|Yours truly in front of a MiG-21 at the Kalamazoo, Michigan air museum, about 1998.|
Did you know airplanes evolve? A 2014 research article titled “The Evolution of Airplanes,” written by Duke University’s distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering Adrian Bejan, makes that very claim. He begins with all the visible differences between a biplane and a jumbo jet. Airplanes have gotten bigger and faster over the decades. We could say airplane design evolves in the sense that it changes over time.To read the rest of this enlightening article, click on "Major Evolutionary Blunders: Berra's Blunder".
A second look reveals some common features like engines and wings. What is the best way to explain both the similarities and differences at the same time? Are we seeing a core common design enhanced with many ingenious variations? Or did all modern airplanes descend from a common, primitive airplane ancestor, evidenced by similar ancestral traits but with new features adapted to new conditions? These questions sound a lot like those asked by evolutionists and creationists about living creatures. Bejan wrote his article to supply those answers.