The Creation of New Butterfly Species Before Our Eyes

From Stephen Caesar and the Associates for Biblical Research.

“According to the Genesis model of origins, God created not each individual species, but the wider genus to which each species belongs. Genesis 1:11 and 1:21 state that God created animals and plants “according to [their] kind.” “Kind” is miyn in Hebrew; the Latin Vulgate translates miyn as genus. Charles Linnaeus, the scientist who formulated the genus/species system of nomenclature for animals and plants, used the Bible as the source of his formula. When he saw the word genus in his Latin Bible—the Hebrew miyn—he chose that as the designation not for an individual species, but for the wider genus to which it belonged.For example, the scientific name for the domesticated dog is Canis familiaris. Canis is the genus/miyn, while familiaris is the species. Canis is Latin for “dog,” referring to the wider dog “kind,” while familiaris refers to the familiar, domesticated dog as an individual species. Canis encompasses wolves and coyotes: Canis lupus is the wolf (lupus being Latin for “wolf”), while Canis ladrans is the coyote (ladrans being Latin for “thief”). The same logic applies to Felis domesticus, the scientific name for the housecat. Similarly, the lion is Felis leo.

Genesis thus indicates that God created each genus/miyn, not each individual species. Within each genus He provided a blueprint for diversity, enabling each genus to split, over time, into numerous species (a process called speciation). This has happened before the eyes of Harvard and Russian scientists, who have witnessed the speciation of the Agrodiaetus genus of butterflies. In a process called reinforcement, new species within the genus/miyn are being created, as individual butterflies’ wing colors are becoming different enough to avoid confusion at mating time with other species within the genus. This avoidance helps prevent the butterflies from creating less-fit hybrid offspring (Powell 2005: 11).

According to the Harvard Gazette, the researchers, led by Harvard biology professor Naomi Pierce, found that

newly diverged species [within the Agrodiaetus genus] living in the same area that could still mate and have hybrid young had more distinctive wing colors than other closely related species that had diverged at an earlier time, as well as those living in different areas from each other (ibid.).

This happens because the butterfly species are still closely related enough that they occasionally interbreed, but the resultant hybrids are less fit than their parents. To ensure that this does not persist, the various Agrodiaetus species have developed distinguishing characteristics, such as male wing color, that reduce the risk of mating with a different Agrodiaetus species and producing weak offspring. “The fact that the hybrids are less viable,” Pierce noted, “drives the divergence between the parent species” (ibid.).”

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