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Bernard d’Abrera on Butterfly Mimicry and the Faith of the Evolutionist

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In this excerpt from the free new e-book from Discovery Institute Press, Metamorphosis: The Case for Intelligent Design in a Chrysalis, renowned butterfly scholar and photographer Bernard d’Abrera considers the mystery of mimicry. This gorgeously illustrated companion to the new Illustra documentary Metamorphosis can be downloaded here.

There are two principal kinds of mimicry, Batesian and Mullerian, but it hardly matters what they are called, because the point is that if the butterflies are not personally responsible for acquiring the capacity for protective resemblance or mimicry (and we are all agreed that it is a neat (intelligent) trick), then who or what intelligence put it there? For it to happen in a single species once through chance, is mathematically highly improbable. But when it occurs so often, in so many species, and we are expected to apply mathematical probability yet again, then either mathematics is a useless tool, or we are being criminally blind.

  • (a) any given specific kind differs (inter alia) from any other specific kind by the uniqueness of its genetic make-up (usually demonstrable by qualifying chromosome type and quantifying its number);
  • (b) genetic information by any individual within a specific kind can only be transmitted (naturally) by inheritance;
  • (c) the only source of such inheritance in nature is from sexually complementary parents, and finally from one original male and one original female of that specific kind;
  • (d) the original male and original female must have had sufficient gene vigor to sustain millions of generations before entropy finally brings their line to non-viability. Therefore such a male and such a female must necessarily have been superior to their progeny, and could only have been created fully programmed, “ready fashioned,” with all the genetic information required for the survival through time of their specific kind. This survival would also necessarily encompass any variations imposed upon the population that would permit the species or kind to adapt to changes in environment or other pressures. For example, such extrinsic dynamics as changes in climate and elevation or isolation through geological upheaval would be the primary cause of race formation. It must be stressed that evolutionists erroneously refer to such changes as “microevolution.” They are nothing of the kind. I repeat, they are simply a built-in or programmed response of a species or kind to extrinsic dynamic change. The proof of this is that when isolated populations (races) with clear morphological differences from other related isolated populations are allowed to mix with their relatives, they usually disappear as individual races, returning to the species or kind, another example of so-called “evolution in reverse.” Indeed, it is well proven that if many of these isolated populations remain cut off for very long periods of time, the gene pool diminishes in its vigor, and the population perishes. (Dog, cat, and avian breeders know this sorry state of affairs all too well!);
  • (e) Evolutionists refuse to see this, and in fact propose quite the opposite. In several of my previous works, I quote the words of a great geneticist, Professor Maciej Giertych, on this subject.
  • (f) In all species of butterflies the sexes are morphologically different to a greater or lesser extent. This is called sexual dimorphism. To the scientist, whose ontological sensibilities are unencumbered by fashionable skepticism, and who thus understands intelligent, ordered creation, there is no need to explain the obvious. But for the evolutionist, who bases everything on unintelligent and unintelligible chance, there is a need to explain in logical terms (in other words, by the rules of philosophy) the following:At what point in the evolution of these species did the males and their respective females, both emerge in time, so as to
    • (i) Recognize each other as being of the same species, in spite of their differences?
    • (ii) Get together to mate successfully, to reproduce their own kind–because just one evolutionary state of error in trial would guarantee extinction?In other words, if either sex of each species descended from a common ancestor, was the evolution of the form of each sex (in other words its “morphism”), absolutely parallel throughout evolutionary history, so that at each stage of the evolution of that species, blind, unintelligent chance would determine that they continue to express different morphologies, but still maintain specific homogeneity and thus be able to mate successfully?

The evolutionary model requires much faith. Hence the need for evolutionists to face the inherent self-contradiction in their belief in continual ordered existence (through reproduction) of millions of specific kinds of living creatures (arising together, in time), entirely from nowhere, by disordered, materially non-existent chance.
Evolutionism (with its two eldest daughters, phylogenetics and cladistics) is the only systematic synthesis in the history of the universe that proposes an Effect without a Final Cause. It is a great fraud, and cannot be taken seriously because it outrageously attempts to defend the philosophically indefensible.

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