ARTICLE

The Snout-Weevil's Colors: Mimicking God's Art & Engineering

News Image By John Stonestreet/Breakpoint.org January 08, 2019
Share this article:

What on earth is a Philippine snout weevil, and what does it have to do with Christian worldview?

It's no exaggeration to say that if it weren't for the amazing design found in nature, much of the best of our modern technologies wouldn't exist. 


Digital Trends documents a whole collection of examples, from bullet trains that mimic the beaks of kingfisher birds, to high-rises that copy the ventilation systems of termite mounds. I'm not kidding. 

The film "Incredible Creatures that Define Design" by my friend Steve Greisen, talks about what's called "biomimicry."

And yet, despite all of our technological achievements, we're not even close to exhausting the riches of engineering and artistry available in nature. One of the most eye-catching examples to emerge in recent months is a tiny insect--a species of beetle known as the Philippine snout weevil.

Full disclosure: I'd never heard of this creature until our BreakPoint editor decided he would enjoy hearing me say "Philippine snout weevil" on the air. But it's worth it.

A recent report in WORLD magazine revealed this miniature marvel's true colors. Literally. You see, this beetle has a series of rainbow spots on its wing casings that do something very rare in nature: They maintain the same color no matter which angle you view them from. 

This has scientists fascinated, not only is this so-called "high-fidelity" color rare in nature, it's nonexistent in human technology. Not a smart phone, laptop, tablet, or HD TV in existence can successfully produce colors that remain true, no matter how you look at them.

The website Optics and Photonics reported on the joint research by a Singaporean-Swiss team who discovered just how the weevil accomplishes this dazzling feat.

Each spot on its wing casings forms concentric circles of color which cover the full visible spectrum from blue to red, in the same order as a rainbow. But unlike most hues in nature, which are generated using pigments, the snout weevil's brilliant design comes from what scientists call "structural color."

Like the wings of the much more famous blue morpho butterfly, the weevil's spots have a gleaming, metallic quality. This is because their color comes from tiny, crystalline structures made of chitin that split sunlight like a prism.

It was Isaac Newton who discovered that white light contains all the colors of the rainbow. Using glass lenses of the right shape, he noticed it was possible to refract those colors into their different wavelengths. The structural color used by the snout weevil and morpho butterflies takes advantage of this same principle.

But the weevil does something almost no other insect can. By using spherical scales instead of flat ones like a butterfly, and by controlling their size and volume, the weevil maintains near-perfect color fidelity across hues, regardless of how you look at it. In other words, unlike our own electronic displays, its colors are always true.



If human engineers could ever mimic this mechanism, it could have applications in electronic displays, more efficient fiber optics, more vivid paints, and even cosmetics.

What a strange and wonderful reminder that God is not only a master engineer; He's an artist. Nature didn't have to be this beautiful, this extravagant, especially in the humble, easy-to-miss wings of an insect.

That it is, tells us something of God's character. He reserved the special privilege of perfect color fidelity for one of the lowliest creatures. Remember how Jesus said that even King Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as well as the lilies of the field?

And of course, the more we find even our best technology outdone by nature, the more ridiculous the idea that life created itself seems. No, the creation is the handiwork of an Engineer and Artist, who saw fit to share with us His creativity, inviting us to create, too, as a way to express His image and to glorify Him.




Other News

August 21, 201911 Reasons Why Experts Believe That A U.S. Economic Crisis Is Imminent

Suddenly the mainstream media is filled with stories about when the next recession will begin and the effect that this may have on Preside...

August 21, 2019Will Israel Launch A Military Ground Operation In Gaza?

Some Israelis are calling for a military ground invasion into Gaza to damage, or even eradicate, Hamas. The question many are asking: Does...

August 21, 2019Why Endless Wars Can't Be Ended

Wars have shaped history, but the ways wars are fought evolve. Americans have grown accustomed to relatively short, high-intensity conflic...

August 21, 2019A Special Live Watch Gathering - Sheep Among Wolves

"What's taking place in Iran right now is spectacular." "It's the fastest growing church in the world that owns no buildings, has no 501c...

August 20, 2019The New Normal - Earthquakes In Diverse Places As Kansas & Oklahoma Shake

What are we supposed to think when rather large earthquakes start happening in places that aren't supposed to have large earthquakes? If ...

August 19, 2020What We Learn From Public Disavowals Of Christianity

The fact is, too many churches sell Christianity with feelings. We’re told how interested God is in our own happiness, our own meaning, an...

August 20, 2019Democrats Let Radicals Take The Steering Wheel

Democrats who care about the Jewish state should refocus their efforts on demonstrating that “The Squad” doesn’t speak for their party on ...

Get Breaking News