Some Casual Philosophy on Biomimicry

The premise of this post is to illustrate the thought process of Biomimicry. Like when you sit down in a chain and wonder about things, like what to eat, or why a pixel works.

Biomimicry can be nebulous. Biomimicry can be straight forward. The reason this is the case is because in theory Biomimicry is actually too simple: find an organism, study it, implement the knowledge.

But the nebulous part is that it’s very hard to apply creativity to this—perhaps due to my lack of knowledge of the animal kingdom. For me this is precisely the reasons why Biomimicry seems hard to think about abstractly. In order to imagine the biomimetic process from start to finish one must have knowledge from biology to engineering.

Thus, in order to apply creativity to all aspects of Biomimicry—selection to application—one must know about the biological world and why it works! Thankfully it is interdisciplinary. And on a side note, I do believe research into a function/structure/behavior of an organism is biomimetic research, i.e. will aid in doing Biomimicry.

How does one correctly choose an organism though—aside from the philosophical wonderment of what it means to correctly choose anything? Ultimately the organism needs to display some form of semblance with the problem that required its research, how ever many layers of abstraction. I can only imagine aliens at the moment for my model organisms… the more productive creativity (for me) comes in the application of the knowledge.

For perspective, Biomimicry does have a theory, but it’s not about force, or chemistry, or anything like that; the theory is simply stated: life has solutions to our problems. Other than that theory, Biomimicry doesn’t have its own unique theory. It is rather a perspective. Perhaps a tool. But at the very least a theory that says life has a solution.

So the question remains: is there always an organism that can help solve a problem?

Related questions that aim to satisfy the same end are as follows: can our problems be solved by building on our current technology? Will our problems be solved with the next big technology boom?

And maybe you were also wondering: what qualities will the solutions embody? Which solution is of higher value? Which is more likely? Which is more feasible?

The real answer doesn’t have to be one. In order to have any of the above come true all are required. Biomimicry wouldn’t be possible without the various technological solutions invented thus far—thank you computers, nano-scale imaging, and more. So the question isn’t which strategy is better or what hope is most important, but rather that technology has finally made Biomimicry feasible.

Indeed as well, Biomimicry may even make some technology that makes executing Biomimicry easier.

And on a side note, perhaps more controversial: humans have not invented a solution that can’t be found in nature. What came first: a rolling apple or a wheel, our perception or atoms? Application is the heart of creativity. And we finally have the senses to probe into the depths of biology. So maybe this is a boom for creativity.

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