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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2005
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Claim CB311:

Butterfly metamorphosis is too complex to have evolved.


Poirier, Jules and Kenneth B. Cumming, 1993. Design features of the monarch butterfly life cycle. Impact 237 (Mar.);


  1. This is an argument from incredulity. Because one does not understand how butterfly metamorphosis evolved does not mean it is too complex to have evolved.

    Growth patterns intermediate to full metamorphosis already exist, ranging from growth with no metamorphosis (such as with silverfish) to partial metamorphosis (as with true bugs and mayflies) complete metamorphosis with relatively little change in form (as with rove beetles), and the metamorphosis seen in butterflies. It is surely possible that similar intermediate stages could have developed over time to produce butterfly metamorphosis from an ancestor without metamorphosis. In fact, an explanation exists for the evolution of metamorphosis based largely on changes in the endocrinology of development (Truman and Riddiford 1999).


  1. Truman, J. W. and L. M. Riddiford, 1999. The origins of insect metamorphosis. Nature 401: 447-452.

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