Thursday, 27 August 2015

Darwin's Finch’s Not-So-Darwinian Innovation: Insect Repellent

A male medium tree finch. Image courtesy of Jody O'Connor, public domain.

Joel Kontinen

Charles Darwin could hardly have surmised that a tiny Galapagos bird named after him would be clever enough to make its own insect repellent.

A research team from the University of Vienna found that Darwin’s finches picked leaves from guava trees and rubbed them into their feathers.

According to New Scientist, the “leaves repel mosquitoes and inhibit the growth of the bloodthirsty parasitic larvae.”

Contrary to evolutionary expectations, we would expect animals to have enough intelligence to cope in a fallen world. God, who created everything, did not forget the sparrow – or even the finch.

The Darwinian blind watchmaker could hardly have invented the amazing solutions we see in the animal kingdom.

Gliding spiders, moths that seem to defy the laws of physics, super sunscreen from fish, and the amazing design features in the octopus show that the Genesis-based model describes reality much better than the evolution model.


Blaszczak-Boxe, Agata. 2015. Darwin’s fast-evolving finches use a natural insect repellent. New Scientist (27 August).