“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea…”
Here’s an idea for those who create superhero comic books and movies. Introducing the amazing Sea Cucumber Man – able to turn his skin into a hardened shield that can stop bullets cold!
Actually, this isn’t entirely a joke. Someday scientists may be able to develop a material that would allow soldiers to wear comfortable and flexible bulletproof vests that can harden instantaneously when they are in combat situations.
The idea for such a thing comes from the sea cucumber. According to the book Bulletproof Feathers, the sea cucumber can crawl between narrow spaces when the whiskers of its skin are soft, but “in defensive mode, surrounding cells release molecules that cause the whiskers to bind together, forming a rigid shield.”
By mimicking one of God’s amazing creatures, scientists have already developed a polymeric substance that works like the sea cucumber’s skin. This substance has been used to develop adaptive microelectrodes for brain implants to help doctors treat Parkinson’s disease, stroke and spinal cord injuries. As the book points out, the implant is stiff when inserted into the brain and then becomes soft once it interacts with brain fluids.
Unfortunately, the book’s author gives credit to nature for inspiring such cutting-edge technology and not to the God who created the natural world. That’s the problem with too many scientists nowadays. They copy what God has created, but then they fail to give credit where credit is due!
Oh Lord, thank You for Your creation that inspires scientists to develop new technologies that benefit mankind. Though scientists seldom praise You, I will never stop giving You praise! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Robert Allen, editor. Bulletproof Feathers: How Science Uses Nature’s Secrets to Design Cutting-Edge Technology, pp. 42-43 (University of Chicago Press, 2010). Photo: Giant sea cucumber from the Indo-Pacific tropics. Courtesy of Leonard Low. (CC BY 2.0)