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The Lie: Evolution



by Brian W.Grantham-Hill

What is the fascination of butterflies? Why have so many butterfly farms sprung up all over the UK? We will consider some of the features of this family, which, together with the duller moths, make up the order of Lepidoptera, so-called because of the delicate little scales on their wings.

Fragile as butterflies appear to us, the superb design of these insects enables them to flourish almost throughout the entire globe. Butterflies are normally harmless to crops, although some moth larvae feed on crops as diverse as grain, sugar and tobacco.

The adult butterfly body consists of three parts; head, thorax and abdomen. The blood system is "open" and not constrained in veins like fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Air is brought to the muscles and organs by tiny airtubes (tracheae) which open onto the tough chitin skin. There are three pairs of legs attached to the central thorax although the larvae may have additional prolegs and claspers not present in the adult.

The Life Cycle

Adults lay eggs which hatch into cater" pillars that hibernate into chrysalises and come to life again as adult butterflies. In the tropics, an egg may hatch within three days, the larva may eat greedily for eight days,pupation (the chrysalis stage) takes a further week and the adult emerges a mere 18 days from egg-laying. In cooler climates, the cycle slows to between two months and a year in species which spend the winter in hibernation.

The Silver-washed Fritillary lays her eggs on tree bark near the foodplant, her young hibernating there and descending in the Spring to eat Violet leaves. Detecting the correct foodplant for the egg-laying is performed by a process unknown to science— is it smell, texture or some chemical taste perhaps?

The Swallowtail larvae of Australia Troidini, can change the poisonous aristolochic acid of one plant family and then feed on them without competition from other kinds of butterfly or moth larvae. After eating the egg shell, each larvae increases its weight by up to 1,000 times, shedding its skin from 4 to 40 times. The final shedding is marked by the production of silk to attach itself to, even before the "hook" develops. Could this be anything other than perfect design pre-programming?

During this period of very active internal reorganisation, the sex of the individual becomes apparent and this controls the pattern and colours of two kinds of wing-scales — one kind reflects light like a mirror (this helps in camouflage,) while the other kind gives the distinctive wing patterns associated with different species. In the pupa, wings develop in a collapsed condition, waiting for the air pressure in the abdomen to force blood into the tiny hollow nervures when the butterfly emerges from its case: the erected wings dry immediately so that the insect can fly as soon as it becomes visible to birds. Wing coupling by means of lobes allows speeds to reach 15mph in some larger species, and mating often takes place during flight. Some jungle species will defend their territory from pairs of the same or other species. Most adult butterflies (imagos,) can suck up a nectar solution from flowers using the complex suction muscles of their proboscis. Some feed on animal dung, animal sweat and pollen.


During its life cycle, the butterfly undergoes a complete change in form and behaviour as it develops from larva (caterpillar) to chrysalis to imago (or adult butterfly.) The illustration of the Swallowtail highlights the dramatic difference between caterpillar and flying butterfly to which the evolutionist simply as no explanation. How could it develop in stages, each being less than perfect in form and function?

Some pupae (the reorganising chrysalis stage between larvae and imagos,) have to let go of their vertical hold for a fraction of a second to release the last shrivelled vestige of larval skin! During earlier growth this skin was regularly shed (ecdysis,) each time the caterpillar became too large for it: were an evolving pupa unable to make this skinshedding movement fast enough, it would drop to the ground and not survive. Extinction would face any species that was not perfect at every stage in its metamorphosis.

Evolution by chance is particularly absurd in this creature which undergoes such thorough changes during its life cycle. This drastic change of form involves several ther unusual features. The body cells of the caterpillar break down and migrate to different positions within the chrysalis, and there develop into entirely new organs. These include wings, antennea (feelers) and the coiled mouth-parts (proboscis) which can suck nectar from open flowers, not too mention the sex and reproductive organs which lay the eggs to develop into caterpillars.

Not one species of butterfly could ever afford to be "experimental" in its development— every stage of its life history must be complete and fully-functional or the race will die out. The enzymes which dissolve the body tissues of the caterpillar must only go so far or the entire creature would disappear as insect soup!

The marvel of this delicate yet fully functional design can only point to a designer.

This conclusion condemns the evolutionary dogma which insists upon random genetic changes (mutations) which will 'hopefully' improve the creature's chance of survival, or provide it with a better organ. It is an experimental fact that ALL mutations are harmful, some lethal, to organisms, as the laboratory irradiation of fruit-flies during the past century has amply verified. Natural selection weeds out non-lethal mutations, since they are not advantageous, so this process, far from being a mechanism of evolutionary progress, is a means of preserving the unhanged continuity of the species!

Consider the unusual little forked organ (osmaterium) possesed by Swallowtails (the cover illustration shows the caterpillar erecting its osmaterium behind its head)—when the Swallowtail senses danger, this organ pops in and out, emitting an unpleasant odour. Many predatory birds fly off when confronted by these vigorous movements, and seek food elsewhere. Since these osmateria confer an advantage, why do not all species of butterflies develop them? No creature can order its own body to produce a new piece of biological equipment—why have the Swallowtails, with their advantageous osmateria, not supplanted all other species of butterflies? As it is, there are many species without this organ which survive perfectly well.

Butterflies and Ants

Ants and the larvae of the Large Blue butterfly (Maculinea arion) can live together in the ant's nests; a form of symbiosis (living together for mutual benefit.) The tiny larva hatches from an egg laid on a thyme plant, on which it feeds for weeks, and then drops to the ground and waits for a red ant (Myrmica sp.) to find and stroke it. This stimulates the caterpillar to secrete a few drops of sweet honey-dew which the ant sucks up and takes back to the nest for feeding to the ant-larvae. When the ant returns to the Blue caterpillar, it finds its front segments puffed up and grips it with its jaws, struggling off with it to the nest. Once in the ant nest, the Blue larva continues to produce the honey-dew and in return devours some of the ant larvae! After a long winter, hibernation and Spring pupation, the adult Blue crawls out of the nest and inflates its wings ready for flight and mating. If man destroys the ant-hills, then the Blue disappears too: it is totally unable to complete its life-cycle outside an ant nest. An evolutionary explanation would require the Blue butterfly, the thyme and the ant to all evolve at the same time, with symbiosis between the three evolving types at all stages in this concerted evolution!

Robert Goodden of Sherborne in the south of England has pioneered a method of artificially rearing Large Blues and their host ants in walnut shells indoors. Each shell houses one Blue larva and a miniature ant nest and the adult Blues which finally emerge are then taken to repopulate the natural habitats where they have become almost extinct.

World Distribution

Butterflies occupy a wide range of habitats in the world: all the major regions have a fascinating variety of species, some of which do not remain in one location, but
migrate annually or seasonally.

Australasia, with its numerous oceanic islands, is home to the giant butterflies or 'birdwings'. These have a wingspan of up to one foot (females) and can fly well above the tree canopy of tropical forests when looking for a mate. One group of birdwings has a sex patch on the male forewing, which greatly enhances the brilliant metallic blue, green, orange and black colouration. Asian species include both temperate and tropical kinds. The export of both eggs and butterflies is a commercial industry on the island of Taiwan. Butterfly farms in the Far East not only provide many people with a livelihood, but help to conserve species at
the same time.

South America is renowned for its variety of mimic species. Five different species may feed together on the same shrub, quite incapable of interbreeding, yet all with almost identical colouring! One of them may be poisonous, so birds tend to leave them all alone. The superb Owl butterfly, so-called because of spots like owl eyes on each wing, are- also found in South America, feeding on bananas. The Tiger Swallowtails are impressive, with wing-spans up to six inches. They exhibit chromatic polymorphism whereby different individuals of the same species may look quite unlike one-another.

Africa, south of the Sahara desert, is the home to almost 1,500 brilliantly coloured kinds of butterfly, which include the huge Swallowtails—some of which are so rare that only a few specimens have ever been caught. Doubtless not all tropical species have been discovered. North America, including as it does Alaska and parts of the Arctic, provides habitats as diverse as those in Europe and Siberia: many species of Papilionoidea butterflies) are found throughout these territories. Several butterflies are able to survive in average temperatures of ten degrees Celsius below freezing for most of the year—in the Alps one can find them flying above the snowline. About seventy species can be identified in the British Isles, some migrants and some resident, but none unique to these isles. Iceland has no butterflies of its own, though some may be blown there occasionally.


Butterfly migration from North America to Britain is achieved by Danaus plexippus (the Milkweed), and other species migrate from North Africa through central Europe to the British Isles, while their progeny return in the Autumn without their parents. How do they know which route to take? When crossing between these continents, migrating butterflies take the short sea crossing at the Straits of Gibraltar, and when they fly over oceans, they keep within the boundary layer of air just above the surface for minimum wind resistance. Surely, in migration we also see an example of pre-programming by the Designer?


No one can offer a satisfactory explanation for the origin of the amazing change from larva to pupa to imago on the basis of evolution theory. In migration and symbiosis we are also forced to conclude that these colourful creatures are the handiwork of God. The change from the earth-bound caterpillar to an object of such beauty reminds us in a spectacular but inadequate parallel of the expectation of the Christian: "Behold, we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:51)


The following books, not written by creationists, contain much material which confirms the conclusion of this pamphlet—that evolution cannot account for biological design.

Butterflies' by E.B. Ford (Collins New Naturalist); 'The Illustrated Book of Insects' by John Barton (Peerage Books); 'The Dictionary of Butterflies and Moths' by Watson & Whalley (Peerage Books); 'The Wonderful World of Butterflies & Moths' by Robert Goodden (Hamlyn Publishing); 'The World of Butterflies' by Shordoni & Forestiero (Blandford Press).Pamphlet 257

Brian Grantham-Hill went to be with the Lord on August 3, 2010.

Be sure to see the Metamorphosismovie containing s pectacular photography, computer animation and magnetic resonance imaging open once hidden doors to every stage of a butterfly’s life cycle--from an egg the size of a pinhead to a magnificent flying insect. It is a transformation so incredible biologists have called it “butterfly magic.”