The Monarch Butterfly
By: Dr. Katherine Albrecht Ed. D.
The other day I found a very small insect like critter on my dog and was horrified at the sight. It had a tiny little body and a very large head. I thought it was some mutant tick or flea, so I researched it and found out that it was nothing of the sort. Instead, it was a very small larvae of a caterpillar for the monarch butterfly.
After doing further research, I found the monarch butterfly has an absolutely amazing life cycle. First these guys come out of their eggs and they're as small as the head of a pin. Within a couple of days they're much, much bigger and in about ten days they are a full size caterpillar.
At a certain point they climb up to a surface, like a twig, and create sort of a little pedestal with a little pad of glue to which they attach their bottom and hang down. So far, so good.
Now here's the weird part. Instead of spinning a capsule around themselves made from thread like the silkworms do, what the caterpillars do is they actually burst open from the inside out. When they burst open, their outer skin- their feet, antenna, eyeballs, the head - all peels away. It splits open from the bottom to the top, peels away and the inside of the caterpillar, which at this point has become a greenish yellow mush, expands out to a big blob.
Now, if you look closely, at the moment that all the skin comes off the blob underneath the skin is already in the shape of a butterfly. It already has the wings, even, folded around the body. Here's the even weirder part. On the inside of this cocoon, the process that's occurring is the caterpillar innards break down into stem cells. So this little caterpillar literally melts on the inside into something called imaginal cells- from the word imagine, or image. These cells are undifferentiated, which means like stem cells they can turn into anything.
The caterpillar's innards have melted into this amorphous blob of liquid goo and they reassemble themselves into a whole new shape inside this outer shell that has already been created inside the caterpillar body. A couple of days later, out pops a butterfly.
Isn't that incredible? I found that just amazing that the process of turning a caterpillar into a butterfly is almost like recycling plastic where you're melting it down to its absolute base elements then recasting it in a completely different form.
Now anyone who wants to tell me that just happened by itself, that maybe it took billions of years and it just sort of occurred in nature, naturally, will have a very hard sell. It would really blow my mind if anyone can look at that process and say it did not have some degree of intelligence and design behind it.
Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.
This editorial was transcribed and adapted for print from a recent Katherine Albrecht radio program, by David Deschesne, with her permission. Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D. is a syndicated radio talk show host on the Genesis Communication Network. Listen to her program live daily, or download her podcast for listening at any time at www.gcnlive.com Katherine’s website is: www.katherinealbrecht.com