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Butterflies: Where Should the Thanks for Their Intricate Design?

Variety of butterflies on the ground: Photo 81633055 © Pleprakaymas |

[Thanks to Karl Priest, the Insect Man, for alerting me to this program on his Thank God for Insects page.]

Nature documentaries and various programs give us a close-up way to experience what would otherwise be too expensive or complicated for us to enjoy in real life. They are often beautiful, using the world’s best camera equipment and professional photographers to capture footage that inspires awe in the most seasoned explorer.

And a program focusing on butterflies is sure to be a superb visual delight. Not only that, this particular show is strongly focused on how the butterfly’s features inspire our best engineers with their microstructures and complex habits.

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But, NOVA’s Butterfly Blueprints aired on PBS, the network supported by the taxpayers of the United States of America. So, naturally, they can’t allow religion into their narrative, can they? Let’s see what they do allow, shall we?

The opening sentence closes with this grand statement:

…all thanks to the millions of years of evolution packed into the remarkable world of butterflies and moths.

Soon the narrator continues with:

Their variety and beauty are testimony to the power of evolution, as are their countless hidden features, some visible only with the most powerful microscopes.


As champions of evolution, they’ve been at it for tens of millions of years.

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The amazing evolutionary tricks of butterflies and moths are not limited to their wings

And the longevity Heliconius [a butterfly species] may glean from pollen shows how tightly the evolution of butterflies depends on the plants they feed on. Plants and butterflies have mutual evolution.
From egg to chrysalis, many butterfly species are born, grow up and metamorphose on individual plant species with which they are associated.

There is Nothing Mandatory About Evolution

In fact, while I’ve listed each reference to evolution in this program, you’ll notice none of them have any particulars about how it could have occurred. They aren’t describing a scientific process here, they’re describing a creator-replacement.

Like everyone on earth, the people who put this program together know there is only one alternative to evolution that could bring a butterfly into existence. And that alternative is an intelligent creator, aka, God.

As usual when presenting material for public consumption, there are several elephants in the butterfly room whose trumpet calls are being hugely ignored.

What’s Missing from the Show

A major focus of this particular program is how the features and functions of butterflies that allow them to thrive under ordinary circumstances are of interest to innovative engineers.

Today, scientists around the world are studying these natural treasures. Discovering secrets that can be adapted and applied to make our world more sustainable.

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Researchers have been inspired by incredible nanoscopic structures in the wings and bodies of butterflies, enabling the creation of innovative technologies that may one day save lives and even help combat climate change.

We’re talking about structures so microscopically detailed it’s taken us until now to develop the equipment to even study them. And it’s going to take a lot more ingenuity to mimic these materials for our own use.

Whether it’s utilizing silk in human medicine or developing more efficient solar panels, we’re looking to these small, short-lived creatures for beyond-cutting-edge designs.

But a butterfly’s brain is far too small to even understand what its body is doing, let alone program it. This is why naturalists are left with only one admissible answer for their exquisite design:

mindless, random chance mutations.

The Elephant of Butterfly Metamorphosis

For years I’ve been pointing out that you can read any kids’ material about butterflies you like without worrying about them mentioning their evolution. That’s because the few stories we’ve concocted of how they could have evolved such a complex lifecycle and features all look ludicrous to the uninitiated.

While this particular program does mention evolution repeatedly, it’s never in the context of their lifecycles, or even anything specific. Only when, with what, and that it did happen (in some unspecified way).

Can you imagine what would happen if someone tried replacing the word “evolved” with “for no reason at all mutated”? No one really finds random, mindless chance a satisfying answer. In fact, it’s not uncommon for there to be a strong undertone of pantheism in the claims of many naturalists.

But if you push this reasoning to the point where you put the butterfly in charge of its own evolution you’ll see how ludicrous this solution is. And if it’s Mother Earth who’s so smart, you just have a vague goddess instead of the real God.

How Much Better to Honor the Real Designer

As for me and my house, we love butterflies, love the way we can learn from them and about them, therefore we choose to consciously give thanks to the only One brilliant and powerful enough to have brought them into existence and provided for them all these years.

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Romans 11:33–36

Cheri Fields Lake Michigan profile 2020

Written by Cheri Fields

Hi, I’m Cheri Fields: 2nd generation homeschooling mom of seven, wife, writer, and science lover. There is a wealth of information available to help people see how trustworthy God and His testimony in the Bible is. The key is to explain concepts simply so they can be understood by anyone. This is my goal, and I’ve had a lot of fun tackling areas where the world tests our faith.

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