"I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works."
Scientists who are working on newer and better materials out of which to make things are concentrating their attention on ceramics. Ceramics do not break or wear as easily as other materials, including metals. High temperatures don't cause them to weaken. Some ceramics have even shown the promise of bringing about another revolution in electronics. Ceramics have one major problem, though. They are difficult to form into usable parts. Sometimes they are also too brittle to work well as machine parts.
Nature, on the other hand, regularly custom-forms ceramics for the most-demanding duties. The ceramics made in living bodies include teeth and shells. Living creatures bind inorganic crystals into a hard, custom-fashioned ceramic that is both strong and much less brittle than man-made ceramics.
Taking their cue from living things, scientists have successfully made stronger, less-brittle ceramics patterned after biological ceramics. The new ceramics offer great promise in designing radical new electronics. Perhaps most dramatically, one version has served well as artificial bone. The body even accepts the ceramic as though it was true bone!
Modern science has gained some wonderful knowledge. However, modern scientists have learned that to solve an engineering problem it is better to learn how our wise Creator solved the same problem in the first place.
Notes: E. Pennisi. "Nature Points the Way to Tougher Ceramics." Science News, Vol. 140, p. 150.
Photo: Dental porcelain bridge, used by permission of Wagonerj and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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