This movie requires Flash Player 8. Download Flash Player 8

Creation Vs. Evolution

Search :

Pipeline Platelets

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Ian McEwan may have stumbled across an idea that could change the way the world fixes leaks. The process could potentially save oil companies and water companies billions of dollars, and thousands of man hours. What is this new approach? One day McEwan was riding a train and cut his finger. As he observed the amazingly efficient blood clotting system of the human body, he wondered if artificial “platelets” could be used to “heal” holes in pipelines (Graham-Rowe, 2006).

Armed with this novel idea, McEwan, director and founder of Brinker Technology, put the concept to work. After several trial runs, the artificial platelet procedure appears to have serious potential for the oil and water industries. In fact, companies like BP and Shell have begun to test it on some of their pipelines. The results? BP used the platelet technology to plug an undersea pipeline, which saved them about three million dollars (Graham-Rowe).

Even though the process is much less expensive than most current mending procedures, it is not simple. The platelets vary in size, and the engineers must determine how big the platelets need to be to fix the leak properly. In addition, platelet hardness is variable as well. Some leaks, depending on their size, require softer platelets while others need harder ones (Graham-Rowe).

As complicated and effective as this new artificial platelet system is, it pales in comparison to the clotting system found in the human body that inspired McEwan. In fact, Michael Behe, professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University, considers human blood clotting to be one of the most complex systems in the natural world. He stated:

Biochemical investigation, however, has shown that blood clotting is a very complex, intricately woven system consisting of a score of interdependent protein parts. The absence of, or significant defects in, any one of a number of the components causes the system to fail: blood does not clot at the proper time or at the proper place (1996, p. 78).

Many scientists would contend that human blood clotting is the result of accidental, evolutionary processes that were not guided by any intelligent mind. Such a conclusion, however, fails to deal rationally with all the evidence. If it takes an intelligent engineer to construct a platelet procedure that patches pipelines, and if that artificial platelet system is not as effective as the human blood clotting scheme, then it must have taken an even more intelligent engineer to design the human blood clotting system. This is the only logical, honest conclusion that can be drawn from the evidence. The next step, then, is to recognize that Designer as the God of the Bible, Whose “invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (Romans 1:20).


Behe, Michael J. (1996), Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (New York: Touchstone).

Graham-Rowe, Duncan (2006), “Self-Healing Pipelines: A Scottish Company Develops Artificial Platelets That Can Cheaply and Quickly Plug Leaks,” Technology, [On-line], URL:, December 21.

Copyright © 2007 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

We are happy to grant permission for items in the "Creation Vs. Evolution" section to be reproduced in part or in their entirety, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) the author’s name must remain attached to the materials; (4) textual alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden; (5) Some illustrations (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, etc.) are not the intellectual property of Apologetics Press and as such cannot be reproduced from our site without consent from the person or organization that maintains those intellectual rights; (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, excepting brief quotations, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken.

For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:

Apologetics Press
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
Phone (334) 272-8558