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Can you imagine an airplane whose rigid wings could instantly shapeshift and morph on command? Wings which could spread to the full, force air below or behind them – or collapse completely – would dramatically enhance its maneuverability? Such wings would have to have characteristics of flexibility, rigidity, and strength.

In a very limited way today’s airplane wings already have the capacity to morph. Wings have flaps, stabilizers have elevators, and tail fins have rudders. And in some high performance jets, the angle of swept-wings can be adjusted to increase lift or reduce drag. But the quest for true shapeshifting wings goes on.

Yet a team of researchers led by Dr. Francois Barthelat and the University of Colorado at Boulder, have made some amazing advancements in engineering toward true shapeshifting wings. Their findings were recently published in the journal, ScienceRobotics. Their studies of an already existing technology led them to create a 3D printer model of components of this shapeshifting wing. And it functioned superbly.

And what already existing technology did Barthelat and his team study for inspiration and guidance? They studied fish fins. Yes, in the author’s own words, the “unique design” of fish fins combines the essential elements of rigidity, flexibility, and strength that shapeshifting wings require.

Barthelat explained that fish fins have no muscles. Rather they consist exclusively of boney spines (rays) which are layered in spongy collagen and covered with skin. These layers of collagen form a sleeve around each spine. This sleeve functions as a hinge (the boney spine being the pin of the hinge), allowing the fin to smoothly open and collapse.

Individually, each spine is flexible. But combined they are rigid enough to both resist and create hydrodynamic force. The skin that covers the fin holds all the components in place and makes it impervious. The movement of the spines is controlled by muscles at their base.

The article explains this isn’t the first time Barthelat has peered into aquariums and studied already existing technologies in nature. He previously developed models for human body armor based on fish scales and stronger glasses based on shellfish.

But what was this eminent scientist doing in all of these studies? Wasn’t he essentially consulting with nature’s Creator and Chief Engineer on how to make shapeshifting wings? Wasn’t he merely borrowing an existing technology in nature and reverse-engineering it? I run across articles on this very subject all the time. Earth’s biosphere constitutes an endless storehouse of advanced technology from which researchers and engineers can learn and draw inspiration.

This is why it’s completely ludicrous to suggest that all this technology in nature, far more complex than our own, despite our many centuries of research and development – came into existences by mindless and undirected processes. There had to be an intelligent Designer to create it all and there must be an infinite Sustainer to keep it all going. That Designer and Sustainer is God, the God of the Bible.

As Paul the apostle wrote nearly 2,000 years ago, that nature is proof of God’s existence. He said, But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God” (Romans 1:18-20).

If you are living in rebellion against and ignoring your Creator, then you must face the facts. God has appointed a time when He will judge all of humanity in righteousness (Psalm 9:8; 96:13; 98:9; Acts 17:31). Everyone will appear before God’s judgment seat (Romans 14:10; Revelation 20:11-15). And there is only one hope of survival. It is to be reconciled with God through His Son, Jesus Christ before that great and terrible day. Jesus has already borne your sins upon the cross (1 Peter 2:24) and suffered God’s judgments in your place (Romans 3:24-26). When we acknowledge our guilt before God and embrace His Son by faith, we are eternally saved from judgment and become God’s own beloved child (John 1:12-13; 1 John 3:1). You can never earn or merit this. It is purely the free gift of God (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9).


PRAYER:  Dear Father in heaven, here and now I humbly acknowledge Your existence and my own sin and guilt. God, though I deserve Your judgments and wrath, I plead for your mercy through the atonement of Jesus, Your Son. I trust in His blood to cleanse me from all sin. I trust in His atoning sacrifice to satisfy Your justice and reconcile me to You. Save me, O God, I pray, through Jesus Christ. Amen.


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