Fire Breathing Dragons?

Are fire breathing dragons scientifically feasible?

I was considering the feasibility of dragons existing from a scientific perspective because it was beginning to be realized that most myths has some kind of foundation in history. We are just barely beginning to realize what the truth may be and with reports from around the world about fire breathing dragons, I wondered if it were possible for such an animal to exist. Therefore, I submit this as food for thought and fun to show you that God's brilliance makes it possible for Him to have actually created such a creature. This is not to show that they actually did exist but that they could have. I guess you could call it a bit of a revelation. Of course we are going to use molecular construction of an intelligently designed creature. You would call this an exercise in biological engineering.

The first thing I had to deal with was the concept of having an animal with fire in its belly as the myths state. I realized that the creature didn't have to actually have a belly full of fire in order to breath fire. The fire in the belly idea came from our own scientific ignorance. I was surprised to realize that everything required to have a fire breathing dragon exists in animals living on this planet today. I also realized that even we humans could actually design such a creature and engineer a zygote (fertilized female egg) to grow or even farm fire breathing dragons. Remember that this is for fun but is also an interesting trip in science and a little example of how God could have designed life on Earth.

I realized that the first step was to use science to determine the requirements for having fire proceed from an animal. Fire requires three things, fuel, heat, and oxygen. Then we need to be able to create only two of these things in the creature we are designing because oxygen is readily available in the air we breath. So I looked for animals that are creating the other two requirements for fire. I was surprised at how easy that was. First, for fuel, most animals create a highly flammable gas called methane. So all we have to do is create a means to channel, store, pressurize, and expel methane gas. All of the required "plumbing" to achieve these tasks already exists in all animals. (This will be a fun trip in zoology and physiology.)

(1) Methane gas is produced in quite large quantities in the large intestines of mammals and since we are now learning that dinosaurs were probably mammals this works just fine. Then we need a molecular filtering system in the intestine to diffuse methane across the lining of the intestine into a transportation system the way we do all other substances we absorb into our bodies. We call this molecular process an active transport system and such systems exist in almost all of our cell and tissue membranes. All we would have to do is develop the right molecular active transport system to move that specific molecule through the tissue lining.

(2)We would need tubes to transport the methane gas from the intestine to a storage area in the head. That is easy because our bodies already have all kinds of tubes for transporting stuff like our blood vessels and urinary tract. So we run one of these tubes from the intestine to the storage area in the head. We can even get fancy and put in back flow valves like exists in the circulatory system to more efficiently force the methane towards the head and prevent it from moving backwards.

(3)At the end of the transport tube where it enters the storage area, we place a sphincter or muscle to prevent the methane from being forced back down our transport system when it is pressurized. Like the control valves we have in places like the entrance and exit to the stomach, the heart, and the exit for the rectum. We would also need one of these control valves at the exit to the storage area to control the release of the methane and to prevent the ignited methane leaving the body from being drawn back into the storage area when our dragon releases pressure on the storage area. The latter would cause our storage area to become a bomb and, I guess you could say, blow his little mind. :-)

(4) For the storage area, we need a flexible and contractible bladder like our own urine bladder or the poison bladders used by deadly snakes. some of these are capable of considerable pressure. It would be easy to design a bladder which would be able to compress methane gas enough to cause it to expel the gas from the mouth to a distance of from 30 feet to maybe as much as 100 or more feet. A great example here is the black or spitting cobra in Asia which can spit its poison with deadly accuracy up to about 10 feet. Since gas is much lighter and more compressible, it could easily be projected much further with the same bladder. Remember that we have a control valve at the exit to this bladder.

(5) Then we need one or two little tubes like the poison tubes used by snakes to transport the methane to the roof of the mouth so that the gas can be expelled through the mouth when the mouth is open giving the appearance of the creature "breathing fire." No problem.

(6) Now we need some form of heat to ignite the methane gas just as it is leaving the mouth. An electric spark is commonly used by welders to ignite their torches. We have a number of electric generating animals of which the best known are the electric eel and electric catfish which are capable of generating enough of a charge to kill an adult human. We don't need that much charge to ignite our methane gas. To create the spark we need, we could simply use either two nodes hanging from the roof of the mouth or two well defined teeth or fangs for our spark to jump across.

We just designed our fire breathing dragon so that, when he opens his mouth, the bladder compresses (a voluntary action), the exit sphincter for the bladder releases, the gas exits into and through the mouth, and a small spark jumps across two "electrodes" igniting the gas and producing a very impressive fire belching forth from the beast's mouth. When the beast decides to stop breathing fire, the exit sphincter closes first, and then the bladder relaxes preventing a back fire into the bladder and our little fire breather doesn't get his mind blown. :-)

Is a fire breathing dragon scientifically feasible? You bet. Especially if you have an intelligent being creating it. As a matter of fact, with molecular engineering, molecular construction of living organisms, and genetic engineering you could easily create or farm almost any animal you wanted. The unicorn would only require taking a gene for the horn from a certain antelope in Africa and splicing it into the right gene for a horse. We have the technology to do this today.

Pegasus would require more biological engineering because we would have to reengineer the skeletal structure for the chest cavity of the horse so it could support the flight muscles and the stress loading of wings in flight. We might also have to redesign such things as the horse's bones to make them lighter and still be strong enough to handle the animal's weight. Of course, we might have to also engineer the horse to make it smaller and lighter.

I believe that, if Jesus does not return in the near future and we begin using molecular construction of living organisms to farm life on planets, our scientists will begin to make such highly imaginative organisms for fun and pleasure. They could even learn how to make a small bird, butterfly, or insect of some kind that would look like our imagined fairies. I wouldn't be surprised to see them become quite artistic and produce things like different sizes and types of fire breathing dragons. We could eventually create real live fantasy lands like a 21st or 22nd Century Disney World or Universe where people could visit for fun. There would be a huge amount of money to be made with such technology.

As with all technology, there is a down side to this technology which we must consider and develop controls to prevent potential abuses. All too often, what can be used to create wonderful things can also be used to create terrible things. The art is determined by the hands used to create it.

Imagine this technology in the hands of a mad man like Sadam Hussein, the leader of Iraq. His scientists could engineer an entire population of loyal slaves. Zygotes would be specially engineered for soldiers, pilots, scientists, workers, and other people. They would be programmed to split into quintuplets after being implanted into women strapped into beds in secret military hospitals as baby factories. Every nine months a "crop" of babies would be harvested and sent to special homes/schools to be raised and trained to be loyal to "Father Hussein." Later, our technology would permit him to actually create adults ready for war and work with memories programmed into their minds. The training will have become completely biological as instincts. Their obedience to the leader will be instinctive with no morals or values. That would relegate women to being servants, cooks, and sex toys. We also need to think about such sick things because, given the history of man, some sick person or group of persons will want to do this and more.

I can see every military on the planet engineering specialized soldiers. They would create soldiers with wings and the sonar of bats so they could fly in against enemy soldiers at night and attack them from the sky like giant mosquitoes with automatic weapons. Or mermaids and mermen to fight for the Navy. How about poisonous armadillos and porcupines trained to attack the enemy at night in their fox holes and trenches. Soldiers who are men from the waist up and horses from the neck down so they could run faster, an unmounted cavalry. Or put a small man on its back and you would have twice the firepower. For all technology, we must consider the bad with the good.

The main point here is that we have and are developing the technology to eventually farm any organisms we want. Since it is inevitable that we will "create" life through molecular construction of living organisms, we MUST answer the question,"Why isn't it possible that someone else already has?" We simply cannot afford to ignore this question any longer.

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