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» New Evolutionary Puzzle — Butterflies ‘Evolved’ Proboscises Before Flowers Evolved

How and why these structures evolved remain mysteries to secularists.

It has long been assumed by evolutionists that butterflies and moths evolved their proboscises in order to obtain nectar from flowers which were already on the scene when the insects evolved. A proboscis is a long mouthpiece which the insects use to slurp up the nectar.

A new study has thrown this conventional idea for a loop. An international team of researchers studying fossils from the Triassic and Jurassic periods has reached a different conclusion. Graduate student Timo van Eldijk studied some tiny scales which once coated the bodies of butterflies and moths.

Van Eldijk discovered that some of the scales were hollow, which is a feature found only in moths and butterflies with proboscises.  “If you find the hollow scales,” van Eldijk said, “you know the innovation of the proboscis must have occurred before that.”

The scales are dated at about 200 million years of age, and other research has also suggested a similar early origin of proboscis-bearing butterflies and moths. But here is the problem — the earliest known flowers weren’t supposed to have evolved for another 70 million years.

So, this raises the question of why insects would evolve a proboscis for obtaining nectar from flowers before there were any flowers with nectar around. Perhaps there is a gap in the fossil record, and scientist will eventually find older flowers. Perhaps the proboscises were used for obtaining sweet substances from gymnosperms, a common group of plants which date to the Jurassic period. Scientists can only guess.

Comment:
Here is yet another problem for the evolutionary timeline. Recently we read about how the human evolution story has had to undergo major changes. In fact, problems with the evolution timeline seem to be increasing all the time as research into the fossil record continues.

Also, in the case of butterflies/moths and flowers, we have the unanswered question of why the insects would evolve nectar-gathering tools before there was nectar. Will older flowers one day be found in the fossil record? That is only a hope. And if the butterflies and moths once obtained sugary substances from gymnosperms, why aren’t they still doing it today?

Another question is how the insects could have evolved a major new structure like a proboscis. It doesn’t seem logical that the instructions for building a proboscis would have been in their genes before the insects needed this tool, and where would the instructions have come from anyway?

Bible-believing creationists have no problem with these discoveries. Flowers were created on the third day of creation, so there would have been flowers around when God created butterflies and moths. When created, these insects were also given the knowledge of how to use their proboscises. It was not trial-and-error as would have been the case if they relied on natural selection.

Fortunately for us, God has given us knowledge of how to use our own appendages. Even more important, He has given us the knowledge of how to prepare for the heavenly food which awaits all those who have repented of their sins and received Jesus Christ as their Savior. No need for guesswork or trial-and-error.

Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9b, EHV).

Reference: Brigit Katz, “The Oldest Known Butterflies Existed Before Flowers,” Smithsonian [January 11, 2018].

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Does eating a big breakfast benefit blood vessels?


A study in Spain found that people who slipped breakfast or ate only a small one were at a higher risk for artery-clogging blood vessel plaque. Plaque risk was 40-50% higher. Big breakfsts tend to include produce, healthy fats, cereal, and protein.

Source; “Health Wire,” Consumer Reports on Health [January, 2018], page 3.

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The opinions expressed here are those of The Editor and do not necessarily represent the views of LSI. Please note that links in older posts may be broken.

About Me--Warren Krug The Editor
Decades ago I attended a so-called Lutheran university where I could have lost my faith. The science professors promoted the theory of evolution and made fun of anybody who believed in the account of creation as presented in the book of Genesis. Thanks be to God, some creationist literature and the Bible soon helped get me back on the right track. Ever since then I have taken an active interest in the creation/evolution controversy.

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