Fiber Optic Sponges

One of the amazing things about life on the earth is how many places it can survive. Life exists at the bottom of the ocean miles under the surface. It exists in caves where no light ever penetrates. We find life in pools of hot water in volcanic areas and even in the air itself. All of this life continuously works to produce nutrients and recycle materials between one ecosystem and another. The special equipment living things possess to survive in harsh places is remarkably and highly specialized.

An interesting example is a sponge that flourishes in the Ross Sea in Antarctica called Rossella sponges (racovitzae). This sponge possesses spicules that are long, thin, sharp silica structures which had always been assumed to be a defense mechanism to ward off predators. Studies at the University of Genoa in Italy have shown that the spicules are made of a material which makes them conduct light.

Like the fiber optic material used in electronics and in communications, the sponge conducts the light available to it around corners with large percentages of light reaching the center of the sponge. At the end of the fiber optic material are photosynthetic algae which take the light and produce sugars for the sponge. The sponge provides a home for the algae including light piped into its protected chamber. The algae produces food for the sponge. In the low light cold environment of Antarctica, this arrangement allows vast quantities of life to exist. To explain the origin of such complex tools as fiber optics by chance requires a great deal of imagination. We would suggest intelligent design is the base cause of this incredible system.

Back to Contents Does God Exist?, SepOct98.