Butterfly Nightmare


Jerry Coyne, in his new book entitled Why Evolution is True, conveniently circumvents any reference to the butterfly, as does Darwin-Discovering the Tree of Life by Niles Eldridge. The California State sponsored website, “Understanding Evolution,” website completely ignores the notorious nature of butterflies—metamorphosis.

So, why is the evolution industry silent on butterfly metamorphosis? The answer is simple—the same DNA is found in all four life cycles; egg, caterpillar (larva), cocoon (pupa) and butterfly (adult). Metamorphosis, to the theory of evolution, is an enigma.

For over 3,500 years, to the Egyptians, Chinese, and Greeks, the butterfly symbolism was derived from the unique butterfly life cycles. The egg first develops into the caterpillar before transitioning into the cocoon. Amazingly, inside the cocoon, the caterpillar is destroyed before developing into the stunningly colorful butterfly cycle.

According to the theory of evolution, the DNA (genotype) determines the form (phenotype). The fact that the metamorphosis of the butterfly uses the same DNA in all four cycles, challenges gene-centric theories of evolution.

With the same DNA producing different forms, the message is clear: DNA is not the lone blueprint controller of life. Genetic evidence from the butterfly undermines the Central Dogma of evolution—“one gene, one protein.”

The butterfly is not an isolated phenomenon. Italian geneticist Giuesppe Sermonti points out that “examples of highly divergent forms possessing one and the same DNA are so conspicuous and so numerous that the marvel is that they have attracted so little attention.”

Even more astounding in the case of the butterfly, Sermonti notes, “what we call metamorphosis is not really a change in form. Once the pupa, or chrysalis, stage is reached, the caterpillar starts emptying itself: its organs dissolve, and its outer covering is shed. Only certain groups of cells, called marginal disks, remain vital. From these cells develop all the structures of adult.”

The larva of the butterfly not only changes form, but actually dissolves before rebuilding into the structure of a butterfly—a new life-form. From the same DNA arises a completely different organism. According to Sermonti, the same DNA, then, can play different roles: “DNA may lend itself to such diverse forms, but it is not the DNA that imposes the blueprint.”

The presence of the same DNA in different life-forms has been given the term “genomic equivalence”. This means that control of the cell is beyond the DNA, or “epigenetic.”

Brian Goodman, Canadian developmental biologist and key founder of theoretical biology, focuses on the methods of mathematics and physics to understand processes in biology concludes –

While genes are responsible for determining which molecules an organism can produce, the molecular composition of organisms does not, in general, determine their form.

H. Frederik Nijhout of the Department of Biology at Duke University, a critic of Crick’s central dogma, came to the conclusion that “the only strictly correct view of the function of genes [DNA] is that they supply cells, and ultimately organisms, with chemical materials.”

The butterfly nightmare phenomena in evolution adherents are real, the result of the holding on to the belief: DNA mutation + natural selection = evolution—a theory not supported by evidence in nature.

State funded evolutionary education along with the high priests of evolution, Jerry Coyne, and Niles Eldridge, should now deliver a therapeutic service to humanity by addressing blatant contradictions between the theory of evolution and natural history.

No wonder French geneticist, discoverer of the Down syndrome, Jérôme Lejeune, cut to the chase – “There is no theory of evolution.”

25 Responses to “Butterfly Nightmare”

  • I am not an entomologist nor evolutionary biologist, but I will point you here:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB311.html (there’s a citation there for a Nature article about this: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v401/n6752/abs/401447a0.html). To say, then, that evolutionary biologists are silent on butterfly metamorphosis is dishonest.

  • Thanks for your comments. Butterfly Nightmares, however, highlights how the genetic evidence in the butterfly life cycles contradicts the basis tenets of evolution: the phenotype (form/structure/function) does not following the geneotype (genetics). The DNA does not change between the life cycles.

    It should be noted, biologists obviously acknowledge the existence of metamorphosis – or they would not have passed Biology 101. Evolutionists, however, have not resolved this contradiction with the theory of evolution.

    Here’s what’s up – according to the most popular theory of evolution, new DNA mutations acted on by natural selection gives rise to new changes. The underlying assumption is that DNA drives the changes. The butterfly, however, examplifies that DNA has nothing to do with the life cycle changes. The phenotype and geneotype can function independently.

    Please note, neither of the two links you sent address this issue. Could you post at least one relevant link that explains how the four life cycles in the butterfly is compatible with the basic tenets of evolution?

  • Anna:

    Best blog I’ve read in a long time, thank you so much for posting this. I mean it really is amazing…

    I’d also agree that the links presented on this matter are not valid. I will return from time to time to see if more comes about.

  • What can I say but Wow! This weblog is great! Do you take all the photos for this post? It is good to see others who appreciates things such as this. Because I am a online florist I find this kind of issue quite interesting. May I backlink back here from my blog site? Thank you for posting. Lily Christensen

  • Greetings – Lily! Thanks for your kind comments – please feel free to backlink. Have a Great Day, Rich

  • Greetings – Anna! Somehow missed you post in November. If you have a chance, please let me know what links need to be fixed. Have a Great Day, Rich

  • Charmscale:

    Only a small portion of DNA is active at any one time. The change from caterpillar to butterfly is caused by a slow change in which genes are active and which genes are inactive. This delicate dance of activation, inactivation, proteins, and hormones is probably the best evidence that God is both a genius and an artist. Your attempts to belittle his artistry by oversimplifying it make me kind of sad.

    Looks like they’ve even found the gene for metamorphosis now:

  • Greetings – Charmscale!

    The butterfly awesomely demonstrates God’s genius and artistry. The point of the article is that the origin of life goes beyond the once preconceived controlling bounds of DNA, as beautifully demonstrated by the butterfly.

    DNA is no longer considered the ultimate controller of life. It is now widely recognized that there are unknown factors beyond DNA and genetics that must account for life. Since the control of life is now known to exist beyond DNA, scientists have been looking for factors that are epi-genetic—beyond DNA and genes.

    Consequently, modern scientists have been leaving gene-centric theories of evolution, like Crick’s Central Dogma and the Modern Synthesis theory. This has become an insurmountable problem for traditional evolutionists.

    In an attempt to solve this now glaring problem, evolutionary scientists convened the Altenberg Summit during the summer of 2008 to begin to conceptualize and develop a new theorical basis for evolution—since the gene-centric theory is now considered dead.

    While the 2006 article your posted suggests that some sort of a “broad gene” may be involved, since then the existence “broad gene” seems to have evaded investigators. What have you learned about the “broad gene”?

    Bottom line: God’s genius and artistry is beyond our comprehension. Who can figure out the mind of God?

    In the words of Albert Einstein, “The more I study science the more I believe in God.”

  • jo:

    This is amazing, thanks very much Richard for sharing.
    God bless you

  • Wonderful argument, and one that I will have to revisit again (when the kids aren’t whispering to me in the background *grin*).

    My husband and three boys all have the same genetic disorder, and I find it astounding that anyone can look at the wonders of any kind of genetic understanding we have and not see that the theory of evolution is flawed. More distressing to me are those who leave out the “theory” part and say evolution has been proven by science.

    It has been theorized, and as your post so eloquently points out, there is so much we don’t understand about genes, about DNA, about how much each control the expression of a given genetic variable.

    For instance, my guys have a rare disorder, called Axenfeld-Rieger Syndrome, which is considered autosomal dominant, with variable expression. To look at my husband and each of my children, you would wonder at how the expression of this syndrome is so varied from person to person. Proof, that knowing the genes, the different loci within the DNA strands, which lead to certain expressions, does NOT mean we understand how they all work together.

    Excellent discussion using the beautiful butterfly to illustrate your point. The theory of evolution is just that, a theory … and it is flawed.

  • Mahlon L.:

    Nice article, keep them coming. I wanted to leave a quote for you that I have hanging in my office.
    “I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it’s been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has.”
    Malcomb Muggeridge

  • abdi:


    I’ve read the explanation given by “neo-darwinists” where they try to explain why the butterfly & caterpillar have different phenotypes despite having the same DNA. The reason given is that that the DNA can code for different phenotypes and during the different life cycles some genes aren’t expressed, hence the different types of bodyform. So basically what they are saying is that the genes for the butterfly aren’t expressed when it is in caterpillar-form and vice versa. So my question is how is this a nightmare as you have put it?? is the explanation accurate or just another “just-so story” from the evolutionists.

  • Greetings!

    Since the different phenotype expressions from the same DNA as different genes are expressed is a likely metamorphosis mechanism, the problem for any theory of evolution is that the molecular structure alone cannot account for phenotypes. The Modern Synthesis theory, variably referred to as neo-Darwinism, has been totally dependent upon DNA and genetic mutations as the driving force of evolution.

    This is exactly why many evolutionary scientists have largely abandoned the Modern Synthesis theory for an the “Extended Synthesis Theory” of evolution. The book by Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd B. Muller entitled Evolution-The Extended Synthesis while highlighting the problems with the Modern Synthesis theory also highlight why a consensus on any of the current evolution theories will likely remain beyond the reach of science.

    For these reasons, “State funded evolutionary education along with the high priests of evolution, Jerry Coyne, and Niles Eldridge, should now deliver a therapeutic service to humanity by addressing blatant contradictions between the theory of evolution and natural history.”

    Interested in your comments!

  • abdi:

    Hallo again

    But have they managed to prove their claim about the different genes not being expressed in the different forms?? even if its is proven, it begs the question “how did dna manage to code for different phenotypes in the first place” ?

    Anyway i would gladly appreciate if you could recommend other books that talk about the flaws of evolution in general?

  • Greetings!

    Different genes are typically expressed in different forms while the same genes can be expressed in different forms. Here is a link for additional reading http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26885/

    Your question “how did dna manage to code for different phenotypes in the first place” is a great question – one that has not yet been answered with any known naturalistic process.

    My book Darwin, Then and Now is a historical narrative on the rise and fall of evolution. There are a ton more books available – many of these are found in my “Reference Library” page. I would highly recommend Signature in the Cell by Stephen Meyers – which is largely a personal and historical narrative.

    Interested in any of your comments/questions – and suggestions!

  • I relish, result in I found just what I was having a look for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

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  • Erik Kengaard:


  • While epigenetics is critical in biology, a scientific consensus for the possible role of epigenetics in the origin of life and the origin of species does not exist. Therefore, epigenetics fails as a replacement theory following the demise of the central dogma once enthroned by the mighty modern synthesis theory in the late twentieth century.

  • CL:

    Nice article, but two corrections… the photo shows the egg, larva and pupa of a monarch, but the adult shown is a morpho butterfly. Second, you list the pupal stage as the “cocoon”. A cocoon is not a pupa, it is a protective covering that the caterpillar of some (not all) species of moths spin, and then pupate inside it. If you shake a cocoon you can usually hear the pupa rattle around inside it. Butterflies do not spin cocoons (except for a few species of Parnassians which spin a very flimsy cocoon), and their pupa is commonly called a chrysalis (plural: chrysalids).

  • frank chou:

    The so-called “Junk DNA” turned out to be “Regulatory DNA” that control many activation/inactivation, expression/non-expression roles. Turning the switch on and off and the timing and sequence of all these activities are fundamentally important for the living organism. Also, the starting point at the particular base in the a segment of DNA’s gene sequence would produce a totally different protein. Genetic DNA is a message, with a purpose and meaning, beyond simple “information”. Genetic DNA is a subjective message from an intelligence. We call Him God.

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  • Great post. I teethed on the book Scientific Creationism almost 40 years ago and found the author’s distinction between theory and model invaluable. Since no one has ever observed the Big Bang or macro-evolution (kind changing into a new kind)in action, and neither is experimentally repeatable, neither deserve to be called a theory but a model. At best, models collect evidence for both pro and con positions and compare the results to determine which is likely to be the more true conclusion – subject to change if new evidence is found.
    Calling something a theory when it is not, gives it a false status of credibility that then can be “stretched” into a (so-called) fact. That is not science but sophistry.
    Also, I find it deceptive that the sub-title of Charles Darwin’s “Origins …”, which proves he is a racist, is conveniently “forgotten.” The wide acceptance of his spurious model has caused inestimable human prejudice and suffering world-wide.
    I deal with and far more on my free on-line book at totaltruth.org
    Keep up the great work!

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Darwin, Then and Now is a journey through the most amazing story in the history of science - the history of evolution. The book encapsulates who Darwin was, what he said, and what scientists have discovered since the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859.

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