Bionic Bees? A Prediction of Intelligent Design
It's an easy and fun pastime to come up with predictions about empirical reality that would seem to follow from intelligent design theory. Here's one: If life is designed much like a computer is designed, running not only what looks like but really is software, then I predict it should be possible to "scan" and "upload" the software from biological entities to manmade artifacts, which would then run it just as they would any computer program.
That sounds reasonable to expect. Guess I'll file that one away and...hey wait a minute, my prediction is already in the process of being -- or rather, bee-ing -- confirmed. Wired UK has the story:
Engineers from the universities of Sheffield and Sussex are planning on scanning the brains of bees and uploading them into autonomous flying robots that will then fly and act like the real thing.Nice. They would be called "cybees" and could potentially be in the air by 2015.
Bionic bees -- or perhaps that should be "beeonic" -- could, it is hoped, be used for a range of situations where tiny thinking flying machines should be more useful than current technology, which might mean seeking out gas or chemical leaks, or people who are trapped in small spaces. They might even help pollinate plants in places where natural bee populations have fallen due to the still-mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder.
It's important to note that this won't be an entirely comprehensive model of a bee's brain -- it's only going to be the parts associated with its sense of smell and vision. These modules will be melded with other software to form what the team call a " Green Brain", one that can react to new situations and improvise rapidly just like a "real" animal or insect brain.