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Butterfly metamorphosis is too complex to have evolved

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Claim

Butterfly metamorphosis is too complex to have evolved.

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Responses

  1. While many details remain to be worked out, the path of evolution of the insect metamorphosis is documented in the diversity of living insect species. Some, such as silverfish, are born as miniature adults, having no significant metamorphosis, save for being sexually immature. Cockroaches and grasshoppers show distinctive juvenile stages, with the adults of most species being winged, and the nymphs of all species having wing buds. Dragonflies have significantly different juvenile stages. Other species show a partial pupal stage. The pupal stage frees the juvenile stage from having to resemble adults at all and opens the way for the development of the caterpillar stage.
  2. According to entomological studies, it is strongly suggested that the larvae of holometabolic insects (those who undergo a complete metamorphasis) are, essentially, precocious embryos that had hatched before they assumed the adult or nymphal forms.
  3. According to entomologists, one important reason for the development of a larval stage in most holometabolic insects is because the larvae tend to hold different ecological niches than the adults, and thus, avoid intraspecific competition.
  4. Complexity does not indicate design. This argument is based on and derives from the God of the Gaps fallacy.
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Fallacies contained in this claim

References

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

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