By R. L. David Jolly

It has long been believed that monarch butterflies had the longest migration of any butterfly as they fly from Mexico to the coasts of California and on to Canada.  However, recent studies have revealed that the painted lady butterflies migrate from the southern edges of the Arctic Circle and United Kingdom to sub-Saharan Africa, a distance on 9,000 miles.

For years, some scientists thought that the millions of painted lady butterflies that invaded the United Kingdom died there at the onset of cold weather.  Other scientists thought that these beautiful butterflies migrated south, but had no idea where they went because no one was able to see them migrate.

Richard Fox, manager of the survey said:

The question was why don’t we see them? We see birds migrating southwards, we see red admiral butterflies migrating southwards which are really close relatives of painted ladies. So the fact that we’re not seeing painted ladies going southwards, does that mean they’re not doing it?

The radar element of this study has given us an answer to that. 

They are going southwards but they’re doing it out of human eyesight, up in the sky.

With the help of over 60,000 sightings and new radar technology, scientists have finally been able to track this amazing migration and figure out why no one saw them migrating.  The answer was altitude.  Unlike red admiral butterflies that fly low enough to be seen with the naked eye, painted lady butterflies fly at altitudes of over 3,000 feet high.  The only time the painted lady butterflies would fly any lower was to take advantage of wind layers blowing in the direction they were migrating.

Once they were able to track the migration route, they discovered another amazing facet of the butterflies.  It takes them an average of 6 generations of butterflies to complete their round trip journey from the United Kingdom to Europe to north-central Africa back to Europe and back to the United Kingdom.

Each generation of butterflies would find an area with suitable vegetation to use as food.  They would land, breed, lay their eggs and die.  The next generation would hatch into caterpillars, metamorphose into butterflies, feed enough to gain strength and then travel on the next leg of the migration journey.

So here is the really amazing thing I want you to consider.  Painted lady butterflies have a brain the size of the head of a pin.  How does each new generation know where to they are going as they set off for their leg of the migration?  Six generations later, then find their way back to the same location that their great-great-great grandparents had started their migration from?

Evolutionists cannot provide a logical answer as to how each generation knows where they are going.  The information has to be hard-wired into their tiny brains, but how did that information get hard-wired in there to begin with?

The only logical and possible answer is that God created them with the migration information hard-wired into their pin-tipped sized brains.  There is no other possible explanation that makes any sense of what is observed.  Our infinitely wise Creator God is an awesome God indeed.


Brado, Matt.  Radar helps solve painted lady migration mystery, BBC Nature News, Oct. 19, 2012.

By Design: Evidence for Nature’s Intelligent Designer–the God of the Bible

By Dr. Jonathan Sarfati

At last, a definitive work on design by a leading biblical creationist…

Today, the ID (intelligent design) movement is capturing headlines (and igniting controversy) around the world. But in the process, many are coming to think that a credible challenge to the dominant Darwinian naturalism of our time means backing away from a clear stand for the truth of the Bible.

Now creationist heavyweight Jonathan Sarfati, whose Refuting Evolution has the most copies in print of any creation book ever, challenges this mindset head on. In the process, By Design is set to become a classic of the creation movement in the same vein as Dr Sarfati’s comprehensive Refuting Compromise, which is arguably the most powerful biblical and scientific defense of straightforward Genesis in existence.

Paperback, 150 pages

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