Dr. M. Pakdemirli
Engineers are mainly responsible for the highly regarded inventions of the last centuries that have made our daily lives easier. Nobody can deny the advantages of such technological wonders as planes, cars, television, etc., to mention a few. Any technological product whether it be a simple pencil or a more complex system such as a refrigerator needs to pass through two broad stages, design and manufacturing. The design stage includes the selection of the materials best suited for functioning, the design of each part separately and the design of the whole unit. At this stage, extensive calculations, experiments and / or numerical simulations might be necessary to determine whether the system or its parts really would do the function assigned to them. After successfully passing through the design stage, the next step is manufacturing the product according to the design. Highly sophisticated machines and techniques are needed at this stage to produce satisfactory products. In nature too we encounter a vast number of ‘engineered products’ such as plants, animals and human beings, the so-called living organisms. An immediate question then comes to mind: Are these products more sophisticated than ours, or are they merely poor designs? An immediate answer is that all the engineered products that we so value are the results of human intelligence but human beings are themselves one type of the ‘engineered products’ found in nature.
Therefore, the products existing in nature should be far more sophisticated than ours. Investigating any species of plant or animal whether it be a microscopic or a giant creature, we reach the following conclusions: They have been specially designed to adopt their environment. They own the precise and perfect skills, organs and defence mechanisms, needed for their survival. They are so perfect that none of our engineering skills are enough to produce anything even approaching the quality of these organisms. We need also to mention that products in nature are alive, a concept which has not yet been precisely understood or described despite all our advances in technology and science. Examples supporting the above argument are innumerable, covering all branches of science. I will present only a few for illustration purposes. Fish flow in a medium of liquid. They are exposed to two components of pressure while swimming, the static pressure and the dynamic pressure. The static pressure is directly related to the weight of the water above them and does not vary while swimming at constant depths. However, this is not the case with dynamic pressure. It increases or decreases depending on the velocity of the liquid flow around the body. Researchers have found that the eyes of fish are precisely located on the body so that the dynamic pressure is always zero. This means that vision is not distorted while the fish are swimming at varying speeds. The heart of the fish is located at a point where the dynamic pressure is most negative. This enables the functioning of the heart to be much easier at high swimming speeds. The mouth is placed at the very front of the body where the total pressure is highest. This high pressure makes it easier to take water for oxygen during fast swimming. Consider another example, the octopus, which is one of the more primary creatures in the so-called evolution process.
For thousands of centuries, the octopus has been using the conservation of momentum principle. The octopus takes in water and propels it through a narrow pipe in a direction opposite to its line of movement. This jet propulsion principle has been effectively used in man-made motors only in this century. It should be evident then that these sophisticated designs and techniques cannot be generated by those animals themselves, still less randomly produced by the trial and error of blind (unguided) natural forces. The physical laws and the perfectly adapted designs must originate from the same source, the Supreme ‘Engineer’. This explanation is the most rational and logical. Other explanations, which attempt to attribute design and engineering skills to plants and animals or to blind and deaf nature, make no sense at all. Another example is the development of the embryo. From the manufacturing point of view, this development can only be explained by the term miracle. In engineering practice, the size of each part in a product is predetermined and manufactured separately. Those parts are then assembled together to form the final product. Let us call this type of manufacturing static manufacturing, since the sizes of the parts remain the same during assembling. In the case of an embryo, the sizes of organs are changing with time while a continuous assembling takes place under those conditions. New organs are created inside, without any interference from outside, developing in size over time, yet holding the assembly in a perfect condition at each interval of time. This process is an example of dynamic manufacturing which is, to put it bluntly, quite impossible for us to achieve. In usual manufacturing, the size of a part is smaller than the raw bulk of material from which it is produced, and some of the material is wasted. In some cases, moulds are used to achieve the desired shapes. In the creation of an embryo, however, there are no moulds at all, no spare parts thrown away, no wastage.
These manufacturing techniques are by far beyond the limits of humanity. Note that we have not yet mentioned the events that take place at the micro level inside the cells. Even a general glance at the global events shows us how extraordinary the development of an embryo is. A final example will be given from the mechanics of materials. For birds to be able to fly, they must balance minimum weight with maximum strength. Their bones can be considered as hollow pipes. Calculations reveal that the ratio of the inner radius of the bones to the outer radius is selected in the optimum way precisely so that, with minimum weight, maximum strength is achieved. We have not mentioned the macro creation process (cosmos, galaxies, solar systems etc.) since these topics are more related to pure sciences such as physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology etc. An understanding of creation, even then not comprehensive, requires knowledge of these pure sciences together with knowledge of engineering and design. The Creator of the earth and cosmos describes Himself as ‘the Best of Creators’ (Mu’minun, 23.14). The reader may consider what we have said here as a tiny effort towards understanding this verse.