March 9, 2015 | David F. Coppedge

Evolving Butterfly Designs

Other than asserting that evolution made them, evolutionists are a-flutter when facing clear evidence of design in butterflies.

Golden Ratio without Darwin rationality: a stunning close-up of a butterfly proboscis (feeding tube) adorns a press release from Oxford University. What’s even more impressive is what the scientists found. They discovered that the curl of the proboscis follows the Golden Ratio (see 12/22/09, #4).

The mysterious Golden Ratio (also known as Phi (φ), the Golden Mean, or the Divine Number) is an incommensurable number – a relationship between two irrational numbers – which occurs organically throughout the universe. Beginning as 1.61803, the Golden Ratio continues forever without repeating, similar to Pi (π). Artists and architects have employed the number to guide design. In the natural world, the Golden Ratio often appears in the shape of a spiral.

The scientists suspected that the Golden Ratio might also appear in the coiled proboscis of the butterfly. They investigated several species with differing feeding habits, and found a design trait, not an evolutionary one:

Amazing FactsThough proboscis geometry did not show a trend that matched the evolutionary relationships among the studied species, it was discovered that the Golden Ratio did relate to butterfly feeding habits, and sap-feeding butterflies have proboscis conformations that closely resemble the Golden Ratio….

“Although coincidental, it is fascinating that a mathematical occurrence can be used to reveal a widespread pattern at radically different scales, from galaxies to butterfly proboscises,” concludes lead author Matthew S. Lehnert.

Golden chrysalis: Why is the chrysalis of the Asian paper kite butterfly a brilliant gold color with spots? In answer to a reader’s question, National Geographic says it evolved for camouflage. Say it isn’t so, Darwin. The photo shows that the chrysalis stands out like a golden Chinese vase hanging from its brown twig.

It’s unknown why the chrysalis itself is gold, but its shininess helps camouflage the developing butterfly, says Katy Prudic, a biologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

In particular, the sheen is “disruptive” to potential predators—it makes the chrysalis “hard to detect in a complicated background,” Prudic says. A hungry bird may even think it looks like a drop of water.

Water is usually not a brilliant gold. But then again, by contrast, the article states later that brilliantly-colored species like the Morpho, with its iridescent blue, uses its flashy color for courtship or mating. It wouldn’t reproduce very well, though, if predators see it before mates do.

The only case of evolution the article mentioned was this: “Another species called the viceroy has even evolved to mimic the monarch’s appearance so that predators keep their distance, according to Prudic.” Asserting something doesn’t explain it.

From there, the article went on to discuss the structural color that gives some species blues, purples and whites, and the pigments that decorate others with oranges, reds, and blacks. Prudic also explained that sometimes diet affects chrysalis color, but not always; the paper kite butterfly does not eat gold-colored food.

Evolution explains camouflage, except when it explains flashiness. It explains bad taste, except when it explains good taste. It explains structural color, except when it explains pigmented color. See? It explains everything. What’s the problem? Replace “evolution” with a nonsense word, and you will see. It’s just a placeholder for ignorance.

The Darwinians strain at a gnat, but swallow a camel. They get all excited if they can put together a scenario where camouflage or mimicry evolves by natural selection, but they ignore the weightier issues of natural law, like the ubiquity of the Golden Ratio, the complex genetic codes that give rise to butterflies, and the multiple levels of hierarchical systems that can allow a monarch butterfly to migrate thousands of miles to reach a precise target (see Metamorphosis: The Beauty and Design of Butterflies from Illustra Media). They don’t tackle the big questions, because they would run against Charlie’s falsification criterion: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Darwin went on to say he could find no such case. Of course he couldn’t. His eyes were closed.

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  • rockyway says:

    “It’s unknown why the chrysalis itself is gold, but its shininess helps camouflage the developing butterfly, says Katy Prudic…”

    – What’s she’s doing is giving the textbook answer even though it’s not remotely plausible. Some people are too timid to question even the most implausible of Darwinian claims. (Take a look at the photograph and see if her explanation makes any sense to you.)

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