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Discovery Magazine 5/1/2004


A Sponge with Fiber Optics

The last time you picked up a phone to call your friend about a homework project, you might have been using fiber optics. The last time you logged in to the World Wide Web from your home computer, you might have been using fiber optics. We hear a lot about fiber optics these days, but what are fiber optics? In simple terms, a fiber-optic cable has a core (center) made of very thin glass. Light can travel through the glass and relay light signals that can reproduce sound and other information. Fiber-optic cables stretch thousands of miles all across the world, and they do a great job sending information.

But there are some problems with these cables. First, since they are glass, they can be brittle, which means they can crack and break. Digging up the cables and replacing them is very expensive. Second, in order to produce the cables, factories must use very high heat, which is also very expensive. Fiber optics are amazing, but they could use some im-provement.

That is where God’s design comes into the picture. Today, scientists have found an amazing sponge that has wonderful fiberoptic “cables.” The sponge, called the Venus Flower Bas-ket, lives in the deep waters
of the ocean. This sponge produces several fiber-optic “cables” that grow out of its base. These tiny “cables” are about as wide as a single human hair, and they grow to be anywhere between 2 and 7 inches long.

The fibers produced by the Venus Flower Basket have several advantages over the ones produced by men. First, they are produced in cool temperatures. If we humans could learn to copy this, we could save millions of dollars. Second, the fibers from the sponge are very strong and flexible, plus they do not crack and break like the ones humans produce. In fact, the fibers from the sponge are so flexible they can be tied into a knot. If our scientists could learn to make such strong, flexible fibers, we would not have to spend as much time and money repairing the fiber-optic cables.

Intelligent scientists have been working on fiber-optic cables for many years, just to get them to work as well as they do now. Yet, the Venus Flower Basket has fibers that are produced in cool temperatures, and are strong and flexible. If it takes an intelligent scientist to produce the cables we have today, that means the designer of the Venus Flower Basket must be very intelligent as well. God’s design in the sponge’s fiber-optic “cables” proves that animals like the Venus Flower Basket did not evolve.



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