December 19, 2010

Welcome to the ARN Announce email reports. These brief emails are sent out every couple of weeks to help you keep up with the top intelligent design news and resources at a glance, and provide you with quick links to more information. We also provide you with advanced notice of new products and special sales available only to our email subscribers.

Top 10 News Stories

ARN Releases Top 10 Darwin and Design Science News Stories for 2010

Access Research Network has just released its annual “Top 10 Darwin and Design Science Stories” for 2010.
Gaining top honors on the list was new research that revealed the optimal design of the human eye. Physicists from the Israel Institute of Technology have created a light-guiding model of the retina, which reveals that the glial (or Müller) cells provide low-scattering passage of light from the retinal surface to the photoreceptor cells, thus acting as optical fibers.  Researchers concluded “The fundamental features of the array of glial cells are revealed as an optimal structure designed for preserving the acuity of images in the human retina. It plays a crucial role in vision quality, in humans and in other species.” These findings open up potentially fruitful areas for biomimetics research and might find applications in more successful eye transplants and better camera designs.

The gold rush toward biomimetics research, which seeks to mimic biological designs, was another top story this year.  According to Dennis Wagner, ARN Executive Director “Dozens of articles appeared in the 2010 scientific literature reporting how scientists are learning how to ‘reverse engineer’ living systems.” Examples include: 1) Caltech scientists who are studying jellyfish in order to build a better aquatic pump; 2) German engineers who are building a robotic arm inspired by the design of the elephant trunk; 3) a European team that is building a robotic arm with inspiration from a octopus’s limb; 4) swim suits and ship hulls that are being patterned after shark skin; 5) students at the University of Texas, Dallas, that are trying to harness the chemical sensing capability of bacteria to build synthetic sensors for toxins; 6) researchers at the University of Queensland who are inventing navigation systems that can perform complex maneuvers by imitating the optical flow of honeybee eyes; and 7) researchers that are pursuing new lightweight and high performance materials based on a new spider species found in Madagascar that spins silk twice as strong and twice as elastic as any previously studied.  This “toughest biomaterial ever seen” is 10 times stronger than Kevlar. Wagner observed, “Many of these research articles seem to miss the rather obvious point that in order to reverse engineer a system, it had to be engineered in the first place.”

An online version of the ARN Top 10 Darwin and Design stories for 2010 with hyperlinks to original news sources can be found at www.arn.org/top10.  

Year-end Donation Opportunity
Liberty University Law Review on Intelligent Design

Support ARN today and receive a copy of the DNA By Design DVD illustrated lecture by Dr. Stephen C. Meyer.

Greetings from the ARN Staff.  The economy has taken its toll on us here at ARN with our donations and product sales this year at less than half of what they were two years ago. We have been forced to cut back on producing new products and pare back our part-time support staff, but thanks to the dedication of our many volunteers we have been able to keep the ARN website open for business and have just completed our Top 10 Darwin and Design Science News Stories of 2010.

We want to thank you for your support of ARN over the years.  We depend on your product purchases and donations to make ARN one of the leading information portals on Intelligent Design.  In appreciation for each $50 donation received by December 31, 2010, we would like to send you one copy of the new DVD illustrated lecture by Dr. Stephen C. Meyer: DNA By DesignThis lecture video is a great visual summary of Meyer’s ground-breaking book Signature in the Cell, and contains many stunning animations illustrating the detailed design of the cell.  If you did not have the opportunity to engage his 661 page compelling argument for design from biology in his book, then you definitely want to watch this illustrated lecture summary by Dr. Meyer.  Even if you read the book, you will find this DVD to be an impressive tool to get others to consider the evidence for design.

Donations may be made online at: http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/donation.htm. Specify the number of DNA By Design DVDs you would like in the comment field when you check out (for example if you donate $150 you can request 3 copies of the DVD). Credit card donations can also be made by phone by calling 888-259-7102 and leaving your information on our secure answering machine or with our office manager, Sarah.  Of course old fashion checks are always welcome which you can send to ARN, P.O. Box 38069, Colorado Springs, CO 80937.  Donations sent by mail must be postmarked by 12/31/2010 in order to receive a charitable contribution receipt for 2010. You can also donate stocks, bonds, gold coins or leave your house to ARN in your will, but you probably want to give me a call before getting that carried away.

As we close out another year of understanding more about the marvelous designs found in the world around us and the incredible information content that is woven into the fabric of life, I would like to leave you with this Christmas thought:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. -- John 1:1-5

-- Dennis Wagner, Executive Director


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