By Shane Kastler
Justin Jaworski is a Mechanical Engineer and a Professor at Lehigh University, who works with the United States government to develop advancements in design of aircraft and wind turbines. In a recent issue of Popular Mechanics magazine he talks about some of the work he is doing to reduce the noise made by a plane's wing. He has come up with several innovative methods regarding shape and material to use that almost reduces the noise to nothing. Interestingly enough, he got the idea from a hoot owl.
Jaworski notes that while visiting a bird sanctuary, a gray owl swooped down and flew at his face. While it was somewhat unsettling; he noticed that he could see the owl coming but not a sound was being made. He marveled at how the wings worked and how they seemed to be designed in such a flawless way that the bird's flight looked effortless and made no noise. Jaworski is now trying to take some of these concepts and imitate them in the design of aircraft.
I have no idea what Justin Jaworski's religious beliefs are; but as a Christian, I see a tremendous lesson in this story. Man in all of his growing brilliance, cannot even come close to designing a wing as effective as God does in His infinite brilliance. The greatest thoughts and designs man can conceive pale in comparison to what God can do. And mankind's greatest wisdom would be seen in looking to God, imitating Him, and giving Him all glory for what He has done.
The Bible says, “The Heavens declare the glory of God, the skies display His handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1) Even unbelievers have the capacity to look at nature and see clear evidence for God our Maker. The book of Romans says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NASB) God is there. And creation screams this at man. The question is: Do you see this? And based on this reality, are you living your life as you should?
In the Old Testament God said to Job: “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars, Stretching his wings toward the south? Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up, And makes his nest on high? On the cliff he dwells and lodges, Upon the rocky crag, an inaccessible place. From there he spies out food; His eyes see it from afar." Job 39:26-29 God commands the birds and they obey him. Jesus commanded the wind and the waves and they obeyed Him (Luke 8:25). The evidence of God's presence can be clearly seen all around us. Even those who reject Him still marvel at his handiwork; yet refuse to admit that the handiwork indeed belongs to God.
An article from the Discovery Institute says this: “Jaworski points out three physical features of owls that allow them to hunt silently: (1) the leading edge of the wing "is made of stiff, evenly spaced, mostly aerodynamic fibers that reduce noise." (2) The upper surface of the wing is very fluffy, creating a buffer layer that reduces sound. It's organized fluff: "When examined under a microscope, said Jaworski, this structure looks like vertical strings with interlocking barbs at their tops." (3) The trailing feathers on the wing are flexible, reducing noise substantially.”
The article goes on to quote Jaworski as saying this: "The more closely you look at owl feathers, the more amazing they reveal themselves to be." I certainly cannot argue with his conclusion. And I marvel at God's creation.
The same God who created the world and all things in it has also provided the only means for salvation. For there is one name under Heaven by which we must be saved and that is Christ Jesus. (Acts 4:12) The Bible calls us to turn from our sin in repentance and submit to Christ by faith. We are to shun our glory and seek God's glory. We are to reject the world's ways and instead embrace God's way through His perfect Son Jesus Christ.
Creation tells you God is there. The Bible tells you even more about His nature, His attributes, and His way of salvation. And though you are a sinner by nature, the Bible says you are “without excuse” in your rejection of Him. Marvel at His creative power in things like the wing of the gray owl. Be mesmerized at His handiwork when you see a glorious sunset. And submit to His all powerful Son. Only God has the ability to create the PERFECT wing for flight. And only God has the ability to save an imperfect sinner from their sin.