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Part III: "The Signs in Living Things" / 
Nature and Technology

Each passing day, man makes new progress in technology, produces wonders in design and production. Human beings can design and produce new products with the skills Allah grants them. This point deserves particular attention, because Allah gives them this skill, so people have no right to be puffed up with pride or arrogant.

Nature is one of the pieces of evidence for this. Anyone, who looks around carefully, can see that Allah has gifted nature with countless wonders. Everywhere, every living being, from plants to animals, on land and in sea, is equipped with amazing features. In this chapter, where living beings that serve as examples of technology are presented, the purpose is to show that the things people think they have attained with their own skill already exist in nature and to remind us how wrong it is for man to be boastful.

Some designs produced by man after years of research, effort and technological development have existed in nature for millions of years. Scientists, who realise this, have been observing nature for a very long time and they make use of it in their inventions. They have started to develop new models by referring to the examples in nature. They have realised with some astonishment that there is a great difference between the techniques they use and the perfect techniques used in nature. This has led them to accept the existence of a superior Owner of Wisdom Who rules over nature. They understand that all these subtleties could not have been formed by coincidence. The owner of this superior wisdom whose existence they have grasped through science is unquestionably Allah, the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth.

Robots and Bugs

Robots and Bugs

Scientists working on robot technology do not fall short in observing bugs during their research. Those robots, which are made by taking the legs of bugs as reference, have a firmer balance when standing on the floor. Such robots, having sucker mechanisms placed on the tips of their feet, can walk on walls and ceilings like flies.

 

 

Robots and Bugs

The Velcro Bandage and the Burr

The Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral developed a new buttoning system called the Velcro Bandage by imitating burrs. After spending a great deal of effort in getting rid of these parts of plants sticking to his clothes, Mestral thought to use the system of these plants in the clothing industry. He formed the same clasping system in an overcoat by putting the hooks of this part of the plant on one side and the curls of an animal's coat on the other. Due to the flexibility of the hooks and curls, the system attaches and detaches easily, without wearing out. This is why the suits of astronauts are today equipped with Velcro bandages.

 

For instance, after dolphins were studied, a projection called the "dolphin snout" was added to ships’ bows, which were initially produced in a "V" shape. Designers understood that the structure of the dolphin’s snout is ideal for the best hydrodynamic cutting through water. No doubt, not only the structure of the snout, but all the features of the dolphin are ideal, because each one of them is the work of Allah Who is the "Maker" (Surat al-Hashr: 24)

In this chapter, we will review models, which designers produced by imitating nature as in the example of the dolphin. We will draw attention to the excellence of the creation of Allah. These features of living beings, each one of which is a wonder of design, are very important for appreciating the might of Allah. The features of living beings here covered have existed for millions of years, that is, since they were created. Man, however, has only been able to imitate some of their features in the last couple of centuries. For those who can see the evidence of the might of Allah, everything in nature is endowed with such features. This is stated in a verse:

(These are) an instruction and a reminder for every penitent human being. (Surah Qaf: 8)

Yunus - Concorde

Concorde and The Dolphin

Dolphin snouts also served as a model for the designers of the Concorde. In a study conducted by engineers to reduce air friction on the outer surface of the Concorde, the spindle-shaped snout of the dolphin inspired them. The tail fin of the fish works as an engine in the water. Similarly, Concorde’s motors were placed at the rear as is the driving motor-like fin of the dolphin and a very good result was obtained.

 

 

Yunus - Gemi pruvası

 

The Bow of The Ship and The Dolphin

The snout of the dolphin was taken as a model for the bows of modern ships. Instead of the V-shaped bows, a structure similar to the snout of dolphins is used in big ships constructed today. This type of bow splits the water surface more efficiently, thus helps faster sailing with less energy consumption. The dolphin snout-type bows save up to 25% of fuel.

 

 

Yunus - Denizaltı

Sonar and The Dolphin

From a special organ located on the front part of their head, dolphins emit sound waves with 200,000 hertz (vibrations per second). With the help of these vibrations, they not only detect obstacles in their way but also, from the quality of the echo, estimate the direction, distance, speed, size and shape of the object in question. The working principle of sonar is the same as this faculty of dolphins.

 

 

Yunus - Denizaltı

Submarines and The Dolphin

The shuttle-shaped body structure of dolphins earns them the ability to move very swiftly in water. Scientists discovered yet another feature that plays a big role in the swift movement of the fish:

The skin of the dolphin is made up of three layers. The outer layer is very thin and flexible. The inner layer is thick and made up of flexible hair which makes this layer look like a plastic-haired comb. The third layer in the middle is made of a sponge-like substance.

A sudden pressure likely to effect the rapidly swimming dolphin is cushioned as it is transmitted into the inner layers.

After a four-year research, German submarine engineers managed to make a synthetic coating with the same feature. This coating was made up of two rubber layers and between the layers were bubbles similar to the skin cells of the dolphin. A 250% increase in the speed of submarines was observed in those in which these coatings were used.
 

 

skeletonofSponge

Heat Insulated Chimneys and the Nettle

(Right) The insides of the nettle are coated with a hard layer made up of lime and silica. This special layer protects the plant against the caustic liquid produced by the plant. A German company has started to apply this protective quality of the nettle to the construction of factory chimneys.

nettle

The Skeleton of The Sponge

(Left) The sea sponge has an interwoven skeletal structure made up of glass-fibres and slim pin-like structures. This skeleton protects the sponge from all kinds of aquatic conditions. The BMW building, which is constructed by a similar technique, is, however, quite infirm in comparison with the skeletal structure of the sponge living in its aquatic medium.

 

 

Helikopter - Yusufcuk

The Helicopter and the Dragonfly

MBB, a company producing weaponry and rockets, has taken the aerodynamic structure and flight style of the dragonfly as a model for the manufacture of BO-105 type helicopters. Sikorsky Helicopter Company of the US developed a new design by directly adapting the methods the dragonfly uses for flight to helicopters. This process is shown above with its intermediate stages during the design of the helicopter.

 

Aeroplane Wings and The Dragonfly

In 1930s, engineers started to modify the edges of aeroplane wings to prevent the vibrations caused by air currents from harming the vehicle. Twenty years later, scientists found out that this system had already been present in the wings of the dragonfly. The small black cells at the tip of the wings of the dragonfly serve the same function as the weight on the tip of aeroplane wings. 

 

 

The Vulture and The Aeroplane

The vulture opens the feathers at the tip of its wings like the fingers of a hand and thus diminishes the air whirlpools formed by its wings. (left) The picture above shows a model that is prepared to apply the same aerodynamic structure to aeroplanes.  

 

Balık

The Aeroplane and the Catfish

The flat shape of the catfish, which is very effective hydrodynamically, has set a model for aeroplane design. Today, flat-shaped models are commonly used both in the armaments industry and civil aviation. For instance, the "Orient Express" model by McDonald Douglas looks like a catfish. Twice as fast as sound, the flat shape of this new model keeps air resistance during flight to a minimum.

 

Radar - Yarasa

Radar and the Bat

Having such weak sight as to be considered "blind", bats emit very high frequency sound waves called ultrasound. These sounds, which are over 20,000 hertz (cycles per second), are inaudible to human beings. The sound waves emitted by bats are reflected off birds in the air, animals on the ground and other objects that stand in the bat's way. The bat determines its direction and orientation according to these reflected vibrations. Radars work on the same principle.

 

parachute

The Chicory Seed and The Parachute

The seeds of the wild chicory plant make a long trip floating in the air by means of winds. The principle of parachutes is the same as that of this plant.  

propeller

The Maple Seed and The Propeller

The shape of the maple seed causes it to rotate around itself very rapidly as it falls to the ground. This shape inspired Sir George Cayley, one of the first experts on aviation.  

 

Denizaltı - Nautilus

Submarine and the Nautilus

When it wants to dive, the nautilus fills the little chambers in its body with water. When it wants to surface, it pumps a special gas it produces into these little cells and discharges the water. The same type of chambers as those in the nautilus are utilised in submarines, where water taken in is discharged via water engines.

 

The Mouth of Fly and The Zip

It has only been a century since zips were invented. Yet, flies have been using the zip system, for the hundreds of thousands of years since they were created, to lock their lower lips. The proboscis expands at its tip thus helping to disclose the natural zip. 

 

 

The Butterfly and The Hose-Pipe

The butterfly's proboscis is an advanced Ïtool equipped with numerous technical details. At moments of rest, the proboscis is coiled up like a watch's helical spring. When the butterfly wants to feed, a special muscle in the proboscis swings into action. When the proboscis is unwrapped to take the shape of a pipe, it can even suck the flower's nectar from the deepest petals. The straws we use to drink beverages also have the same system.

 

 

Münih Olimpiyat Stadı - Örümcek ağı

Architecture and the Cobweb

The tight structure of the cobweb made by the dew spider does not permit the web to be torn. In our day, this feature of the web has been discovered by civil engineers, who use the same system with the help of barbed wire. The Hajj Terminal in Jeddah Airport, and Munich Zoo are just two buildings constructed making use of this principle.

 

honeycomb

The Telescope and The Bee and Honeycomb

Honeycombs serve as models for the frames of telescopes. The lens of a space telescope, which is designed to collect X-rays emitted by heavenly bodies, is manufactured from hexagonal mirrors, in imitation of beehives. The reason why hexagonal mirrors are used is that with this shape, no area is wasted, and combinations of hexagons reinforce the general structure. In addition, a sequence made up of hexagons provides a wide field of view and a high quality telescope. Interestingly enough, the eyes of bees have been made of hexagonal units for millions of years since they were created, just as this telescope.

 

The Snorkel and Gnat Larvae

The gnat larva that develops in water satisfies its need for oxygen through an air pipe reaching to the water surface. The hair around the pipe prevents water from leaking in just as the stopper on the top of the snorkel does.

 

Fluidity and The Blue Trout

New York firemen add a substance called 'Yolioks', which is similar to the viscous gelatinous substance produced by the blue trout, to the tank water of their vehicles. This substance increases the speed of water flow at the hosepipe's nozzle. This system increases the water's pouring volume by 50%. The mucoid fluid covering the blue trout's skin reduces friction in the same manner, and helps these fish proceed easily in water despite strong water resistance.

 

He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth.
...He created all things and He has knowledge of all things.
That is Allah, your Lord. There is no god but Him,
the Creator of everything. So worship Him.
He is responsible for everything.
(Surat al-An'am: 101-102)

 

Kuğu

 

Kemik - Eiffel Kulesi

The Eiffel Tower and the Human Bone

While designing the famous tower, Maurice Koechlin, assistant to Eiffel, the architect of the tower, was inspired by the femur, the lightest and strongest bone of the human body. The result has been a self-ventilated and strong structure. The femur, which has been a source of inspiration for the tower, is in the shape of a pipe and has a fusiform internal structure, i.e. in which the bone narrows in the middle and expands at each end. This structure provides flexibility and lightness for the bones, yet does not cause them to lose a bit of their strength. In buildings that are constructed in this way, construction material is saved, and the construction's skeletons gain firmness and flexibility.

 

robot

The Robot and The Worm

Researchers from Amiens University took the worm as a model and manufactured a worm-like robot consisting of independent components. This robot can proceed in canals, in which man cannot move, to detect water leakages or make measurements.

worm

 

FMU_en_184_CrocusFlower

The Crocus Flower and The Sensitive Thermometer

The crocus is a flower equipped with a bio-thermometer. This plant opens, when the temperature rises to a favourable degree and then starts to close again, when it falls below it. The Schott Company, which imitated this flower's sensitivity to temperature, produced thermometers measuring temperature changes of even 0.001o C. (Bild Der Wissenschaft, February 1990)

 

The Corn Root and Light Conducting Glass Cables

An equivalent of light-conducting glass cables already existed thousands of years ago. Researchers, however, have only recently discovered that cables can convey light. The shoot of corn seed can conduct daylight to the deepest place of the root and it helps develop the corn seeds. Fibre optics, which has this light-conducting feature, is extensively used in many areas from traffic signs to intercomputer data transfer.

 

Örümcek ağı - Cidde Havaalanı - Münih olimpiyat stadı

The Munich Olympic Stadium and The Cobweb

In the construction of the ceiling coatings of the Munich Olympic Stadium, the structure of the crested lark spider's home, which it makes by stretching web on grasses and bushes, is taken as a model.

 

Yusufcuk

The Munich Olympic Stadium and the Dragonfly's Wings

Despite its thinness, the dragonfly's wing is very strong because it is made up of approximately 1,000 compartments. Owing to this divided structure, the wings of the animal are not torn and they resist air pressure. The roof of the Munich Olympic Stadium is constructed according to the same principle (see little photograph).

Münih Olimpiyat Stadı

 

Straw and The Skeletal Structure of Building

The interior webbed structure of straw makes it flexible and strong. The same construction technique is used in the skeletal structure of buildings.

The Spider and The Thread Industry

Scientists still work to imitate the thread of the spider, which is thin, yet far stronger than steel ropes of the same thickness. 

 

Do you not see that Allah has subjected to you everything in the heavens and earth and has showered His blessings upon you, both outwardly and inwardly? Yet there are people who argue about Allah without knowledge or guidance or any illuminating Book.
(Surah Luqman: 20)

 

Manzara

 

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