Whiter than Tide®

For decades, one of the ongoing goals of laundry detergent manufacturers has been to provide customers with a product that not only cleans, but restores the original brilliance of clothes. Particularly with regard to “whites,” the objective is to get the sock or t-shirt as white as it possibly can be. But as usual, God beat them to the punch. God built into His creation such sophisticated complexity that man’s feeble inventions pale by comparison. Yet another example of this fact has been illustrated by a research team, led by the University of Exeter in England, in their study of a rare Southeast Asian specie of beetle known as Cyphochilus (“Bright White…,” 2007).

Color—in both nature and human technology—is achieved by both pigmentation as well as the arrangement of an object’s surface structures. However, the color white is the result of random surface structures that “scatter” all the other colors simultaneously. The Cyphochilus beetle’s body, head, and legs are covered in long, flat scales whose size and spacing scatter white light far more efficiently than the fibers in white paper. What’s more, being only 1/200th of a millimeter thick, its scales are ten times thinner than a human hair. “This thickness is at least two orders of magnitude thinner than common synthetic systems designed for equivalent-quality whiteness” (Vukusic, et al., 2007, 315[5810]:348, emp. added). Indeed, the researchers observed: “Industrial mineral coatings, such as those used on high quality paper, plastics and in some paints, would need to be twice as thick to be as white” (“Bright White…,” 2007, emp. added). Lead researcher and physicist, Dr. Pete Vukusic, summarized: “In future, the paper we write on, the colour of our teeth and even the efficiency of the rapidly emerging new generation of white light sources will be significantly improved if technology can take and apply the design ideas we learn from this beetle” (“Bright White…,” emp. added).

Imagine that. Brilliant scientists hope to mimic the design of the beetle. Though it did not attend a university, study physics, or apply engineering technology to itself, the beetle has something to teach the educated minds of men regarding “optical brilliance.” Yet we are told that the beetle “evolved” over millions of years and that its sophisticated microstructures are the result of mindless, non-purposive, random forces? No, the rational explanation is self-evident: “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).


“Bright White Beetle Dazzles Exeter Scientists” (2007), University of Exeter, January 30, [On-line], URL:

Vukusic, Pete, Benny Hallam, and Joe Noyes (2007), “Brilliant Whiteness in Ultrathin Beetle Scales,” Science, 315[5810]:348, January 19, [On-line], URL: &HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=Cyphochilus& searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT.


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