Tiny Flies Inspire Big Advances in Hearing Aids
“The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.”
Do you know how your ears help you pinpoint the location of whatever you are hearing? Two factors come into play. First, you hear the sound louder in the ear that is closer to whatever is producing the sound. And second, the sound arrives at the closer ear a little sooner than the other.
So how does the tiny Ormia ochracea fly pinpoint sounds? Her ears are so close together, the sound arrives at one ear just a millionth of a second before the other! As Dr. Jonathan Sarfati tells us in his book By Design, this was no problem at all for the One who designed the fly.
God gave the tiny fly a bridge – a flexible lever – that couples both eardrums together. According to Dr. Sarfati, “The resulting resonance effectively increases the time difference about 40 times, and the eardrum nearest the sound vibrates about 10 decibels higher … which is a big difference!” Thanks to this ingenious design, “the fly’s mechanical and signal-processing technology is being used to improve hearing aids, which normally can’t tell direction, and it could also be used to design miniature directional microphones.”
Dr. Sarfati concludes, “Once more, the design in nature has taught top human designers some lessons.” And yet, scientists continue to give credit to evolution “without the slightest explanation of how the mechanical structure and nervous coding system could arise by small mutations and natural selection.”
Prayer: Oh Lord, thank You for helping scientists learn from Your creation so they can, in turn, bring help to hurting people. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Author: Steven J. Schwartz
Ref: Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D., By Design: Evidence for nature’s Intelligent Designer – the God of the Bible, pp. 42-43 (Creation Book Publishers, 2008). Photo: Female Ormia ochracea resting on a fingernail. Courtesy of Jpaur. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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