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Intelligent Design

Dragonfly Ornithopters

As fans of Dune will readily see, an ornithopter is a flapping wing flying machine, as a helicopter is a rotary wing flying machine. Where of course we have seen how Dragonflies are elliptical winged insects capable of up to 56 km/h speed. They also have pterostigmas that control flutter, gaining up to 25% speed [in gliding mode]. Then, there are airflow and wing flex sensors that indicate sophisticated, highly tuned control loop networks. These insects are capable of forward and reverse flight, hovering and sideways flight. They also have up to 97% success rate in predation. Such a natural model will of course inspire engineers. So, we can see here, a Dragonfly robot ornithopter: A clip: Resemblance to a Read More ›

Dragon Fly Wings also have air flow and wing deformation sensors

The Dragonfly is amazing: As Fabian et al summarise: Animal wings deform during flight in ways that can enhance lift, facilitate flight control, and mitigate damage. Monitoring the structural and aerodynamic stateof the wing is challenging because deformations are passive, and the flow fieldsare unsteady; it requires distributed mechanosensors that respond to localairflow and strain on the wing. Without a complete map of the sensor arrays, itis impossible to model control strategies underpinned by them. Here, we presentthe first systematic characterization of mechanosensors on the dragonfly’s wings:morphology, distribution, and wiring. By combining a cross-species survey ofsensor distribution with quantitative neuroanatomy and a high-fidelity finiteelement analysis, we show that the mechanosensors are well placed to perceivefeatures of the wing dynamics relevant Read More ›

L&FP, 69: A way to understand Functionally Specific Complex Organisation and/or associated Information [FSCO/I] i/l/o Kolmogorov-Chaitin Complexity

It seems that it is exceedingly hard for some to understand what FSCO/I is about. In responding to an objector, I wrote as follows just now, and think it is worth headlining for reference: Where, K-Complexity is summarised by Wikipedia, as a first level point of reference that would have been immediately accessible all along: <<In algorithmic information theory (a subfield of computer science and mathematics), the Kolmogorov complexity of an object, such as a piece of text, is the length of a shortest computer program (in a predetermined programming language) that produces the object as output. It is a measure of the computational resources needed to specify the object, and is also known as algorithmic complexity, Solomonoff–Kolmogorov–Chaitin complexity, program-size Read More ›

Of Dragonflies, Spitfires and Elliptical Wings

The Dragonfly is a marvel of nature, rated to be one of the all time most effective predators. Similarly, the Spitfire was a breakthrough, fighter-interceptor in the skies over Britain, just under eighty-three years ago. And, oddly, both share a common design feature, elliptical wings: This is of course an interesting convergence of natural and human technologies. Though, the advantages are with the Dragonfly, a natural helicopter. The Spitfire’s wings: (More details, here.) U/D, Mar 23: Note the clipped wings and radial engine of the Hawker Sea Fury (many later Spitfires also had clipped wings): Notice, the P-47: also, the MiG 15, showing where onward technological evolution would go: The Dragonfly: It’s worth noting on the Pterostigma, a counterweight often Read More ›

A review of Nicholas Spencer’s Magisteria: The Entangled Histories of Science and Religion

Wootton on Spencer: "... he doesn’t seem to grasp that the pared down, purely ‘spiritual’ religion he defends has virtually nothing in common with that of Augustine, Calvin, Loyola and Newman." Read More ›

“Trust the Science!” Files: Prof punished for saying the obvious

RNA expert Patrick Provost: “I was just doing what I was hired to do,” he said in an interview. “I had some concerns about something, I searched the literature and I prepared a talk and I delivered it to the public. Being censored for doing what I’ve been trained to do — and hired to do — well, it’s hard to believe.” Read More ›

Peer reviewed paper calls for changes to Darwinism

Stay tuned. If conclusions that cast doubt on settled, easy Darwinism are allowed to just be published and stay published, with no one punished - think of the huge swathes of sloppy Darwinian claims in the literature that could suddenly become subject to actual scrutiny… Omigosh… it would start to look like actual science… Read More ›