The scientists said the findings could lead to a model for designing aircraft that could hover in place and carry loads for many purposes such as disaster surveillance after earthquakes and tsunamis.
Douglas Altshuler (from:

All of that is so nice... until carelessly Douglas Altshuler declared without any basis that "Proponents of intelligent design … have long criticized science for not being able to explain … how bees fly". Now Stephen E. Jones has taken a stand for ID to make Altshuler to document his claim or to retract himself. So, Altshuler, you better stick to the facts and keep your mouth shut, given the fact that you lack of basis for your bashing claims!


Blogger inunison said...

These guys are realy something, don't you think? Spinning a story like this and all media just takes it for granted. When will Darwinists stop using what is clearly another indication of design in nature, as if supports their own dogma? I can only conclude that they must be desparate.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger fdocc said...

Dear inunison,

I agree. Sooner or later the abundant evidence for ID will not be able to be contained anymore or to be distorted by the media and by evolutionists.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 2:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do flies have the most intelligent brain full stop?

Saturday, October 18, 2008 11:38:00 AM  

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