One of the main examples trotted out by evolutionists has just been blown to the moon (Luna in moth talk). Chicago evolutionist Jerry Coyne called the peppered moth story “the prize horse in our stable.” He commented that realizing this evidence was invalid was much like when he found out Santa Claus was also a phony.
Evolutionists have long used the example of the ratio of black and white moths in England as proof of evolution by natural selection. It was claimed that when the trees were covered with lichens and light, the moths were light. When pollution made the trees become dark with soot, the moths also became dark. Then when pollution controls cleaned things up and the trees turned light again, so did the moths.
In the first place, that didn’t prove evolution anyway, only variation within the genetic code of the same kind of creature. They never changed from moths to something else, not even from peppered moths to another moth. But even so, the peppered moth example is more crooked than our current President.
Anyone interested in the creation-evolution debate surely has seen the pictures of the moths on tree trunks. But it turns out that the moths (Biston betularia) don’t even rest on tree trunks during the day – only at night. British scientist Cyril Clarke investigated the peppered moths for 25 years, and saw only two in their natural habitat by day – no other researchers have seen any. H. B. Kettlewell and others attracted the moths into traps in the forest either with light, or by releasing female pheromones – in each case, they only flew in at night.
How did they get on the trees for the photos and films? Two ways, both more dishonest than the Piltdown man hoax:
1) They were LABORATORY-BRED. The moths filmed being eaten by the birds were placed onto tree trunks by Kettlewell; they were so languid that he once had to warm them up on the hood of his car.
2) DEAD moths were GLUED to the trees! U-Mass biologist Theodore Sargent confessed to the dirty deed for a NOVA documentary. He also admitted that textbooks and films have featured “a lot of fraudulent photographs”.
And when one group of researchers glued dead moths onto trunks in an unpolluted forest, the birds took more of the dark ones, as expected. But their traps captured four times as many dark moths as light ones – the opposite of textbook predictions!
This “prize horse” will never make it to the Kentucky Derby.
Calgary Herald, March 21, 1999, p. D3.
D.R. Lees & E.R. Creed, ‘Industrial melanism in Biston betularia: the role of selective predation’, Journal of Animal Ecology 44:67-83, 1975.
J.A. Coyne, Nature 396(6706):35-36.
Creation Ex Nihilo 21(3):56, “Goodbye peppered moths”, June-August 1999