Peppered Moth Example Now Discredited
In my Biology class we studied the peppered moth. This story sounds like very good evidence of Natural Selection. My teacher presented it to us as proof for Evolution. Is there any kind of evidence or argument that Creationists have against this?
The classic experiments by entomologist H.B.D. Kettlewell in England with the peppered moth are presented as evidence for evolution in almost every biology book. The textbook explanation goes as follows. Peppered moths come in light and dark forms. Before the industrial revolution the light form was predominant because they rested on the trunks of trees during the day and were camouflaged by the light colored lichen on the trees. Thus, their predators, birds, would not be able to spot them. Pollution caused soot to accumulate and darken the lichen on the trees. This caused the darker form of the moth to survive because now it blended better and was harder for birds to see. Voila! As one biology book puts it, "this is the perfect example of evolution in action." Or is it?
First of all, this is not even a good example of natural selection. On January 17, 1999 The Washington Times reported that this "icon for evolution" is being disputed not by creationists, but evolutionists. Biologist Theodore Sargent admitted that he helped glue moths onto trees for a NOVA documentary about the peppered moth. The Washington Times reported that, "Mr. Sargent wrote in 'Evolutionary Biology' last year  that subsequent studies have all found they change under many conditions, and do not really live on tree trunks." Jerry Coyne, a biologist at the University of Chicago, "agreed that the moth illustration of evolution had to be thrown out." Coyne wrote in the journal Nature, "My own reaction resembles the dismay attending my discovery, at age six, that it was my father and not Santa who brought the presents on Christmas Eve."
The fact that this is presented unchallenged in biology classrooms illustrates the dangerous religious nature of evolution. It is religion of the worst kind. Repeating a belief in something for which there is no proof for the only purpose of building the faith of a believer or producing converts is blatant indoctrination. Unconcerned with the facts most classrooms equate natural selection to evolution.
Despite the dishonesty of the peppered moth story natural selection is an easily observable fact of biology. However, natural selection does not equal evolution but instead is better explained with the creation model of science. Natural selection explains how a species survives, not how it originates. Its real value is as a conservation measure, keeping species as they are, not allowing them to become extinct.
Even if peppered moths did show natural selection in action this would not support evolution. Evolution requires a move from one species to another, upward movement. My question to your teacher would be purely scientific. Did peppered moths create a new species or did the species preexist? Organisms show a great amount of genetic variability and the ability to adapt to different environments through natural selection. This does not demonstrate evolution but is better explained with the creation model.
A designer created an original kind with the genetic ability to reproduce within its kind. The genes in every organism limit it to what it is. It cannot be less than it is; it cannot be more than it is. There is no genetic information to transform it to something that it is not. Geneticists know there are definite boundaries to variations.
Do not dispute natural selection with your teacher but use it to demonstrate his own bias. Point out that it is evolutionary publications such as Nature (vol. 396, November 5, 1998, pp. 35,36) that are disputing the peppered moth story. Many have called the peppered moth "the best proof for evolution." Now, despite evidence refuting it, it remains in textbooks. Just like other concepts like embryonic recapitulation and ape-men, all known by scientists to be wrong, it survives. They survive not because of science but because evolution is immune from critical analysis. It is accepted without question. Why? Because the obvious conclusion in biology is that there is a designer, a first cause to what we observe in nature. Only avoiding accountability to that designer could cause one to fight reason by embracing the absurdity of evolution. Encourage your teacher to examine natural selection scientifically instead of allowing his devotion to the religion of evolution to influence his conclusions.
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Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen