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Functioning 'mechanical gears' seen in nature for the first time [Proof of 'Intelligent Design'?]
Phys.Org ^ | 09-12-2013 | Provided by University of Cambridge

Posted on 09/13/2013 10:22:08 AM PDT by Red Badger

A plant-hopping insect found in gardens across Europe - has hind-leg joints with curved cog-like strips of opposing 'teeth' that intermesh, rotating like mechanical gears to synchronise the animal's legs when it launches into a jump.

This image shows cog wheels connecting the hind legs of the plant hopper, Issus. Credit: Burrows/Sutton

Photograph of an Issus nymph. Credit: Malcolm Burrows

The finding demonstrates that gear mechanisms previously thought to be solely man-made have an evolutionary precedent. Scientists say this is the "first observation of mechanical gearing in a biological structure".

Through a combination of anatomical analysis and high-speed video capture of normal Issus movements, scientists from the University of Cambridge have been able to reveal these functioning natural gears for the first time. The findings are reported in the latest issue of the journal Science.

The gears in the Issus hind-leg bear remarkable engineering resemblance to those found on every bicycle and inside every car gear-box.

Each gear tooth has a rounded corner at the point it connects to the gear strip; a feature identical to man-made gears such as bike gears – essentially a shock-absorbing mechanism to stop teeth from shearing off.

The gear teeth on the opposing hind-legs lock together like those in a car gear-box, ensuring almost complete synchronicity in leg movement - the legs always move within 30 'microseconds' of each other, with one microsecond equal to a millionth of a second.

This is critical for the powerful jumps that are this insect's primary mode of transport, as even miniscule discrepancies in synchronisation between the velocities of its legs at the point of propulsion would result in "yaw rotation" - causing the Issus to spin hopelessly out of control.

"This precise synchronisation would be impossible to achieve through a nervous system, as neural impulses would take far too long for the extraordinarily tight coordination required," said lead author Professor Malcolm Burrows, from Cambridge's Department of Zoology.

"By developing mechanical gears, the Issus can just send nerve signals to its muscles to produce roughly the same amount of force - then if one leg starts to propel the jump the gears will interlock, creating absolute synchronicity.

"In Issus, the skeleton is used to solve a complex problem that the brain and nervous system can't," said Burrows. "This emphasises the importance of considering the properties of the skeleton in how movement is produced."

"We usually think of gears as something that we see in human designed machinery, but we've found that that is only because we didn't look hard enough," added co-author Gregory Sutton, now at the University of Bristol.

"These gears are not designed; they are evolved - representing high speed and precision machinery evolved for synchronisation in the animal world."

Interestingly, the mechanistic gears are only found in the insect's juvenile – or 'nymph' – stages, and are lost in the final transition to adulthood. These transitions, called 'molts', are when animals cast off rigid skin at key points in their development in order to grow.

It's not yet known why the Issus loses its hind-leg gears on reaching adulthood. The scientists point out that a problem with any gear system is that if one tooth on the gear breaks, the effectiveness of the whole mechanism is damaged. While gear-teeth breakage in nymphs could be repaired in the next molt, any damage in adulthood remains permanent.

It may also be down to the larger size of adults and consequently their 'trochantera' - the insect equivalent of the femur or thigh bones. The bigger adult trochantera might allow them to can create enough friction to power the enormous leaps from leaf to leaf without the need for intermeshing gear teeth to drive it, say the scientists.

Each gear strip in the juvenile Issus was around 400 micrometres long and had between 10 to 12 teeth, with both sides of the gear in each leg containing the same number – giving a gearing ratio of 1:1.

Unlike man-made gears, each gear tooth is asymmetrical and curved towards the point where the cogs interlock – as man-made gears need a symmetric shape to work in both rotational directions, whereas the Issus gears are only powering one way to launch the animal forward.

While there are examples of apparently ornamental cogs in the animal kingdom - such as on the shell of the cog wheel turtle or the back of the wheel bug - gears with a functional role either remain elusive or have been rendered defunct by evolution.

The Issus is the first example of a natural cog mechanism with an observable function, say the scientists.


TOPICS: Gardening; Pets/Animals; Religion; Science
KEYWORDS: cricket; evolution; gears; god; intelligentdesign; mechanicalgears; religion; tiger
Video at link.............
1 posted on 09/13/2013 10:22:09 AM PDT by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

It says...Made in China


2 posted on 09/13/2013 10:24:33 AM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: Red Badger
Check out the wing structure on a dragonfly. Trusses provide support for rigidity while at the same time being lightweight. A super thin 'skin' to enable lift to occur.. Skin is clear to reduce visibility to predators.. BRILLIANT!


3 posted on 09/13/2013 10:34:21 AM PDT by GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
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To: GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
The back of a tiger's ear has 'spots' so when it has it's back turned to another animal, the other animal thinks it's being watched.. BRILLIANT!


4 posted on 09/13/2013 10:39:45 AM PDT by GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
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To: GeorgeWashingtonsGhost

I love it! The more science tries to disprove God, the more we see His hand in everything. I love it!


5 posted on 09/13/2013 10:42:59 AM PDT by DYngbld (I have read the back of the Book and we WIN!!!! (this post approved by the NSA))
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To: GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
Check out the wing structure on a dragonfly. Trusses provide support for rigidity while at the same time being lightweight. A super thin 'skin' to enable lift to occur.. Skin is clear to reduce visibility to predators.. BRILLIANT!

I have a degree in mechanical engineering. The best minds in the world can't create a machine this complex. But there is more.

When people compare the mature dragonfly to a flying robot, they fail to consider the fact that the dragonfly developed from a microscopic size, to its mature size, requiring only minimal organic inputs. Try to imagine developing a robot like that. And yet this creature is supposed to have developed by chance. What could be more absurd?

6 posted on 09/13/2013 10:45:15 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Isaiah 22:22, Matthew 16:19, Revelation 3:7)
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To: GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
Dogs with curled tails are originally from cold climates. Their tails are curled so it stays warm and doesn't freeze and break off!.. BRILLIANT!


7 posted on 09/13/2013 10:45:18 AM PDT by GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
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To: GeorgeWashingtonsGhost

One could almost envision the blueprints and construction drawings for that creature. The uniformity and precision of honeycombs in the bee world is pretty fascinating, also.


8 posted on 09/13/2013 10:49:28 AM PDT by dainbramaged (Joe McCarthy was right.)
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To: Red Badger

If by “intelligent design” you mean God set up a universe in which a mechanism like that could evolve, then the answer is yes.


9 posted on 09/13/2013 10:51:04 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: dainbramaged

I think spider webs are amazing.


10 posted on 09/13/2013 10:51:33 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas

“...they fail to consider the fact that the dragonfly developed from a microscopic size, to its mature size, requiring only minimal organic inputs.”

Do you mean from the egg to the larval form to the mature adult? Or from the beginning of time?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meganeura


11 posted on 09/13/2013 10:55:56 AM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: dainbramaged
Here's to honeycombs! Amazingly precise:

..and to spider webs!:

I've always wondered, "How does the spider automatically know how to do that??"

12 posted on 09/13/2013 10:56:49 AM PDT by GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
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To: GeorgeWashingtonsGhost

The curled tails in dogs is a result of selective breeding by man. This feature is not found in wolves, foxes and other canine type species. The domestication and breeding of foxes in Siberia for the fur industry has show similar trends in the later generations of foxes, just like dogs. The genes are apparently there, but not expressed in the wild............


13 posted on 09/13/2013 11:00:06 AM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
What a transformation!:


14 posted on 09/13/2013 11:01:39 AM PDT by GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
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To: Red Badger

Perhaps pack dogs don’t need curly tails because they have each other to keep warm, whereas the solitary dogs (pets) need them. Give me a gold star for trying? LOL


15 posted on 09/13/2013 11:05:09 AM PDT by GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
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To: Red Badger
"These gears are not designed; they are evolved - representing high speed and precision machinery evolved for synchronisation in the animal world."

All they need to do is make this statement and the notion that God designed it is disallowed! No proof required. Ain't it wonderful how science works?

16 posted on 09/13/2013 11:09:31 AM PDT by the_Watchman
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To: DYngbld

I watched a program once where the people in a village wore human face masks on the backs of their heads to reduce tiger attacks. Two can play at that game. LOL


17 posted on 09/13/2013 11:13:38 AM PDT by GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
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To: GeorgeWashingtonsGhost

Dogs, all dogs, are essentially wolves. They have done DNA studies and found that wolf DNA is indistinguishable form that of a Chihuahua. Dogs and wolves can mate and produce viable offspring that is not sterile like a mule or other hybridized type of animal.

My Chihuahua still thinks she is a wolf..............


18 posted on 09/13/2013 11:16:31 AM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: Red Badger

Our wolf-like dog thinks our Chihuahua is a wolf.


19 posted on 09/13/2013 11:37:37 AM PDT by pallis
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To: Red Badger
"These gears are not designed; they are evolved - representing high speed and precision machinery evolved for synchronisation in the animal world."

So, I'd like to see millions of years worth of fossils as non-functioning "near gears" developed.

20 posted on 09/13/2013 11:53:27 AM PDT by Rinnwald
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To: Red Badger

A lot of faith is needed to believe that this sort or thing came about through millions of random mutations.


21 posted on 09/13/2013 12:03:13 PM PDT by I want the USA back
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To: Rinnwald

They all were eaten by predators because they couldn’t jump.............White Issus can’t jump!...........


22 posted on 09/13/2013 12:10:16 PM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: Rinnwald

My dogs always walks in circles 3 times before lying down, either on the tile or carpet.

Seems like he’s in the woods making a bed in the leaves or something.


23 posted on 09/13/2013 12:11:38 PM PDT by bicyclerepair (Inbred, pedophile-worshipping, misogynists (mozlums) offend me.)
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To: Red Badger

Teleology is not support for the existence of God.


24 posted on 09/13/2013 12:11:39 PM PDT by bizdoc (Oh yeah?)
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To: I want the USA back

That’s their problem. They deride us for believing on God, but they believe and have faith in something that is utterly ridiculous.........


25 posted on 09/13/2013 12:12:29 PM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: I want the USA back
A lot of faith is needed to believe that this sort or thing came about through millions of random mutations.

That's because no competent evolutionary scientist makes such a claim. There's a lot more that goes into evolution than random mutations.

26 posted on 09/13/2013 12:35:19 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Rinnwald
So, I'd like to see millions of years worth of fossils as non-functioning "near gears" developed.

Perhaps you are seeing that. The article says the adult insect loses the gears because they are less than ideal.

27 posted on 09/13/2013 12:37:11 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Red Badger

What’s utterly ridiculous is how you misrepresent evolution and God’s work.


28 posted on 09/13/2013 12:38:37 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Moonman62

No. Intelligent design is independent of evolution. Other than some variances in species there is no such thing as evolution.


29 posted on 09/13/2013 12:38:42 PM PDT by plain talk
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To: Moonman62

I like to point out to my children the beauty and genius of Gods work, its everywhere around us, and we firmly believe that he used evolution to do it.


30 posted on 09/13/2013 1:11:10 PM PDT by Paradox (Unexpected things coming for the next few years.)
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To: DYngbld
I love it! The more science tries to disprove God, the more we see His hand in everything. I love it!

“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”
― Isaac Newton

31 posted on 09/13/2013 6:06:48 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (The Presidency is broken.)
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To: GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
“I've always wondered, “How does the spider automatically know how to do that??”

Drugs actually
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkPJlzI0ho0

32 posted on 09/13/2013 9:19:14 PM PDT by Polynikes (What would Walt Kowalski do. In the meantime "GET OFF MY LAWN")
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To: Red Badger

Stunning. I am stuned.


33 posted on 09/13/2013 9:25:32 PM PDT by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: GeorgeWashingtonsGhost

Spiders simply follow the diagram. Use your head. Bob


34 posted on 09/15/2013 3:13:27 PM PDT by alstewartfan ("Guardian angels, wherever you may be Reach down and keep my soul for me. A l Stewart)
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To: the_Watchman; Red Badger; GeorgeWashingtonsGhost; Moonman62
the Watchman: "All they need to do is make this statement and the notion that God designed it is disallowed!
No proof required. Ain't it wonderful how science works? "

That is, by definition, the nature of science: natural explanations for natural processes.
As soon as you say, "God did it", then you are no longer scientific.
Of course, that doesn't mean you're wrong, it only means that science itself can't go there.

And if you'll give it a little thought, you'll realize that's just the way it should be.
After all, whoever would want some scientist defining what is, or is not, God?

35 posted on 09/16/2013 10:06:33 PM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
And if you'll give it a little thought, the statement "this is not designed" intentionally EXCLUDES the possibility of a creating God.

And if you'll give it a little thought, the phrase "natural processes" also is a veiled attempt to EXCLUDE a creative God from the equation.

BTW: "Mother Nature" doesn't really exist either, however it conveniently sidesteps confronting the idea of a creating and sovereign GOD!

36 posted on 09/17/2013 9:57:04 AM PDT by the_Watchman
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To: the_Watchman
the_Watchman: "the statement "this is not designed" intentionally EXCLUDES the possibility of a creating God."

Of course, since that is what the word "science" means: natural explanations for natural processes.
As soon as you say, or imply, the word "God" you are not, by definition, being scientific.
Doesn't mean you are wrong, it's just that science by definition of the word is not allowed to go there.

the_Watchman: "the phrase 'natural processes' also is a veiled attempt to EXCLUDE a creative God from the equation."

You still don't "get it", do you?
There's nothing "veiled" about it.
From Day One of the scientific enterprise that, precisely, has been "the deal" -- science does not ever intrude on, confirm or deny anything outside the natural realm.

So, if you wish to inject God into your world view, then you must do it yourself.
Science will not do it for you -- not now, not ever.

And I'm here to tell you, believe me, you don't want science attempting to define what is, or is not, God or God's Hand, or God's works or anything else having to do with your own religious faith.
That's not the job of science, it's not the function of science, and by definition of the word, it's not "science".

Now, finally, do you "get it"?

37 posted on 09/17/2013 11:34:23 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK

What I “get” is that you have totally bought into the concepts introduced during the European so-called “Enlightenment” that crowded God out of science. In the actual “Day One” Theology was dubbed the Queen of the Sciences.

The Western belief in a beneficent rational creator led directly to the scientific advances of the last 1000 years. Western science, whether it wishes to deny the past or not, is standing on the broad shoulders of those in the past who were exploring God’s creation engaged in a process of reverse engineering; i.e., examining and marveling at the DESIGN.

BTW: Why don’t you drop the snarkiness? I have given this quite a bit more than a “little thought” and I “get” quite a bit more than you might think.


38 posted on 09/17/2013 1:53:24 PM PDT by the_Watchman
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To: the_Watchman
the_Watchman: "What I “get” is that you have totally bought into the concepts introduced during the European so-called “Enlightenment” that crowded God out of science."

Please, you need first to remember that the United States, our Founding Fathers, their Declaration and Constitution are the very crown jewels of the Enlightenment.
There are no greater Enlightenment figures than men like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and John Adams.
Without the Enlightenment, there would be no United States of America, and so I'm telling you: don't be slapping the Enlightenment around.

Second, all of our Enlightenment Founders were Christians or Christian-deists, meaning they all believed in God, in one sense or another.

So the Enlightenment did not "crowd God out of science" in any way, shape or form.

the_Watchman: "In the actual “Day One” Theology was dubbed the Queen of the Sciences."

Sure, in the Middle Ages before there was any serious philosophically-scientific enterprise, Christian Universities dubbed theology, "the Queen of the Sciences."
And theology was not dethroned as Queen by Mathematics until the mid-1800s Romantic era.
So yes, the 19th century Romantic and 20th century Modern eras certainly did dethrone theology and "crowd out God", but not our Founders' Age of Enlightenment.

They viewed God as central to everything, including our Natural Rights -- for them, no God = no Rights.

And on the relationship of Philosophy and Theology, according to St. Thomas Aquinas:

So, if you wish to see the world through theological or teleological eyes, that is your right and privilege.
But science (a branch of philosophy) cannot, and must not, do so.
Science can only look for natural explanations of natural processes.
That's why a key to understanding (which you clearly do not) is to see that science is the handmaiden -- the servant -- of philosophy.

Oh, oh, oh, you endlessly whine and complain: science has become our wicked master, subjecting philosophy and theology to its evil intentions! Woe are we! The world is at an end because science has run amuck!, you say.

Hogwash!
Science has only the grip on your mind that you give it, and if you make it your master, to the exclusion of more important faith, then you cannot blame science, but only yourself.
Even the wine of the Eucharist will kill you if you drink too much of it, so don't.

the_Watchman: "Western science, whether it wishes to deny the past or not, is standing on the broad shoulders of those in the past who were exploring God’s creation engaged in a process of reverse engineering; i.e., examining and marveling at the DESIGN."

As it still does, and as has been acknowledged by most of our greatest modern scientists, from Albert Einstein & Max Plank to Stephen Hawkins.
Of course, God to any scientist tends to look more like a Super-Scientist than a Figure who so loved the world He sent His only begotten son.
But I don't know that they can help it, and don't necessarily hold it against them...

As for those scientists who claim there is no God, they have simply taken the methodological assumption of naturalism and promoted it to the higher philosophical level.
It's their right, of course, but any such claims are, by that same definition I keep mentioning, not scientific, and can be disputed with all the normal philosophical & theological arguments demonstrating God's existence.

But I don't know why people even argue the point, since it's not a matter of debate, but rather of experience and faith -- we chose to believe, very often, as Abraham Lincoln famously said:

the_Watchman: "BTW: Why don’t you drop the snarkiness?
I have given this quite a bit more than a 'little thought' and I 'get' quite a bit more than you might think."

And yet, somehow you've arrived at mistaken conclusions, so just maybe I can help with that...

;-)

39 posted on 09/17/2013 4:48:46 PM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: the_Watchman

Watchman, you are exactly right. Helping anyone who observes these gears and still believes that a naturalistic process could have formed them is beyond our pay grade. LOL Bob


40 posted on 09/22/2013 12:21:55 AM PDT by alstewartfan ("Guardian angels, wherever you may be Reach down and keep my soul for me. Al Stewart)
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Eh, not helical...

Kidding. Neat.


41 posted on 09/22/2013 12:26:08 AM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: GeorgeWashingtonsGhost

>”How does the spider automatically know how to do that??”<

Google?


42 posted on 09/22/2013 12:44:04 AM PDT by Kickass Conservative (Democrats = Communists. RINO Republicans = Communist Sympathizers.)
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