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The Lie: Evolution


Beetles Compilation

In 2022, due to the fact of the large number of articles that bug evolutionism, I began putting multiple articles into loose categories. This one is BEETLES.


1. That’s One Successful Bug!

2. The Mystery of the Exploding Beetle

3. Beetle Masters

4. New Mode of Flight Found in Tiny Beetle (and more)

5. Figure Eights Aren’t Just For Skates

6. No Sign of Beetle Evolution

That’s One Successful Bug!

January 1, 2017

They’re everywhere! Under logs, in the grass, zipping by your face, skipping across the pond. No matter where you go, you can’t get away from them. Look in the fields, and they’re there. If you head to the desert, you’d find them. Run to the woods, and they’ll meet you there.

What are they? Beetles!

Nearly every place on earth has a wide assortment of these six-legged wonders. There are tons of them. In fact, some scientists think that a quarter of all animal species in the world are beetles (almost 390,000 species). God designed them to fill just about every nook and cranny on land all over our planet—and that’s exactly what they do. (So far, we haven’t found any down in Antarctica, but that’s about it.)

How can they live in so many different places? Because they’re built like army tanks that can also fly or burrow. All beetles have two coverings (sort of like armor) that shield their delicate inner wings. These keep them safe from dirt and other things that might tear them. When they’re in danger, they can wedge themselves into a cozy hideaway or soar through the air. They’re like tiny tanks with pop-out wings.

And it’s a good thing they fill the earth. Some help break down rotting trees to make the soil richer, some (like ladybugs) eat garden pests such as aphids, and some pollinate your favorite flowers. Not to mention the ones that light up the summer nights.

So don’t let beetles bug you. Even though they’re all over the place, they point to some incredible designs by our incredible Creator who designed every detail.

The Mystery of the Exploding Beetle

by Melissa Webb December 22, 2019

When Dr. Andy McIntosh investigated the bombardier beetle, he discovered explosive evidence of God’s intricate design.

In 1903 the Wright brothers succeeded with controlled powered flight because they asked the right question: “How do birds use their wings?” Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, wondered how we could hold a computer in the palm of our hand. He succeeded with the iPhone because he asked the right question.

History is filled with engineers who asked the right question. From airplanes to smartphones, we couldn’t imagine our lives without these modern inventions. While the names and technology above might be familiar to you, our story involves someone you might not know—Dr. Andy McIntosh. And the mystery he is trying to solve is on a much smaller scale than airplanes or smartphones.

Andy has spent over 40 years in the fields of thermodynamics and engineering. For nearly 20 of those years, he’s focused his attention on a little insect whose explosive tendencies have inspired exciting research and discoveries, all pointing to the Creator.

How Can That Be?

A seemingly small incident in 2001 changed Andy’s life. He was sitting in his office at Leeds University in England where he had been conducting research for 15 years (and would continue for another decade). While reading a copy of the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences, he noticed an article about the bombardier beetle, an insect that blows bursts of boiling water and chemicals out its rear end.

Looking at high-speed photos of a bug blasting chemicals from its behind might fascinate most of us for only a few minutes, but not Andy. Someone with a doctorate in combustion theory doesn’t look at the world the way we do. He knew that there must be more to the story.

Biologists have known about the beetle since the early 1800s, when the first reports were published about beetles shooting “artillery.” Later in the 1960s and 1970s, the world’s leading expert on the bombardier beetle, entomologist Thomas Eisner, made some exciting discoveries about the beetle’s complex chemistry, but many mysteries remained.

What caught Andy’s attention in the new report was the obvious evidence of combustion, his area of expertise. Something amazing must be going on for an insect to set off a series of explosions and then to machine gun its enemies.

Andy wasn’t interested in the bombardier beetle like a biologist might be. He was interested in the engineering and physics. As those who believe in creation, we know that God made this sophisticated chemical system (which includes specialized chemicals that make the reaction go faster), along with a combustion chamber, a moveable exhaust turret (more versatile than a tank turret), the inlet and exhaust valves, and a sensory mechanism to determine from which direction the attack may be coming. Andy wondered if it were possible that the Designer God had implemented some unique engineering solutions to miniaturized explosions that human industry might learn from and imitate (biomimicry) for the good of our fellow man.

We may not know the explosive jet’s purpose in the perfect world before Adam’s fall, but Andy wanted to know more about the engineering applications today. He visited his university’s biology department to see if anyone would be interested in learning more about the mechanics of this beetle’s unique weapon system.

To his surprise, one of the biologists was not only uninterested but also questioned why Andy would bother. “What do you hope to learn, since the beetle is still evolving?”

“It was precisely because I believed in creation that I was spurred to ask the right questions.”

The lack of curiosity shocked Andy. “I am interested in how things work. Since I knew the master Designer designed animals, I expected to discover new insights into combustion and engineering. Rather than being a hindrance, my belief in God’s creation opened a new research field. It was precisely because I believed in creation that I was spurred to ask the right questions.”

He reached out to the author of the bombardier beetle paper, Dr. Eisner, who was working at Cornell University. Little did Andy know what doors this decision would open for major research, which continues to this day, including new discoveries and patents.

The Work Begins

For about six years, Andy worked off and on with Eisner at his Cornell University laboratory in Ithaca, New York. Eisner had access to electron microscopes that could take detailed images of the beetle’s internal organs. Andy still remembers the light-bulb moment he had during a visit with Eisner in March 2004.

Biologists had long known that the beetle has an inlet valve controlling the flow of chemicals into the reaction chamber where the explosion occurs. But the mystery was that the chemicals don’t naturally produce an explosion as strong as the blast captured in Eisner’s images. The jet of steam and noxious chemicals (benzoquinones) fire repeatedly through nozzles, at a speed of up to 65 feet (20 m) per second.

Then in discussions with Eisner in his laboratory, Andy discovered the secret. When Eisner showed him scanning electron microscope images of the beetle’s anatomy, Andy realized that it had another valve at the outlet. If the beetle can keep the chamber closed long enough, the pressure will build up without the water turning to steam (sort of like a pressure cooker).

There it sat, where it had been all along—the membrane that served as an outlet valve. But nobody had realized its function before. It is generally limp under a microscope, like a deflated balloon. Up until this point, even Eisner hadn’t considered that this was a valve. But after seeing the detailed imaging, Eisner agreed that the membrane was functioning in this way. So Andy had discovered that the beetle’s blaster is a two-valve system, not a one-valve system, “an example of exquisite engineering,” as he called it.

The other missing piece of the puzzle was whether a special kind of explosion, called a steam explosion, could account for the rapid ejection of the spray that Eisner had found. To uncover that answer, Andy needed to identify the precise nature of the mixture the beetle released. How much of it was steam, and how much was liquid water and the noxious chemicals?

The beetle’s basic chemical cocktail has long been known: hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone. And scientists know that these chemicals don’t react without a catalyst (a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction). The beetle has these catalysts in abundance: catalase and peroxidase. But how much will turn into steam before the concoction is released as an explosive spray?

Here’s where Andy’s engineering came in, but he needed help from someone who could do advanced computer modeling. So he applied for a grant to hire an assistant, and to his delight the grant was approved. The computer modeler analyzed what should happen if the outlet valve opens at 1.1 bar (1 bar is the atmospheric pressure at sea level). At that pressure the water will reach 221°F (105°C) without boiling. (Water normally boils at 212°F [100°C].) When the pressure is suddenly released, the water will instantly turn to steam in what’s called flash evaporation.

In the computer model, the steam explosion drove the water and steam combination within only two thousandths of a second. At that rate, the spray would eject about 500 cycles per second—exactly what Eisner had found in his experimental observations. So Andy and his assistant knew the computer had correctly simulated the insect’s explosion.

Beetle Bombardiers in Every Clime and Place

Nearly 1,000 known bombardier beetle species come in every shape and color, with an array of arsenals. They are found in clusters under rocks on every continent except Antarctica. Bombardier beetles fall into two subfamilies: “exploding” and “nonexploding” types.

“Exploding” Bombardier Beetles (Brachininae, over 500 species)

These common beetles produce precisely aimed sprays shot through rotating turrets on their rear. These are the most familiar and studied bombardier beetles.

“Nonexploding” Bombardier Beetles (Paussinae, around 400 species)

These beetle species release their hot chemicals through two rearward pipes (flanges) sticking out the sides. The chemicals do not explode and usually come out as a spray.

Mimicking the Beetle Blaster

Andy and his partner published a technical paper and shared their astonishing findings at a conference. So intrigued by their work, an entrepreneur in the audience offered to continue funding the research if they were prepared to build an experimental rig to mimic the beetle’s actions. The entrepreneur’s special interest was biomimicry, and he believed Andy and his team could invent new technology if they took their research a step further.

Andy was delighted, but he needed help. He was a theoretical engineer, more comfortable with mathematical calculations on a chalkboard. He explains, “I never built stuff before, but we had some brilliant staff in the engineering department who were able to both design and build prototypes.”

Andy’s team got to work. Their objective was to build a two-valve delivery system. The main aim was to demonstrate how the spray system worked. They also looked at the effects of varying the pressure, the timing of the spray, the distance traveled, and size of the spray droplets. Their goal was to produce a machine that sent an explosive jet as far as the beetle’s. And in time, they were successful.

Unlike the bombardier beetle’s passive valve system, which automatically opens and closes when the pressure reaches a certain point, Andy’s rig uses advanced electronically controlled valves that a computer opens and closes on command.

Their experimental chamber was about 1 inch (2 cm) long, 20 times bigger than the beetle’s reaction chamber (which is only 5 hundredths of an inch [1 mm]). The beetle can spray 200 times the length of its chamber, easily hitting a nearby ant on the forest floor. Andy and his team were delighted when their rig could spray 200 times its size—13 feet (4 m) across the room.

In 2010, Andy and his lab partner received the prestigious Times Higher Education award for “The Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology” in London.

Andy is still pursuing possible applications to industry and has three patents for the three main applications of this invention: injectors for fuel additives in engines (for more efficient burning), pharmaceutical sprays, and fire extinguishers.

Now in retirement of sorts, Andy is working with students in the US at Liberty University’s engineering department to develop a fire protection system that could better protect fire fighters during a wildfire. Andy’s plan is to develop backpacks filled with water that could shoot steam and water spray up to 50 feet (15 m). (See for the latest on this creationist research project.)

Irreducible Complexity

This beetle cannot blast predators unless all its parts are present and working together.

Back in the 1970s, creationists latched onto the bombardier beetle as a premier example of irreducible complexity, even before Dr. Michael Behe invented the term in his 1996 book Darwin’s Black Box. It refers to a system in which all the parts must be present and working together or else the system fails. Just as a mousetrap won’t snap shut unless all the pieces are working together, this beetle cannot blast predators unless all its parts are present and working together.

Evolutionists try to argue that each individual part can be built stage by stage, but they must show how each of the chemicals offers an advantage by itself. Yet the hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone are no use as explosives without the catalysts (peroxidase and catalase) to help the chemistry work fast enough.

Well-known atheist Richard Dawkins mocked creationists back in the 1980s and 1990s for popularizing the bombardier beetle (as he still does today). In a lecture to children in 1991, he famously claimed that the bombardier beetle could have easily evolved by gradually adding more and more hydrogen peroxide. This could produce bigger and bigger explosions. But he set aside the hydroquinone, saying it was unimportant. And sure enough, hydrogen peroxide can be mildly explosive in small quantities and with the right catalyst.

But in doing this, Dawkins failed to explain the chemistry of the beetle. The catalytic reaction of hydroquinone is critically important for an effective explosion. No one has shown how the system could evolve slowly. The chemistry is complex, but here are the basics: breaking down hydroquinone produces hydrogen, which then combines with oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide to produce a runaway steam explosion.

Andy concludes, “In every respect, the bombardier beetle is irreducibly complex because the system will not work unless you have the chemistry right, the catalysts right, the inlet valve right, and the outlet valve right. Not to mention that the reaction chamber must be there to begin with or else the beetle will blow itself to bits.”

After watching bombardier beetles in action for nearly 20 years, Andy knows they are one of the most obvious examples of irreducible complexity in all of nature.

In fact, the bombardier beetle’s blaster is so sophisticated in the way it senses and responds to danger, producing chemicals on demand, that scientists still don’t fully understand how all the parts work. For instance, they would love to learn how this beetle produces hydrogen peroxide. If they could figure it out, it could lead to low-cost manufacturing of this essential chemical found in medicine cabinets, hair dyes, and military rockets.

Far from hindering him, Andy’s belief in creation and the Bible has helped him solve problems that nobody else was thinking of—because he asked the right questions.

“As you look at biology and look at nature through Bible-believing eyes, you see things that biologists who are governed by evolutionary thinking often do not see. My belief in the creation perspective opened a whole new area of research.”

An Unlikely Weapon

A toad searching for an afternoon snack spies a beetle sitting on a leaf. But before he can flick out his long, sticky tongue, his face is covered in a cloud of scalding, noxious chemical spray. He has just come face to face with a bombardier beetle.

There’s nothing like it in nature, and any sensible person knows that a tiny beetle less than an inch in size could never produce a controlled explosion by accident. It shouts an intelligent Creator.

All the parts had to be working from the start, not a product of step-by-step construction. Like a mousetrap won’t work unless all the pieces are working together, the same goes for this supreme example of irreducible complexity. In fact, the bombardier beetle’s blaster is so complex that scientists still don’t fully understand how all the parts work.

1: Chemical Production

Bombardier beetles are unique in their ability to superheat a liquid and expel it in an intense, pulsating jet. It starts with two chemicals, hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone, produced in the secretory lobe and stored in the reservoir. Chemists still have not figured out how the insect produces the hydrogen peroxide, which is very unstable.

2: Movable Turret

The beetle can aim its turret in any direction, sending out repeated jets of steam through nozzles up to a stunning 65 feet (20 m) per second. Scientists still don’t know fully how the turret works.

3: Reaction Chamber

The two main chemicals do not react unless two other chemicals, known as catalysts, are present in the reaction chamber. How the beetle produces and stores these catalysts is still a mystery. The inner surface of the chamber is designed to withstand boiling temperatures produced by the reaction (221°F or 105°C).

The flow and direction of chemicals must be controlled by a valve system, in two stages. When the beetle is ready to fire, the inlet valve first opens, allowing the reactants to enter the chamber. Once the chamber is full and the chemicals react, the pressure pinches the inlet valve shut. At the same time, the growing heat and pressure forces the outlet valve open. After the ejection of each explosion of the hot pressurized fluid, the pressure drops and the valve closes.

368–735 Explosions per Second

The spray isn’t continuous. Instead, the beetle fires several bursts in rapid succession, which keeps the reaction chamber from overheating.


Average temperature of the chemicals when released. Because the chemicals are under pressure, the temperature is higher than the boiling point of water (212°F).

An Explosive Cocktail

Two common chemicals produce the beetle’s boiling spray. But they need an extra push to explode.

Hydrogen Peroxide

This chemical (H2O2) is commonly kept in medicine cabinets to clean wounds. In the beetle’s reaction chamber, a catalyst (called catalase) breaks the hydrogen peroxide down into water (H2O), free oxygen (O), and heat.


This bleaching agent (C6H6O2) is common in skin products to lighten skin. In the beetle’s reaction chamber, a catalyst (called peroxidases) releases hydrogen (H). The hydrogen then combines to initiate a runaway steam explosion with the free oxygen (above).

Melissa Webb earned a degree in communication print journalism from Liberty University and spent four years working as news writer for Liberty’s news and media relations office. She now edits for Answers magazine.

Beetle Masters


January 1, 2017

Hercules Beetle

Imagine a bug as big as your hand. That’s the Hercules beetle. This enormous insect lives in Central and South America. It can carry loads 100 times heavier than its own weight. That would be like your 70-pound classmate lifting a 7,000-pound truck!

Giraffe Weevil

The Madagascar giraffe weevil doesn’t really mean to look down on other beetles. But with its long head, it can’t help it. If they’re in danger, these heady insects turn on their backs and play dead, sometimes for up to an hour.



You might not know it, but fireflies are a type of beetle that lights up the night sky with ease. Special chemicals in their abdomen mix with oxygen to produce their own blinking nightlights to attract mates.

Tiger Beetle

These speedy beetles can zip around with the same speed as a housefly. Their Samurai sword-like jaws and streamlined wings help them hunt other insects. Pretty fitting, given their name.


Whirligig Beetle

Whirligig beetles like to swim in groups on the surface of ponds. They look like a bunch of speed boats zipping around in swirly patterns but they never crash into each other. Their feet are like paddles that help them zip over the surface of ponds and streams.

Diving Beetle

It’s not every day you see a beetle with scuba gear, but the diving beetle comes close. It can trap a bubble of air under its hard outer wings and dive down to catch worms, leeches, and even fish.

New Mode of Flight Found in Tiny Beetle

By Evolution News February 3, 2022

Beetles show extraordinary variation in size, habitat and behavior. J. B. S. Haldane’s irreverent quip that God has “an inordinate fondness for beetles” should not deter design scientists from investigating the approximately 400,000 species of beetles, because they are sure to find wonderful surprises. A couple of recent discoveries are highlighted here — including a tiny species that flies by a remarkably effective method not seen in other insects.

Featherwing Flyer

Insect wings are usually thin translucent membranes, but here’s one with “feathers”! The tiny beetle Paratuposa placentiswas brought to scientists’ attention in a paper in  Nature  by Faresenkov et al. , “Novel flight style and light wings boost flight performance of tiny beetles” (open access). Watch this video to see it in action:

This expert flyer is less than a millimeter long. That’s comparable in size to a large amoeba, yet this bug boasts all the requisite body parts of its beetle relatives, complete with the cells needed for each organ, limb, antennae, mouth parts, gut, muscles, and brain.

How can single feather-like wings (a condition known as ptiloptery) produce powered flight? Wouldn’t the air go right through the filaments? It turns out that air feels as dense as syrup at the scale of this tiny bug. The authors explain in the Abstract:

Flight speed is positively correlated with body size in animals. However, miniature featherwing beetles can fly at speeds and accelerations of insects three times their size. Here we show that this performance results from a reduced wing mass and a previously unknown type of wing-motion cycle. Our experiment combines three-dimensional reconstructions of morphology and kinematics in one of the smallest insects, the beetle Paratuposa placentis (body length 395 μm). The flapping bristled wings follow a pronounced figure-of-eight loop that consists of subperpendicular up and down strokes followed by claps at stroke reversals above and below the body. The elytra [wing shields] act as inertial brakes that prevent excessive body oscillation. Computational analyses suggest functional decomposition of the wingbeat cycle into two power half strokes, which produce a large upward force, and two down-dragging recovery half strokes. In contrast to heavier membranous wings, the motion of bristled wings of the same size requires little inertial power. Muscle mechanical power requirements thus remain positive throughout the wingbeat cycle, making elastic energy storage obsolete. These adaptations help to explain how extremely small insects have preserved good aerial performance during miniaturization, one of the factors of their evolutionary success. [Emphasis added.]

Well, let’s just call it a success. The feathery wings, shown in the electron micrograph, even has barbs resembling those in bird feathers, which the narrator says are “key to the beetle’s flight.” The wing achieves lift through its dense aerial environment by pushing its bristly wings against the air in a hummingbird-like figure eight motion, clapping the wings at the top and bottom, and using its elytra as stabilizers. Its “novel flight style” saves energy of its tiny muscles but lets it keep up with insects three times its size. It’s a fascinating and efficient mechanism.

Several unrelated orders of insects contain small species that also exhibit ptiloptery, the authors note. How did that happen? Well of course, by “convergent evolution.” That’s all they needed to say in Nature. Observations explained. Job done. 

Driven by curiosity about the smallest objects, scientific exploration of the microscopic world has facilitated the miniaturization of various industrial products. But miniaturization is not just a human-made artifice: success stories of miniaturization are abundant in the living world. For more than 300 million years, ecological pressures have forced insects to develop extremely small bodies down to 200 μm long without losing their ability to fly.

Evolution drove these diverse species to shrink and learn how to adjust their engineering for new conditions. The environment forced them to “evolve strategies” for dealing with more viscous air. Evolution is not a very clever engineer, but a stern drill sergeant.

Leaping Larvae

Another beetle has an unusual trick. Larvae of the lined flat bark beetle can leap three times their height and travel four times their body length in an instant. The adults are tiny, easily fitting on a finger, and the larvae are only 5 mm long. Strangely, the adults do not leap; this is a kid’s sport. The young ones leap then curl into a circle and roll. It looks like fun.

The Scientist  posted an article with video about the “weird” leaping ability of a beetle that lives under tree bark, “a previously unreported behavior in this group of beetles.” Chloe Tenn writes:

Insect larvae are often thought of as worming their way around their environment, legless and slow-moving — or even immobile. But a paper published in PLOS ONE yesterday (January 19) reports a peculiar behavior in the larvae of Laemophloeus biguttatus, commonly known as the lined flat bark beetle: jumping. This rapid locomotion was previously unknown in this insect species, according to the authors of the paper, and has only been commonly observed in fly maggots.

The team figured out the “power amplified” behavior by first filming the larval jumps at 3,200 frames per second. A larva latches onto the ground, arches its back with its claws, and then releases the latch suddenly. Matthew Bertone et al.explain how in  PLOS ONE , “A novel power-amplified jumping behavior in larval beetles (Coleoptera: Laemophloeidae).” Co-author Adrian Malone found a colleague in Japan who also observed larvae in this family jumping the same way. The leaps are not the fastest or highest of any insect (consider  froghoppers  as reported earlier), but they have no obvious latching body parts other than the claws. And they are plenty fast. The larvae seem to vanish before your eyes. Five times the authors attribute this to evolution, but that’s the custom these days.

Catapulting Beetle

One other beetle deserves mention for extraordinary leaps: the flea beetle. Reported two years ago in  ZooKeys , the flea beetle cocks a latching mechanism in its femurs. The stored energy is explosively released, launching the animal like a catapult. Its superman-style leaps leave the bark beetle larvae in the dust (but those, remember, are just kids).

The extraordinary jumping ability of flea beetles mainly depends on the metafemoral spring in the dilated femur of their hind legs, which enables them to perform the catapult jump. The jumping of flea beetles is an extremely effective method to avoid potential predators, as it allows beetles quickly [sic] disappear from the leaf surface, where they spend most of their life. Blepharida sacra (Weise) can jump up to 70 cm or 100 times more than its body length, while Longitarsus anchusae (Paykull) reaches a jump of 289 times its body length; the average acceleration of Psylliodes affinis (Paykull) during take-off can be up to 266 times the acceleration of gravity.

Froghoppers beat that record, leaping at 400 g. Those critters, though, are true bugs (Hemiptera) instead of beetles (Coleoptera) like this contender. The authors, once again, are amazed at the creative engineering prowess of evolution.

Flea beetles have evolved an enormous independent spring to aid the storage of elastic potential energy. This is significantly different from many other rapid-moving arthropods which usually only rely on exoskeleton or modified exoskeleton to store elastic potential energy… Moreover, instead of trigger muscles or latches employed in some other insects, flea beetles utilize the elastic plate and triangular plate to control the timing of the instantaneous discharge of a catapult-like jump.

Won’t it be great someday to read scientific papers explaining biological phenomena in engineering terms, instead of falling back on the antiquated habit of attributing creative genius to blind, unguided natural processes? Darwin said that natural selection “can never take a sudden leap, but must advance by short and sure though slow steps.” Since the authors offered no evidence of slow steps to explain the origin of this feat, the flea beetle’s sudden leap illustrates a literal falsification of Darwin’s symbolic assumption.

Figure Eights Aren’t Just For Skates

By David Rives March 24, 2022

Featherwing beetles might be smallest beetles measuring in at mostly under one millimeter, but their size doesn’t stop them from being speedy fliers. These tiny beetles have been found to fly just as fast as other beetles three times their size. Learning more about their flight reminds us that our Creator designed purpose in the tiny details.

Entomologists have been studying the flight patterns and behaviors of these amazing beetles to learn how they seem to defy Newton’s laws. Unlike the wings of other insects, made of membranous material, the featherwing beetles have bristly feather-like wings (hence the name).

According to the study, entomologists created a model using high-speed videography and measurements to learn more about the bristled wings. The captured video is fascinating. These tiny wings have strong friction to fight against, with such a small body, while using two power strokes and two recovery strokes during flight. The wings appear to clap in front of and behind its body. They found that the bristled wings reduce the wing mass when compared to membranous wings. The wings work similarly to a bird feather by not allowing a lot of air escape to through them.

The elytra are the front wings of beetles but primarily serve as protective wing cases for the hindwings. In featherwing beetles, they are also used during flight – acting as brakes and stabilizers. This opening and closing movement of the elytra is unique to the flying style of certain beetles, like the featherwing.

Another distinction in the flight behaviors of featherwing beetles is the way their wings move. The beetle’s wings make a figure eight pattern in a way that decreases drag and allows the beetle to powerfully propel itself. They share this amazing wing pattern with the tiny hummingbird.

The evolutionary entomologists conducting these studies report that for over 300 million years, these beetles have evolved smaller bodies while maintaining the ability to fly. However, these insects retain their God-given ability to adapt in size based on ecological conditions. It did not take 300 million years.

No Sign of Beetle Evolution

By Frank Sherwin APRIL 07, 2022

A 2022 study by 17 biologists states, “Beetles constitute the most biodiverse animal order with over 380 000 described species and possibly several million more yet unnamed.”1

Why are there so many types of beetles? They form a large part of the world's biodiversity critical for decomposition (e.g. forests) and feed on problem insects such as caterpillars and aphids. Dung beetles fertilize the soil and increase soil aeration by making tunnels and thus improve the productivity of the land. Of course, many species devastate crops and some borers transmit fungal spores in live trees (e.g. Scotytus), decimating forests.

Where did they come from? While there is a “rich fossil record of beetles,”1 we observe no record of insects evolving into beetles. The oldest known beetle fossil was found in Germany2 and, not surprisingly, is 100% beetle. When it comes to the actual origin of beetles, the researchers stated their “molecular clock analyses suggest a Carboniferous origin of Coleoptera [beetles] and a Palaeozoic origin of all four beetle suborders.”1 Furthermore, “a Carboniferous origin of Coleoptera implies a 55–134 Ma long ‘beetle gap’ in the fossil record.”1 In other words, beetles show up complete and fully-formed in the fossil record as well-designed 3 beetles.

Some fossilized beetles have been found retaining their structural color (organic compounds) providing compelling evidence of the youth of the fossil.4

So, the fossil record shows the sudden appearance of beetles with no record of beetle ancestors, while some fossils have their original carbon-based colors.


1. Cai, C. et al. 2022. Integrated phylogenomics and fossil data illuminate the evolution of beetles. Royal Society Open Science. 9: 211771.

2. Kirejtshuk, G. et al. 2014. Evolution of the elytral venation and structural adaptations in the oldest Palaeozoic beetles. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 12 (5): 575–600.

3. Sherwin, F. Beetle mouth-gears shout design. Creation Science Update. Posted on March 12, 2019.

4. McNamara, M. et al. 2011. The original colours of fossil beetles. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 279 (1731): 1114–1121. See also: Sherwin, F. 2020. Amber Insect Fossils Still Glow. Acts & Facts. 49 (9).