Butterflies evolved before flowers, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 10 January 2018, BBC News 11 January 2018, and Science Advances doi:10.1126/sciadv.1701568, 10 January 2018.
Scientists studying rocks samples from drill cores extracted from Late Triassic and Early Jurassic rocks in Northern Germany, have found fossil butterfly wing scales in rocks dated around 200 million years, making the wing scales the oldest fossil evidence of butterflies and moths. Some of the scales are identical to those found on those living butterflies and moths that feed by drinking fluids through a proboscis, rather than chewing food with mandibles.
The scientists were surprised by this, as explained by one of the researchers, Paul Strother of Boston College: “The consensus has been that insects followed flowers. But that would be 50 million years later than what the wings were saying. It was odd to say the least, that there would be butterflies before there were flowers”.
Proboscis-bearing butterflies are believed to have evolved after flowers because they feed on nectar. So how could they survive without flowers to provide nectar? According to Strother, “What we’ve found is that these butterflies and moths with mouth parts were feeding on pollen droplets of gymnosperm seeds – from conifers related to pines, seed plants without fruits and flowers. They were feeding off the cone-borne seeds – mainly as a source of water”.
Links: BBC, Science, ScienceDaily
Editorial Comment: Here we have a very large evolutionary story built on very little evidence (microscopic, actually). They did not find butterflies feeding on gymnosperm pollen droplets. They found fossil butterfly wing scales identical to living butterfly scales. The only truly scientific conclusion that can be drawn from the actual evidence is butterflies have been butterflies since the time these wing scales were buried, and have remained butterflies until now.
Therefore, these wing scales are good evidence for the accuracy of Genesis, which tells us all living things were created as fully functional organisms according to their kinds.
Genesis also tells us that butterflies did come into the world after flowers, but not by millions of years. Rather, all the different kinds of plants, including flowering plants, were created on the third creation day, in their fully formed state ready to provide food for the animals, birds and other living creatures God created on the fifth and sixth days of creation.
Evidence News vol. 18, No.1
14 February 2018
Creation Research Australia
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