Gears in an insect …. a link to the Gospel.

I recently read this article about a miniature insect that has “the only known functioning gear system of any organism”.

The planthoppers have these gears on their hind legs and this was discovered by a zoologist, Malcom Burrows after noting the explosive speed with which the planthopper nymphs could jump. They jump is so fast, it happens even faster than a neuron can be fired off to the human brain.


This picture is a highly magnified picture of the gears in the insect. Its design reveals new posibilities in how human made gears can be similarly fashioned especially on a small scale.

So what does this have to do with you, God and the Gospel?

1. You marvel at the design – Finding the same or more advanced mechanical complexity in the biological word that is seen and applied in the inanimate world is simply marvelous! It causes us to wonder and appreciate something. Design can be random or directed but I dare say that anyone will be hard pressed to make the case that this complex phenomena is a self caused design (devoid of external input) or a result of undirected, random occurences selected by advantage over time. It is just too tidy and too efficient to reasonably be explained by that.

2. God is whispering from the depths of the unknown – Humanity has made major advancements in the last 100 years in our observation of the universe and all that is in it. From exploring interstellar space to capturing microscopic observations like the movement of this insect, we are encountering a language that is speaking to our inner being. In the realm beyond the bills and brochures, beyond the traffic and television, beyond the politics and preconcived positions, where it is quiet enough to listen without intellectual posturing, we hear God’s presence. From the sound sent back from the Voyager outside our solar bubble to the magnified view of a machine in an insect, God speaks and says ” I was here before you came and saw (and still AM) and here is my signature for you to believe.

3. The Gospel is linked to the gears – At the expense of being accused of making a great a leap from the world of observable Science to the words of an ordained Saint, I inject a line from Apostle Paul’s treatise in the book of Romans. He says in Chapter 1, verese 20 ” For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse”. Creation is a God given starting point for a knowledge of Him that leads to a knowlegde of His provision for Salvation. The marvel you experience (I hope) in reading about the planthopper gears or other natural phenomena is God’s visible way of communicating his eternal power and divine nature that we may clearly see Him and experience Him.

I pray that the next time we encounter something amazing from what has been made, we may marvel and hear God’s whisper and praise the Lord . May the experience lead us to increase our understanding of who He is becuase if we ignore or reject His revelation… we will be without excuse!

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