Spontaneous generation is an old idea. It supposes that living things can under certain conditions be formed from non-living objects such as maggots forming from rotting meat. Most of us nowadays are aware of the fact that maggots are really baby flies, or fly larvae. So, when an Italian physician, Francesco Redi in 1668 took some meat and put it in a jar and covered the top with cheese cloth, the meat rotted as usual, but there were no maggots to help the process along. The maggots didn’t just form from the meat, they hatched from the eggs of flies. When the eggs couldn’t be laid on the meat by the flies the maggots never appeared on it.
So, it was supposedly the end of the theory of “spontaneous generation”. That was at least until the rise of the study of “genetics” and the discovery of the DNA/RNA genetic information system. We now know that genes, or information bits that run the machinery in each and every living cell are encoded on DNA or RNA long chain molecules. Evolution assumes that the encoding of these molecules all took place by a process called “genetic mutation”. Genetic mutation is also assumed to be a random, or spontaneous process. So, here we have “spontaneous generation” being applied to genetic information rather than maggots. But, the basic error of logic remains the same.
Evolutionary theorists make one very big fundamental mistake in this idea. That is, that so called, “natural selection” can “make” changes in living things in a progressive and beneficial way. True, “environmental conditions” can favor some “adaptive” variations more than others and induce some changes after several generations and may even go so far as to the point of reproductive incompatibility and what may result in “speciation”. This is a rare occurrence, but it has been documented. The big mistake however is the notion that “natural selection” can somehow drive mutation and produce the genetic changes needed to meet changing environmental demands. That’s the proverbial, putting the “cart before the horse” error. A successful gambler knows that each new play of the odds is independent of the last and if the cowboy shows his cards, they will always be what they be, whether his opponent is pointing a loaded gun at him or not. If a green bug needs red wings cause all the plants are now red or the females change their preference in the color of their suitors, the odds of those first-time mutant genes occurring remain the same regardless. (slim may be too optimistic)
Once you start to “stack the deck” in genetics, you have shifted to the intelligent design camp. To avoid any form of intelligent input in genetic change you must rely solely on “spontaneously generated” new genetic variants (aka mutants). So, to say that butterflies are somehow related to birds is to credit their transformation solely to the ingenious efforts of spontaneously generated mutations PRESERVED by ecological circumstance or so called, “natural selection”.
I’ve said it before, that there does not exist a term for the formation of a new genera in “science” simply because the formation of a new genus has never been documented. A new species must, by definition, be formed by a sexual mutant, that is some trait appears that prevents further inter breeding with the parent population. (This is rarely, if ever, a good thing though, since it also will isolate genetic lines and bring to prominence other genetic problems.) What are the conditions that are necessary for the creation of a new genus? Two long-time isolated species becoming greatly different so as to appear unrelated? Even though such a thing has never been observed in real time, I suppose such a thing could have happened in earth’s history from time to time.
Anyway, the only option available to those wishing to avoid “intelligent design” completely in genetics must rely solely on the “spontaneous generation” of all existing genetic information in all the genomes of every sort of living things. “Natural Selection” can only do its thing with what it’s given. Typically mutants will get the short end of the stick, but that’s another story.
The only way you can get evolution to work is to give “natural selection” some good design input. But, then it would no longer be evolution, would it?