Fantastic Flying Feathered Friends

For millennia, humans have wondered how birds can fly, and if we can do the same thing. Maybe glue some feathers onto a couple of planks, attach them to your arms, and flap like a maniac. Simple, right? Nope. It was not until fairly recently that scientists learned (with the help of sophisticated photography) that birds do not simply flap their wings up and down. Instead, there is some complicated activity going on. The study of flight has also contributed to biomimetics.

Birds like the swift were designed to fly, they did not evolve
Maybe it is called a swift because it is.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Dr. Raju Kasambe (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Some tinhorns assume that since some scientists think that dinosaurs evolved into birds, all scientists think the same way. That'll be the day! Perhaps those who reject the idea of dinosaur-to-bird evolution realize that there are many intricate features that need to be in place, and that the propaganda of that notion leaves out inconvenient facts. Something else occurred to me: which kind of bird? Our flying chirpie friends have different needs, and therefore were given different designs by the Master Engineer. 

A basic examination of flight biology shows specified, irreducible complexity that should cause any thinking person to reject evolution in a hurry. But they cling to Darwin despite the truth, not because of it.
After thousands of years of dreaming and failed attempts, people finally figured out how to stay airborne just over a century ago. Airplanes now fill the skies across the globe, but not with the grace of birds. Fixed-wing jumbo jets must lumber down two-mile-long runways for takeoff, while others circle in the air waiting their turn to ease down for a landing. (Woe to the traveler who’s stuck in the air when snow shuts that runway down!) Meanwhile, thousands of air traffic controllers must keep constant watch to prevent crashes. At the same time, a bevy of support crews bustle about to keep the planes clean, fueled, repaired, and upgraded.

This technology is amazing, but how far we are from flying like birds! Take another look at the birds outside: a hawk soaring effortlessly far overhead, turning with a flick of its wing; or a flock of roosting sparrows that takes flight in unison; or a joyous songbird flitting through thick trees without a care in the world about damaging its wings.
To read the entire article or download the audio version, click on "The Miracle of Flight".