Was It Designed?

Gecko Adhesive

▪ Scientists are awed by the gecko’s ability to scale smooth surfaces​—even skittering across a smooth ceiling—​without slipping! How does this amazing little lizard do it?

The Bible says that the gecko “takes hold with its own hands.” (Proverbs 30:28) The gecko’s feet do indeed resemble hands, and they grasp smooth surfaces with amazing agility. Each toe contains ridges that have thousands of hairlike protrusions. Each protrusion, in turn, has hundreds of microscopic filaments. The intermolecular forces (called van der Waals forces) that emanate from these filaments are sufficient to hold the lizard’s weight​—even when it is scurrying upside down along a glass surface!

Researchers want to make adhesives that, like the gecko’s feet, will cling to smooth surfaces. * Among other uses, this could have “a variety of medical applications,” notes Science News magazine, “from bandages that stay put when wet to a tape alternative to surgical sutures.”

After this brief consideration, what do you think? Did the gecko’s adhesive come about by chance? Or was it designed?

[Footnote]

^ par. 5 Scientists are also analyzing the protein that is secreted from mussels, which gives these underwater creatures the ability to cling to wet surfaces.

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The underside of a tokay gecko

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Microscopic hairs on a gecko’s foot

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Gecko: Breck P. Kent; close-up: © Susumu Nishinaga/​Photo Researchers, Inc.