The Peppered Moth: Popular “Proof” That Doesn’t Prove Evolution

by Ken Ham

Apparently there are animals evolving right around us! And the Mother Nature Network has the photos (and captions) to prove it!


That was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but a recent photo gallery titled “8 Animals That Are Evolving Quickly” made me shake my head. Their explanation for quick evolution? “Rapid adaptability.” Now those who understand the principles of biology, regularly read my blog and AiG articles, or who have visited the Creation Museum should immediately note that “rapid adaptability” is not evolution. In fact, it’s really the opposite of a molecules-to-man type of supposed process.

The first caption reads, “Whether it’s climate change or other environmental conditions, animals are constantly evolving to better survive. Most people think of animal evolution as being something that takes place over hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. But this isn’t the case for the resilient species listed here.”

Yet all of the examples given—from hybrid mice to bed bugs to Italian wall lizards—show animals adapting to new and changing environments using information that was already in their genome. None of the animals created new genetic information to form a brand-new feature. Environmental pressure simply resulted in the expression of a new variation of already existing genes or the increased survival of a certain variety of that created kind. Though these animals can’t be used as examples of evolution, they do highlight how quickly animals can adapt and change to new environments, using the information God placed in their DNA. This showcases the creativity, benevolence, and wisdom of our all-powerful and all-wise Creator.

I thought I would note one of the article’s examples that has been used to “prove” evolution for decades—the peppered moth. This supposed proof of evolution had been shown to be a flawed experiment to begin with, but has been resuscitated and continues to be used as a proof of evolution. But is it, even in its newest form? The article states,

This moth always had a light, mottled version . . . and a dark, fairly solid version. . . . The dark version used to make up only 2 percent of the population, but after the Industrial Revolution, the population numbers changed drastically as the darker moths became far more common. Scientists think that’s because surfaces that were once light were darkened by pollution, and the moth had to adapt to survive.

So what’s really going on here? Well, both varieties already existed before environmental changes caused one version to become dominant over the other one. The darker moths were able to survive and reproduce better than the lighter version, and consequently there were more of the darker-colored moths! This is clearly not an example of molecules-to-man evolution; it simply shows how natural selection works in a population.

Sadly, the idea that evolution and natural selection are one and the same is a very popular idea. But they aren’t the same thing. In fact, they are complete opposites. Natural selection leads to the reshuffling or loss of genetic information. But evolution requires the addition of brand-new information, a process that has never been observed. The observational evidence confirms God’s Word: kinds always reproduce according to their kinds (Genesis 1:24–25).

You can learn more in The New Answers Book 1 chapter, “Is Natural Selection the Same Thing as Evolution?

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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