If that was his actual claim it would indeed be heretical (or at least academically fraudulent) even today.
It may even be in the order of thousands of years even though we don't have written accounts of it, given that's how we have practiced apiculture and had the opportunity to closely observe the phenomenon. And apiculture has been widely practiced by monasteries, so churchmen should not have been entirely unfamiliar with the concept.
2. Coincidentally Aldrovandi was also accused of heresy, but for anti-trinitarianism, not for describing metamorphosis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulisse_Aldrovandi#Heresy
> Complete metamorphosis likely evolved out of incomplete metamorphosis. The oldest fossilized insects developed much like modern ametabolous and hemimetabolous insects—their young looked like adults. Fossils dating to 280 million years ago, however, record the emergence of a different developmental process. Around this time, some insects began to hatch from their eggs not as minuscule adults, but as wormlike critters with plump bodies and many tiny legs.
Of course evolving the pupa seems like it would be a lot more difficult.
Once you have evolved one intermediate form others can follow more easily. It’s always important to remember that genes define recipes that create biological structures, not blueprints of what they look like.
It’s a different mechanism but genetic networks are good at repeating things like body segments, fingers, etc. Biology invented the REPEAT UNTIL loop a long time before we did.
What they mean is: before this developmental change 280 years ago, they hatched as (albeit tiny) fully fledged adults, rather than in their intermediary state.
Complete metamorphosis is a circular process as pictured here: http://burns-classroom.weebly.com/module-6-plants-and-life-c... Caterpillar (or larvae) turns into pupa; pupa turns into butterfly and butterfly (turns?) into egg; and egg turns into larvae and so on... I am curious to know which of these organisms came first. Did the butterfly exist before the caterpillar? Or were they two different species who entered into a symbiosis agreement?
And why is it that the transformation of a seed into a tree not considered a metamorphosis? The seed and the tree are as different as the caterpillar and the butterfly.
Neither the butterfly nor it’s larval stage, not it’s egg, came first. They are all one species that evolved from species before them. Originally the adult form was born from the egg, but other stages evolved later.