Peppered Moths

April 19, 2000

Open any high school biology textbook and you will see as one of the "proofs" for evolution the story of the two different colored peppered moths of England. In the early 1800s, the light grey moths predominated because they were effectively camouflaged by the light gray lichen on the trees. Then industrial pollution came and filled the air with soot which darkened the trees. Now the black form of peppered moths predominated because they were more camouflaged.

In the 1950s English medical doctor Bernard Kettlewell studied the phenomenon which was heralded as "proof of evolution." Some even called it "Darwin's missing evidence." After all, he had pictures of the moths on the tree trunks. Clearly the light moths were more conspicuous against the dark tree trunks, and dark moths were more conspicuous against the light grey lichen.

Creationists have pointed out for years that this really isn't evidence of evolution. Both light and dark moths exist, and all this shows is a shift in the ratio of light to dark moths.

But revelations over a year ago in Nature magazine actually call the whole story into question. It turns out that neither light or dark moths spend their days exposed on trees. Apparently they rest in the tops of trees or other inconspicuous places.

So what about the film of birds eating the moths? It turns out they were laboratory moths placed on the tree by Kettlewell and his associates. And what about the pictures found in every textbook of the moths on the trunks of trees? It now turns out that they were dead moths that Kettlewell glued to the trees! His associates now admit the photos were faked. So remember that the next time you open a high school biology textbook.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.