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How the Caterpillar Got Its Legs…Or Not

Photo: Caterpillar in Baltic amber, by Manukyan Andranik via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 4.0 International).

Almost 400 years after its discovery, the process of metamorphosis is still a thorny conundrum for evolutionary biologists. But there are other aspects of the humble caterpillar that elude a satisfactory Darwinian explanation, like the origin of caterpillar prolegs. On a new episode of ID the Future, paleo-entomologist Dr. Günter Bechly returns to share insights with us from another article in his popular Fossil Friday series. 

Dr. Bechly starts by discussing the phenomenon of metamorphosis and the challenges it poses to Darwinists attempting to explain it. He explores the different hypotheses for the evolution of metamorphosis and evaluates their explanatory power. Dr. Bechly also examines the fossil record and the waiting time problem for the origin of metamorphosis. Then he delves into the origin of prolegs in caterpillar larvae and critiques a recent study on the topic. He explains that some scientists aren’t checking the plausibility of their evolutionary calculations carefully enough. When it comes to the origin of features like metamorphosis and prolegs, time is not on the side of a gradual, undirected process. Instead, Dr. Bechly argues that intelligent design provides a better explanation for these complex biological developments. Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Dig Deeper

  • Read the article that inspired this conversation. 
  • Read more installments of Dr. Bechly’s Fossil Friday series at Evolution News.