Limpet teeth are toughest, according to reports in ScienceDaily 17 February 2015 ABC News in Science and BBC News 18 February 2015. Limpets are small marine molluscs with conical shells that graze on algae growing on rocks along the seashore. A team of scientists led by Asa Barber of the University of Portsmouth School of Engineering, have studied the microscopic structure of limpet teeth and found they are made of the strongest natural organic material so far discovered.
The research team found limpet teeth were made of a composite of iron rich mineral fibres known as goethite bound together by chitin, a polymer that acts as glue to hold the fibres together. According to Barber, “The strength of the tooth is due to the diameters of the fibres being below a particular size, which is about 60 nanometres, or over a thousand times thinner than a human hair”.
A limpet’s teeth are arranged in rows embedded in a structure named a radula. The limpet feeds by scraping the radula over the rock surface and pulling scraped off algae into its mouth. Barber explained: “Limpets evolved strong teeth as the teeth scrape over rock surfaces every day to feed. If the teeth broke easily, then the limpet would not be able to feed and would die – hence evolution selecting the strongest teeth over many years”. He also commented: “Nature is a wonderful source of inspiration for structures that have excellent mechanical properties. All the things we observe around us, such as trees, the shells of sea creatures and the limpet teeth studied in this work, have evolved to be effective at what they do”.
Editorial Comment: Barber’s faith in evolution is truly remarkable, especially as he is an engineer, and should have learnt by experience that chance random processes only destroy things, which is what would have happened if half-evolved limpets didn’t yet have tough teeth, but tried to scrape algae off a rock. How does he think limpets with less tough teeth survived, when he admits limpets with broken teeth would not be able to feed and so would die?
Here we see the fallacy of crediting natural selection with the origin of any useful structure. Natural Selection will ensure that limpets that already have teeth sufficiently strong to scrape rocks will survive, but NS cannot produce tough teeth if they don’t. For that you need genes that control the cellular process that manufacture goethite fibres and chitin, ensuring the goethite fibres are the right thickness and combine them together with chitin in the right way. In other words, you need new information inserted into the limpet’s genome by creative design and intelligent manipulation.
It takes far less faith to believe that the Creator made limpets, complete with tough teeth, along with the radula that holds them and with the nervous system and muscle control to work it, and a digestive system that can cope with the bits of rock that the limpets scrape off along with the algae.
Furthermore, if we gain any inspiration from trees, seashells, limpet teeth and other things in the natural world that have excellent mechanical properties, we should give thanks and praise to the Creator who made them, and Who gave us brains to study the world around us and learn from what He made. In fact, the mandate for the scientific study of the world, and for engineering using materials of the world, was given by the Creator who made human beings in God’s image and told them to rule over the earth and the living things in it (Genesis 1:26-28). Don’t let anyone tell you the Bible is anti-science. (Ref. design, shellfish, bio-engineering)
Evidence News vol. 15, No. 4
25 March 2015
Creation Research Australia