Intelligent Design

Natural selection strikes again

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Get a load of this journal’s title: Bioinspiration and Biomimetics. Who or what is doing the inspiring?


A bottlenose dolphin exhibits porpoising in the wake of a boat, a behavior that increases the animal’s swimming efficiency. The dolphin’s spindle-like body shape, along with other characteristics, continues to inspire marine vessel design. Photo credit: NASA.

According to Gray’s paradox, dolphins swim faster than they should be able to. Since Gray, scientists have discovered flaws in the details of the paradox, although some explanations of these creatures’ aquatic grace have proven to hold more water than others. . . .

Citation: Fish, Frank E. “The myth and reality of Gray’s paradox: implication of dolphin drag reduction for technology.” Bioinspiration and Biomimetics. 1 (2006) R17-R25.


3 Replies to “Natural selection strikes again

  1. 1
    Mats says:

    Very interesting and revealing sentences:

    Despite the flaws in Gray’s paradox, however, the dolphin still possesses superior swimming capabilities compared with technologies from nautical engineering.


    “Dolphins are among the fastest of marine creatures,” said Fish. “That ability is powered by large muscles that are mechanically linked to an oscillatory pair of flukes, producing thrust with greater efficiency than conventional marine propellers.”


    Fish predicted that the development of new hull designs, skin mechanics and propulsive systems may take advantage of nature’s swimming mechanisms.


    “Submarine and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) may benefit from copying the body design of dolphins to enhance not just speed but also maneuverability,” said Fish.
    [All emphasys mine]

    And to think that dolphins evolved from land mammals. What a miracle of desi…errr..i mean, of natural selection and random mutations…

    No wonder Crick warned biologists to CONSTANTLY remind themselves that what they see was not designed.

  2. 2
    Mats says:

    The end of the blockquote is after [All emphasys mine].

  3. 3
    russ says:

    Here’s a similar article about research done by Fish and others on the aerodynamics of whale flippers and their possible application in airplane design:

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