“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil..”
The shell of the giant pink queen conch is made of such remarkable material that scientists speak of its design, even while they say that it is a product of evolutionary chance. The beautiful shell is made of a form of calcium carbonate called aragonite. Yet, it is structured in such a way that it resists fractures 100 to 1,000 times better than aragonite ordinarily would.
The conch’s secret is that it combines the aragonite with protein. Further, its shell is made up of three layers of aragonite. The middle layer is structured around a rectangular beam of aragonite sheathed in protein. This duplex rod is then bundled with others into a larger beam. The larger beam is, in turn, bundled with others to produce a larger beam. This complex arrangement gives the shell its extraordinary strength. Pressure that ordinarily causes a catastrophic crack in the aragonite merely scatters the pressure into thousands of tiny cracks.
Materials scientists studying the conch shell refer to this as a high-performance composite structure. They hope to apply the principles learned from the conch shell to make stronger building materials, bridges and even space vehicles.
If such sophisticated design could arise without a Designer, modern companies would surely be wasting their time hiring highly trained designers to improve their products.
Prayer: Protect me, dear Lord, within the armor of Your perfect Truth. Amen.
Notes: Science News, 7/1/00, p. 6 “Conch yields clues for future materials.” Photo: Shell of the queen conch Lobatus gigas. Courtesy of cheesy42. (CC BY 2.0)