Sunday, 17 July 2011

Butterflies Challenge Darwinian Evolution

Joel Kontinen

Butterflies come in a large variety of sizes and shapes. From the shape of their wings to their colour, each of them is amazingly unique.

What is more, the butterfly also changes its shape several times during its lifetime. The metamorphosis from egg to caterpillar, caterpillar to pupa (chrysalis) and pupa to adult butterfly would require a real miracle – something that Darwinian evolution is not capable of bringing about.

Everything in the butterfly has to change – and several times. Old cells are destroyed and used as raw material for completely new types of structures.

The butterfly’s organs will also be transformed. They have to be re-designed from start to finish. For instance, the brain and guts will be totally changed so that the butterfly becomes an entirely different animal.

Natural selection cannot cause this as it would have to know the result before it can begin to change the animal. And as Richard Dawkins puts it, the Darwinian watchmaker is blind, unable to see what it is doing and unable to plan ahead.

Humans have not been able to produce anything as sophisticated as the butterfly even with meticulous planning.

Illustra Media has produced a DVD on the development of the butterfly. Its trailer gives a good impression of this marvel of design: