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Discovery Magazine 4/1/2007

Whiter Than Tide

If your mother is like many mothers, she works hard to get your clothing as clean as possible. She probably uses all types of cleaners, detergents, and bleaches in hopes of getting your socks, t-shirts, and other “whites” back to their original shiny white condition. But all the efforts of laundry detergent manufacturers cannot compare with the white that God built into His creation.

A research team has been studying a rare Southeast Asian specie of beetle known as Cyphochilus because of its unusual brilliance. The Cyphochilus beetle’s body, head, and legs are covered in long, flat scales. The size and spacing of these scales scatter white light far better than the fibers in white paper. What’s more, being only 1/200th of a millimeter thick (that’s tiny!), the scales are ten times thinner than a human hair. Scientists admit that this thickness is far thinner than the coatings and paints that are used on paper and plastics. In fact, manmade coatings would have to be twice as thick to be as white. Scientists realize if they wish to improve technology—from whiter paper to better white light bulbs—God’s design of the beetle has much to teach them.

Think about that. Brilliant scientists hope to mimic the design of the beetle. The beetle did not attend a university, study physics, or create itself. Yet the beetle has something to teach smart men about “optical brilliance.” Many scientists insist that the beetle evolved over millions of years. They say that its amazing  tiny structures are not due to any higher mind, planning, or purpose. Instead, over long periods of time, tiny changes just happened until the beetle became what it is today. But that thinking is silly. The fascinating, complex design of the beetle points to the Master Designer. The Bible says it well: “God made…everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind” (Genesis 1:25). “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created” (Psalm 148:5).

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