Philip Bell Interviews Creationist and Professor1 of Engineering Design, Stuart Burgess

Prof. Stuart Burgess, BSc, PhD(Brun), CEng, FIMechE, is Professor of Engineering Design, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol (UK). He is a world expert on biomimetics (imitating design in nature), and leads the Design Engineering Research Group at his university. Dr Burgess is the author of over 40 papers published in secular science journals, and another 50 conference proceedings. He has also registered 7 patents.

I well remember the first time I heard Prof. Burgess give a lecture—on “Hallmarks of Design” in the natural world—at the 7th European Creationist Congress in 2000, one of the conference highlights for me. Here was a committed Christian and experienced engineer turning his design eye on the biological wonders of the natural world, and Stuart’s book of the same title had just been published.2 He has since authored books on topics as diverse as the stars and human origins.

But do real scientists and real engineers treat Genesis as history? Well, regular readers of Creation will know the answer to this question is a firm “Yes!” By any standard, Stuart is an accomplished engineer, having published widely in his field, and he himself is the co-editor of a scholarly journal. At various stages in his career his contributions have been recognised by prestigious awards. Here are just a few highlights. Back in 1986, he won the “Design Council Molins Prize for Engineering Design”. Then in 1993, he was presented with the “Worshipful Company of Turners Gold Medal for Engineering Design”. And as recently as 2008, he was rewarded with the “Wessex Institute Scientific Medal”.

Understandably then, CMI was delighted when Stuart agreed to take part in our major docudrama film about Darwin: The Voyage that Shook the World. He was one of a few biblical creationists among the fourteen interviewee experts3 and his contribution was invaluable. For example, Stuart makes the helpful and important distinction between the perfect design concept of the human body—the skeleton and joints and so on—and the imperfections and flaws in its application. Of course, the Bible reveals that these “bad things” are the consequence of the Fall of humankind, so that God’s originally perfect human design is now frustrated by the Curse….

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