The outer-wing coverings (tegmina) of the Snub-nosed Katydid (Mastigaphoides sp.) are remarkably leaf-like, even to the extent of the centrally prominent vein and subordinate branches. They blend splendidly within rainforest foliage and are found most easily at night, after summer rains, when singing.
Such a marvellous design, but to what extent do we over-interpret the convergence of design with the character of that which provides the design-benefit, as an expression of either evolutionary adaptation or just as readily by the gracious glory of God?
I must confess that neither explanation deepens my understanding of the process that leads to mimicry and both are ever-increasingly incredible, when it is implicit that the outcome is pre-ordained.
Or is it? Perhaps the mimicry only seems to be pre-ordained; an inadvertent piece of genetic good fortune that resonates with competitiveness.
Of course there is coincidence, when two or more separate evolutionary trails randomly converge, to which we often over-attribute an awesome unlikelihood. But perhaps there is less freedom than we might imagine.
For instance, to what extent do genetic variations and mutations remain constrained by internal chemical mechanisms? Do these constraints dramatically reduce the possibility of outcomes to those that have previously overcome similar competitive hardships? And what of the prescriptive inducements of external chemical overtures; pheromones, for example, wafting across the sensitivities of a menagerie of adaptable interests?