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What do Christopher Columbus, Reneke, Zénobe Gramme and Louis Pasteur have in common? They were all inventors. Well fine, but who invented the crab's claw, the suction cups and the flight of squids or the proboscis of blood sucking insects? Is invention intellectual fantasy, an industrial tool or a fundamental biological reaction? How is this riddle to be solved?
Should we go through the list of inventions or inventors ? Is it a question of circumstances or motivations?
Who is in charge? The Material or the Spirit?
In order to try to find a way of answering these questions, first a few very different inventors and their inventions will be presented. A few paradoxes emerge from this first part.
Then we will devote an entire chapter to an exceptional inventor whose extraordinary work revolutionized how we now approach this topic. Finally, what can be said about all the inventions like the wings of birds or butterflies, the eyes of fish or insects, the leaves of trees or the social organization of beehives? In these cases, man is not the inventor. There are countless marvels like these in the world around us. Can we explain them? This will be the subject of the third part of this essay.
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