Molecular Machines

From the new issue of Salvo:


Don’t the Intricacy & Ubiquity of Molecular Machines Provide Evidence for Design?
by Casey Luskin

In Salvo 19, we saw that engineers often turn to nature for inspiration when designing human technology. But long before the advent of modern technology, students of biology saw similarities between living organisms and machines. In 1697, the Italian life-scientist Marcello Malpighi observed: “Nature, in order to carry out the marvelous operations in animals and plants, has been pleased to construct their organized bodies with a very large number of machines.”

Many of these comparisons were obvious: skeletons and muscles interact to form movable structures reminiscent of man-made contraptions. Other biological functions, however, lacked clear analogues in machine world. For example, how do machines help our bodies digest food? While machines may help our bodies pump blood, what produces blood in the first place? Malpighi boldly predicted that to explain such enigmatic functions, “machines will be eventually found not only unknown to us but also unimaginable by our mind.” He had no idea how right he was.

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