Time for Everything
11/11/11 at 11:59 PM 0 Comments

Evolution's Enemy: The Butterfly

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Twenty years ago I was working part-time at the Sugarcane Research Unit in Houma, Louisiana, while attending college.

Besides collecting weather data for the National Weather Service and watering cane in the greenhouses, I collected eggs from the sugarcane borer. In the larva stage this insect eats sugarcane before undergoing a metamorphosis that results in a moth.

Moths, butterflies and frogs represent a serious challenge to evolutionary theories. How can natural selection turn a tadpole into a frog and a caterpillar into a butterfly?

Butterfly in Michigan
Linda Tanner
Butterfly in Michigan

The documentary Metamorphosis explores the life cycle of the butterfly. Scientists express skepticism of the idea the butterfly could emerge through slow evolutionary changes without any planning. The scientists conclude intelligent design is the most reasonable explanation for the existence of the butterfly.

Metamorphosis: The Beauty & Design of Butterflies by Illustra Media

Mathematician Greenville Sewell and blogger for Uncommon Descent describes the evolutionary problem this way:

"The process of transforming a caterpillar into a butterfly is surely far more complex than anything ever accomplished by man. The information needed to control this process, stored somewhere in the caterpillar's cells, must be far greater than that stored in any man-made computer program. And explaining how this enormous program arose through many "5 or 6 character" improvements is even more challenging here, because now the intermediate stages are not just useless, they are fatal. Metamorphosis involves the destruction of the caterpillar: the butterfly, with an almost completely new body plan, is constructed from dissolved and recycled tissues and cells of the caterpillar. Now we are not talking about climbing Mount Improbable, we are talking about building a bridge across an enormous chasm, between caterpillar and butterfly. Until construction of this extremely long and complicated bridge is almost complete, it is a bridge to nowhere. Unless a butterfly (or another organism capable of reproduction) comes out at the end, the chrysalis only serves as a casket for the caterpillar, which cannot reproduce. Now we do not have to simply imagine uses for not-quite-watertight vacuum chamber traps, we have to imagine a selective advantage for committing suicide before you are able to reproduce, and that is a more difficult challenge."

The next time a theist debates Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, or Michael Shermer, I hope the question comes up, "How can naturalistic processes produce a butterfly?"

The evolutionists often accuse theists of having "blind faith"but it will be blind faith in naturalism on display.

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