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The convergence of biology and engineering


Photo: Cavefish (Phreatichthys andruzzii), by Hectonichus, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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:

Brian Miller

Research CoordinatorCenter for Science and Culture

Dr. Brian Miller is Research Coordinator at the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute. He holds a BS in Physics with a minor in Engineering from MIT and a Ph.D. in physics from Duke University. He speaks internationally on the topics of intelligent design and the impact of worldviews on society. He has also been a consultant in organizational development and strategic planning, and he is a technical consultant for Ideashares, a virtual incubator dedicated to bringing innovation to market.



biologyBrian MillerDallas Conference on Science and Faithdesign logicDiscovery InstituteEngineeringEugene Wignerintelligent designJonathan Wellsliving systemsMicroevolutionNathan LentsphysicistsshouldersSystems Biology