From grade schools to universities, the story of peppered moths has become an almost legendary illustration for the basic workings of natural selection. Millions have been taught that the workings that (allegedly) caused different colored varieties of peppered moths to dominate different regions based on pollution are exactly the same as the workings that (supposedly) produced “goo-to-you” evolution over billions of years.
The peppered moth legend continues to be included in biology textbooks and mandatory lessons on evolution.
Of course, this “proof” of evolution is nothing of the sort, since non–information-increasing natural selection and adaptation—the only sort we observe—is explained perfectly in creation models, too. Even evolutionary biologist L. Harris Matthews admitted that peppered moth variance showed only natural selection, not evolution, in his foreword to the 1971 edition of Darwin’s Origin of Species.
Beyond that flaw in the presentation of the peppered moth legend, however, was its outright fraudulence, as explained in An Examination of Error. Yet sadly, even after being exposed as a fraud, the peppered moth legend continues to be included in biology textbooks and mandatory lessons on evolution.
Now, Cambridge geneticist Michael Majerus has repeated the famous, flawed “experiments” of the peppered moth legend “tak[ing] into account the criticisms and apparent flaws in the original research.” His conclusion? That “[a] statistical analysis of the results revealed a clear example of Darwinian natural selection in action.” Majerus argues:
If the rise and fall of the peppered moth is one of the most visually impacting and easily understood examples of Darwinian evolution in action, it should be taught. It provides after all the proof of evolution.
So what do we think? Come back Monday, when AiG–UK’s Paul Taylor will give the latest twist a complete analysis.
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