At the recent Dallas Science and Faith Conference, Discovery Institute physicist Brian Miller gave an excellent talk on the convergence of biology and engineering. It’s now on YouTube and eminently worth sharing. Miller’s theme is that “you see the same engineering principles in human engineering that you see in life”. It’s funny that this is the case when you consider that engineering is obviously smart design.
The engineering point isn’t just Dr. Miller’s personal perspective – it’s the insight behind an emerging scientific field, systems biology, which analyzes how living systems work with their “very clear”, including “pre-programmed or pre-designed responses”. to the environment. Systems biology is quickly replacing impatient dismissals of so-called “bad design” in life – “how cr*ppy our shoulders are”, for example, in the words of one journalist who has followed instructions from biologist Nathan Lents.(See Jonathan Wells’ post about it here.) Miller looks at a number of interesting specific illustrations, including the famous eyeless cavefish, which he “thought was a win absolute for microevolution”. He refers at the end to a famous article by physicist Eugene Wigner, “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences”. Brian would like to write a sequel, he quips, “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of engineering in the biological sciences.” Watch the full talk now: