The Evolution Deceit

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The "Industrial-Revolution Moth" Error


As you know, natural selection is one of the two mechanisms that represent the foundation of Darwinism and are suggested to bring about evolution. One of the most important alleged proofs of natural selection's evolutionary power is, besides the myth of the Galapagos finches, have just been looking at, the darkening of the color of Biston betularia moths in Great Britain during the Industrial Revolution.253 This example, regarded as prime evidence of evolution, appears in just about every biology textbook and evolutionist resource, and is usually the first scenario that comes to mind when the theory of evolution is mentioned.

The British entomologist Bernard Kettlewell, renowned for his research into these Industrial-Revolution moths, describes them as "the most striking evolutionary change ever actually witnessed in any organism."254 Philip MacDonald Sheppard, a British geneticist, states that the Industrial-Revolution moths embody the "most spectacular evolutionary change ever witnessed and recorded by man."255 Sewall Wright, the recognized authority on population genetics, adds that it is "the clearest case in which a conspicuous evolutionary process has been actually observed."256

Professor Ali Demirsoy, one of Turkey's leading proponents of the theory of evolution, maintains that this is a most striking example of natural selection.257 Professor Demirsoy, who has described these Industrial Revolution moths in many of his books, describes their case as follows:

The most interesting example on this subject is the evolutionary change that took place in a moth species (Biston betularia) living in a region in England in which there was once dense factory smoke. These moths were white immediately before the Industrial Revolution (as far as we can tell from collections from the period) and lived on white lichens on the trunks of trees. This prevented them from being seen by predators. With the Industrial Revolution, these lichens darkened due to the soot emitted from factory chimneys, and light-colored moths became far more visible. Predators that fed on them, especially birds, were able to catch them much more easily. However, the very small number of dark-colored individuals in the population prior to the Industrial Revolution acquired a great advantage due to this color change. Much of the population soon came to consist of dark-colored moths." 258

First, let's consider the evolutionist claims regarding a classical instance of natural selection and perhaps the best-known story of evolutionary biology.259

The Story Emerges

The Industrial Revolution, which began in the 18th-19th centuries in Great Britain, was a major turning point in the history of mankind. With the building of factories and growth in industrial plants, the hitherto unknown problem of air pollution emerged. Heavy pollution afflicted such main industrial centers as Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. At the same time, color changes were recorded in various plants and animals around these cities.

Light-colored members of this species are known as typic, and dark- colored individuals as melanic. In subsequent years, observations revealed that dark-colored individuals now constituted the majority of the population—so much so that by the 1950s, 90% of the moths in the region were melanic, or dark. (This situation was revered when air pollution was reduced as a result of legislation mandating stricter emission controls. Light-colored moths again began to represent the majority, as they had before the Industrial Revolution.)

sanayi devrimi

With the building of factories and increase in the number of industrial plants in 18th and 19th -century Britain, air pollution—which was previously unknown, emerged. At the same time, differences were recorded in the colors of certain plants and animals living around industrializing cities.

The phenomenon of a population composed of light-colored individuals gradually assuming a dark color is known as industrial melanism. Some 100 examples of this, mainly of nocturnal moths, have been reported in the scientific literature.261 The protein melanin leads moths to assume a darker shade: Therefore, a darker moth produces more melanin than a lighter- colored one.262

But clearly, the 19th century statistics regarding melanism in moths are deficient and flawed, when compared to modern scientific standards. One of the two scientists who spent years researching this subject, Bruce Grant from William and Mary University, express this fact: "During the last century and the early part of this one few people kept records about morph frequencies, so our picture of the rise and spread of melanism is sketchy."263

The British biologist James William Tutt first examined this color change in his book British Moths.264 According to Tutt, typic butterflies on light-colored lichens in unpolluted forest areas were less visible; therefore, they were spared being hunted by birds. (Lichens are a symbiotic plant community consisting of algae and fungi.) In the wake of the Industrial Revolution, lichens died out because of pollution caused by soot and acid rain and revealed darkened tree trunks. In this way, melanic forms came to appear better camouflaged. Tutt maintained that moth-eating birds were able to hunt light-colored moths more easily as they were more visible, so that the number of melanic individuals increased. To put it another way, he attempted to account for the phenomenon in question through evolution caused by natural selection stemming from environmental conditions—in this case, birds.

Industrial Revolution

No new living species can emerge by way of natural selection. The Industrial Revolution moths are an excellent example of this. Until the last quarter of the 20th century, tree trunks grew darker in color with the pollution of Industrial Revolution. Therefore, the light-colored moths alighting on these trees became more visible to predators, and since they were more easily caught, their numbers declined. The numbers of dark moths, however, increased. But this, of course, is not evolution. No new species was formed, and all that happened was a shift in ratios of variation within an existing species.

J.W. Tutt's claim may appear reasonable at first sight, but it received little acceptance at the time. There was no evidence that these moths—which flew by night and rested on trees by day—were actually hunted by birds. This led to entomologists and ornithologists looking askance at his theory.265

Then in the 1920s, the British biologist J. W. Heslop Harrison developed a different theory: that melanism in animals stemmed directly from chemical substances in the air. Harrison reported that melanism could be produced in several other moth species if their larvae were fed on leaves contaminated with metallic salts.266 Harrison's claim was evaluated as a challenge to Darwinism.267 However, with the birth of neo-Darwinism in the 1940s, it lost esteem and the idea gained ground that melanism in moths was the result of natural selection..

The British entomologist Bernard Kettlewell, of Oxford University, was a researcher whose name became equated with the Industrial-Revolution moths after his research on the subject in the 1950s. Kettlewell carried out a number of experiments and field studies that placed the subject firmly on the scientific agenda. As one might expect, he was an evolutionist, and set out with the aim of finding evidence to support the theory.

Professor Kettlewell performed his first experiment in an aviary. He observed that peppered moths he released into the aviary first alighted, and were then hunted by the birds. This way, he determined that the birds caught and ate moths when they were at rest.268

In his second experiment, he marked dark and light colored moths and released them during the daytime in a forested area affected by air pollution. He determined that the moths settled on tree trunks and that birds could more easily catch the more visible moths. That night, he released a number of moths he had captured in a trap; of 447 melanics released, he recaptured 123; while of 137 released typicals, he recaptured only 18. Statistically, he recaptured 27.5% of the melanics, but only 13% of the typicals. Kettlewell concluded that "birds act as selective agents, as postulated by evolutionary theory."269

He also performed the same experiment in a forest unaffected by air pollution. He was accompanied by Niko Tinbergen, known for his work in the field of animal behavior, and together they filmed the birds hunting moths in the trees. This time, the dark- colored melanic moths were more easily visible on trees covered in light lichens. He encountered the exact opposite results to those in the forest area with high pollution, recapturing 12.5% of the typicals compared to 6.3% of the melanics.270

Kettlewell thought these statistics were adequate to confirm the thesis, and announced the results of his research with enormous excitement.

Evolutionist circles lost no time in backing Kettlewell's research. Scientific American magazine broadcasted the study in an article titled "Darwin's Missing Evidence."271 Such was the importance ascribed to the subject that it soon became one of the fundamental examples in evolutionist literature.

The Industrial-Revolution moths are still touted as the No. 1 piece of evidence for Darwinism, despite the passage of the intervening half century. Several evolutionists after Kettlewell repeated the experiment (for example, Clarke and Sheppard in 1966,272; Bishop in 1972,273 Lees and Creed in 1975,274 Bishop and Cook in 1975,275 Steward in 1977,276 and Murray and his team in 1980277),

However, this whole tale is invalid. Together with the errors of the research results mentioned above, the Industrial Revolution moths gained nothing at all for the theory of evolution.

Subsequent Studies Do Not Confirm Kettlewell's Thesis

Kettlewell's Thesis

Intense research in Britain and America has shown that the distribution of melanic (dark) moths in polluted and unpolluted regions is quite different from what was expected— and predicted. It thus became clear that Kettlewell's research did not reflect the true facts.

Professor Kettlewell's studies were carried out in the regions of Birmingham and Dorset. In later years, various scientists performed similar studies in other areas. Their results astonished researchers, because the expected data failed to materialize. For example, they expected all the light-colored moths to be eliminated around Manchester, an area exposed to very heavy air pollution. Yet that is not what they found.278 This indicated that there were other factors leading to melanism in moths, beyond Kettlewell's thesis.

Investigations in other regions also failed to match Kettlewell's statements. The Liverpool University biologist Jim Bishop realized that there were more melanics than expected in unpolluted, rural areas of Wales, and concluded that as yet unknown factors were involved.279 Two researchers who had worked alongside Kettlewell, David Lees and Robert Creed, revealed a darker- moth level of 80% in rural parts of eastern England with very little air pollution. These two scientists stated that Kettlewell's studies were not all that reliable:

We conclude therefore that either the predation experiments and tests of conspicuousness to humans are misleading, or some factors or factors in addition to selective predation are responsible for maintaining the high melanic frequencies.280

The zoologist R. C. Steward, who had studied melanism in moths, determined that although melanic moths were well camouflaged in South Wales, they constituted only 20% of the population.281 Steward collected data from 165 separate areas of Britain, concluding that north of 52 degrees latitude, sulfur dioxide (a chemical cause of air pollution), was directly linked to melanism; but that south of 52 degrees latitude, other factors apart from air pollution might be having an effect. He described Kettlewell's error by saying, "it may not be possible to generalize from the results for one area, to explain geographic variation over the rest of Britain."282

As more research was carried out, data opposing Kettlewell's theory accumulated. The idea that birds led to natural selection by hunting moths proved to be a false assumption. In the words of R. J. Berry, one of Kettlewell's colleagues, "It is clear that melanic peppered moth frequencies are determined by much more than differential visual predation by birds."283

Finally, in 1988, Professor Bruce Grant and his colleagues announced the results of their own research aimed at establishing the true cause of melanism in moths, according to which, the declines in melanism "correlated primarily with reductions in atmospheric sulfur dioxide."284

In short, research over the last 20 to 30 years has not confirmed Kettlewell's thesis at all. Moreover, it has become increasingly apparent that there were many errors—and deceptions—in his account.

The Erroneous Idea that Lichens Play a Role in Melanism

As will be remembered, Kettlewell claimed that lichens growing darker or dying is an important part of the natural selection process. But exactly how true was this?

Research in the last quarter of the 20th century revealed that his prediction did not reflect the truth at all. With their observations in 104 separate points in Britain, David Lees and his colleagues revealed that there was no correlation between melanism and tree lichens; which they commented as being surprising.285 This was confirmed by other studies carried out by American biologists in the same period.286 Furthermore, Kettlewell had accepted that there was a drop in melanism in moths, before lichens returned with the elimination of air pollution in the 1970s.287

Had Kettlewell's and evolutionists' claims been true, lichens would resumed their place on trees as air pollution was eradicated, after which light-colored moths would again come to constitute the majority. First, in other words, it was essential for moths to have places to rest on and hide in. However, it was definitively demonstrated that this was not the case. For example, Professor Bruce Grant and his colleagues showed that the ratio of light-colored moths exceeded 93% in a region with a very sparse lichen covering.288 They made an important comment: "We suggest that the role of lichens has been inappropriately emphasized in chronicles about the evolution of melanism in peppered moths."289

Theodore Sargent from Massachusetts University and his team stated that the level of melanic moths had recently dropped in North America, and that this was perplexing in the light of the classical scenario.290

In short, the presence or absence of lichens has no effect on moths. Kettlewell's thinking that lichens were a part of the supposed evolutionary process was a product of another error, as you'll soon see.

Industrial-Revolution Moths' True Resting Place      

The species Biston betularia used in researches has a feature of close interest to our subject matter here. These moths are nocturnal; they are active during the night hours and rest during the day, returning to their resting places before sunrise—before they can be hunted down by birds—and remain there, motionless, for the rest of the day.

In Kettlewell's experiments, the moths were released in the morning—that is, in daylight—and were observed throughout the day. At night they were recaptured, so that the research was carried out at times incompatible with the moths' lifestyle. Kettlewell was actually aware of this, but maintained that this would not affect the results of his experiment.291

In fact, however, Kettlewell's assumption was too great an error to be overlooked. Daylight caused the moths to become confused and lose their way, and thus to land on trees that would make them easy prey for birds. And in fact, the species B. betularia actually does not spend its days resting on tree trunks at all. The idea that these insects do is an error going back some 20 years.

In the early 1980s, research by Kauri Mikkola from Helsinki University into caged Biston betularia moths first revealed this. Mikkola, a zoologist, observed that the moths rarely landed on tree trunks and normally rested beneath thin, more or less horizontal branches.292 Nocturnal moths released under a very limited light selected their resting places very quickly, and in an irregular manner. In short, Kettlewell made a grave error in assuming that Biston betularia moths rested (or slept) on tree trunks.

Researchers investigating these moths' behavior in their natural habitat confirmed Mikkola's findings. In a 25-year study, Sir Cyril Clarke and his colleagues stated that they only found one peppered moth on a tree trunk.293 Two researchers well known for their studies in this field, Rory Howlett and Michael Majerus from Cambridge University, stated that they had come up with similar results: "... it seems certain that most B. betularia rest where they are hidden ... [and] that exposed areas of tree trunks are not an important resting site for any form of B. betularia."294 Dr. Majerus of the Cambridge University Genetics Department collected their findings in a book, Melanism: Evolution in Action. He noted that despite some 40 years of intense research on this subject, he had encountered only two Biston betularia moths on tree trunks and stated that this represented the most serious problem facing Kettlewell's thesis.295 Professor Jerry Coyne of Chicago University, himself an evolutionist, admitted that this fact by itself was sufficient to invalidate Kettlewell's experiments.296

Other researchers, the British biologists Tony Liebert and Paul Brakefield, have confirmed this. In 1987 these two scientists proved that this species of moth generally spends its resting time underneath or on the sides of narrow branches.297

The fact we need to concentrate on is that Kettlewell resorted to artificial methods in order to prove evolution through natural selection. B. betularia moths sleep beneath horizontal branches, concealing themselves from birds and other predators. The only reason for the experiments to ignore such an important fact is Darwinist dogma. Evolutionists feel justified in engaging in all kinds of distortions to find evidence for Darwinism. Yet on every occasion, science dashes their hopes.

Deception in the Photographs

Whenever Industrial-Revolution moths are mentioned, images of them resting on tree trunks come to mind. Books about evolution contain photographs of dark and light-colored moths on different trunks. But since peppered moths rest underneath horizontal branches, where do the photos of them on perpendicular trunks come from?

The photographs in question originated with various researchers who carried out experiments on the moths in the last half century, and were determined to have been used taken using either one of two different fraudulent techniques.

frauds and scandals

For the last 20 years, it has been known that the "Industrial Revolution" moths did not rest on tree trunks. Yet such misleading and fake photographs as shown here are still reprinted in textbooks and evolutionist publications for the sake of producing falsified evidence to prove Darwin's theory. They thus deserve a notorious place in the history of Darwinism, which is filled with frauds and scandals.

One was to stick dead moths to a tree trunk with pins or glue (the method preferred by many researchers after Kettlewell).298 Photographs of the affixed moths were later duly used in books, with no explanation given, as if these insects were photographed alive, in their natural environment. Documentaries and television programs have also employed this same method in.299

A second and different technique exploits the fact that B. betularia moths have only limited ability to move in the daytime. The insects in a rather somnolent state, have been placed on tree trunks by hand. Since they remained immobile, they were easy to photograph. As stated by the Massachusetts University biologist Theodore Sargent, many photographs have been obtained in this way and used in textbooks.300

This practice "is not science, but myth-making,"301 in the words of Dr. Jonathan Wells, from the California University Department of Molecular Cell Biology.

This practice cannot, of course, be regarded as in any way excusable. For the last 20 years, it has been known that these moths do not rest on tree trunks. In other words, the phtographs in question do not reflect the truth. Yet these fraudulent illustrations are still used in evolutionary textbooks, for the sake of providing supposed evidence for the theory. They thus deserve a special place in the history of Darwinism, filled as it is with falsehoods and scandals.

Admissions by an Evolutionist Scientist

We have so far examined certain errors and mistakes in Kettlewell's experiments, to which Darwinists have pinned so many of their hopes: According to intensive research in Britain and America, the distribution of melanic moths in clean and polluted regions is very different from what's expected. Contrary to expectations, there is no correlation between lichens and melanism. B. betularia moths do not rest on tree trunks. Another element that invalidates the experiment is the ignoring the fact that these animals are nocturnal.

These and other errors have been brought out by various researchers in scientific books and papers in recent years. Michael Majerus' book, Melanism: Evolution in Action, published in 1998, is one of these. Professor Jerry Coyne, of Chicago University's Department of Ecology and Evolution, introduced the book in question in an article published in Nature magazine on 5 November, 1998, and stressed its importance:

From time to time, evolutionists re-examine a classic experimental study and find, to their horror, that it is flawed or downright wrong ... Until now, however, the prize horse in our stable of examples has been the evolution of "industrial melanism" in the peppered moth, Biston betularia, presented by most teachers and textbooks as the paradigm of natural selection and evolution occurring within a human lifetime. The re-examination of this tale is the centerpiece of Michael Majerus's book, Melanism: Evolution in Action. Depressingly, Majerus shows that this classic example is in bad shape, and, while not yet ready for the glue factory, needs serious attention. 302

In addition to those errors listed above, Professor Coyne has also indicated the existence of other serious ones. He described his feelings after learning the truth of the matter:

Finally, the results of Kettlewell's behavioral experiments were not replicated in later studies: moths have no tendency to choose matching backgrounds. Majerus finds many other flaws in the work, but they are too numerous to list here. I unearthed additional problems when, embarrassed at having taught the standard Biston story for years, I read Kettlewell's papers for the first time ... My own reaction resembles the dismay attending my discovery, at the age of six, that it was my father and not Santa who brought the presents on Christmas Eve. 303

This forthrightness and honesty in describing the true facts by evolutionist Professor Coyne, who still works mainly in the field of genetics, is most noteworthy.. No doubt that the duty of anyone who claims to be guided by scientific thinking is to share the shame and disappointment felt by Coyne, to evaluate hollow Darwinist theses objectively and honestly, and to forthwith rid himself of evolutionist dogma.

Kettlewell's Tale Should be Removed from the Scientific Literature

Besides committing a number of errors, Bernard Kettlewell also ignored one very important factor. It is not only the species B. betularia in which melanic forms have spread in the wake of environmental pollution. An increase in dark-colored individuals had been observed in other insect species. Some 100 cases of melanism had been identified in various life forms.304 For example, dark- colored form had increased in the two-spotted ladybird, Adalia bipunctata, while light-colored individuals declined in numbers.

The colors in the two-spotted ladybird, approximately 3.5to 5.5 millimeters (0.1378 to 0.1969 of an inch) in size, exhibit variation.305 But birds do not hunt these insects because they find their taste unattractive.s In other words, there is no question of dark-colored individuals not being eaten by birds simply because they are better camouflaged. Since melanic ladybirds absorb solar energy and environmental heat better, they are better adapted to smoky environments. This phenomenon is known as thermal melanism.306 Every living thing has been created with systems and forms to allow it to survive in the environment where it lives. For example, the two-spotted ladybird is seen to lighten in color in low temperatures and to darken in high temperatures.307 In other words, ladybirds' colors can change and darken according to temperature, which rises in tttline with air pollution.

The clear significance of this has been known for long time. Melanism in moths may come about under the impact of very different factors beyond those claimed by Kettlewell. Indeed, three biologists—Theodore Sargent, Craig Millarand David Lambert—set out these likely factors in a paper published in 1998: These include probable difference in the moths' and/or in their larvae's tolerances towards toxic or harmful chemical substances, and their sensitivity to parasites. These three researchers evaluated the case of the Industrial-Revolution moths, mythologized by evolutionists, in these terms: "There is little persuasive evidence, in the form of rigorous and replicated observations and experiments, to support this explanation at the present time."308

Similar views have been expressed by many other scientists. According to the Italian biologists Giuseppe Sermonti and Paola Catastini, "Kettlewell's experiments do not prove in any acceptable way, according to the current scientific standard, the process he maintains to have experimentally demonstrated." They concluded that, "The evidence Darwin lacked, Kettlewell lacked as well." 309 In short, the evidence that Darwin couldn't supply is still lacked by contemporary evolutionists.

The views of the Japanese biologist Atuhiro Sibatani on this subject represent a definitive judgment for evolutionists: "... the story of industrial melanism must be shelved, at least for the time being, as a paradigm of neo-Darwinian evolution ..." 310 According to Sibatani, excessive devotion to neo-Darwinist theory led to other factors being left completely out of the equation. In addition, it led to regarding weak evidence—for melanism being dependent on natural selection—more favorably than it actually should have been. But this is not surprising in the least, because Darwinists have always resorted to all kinds of methods to advance the theory of evolution's acceptance.

The story of the Industrial- Revolution moths is just another one of the countless hollow evolutionary proofs produced for the sake of validating the theory.

Professor Jerry Coyne says that it should be removed from the scientific literature, and describes the lessons to be learned from it:

First, for the time being we must discard Biston as a well-understood example of natural selection in action, although it is clearly a case of evolution ... It is also worth pondering why there has been general and unquestioned acceptance of Kettlewell's work. Perhaps such powerful stories discourage close scrutiny. 311

Darwinism's Fanatical Supporters

Clearly, all the scientific findings on this subject point to one single truth: The story of the Industrial-Revolution moths is of no scientific worth at all, and must assume its place among the discredited so-called proofs of evolution. Nonetheless, some Darwinists still insist on defending this story at all costs.

Most biology textbooks devote space to Kettlewell's account story and these fraudulent photographs. For example, the 2000 edition of Biology by Kenneth Miller and Joseph Levine refers to Kettlewell's research as a "classic demonstration of natural selection in action."312 Similarly, according to another textbook, it is "a classic example of natural selection." 313

You can encounter similar statements in encyclopedias that engage in Darwinist propaganda. For instance, the 2001 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica describes Kettlewell's classic story in detail, and still portrays it as an illustration of natural selection, even though its erroneous nature has been proved and documented.314 According to Paul M. Brakefield, "The peppered moth, Biston betularia, is rightly regarded as a striking example of adaptive change through natural selection and as one of the foundation stones for the modern synthesis of evolutionary theory" 315 and became a striking example of rapid evolutionary change.316

In the book titled The Illustrated Origin of Species, Richard Leakey wrote:

The peppered moth is a striking example of evolution in action... but, sadly for Darwin, no one knew it at the time. This is just the evidence he needed to show the effectiveness of natural selection."317

These and similar statements reflect the dreams of bigoted supporters of Darwinism, but are of no scientific worth. Modern science makes clear that the story in question lacks any foundation and that there is no such thing as evolutionary change.

One evolutionist book written for the purpose of supporting evolution says;

Consider the well-known example of industrial melanism in the British peppered moth, Biston betularia. Few high school biology texts fail to mention this study, yet few students seem to understand what it is that this example demonstrates. Clearly, environmental pressures, through natural selection, can effect rapid shifts in the genotype of a population ... This is evolution in action, under observation.318

These and similar extracts are examples of Darwinist demagoguery. Nothing about this observed difference in the levels of light and dark-colored individuals in the moth population can represent evidence for evolution in the light of scientific research. That is the only truth to emerge from 150 years of intensive research.

Certain journals are determined to keep Darwinism alive at any cost, but their attitude is incompatible with true science. The following quotation from New Scientist magazine is an example: "The peppered moth remains one of the best examples of evolution in action."319

In this way, albeit unconsciously and unwillingly, evolutionists are once again confirming an important fact. This example, portrayed as the best and most explicit proof of evolution, is actually a clear proof that evolution lacks any evidence whatsoever. The famous "proof" again reveals the invalidity of a theory that claims to possess incontrovertible evidence.

Belief in Evolutionary Change in Moths

The concept of natural selection lies at the very root of Darwinism, a claim emphasized even in the title of the book in which Charles Darwin set out his theory: The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Ever Since Darwin, evolutionists' greatest endeavors have been aimed at proving his claim.

The linguist Steven Pinker, one of Darwinism's foremost spokesmen, expresses the importance that natural selection holds for evolutionists: "Because there are no alternatives, we would almost have to accept natural selection as the explanation of life on this planet even if there were no evidence for it." 320

In his book How Does the Mind Work? Pinker's first example of evolution by way of natural selection is the story of melanism in the moths. As you have already seen, however, this is a tale of no scientific value at all. But in the absence of any evidence as to its veracity, evolutionists assume that evolution is true, as Pinker does, and seek to adapt everything else to this thesis. That being the case, a story such as that of the Industrial Revolution moths, which clearly conflicts with scientific facts, is still credited out of devotion to Darwinism.

The American biologist Dr. Jonathan Wells stresses that this is a belief held to be true:

No scientist with any integrity would point to the peppered myth as "a core example of natural selection." Without evidence, the assertion that melanism in peppered moths was due to natural selection is a faith-statement, not a scientific inference. 321

In his book Icons of Evolution, Wells devotes particular attention to the tale in question and sets out his conclusion:

In 1986, evolutionary biologist John Endler wrote a book entitled Natural Selection in the Wild, now acknowledged to be a classic in the field. At the time, Endler was unaware of the problems being unearthed in the peppered moth story, so he listed it as one of the few cases in which the cause of natural selection was known. But he also declared that "the time has passed for ‘quick and dirty' studies of natural selection." Although most researchers are "satisfied in demonstrating merely that natural selection occurred," Endler wrote, "This is equivalent to demonstrating a chemical reaction, and then not investigating its causes and mechanisms. A strong demonstration of natural selection combined with a lack of knowledge of its reasons and mechanisms is no better than alchemy."

... Kettlewell's evidence for natural selection is flawed, and the actual causes of the change remain hypothetical. As a scientific demonstration of natural selection—as "Darwin's missing evidence"— industrial melanism in peppered moths is no better than alchemy. 322

In the Middle Ages, alchemists mixed copper with various other substances and believed that copper could be turned into gold through the method of trial and error. Science, however, has clearly revealed that no matter how many experiments they perform, alchemists will never succeed and that their hope is merely a dream. Evolutionists who seek to account for the origin of species in terms of mutations and natural selection are facing exactly the same defeat as the alchemists. Scientific discoveries are shattering Darwinists' hopes and demonstrating the invalidity of their evidence.

Contrary to evolutionist assumptions, these mechanisms have no properties that can cause one species to change into another. The Industrial-Revolution moth, a tale that is cited as an example of evolution through natural selection at every available opportunity, is one of evolutionists' unforgettable errors.

Moths Have Always Remained Moths


So far, you have seen how this tale was mythologized in order to produce evidence for evolution, and how unscientific methods were resorted to in order to influence the public. The industrial melanism in moths has nothing whatsoever to do with the thesis of evolution. Even if, for a moment, we ignore everything we have learned so far and accept Kettlewell's tale at face value, it will still be no more than a supposed proof of so-called evolution.

Dark-colored moths of the species Biston betularia already existed in England years before the Industrial Revolution; light-colored individuals represented the majority of the population, and dark individuals were in the minority. As a result of the Industrial Revolution's increasing air pollution, this ratio was reversed, and darker forms came to constitute the majority. Following the introduction of anti-pollution laws in the 1950s and the consequent reduction in air pollution, the proportions reversed again: Lighter-colored moths again came to represent the majority of the population, as they had before the Industrial Revolution.

Obviously, the change involved not the moths' color, but their numbers; and this cannot be postulated as proof of evolution. There have been light and dark B. betularia moths since observations began, some 200 years ago. Different-colored individuals interbreed with one another. The gene pool of this population has contained combinations belonging to different colors right from the outset. In other words, no genetic information developed as a result of the Industrial Revolution, and no new genes emerged. The Biston betularia moth has remained the same species, and there is no question of it turning into any other.

Clearly, nothing in this phenomenon can be described as an instance of evolution. In any case, some adherents of Darwinism do accept this truth. Harrison Matthews, the well known British biologist and evolutionist, says in his foreword to the 1971 edition of Darwin's The Origin of Species:

The [peppered moth] experiments beautifully demonstrate natural selection—or survival of the fittest—in action, but they do not show evolution in progress; for however the populations may alter in their content of light, intermediate or dark forms, all the moths remain, from beginning to end, Biston betularia.323

In short, the different colors of this species are examples of genetic variation. Changing environmental conditions did not create new genetic information and new characteristics in the moths. Light-colored moths were indeed better adapted to clean environments and darker ones to environments with heavier pollution, but this constitutes no scientific evidence of natural selection.

Therefore, even if the moths' melanism were proved to be linked to natural selection in some way, this would still change nothing. All natural selection can do is weed out deformed or weak individuals within a population, or those unable to adapt to environmental conditions. Natural selection has no evolutionary power.324

Rather than accounting for evolution in the manner Darwin imagined, the phenomena of variation and natural selection represent a magnificent example of a protective principle foreseen by God, Who has created every type of living thing with systems to permit its survival. The organism's genetic system has a function that regulates its features within specific bounds, according to changes going on around it. Were that not so, the slightest change in factors such as climate or food sources could mean the end for that species.

Creation is God's Alone

Charles Darwin was enormously affected by the butterfly species he saw on his travels with the Beagle, and expressed his feeling in these words: "Every one must have admired the extreme beauty of many butterflies and of some moths... No language suffices to describe the splendor of the males of some tropical species."325 Confronted by these observations, Darwin adopted a highly distorted and mistaken approach and suggested that they had emerged as the result of evolution. Evolutionists who followed him in the 20th century went even further and sought to make use of them.

If evolutionists want to use moths as evidence for evolution, they have to explain how moths answer the question of the origin of species, which has gone unanswered since Darwin's day. They must account for the emergence by evolution of tens of thousands of different species of moths and butterflies. They also have to explain why 48-million-year-old fossil butterflies are identical to specimens alive today 326 and have remained unchanged for millions of years. How does that square with evolution?

In addition, evolutionists must abandon myths and fairy tales to answer these questions: How did the stunning patterns, dazzling colors and perfect symmetry in butterfly wings emerge? How did they come by their attractive external appearance and defense systems that protect them against predators? How did butterflies' superior flight mechanisms and systems that are marvels of engineering come about? How did metamorphosis—an exceptionally complex mechanism—come into existence? How did the complex program that regulates the transformations from the egg to the caterpillar, the caterpillar to the pupa, and the pupa to the butterfly arise in this insect's genetic code?

Apart from speculation, evolutionists have no answers to these questions. They cannot account for such extraordinary structures and flawless systems in terms of such random factors as natural selection and mutation. Darwinists are well aware that they have no evidence that these supposed mechanisms produce new species. Deceptions such as the myth of the Industrial-Revolution moths are only proofs of the hopeless position in which evolutionists find themselves.

It is a certain fact that God created butterflies and moths together with their details and the adaptations that respond to their needs, as He did with all other beings in the universe. These are all indications of His omniscience and peerless creative artistry. One verse of the Qur'an states that creation is peculiar to God alone:

Your Lord is God, Who created the heavens and the Earth in six days and then settled Himself firmly on the Throne. He covers the day with the night, each pursuing the other urgently; and the sun and moon and stars are subservient to His command. Both creation and command belong to Him. Blessed be God, the Lord of all the worlds. (Surat al-A‘raf, 54)


That is because Allah merges night into day, and He merges day into night, and verily it is Allah Who hears and sees (all things).

(Surat Al-Hajj, 61)



253 Timothy A. Mousseau, Alexander E. Olvido, "Geographical Variation", Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, ğ

254 Bernard Kettlewell, "Selection experiments on industrial melanism in the Lepidoptera," Heredity, Vol. 9, 1955, p. 323.

255 Philip MacDonald Sheppard, Natural Selection and Heredity, 4th edition, London: Hutchinson, 1975, p. 70.

256 Sewall Wright, Evolution and the Genetics of Populations, Volume 4: "Variability Within and Among Natural Populations", Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1978, p. 186.

257 Prof. Dr. Ali Demirsoy, Kalıtım ve Evrim, Ankara: Meteksan Yayınları, 1984, p. 644.

258 Prof. Dr. Ali Demirsoy, Yaşamın Temel Kuralları Vol. I / Nov. 1, 11th edition, Ankara:Meteksan Yayınları, , 1998, p. 600.

259 Mark Ridley, Evolution, 2nd edition, Cambridge (MA): Blackwell Science, 1996, pp. 103-109

260 "Peppered Moth Evolution,"

261 Michael Majerus, Melanism: Evolution in Action, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.p.233

262 Lee Spetner, Not By Chance!, p. 66.

263 Bruce Grant, "Fine Tuning The Peppered Moth Paradigm," Evolution 53 (3), 199, pp. 980-984.

264 J.W. Tutt, British Moths, London, G. Routledge and Sons, 1896.

265 Jonathan Wells, "Second Thoughts about Peppered Moths," 1999,

266 J.W. Heslop Harrison, "Genetical studies in the moths of the geometrid genus Oporabia (Oporinia) with a special consideration of melanism in the Lepidoptera," Journal of Genetics, Vol. 9, 1920, pp. 195-280; J.W. Heslop Harrison, "The Experimental Induction of Melanism, and Other Effects, in the Geometrid Moth Selenia bilunaria esp.," Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 117, 1935, pp. 78-92.

267 Bruce Grant, "Fine Tuning The Peppered Moth Paradigm," Loc. cit.

268 Bernard Kettlewell, "Selection experiments on industrial melanism in the Lepidoptera," Heredity, Vl. 9, 1955.

269 Ibid. p. 342.

270 Bernard Kettlewell, "Further selection experiments on industrial melanism in the Lepidoptera," Heredity, Vol. 10, 1956, pp. 287-301.

271 Bernard Kettlewell, "Darwin's Missing Evidence," Scientific American, Vol. 200, March 1959, pp. 48-53.

272 C.A. Clarke, P.M. Sheppard, "A local survey of the distribution of industrial melanic forms in the moth Biston betularia and estimates of the selective values of these in an industrial environment," Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 165, 1966, pp. 424-439.

273 J.A. Bishop, "An experimental study of the cline of industrial melanism in Biston betularia (L.) (Lepidoptera) between urban Liverpool and rural North Wales," Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 41, 1972, pp. 209-243.

274 D.R. Lees, E.R. Creed, "Industrial melanism in Biston betularia: the role of selective predation," Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 44, 1975, pp. 67-83.

275 J.A. Bishop, L.M. Cook, "Moths, melanism and clean air," Scientific American, Vol. 232, 1975, pp. 90-99.

276 R.C. Steward, "Melanism and selective predation in three species of moths," Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 46, 1977, pp. 483-496.

277 N.D. Murray, J.A. Bishop, M.R. MacNair, "Melanism and predation by birds in the moths Biston betularia and Phigalia pilosauria," Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 210, 1980, pp. 277-283.

278 J.A. Bishop, L.M. Cook, "Industrial melanism and the urban environment," Advances in Ecological Research, Vol. 11, 1980, pp. 373-404; G.S. Mani, "Theoretical models of melanism in Biston betularia," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 39, 1990, pp. 355-371.

279 J.A. Bishop, "An experimental study of the cline of industrial melanism in Biston betularia (L.) (Lepidoptera) between urban Liverpool and rural North Wales," Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 41, 1972, p. 240.

280 D.R. Lees, E.R. Creed, "Industrial melanism in Biston betularia: the role of selective predation," Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 44, 1975, pp. 75-76.

281 R.C. Steward, "Melanism and selective predation in three species of moths," Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 46, 1977, pp. 483-496; R.C. Steward, "Industrial and non-industrial melanism in the peppered moth, Biston betularia," Ecological Entomology, Vol. 2, 1977, pp. 231-243.

282 R.C. Steward, "Industrial and non-industrial melanism in the peppered moth, Biston betularia," Ecological Entomology, Vvol. 2, 1977, pp. 239, 242.

283 R.J. Berry, "Industrial melanism and peppered moths (Biston betularia)," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 39, p. 312.

284 B.S. Grant, A.D. Cook, C.A. Clarke, and D.F. Owen, "Geographic and temporal variation in the incidence of melanism in peppered moth populations in America and Britain." Heredity, Vol. 89, No. 5. pp. 465-471

285 D.R. Lees, E.R. Creed, and L.G. Duckett. "Atmospheric pollution and industrial melanism." Heredity 30, 1973. pp. 227-232.

286 T.D.Sargent , "Melanism in moths of central Massachusetts (Noctuidae, Geometridae)," Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society, 28: 1974, pp. 145-152.

287 Bernard Kettlewell, The Evolution of Melanism, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973

288 B.S. Grant, A.D. Cook, C.A. Clarke, and D.F. Owen, "Geographic and temporal variation in the incidence of melanism in peppered moth populations in America and Britain," Journal of Heredity, Vol. 89, 1998, p. 466.

289 B.S. Grant, D.F. Owen, and C.A. Clarke, "Parallel rise and fall of melanic peppered moths in America and Britain," Journal of Heredity, Vol. 87, 1996, p. 351.

290 T.D. Sargent, C.D. Millar, D.M. Lambert, "The ‘classical' explanation of industrial melanism: assessing the evidence," Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 30, 1998, pp. 316-317.

291 Bernard Kettlewell, "Selection experiments on industrial melanism in the Lepidoptera," Heredity, Vol. 9, 1955, p. 340.

292 Kauri Mikkola, "On the selective forces acting in the industrial melanism of Biston and Oligia moths (Lepidoptera: Geometridae and Noctuidae)," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vvol. 21, 1984, pp. 409-421.

293 C.A. Clarke, G.S. Mani, andG. Wynne, "Evolution in reverse: clean air and the peppered moth," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 26, 1985, pp. 189-199.

294 R.J. Howlett, M.E.N. Majerus, "The understanding of industrial melanism in the peppered moth (Biston betularia) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae)," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 30, 1987, p. 40.

295 Jerry A. Coyne, "Not black and white," Nature, Vol. 396, 5 November 1998, pp. 35-36.

296 İbid.

297 T.G. Liebert, P.M. Brakefield, "Behavioural studies on the peppered moth Biston betularia and a discussion of the role of pollution and lichens in industrial melanism," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 31, 1987, pp. 129-150.

298 Bernard Kettlewell, The Evolution of Melanism, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973, p. 150; J.A. Bishop, L.M. Cook, "Moths, melanism and clean air," Scientific American, Vol. 232, 1975, pp. 90-99.

299 Larry Witham, "Darwinism icons disputed: Biologists discount moth study," The Washington Times, National Weekly Edition, 25-31/1/1999, p. 28.

300 T.D. Sargent, C.D. Millar, and D.M. Lambert, "The ‘classical' explanation of industrial melanism: assessing the evidence," Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 30, 1998, pp. 299-322.

301 Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution, New York: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2000, p. 155.

302 Jerry A. Coyne, Op. cit., pp. 35-36.

303 Ibid.

304 Bernard Kettlewell, The Evolution of Melanism, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973; Michael Majerus, Melanism: Evolution in Action, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

305 Prof. Dr. Ali Demirsoy, Yaşamın Temel Kuralları, Entomoloji, Vol. II / Nov. II, 5th edition, Ankara: Meteksan Publishing, 1997, p. 556.

306 E.R. Creed, "Geographic variation in the two-spot ladybird in England and Wales," Heredity, Vol. 21, 1966, pp. 57-72; E.B. Ford, Ecological Genetics, 4th ed., London: Chapman and Hall, 1975; P.M. Brakefield, "Polymorphic Muellerian mimicry and interactions with thermal melanism in ladybirds and a soldier beetle: a hypothesis," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 26, 1985, pp. 243-267.

307 Prof. Dr. Ali Demirsoy, Op. cit., p. 236.

308 T.D. Sargent, C.D. Millar, and D.M. Lambert, "The ‘classical' explanation of industrial melanism: assessing the evidence," Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 30, 1998, p. 318.

309 Giuseppe Sermonti, Paola Catastini, "On industrial melanism: Kettlewell's missing evidence," Rivista di Biologia 77 (1984): 35-52.

310 Atuhiro Sibatani, "Industrial Melanism Revisited," Rivista di Biologia 92, 1999, p. 546.

311 Jerry A. Coyne, "Not black and white," Loc cit., pp. 35-36.

312 K.R. Miller, J. Levine, Biology, 5th edition, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000, pp. 297-298.

313 Jonathan Wells, "Second Thoughts about Peppered Moths,"

314 Encyclopedia Britannica 2001, Deluxe Edition CD, "Heredity: Natural selection in operation."

315 Paul M. Brakefield,. "Receding black moths, " Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 13, No. 9, 1998, p. 376.

316 Malcolm R. Forster, "Evolutionary Theory"

317 Richard Leakey, The Illustrated Origin of Species, London: Faber and Faber, 1979. p. 30.

318 M. Archer, The Reality of Organic Evolution, , in D.R. Selkirk & F.J. Burrows, eds., Confronting Creationism: Defending Darwin, Kensington, NSW, Australia: New South Wales University Press,, 1988, pp. 30-31.

319 Jeremy Cherfas, "Exploding the Myth of the Melanic Moth," New Scientist, 25 December 1986, p. 25.

320 Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works, London: Penguin:, 1998, p. 162.

321 Jonathan Wells, "Significance of the Peppered Moth Argument," Access Research Network, 2000, http://ğ

322 Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution, New York: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2000, p. 155.; John Endler, Natural Selection in the Wild, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986, p. 164.

323 L. Harrison Matthews, "Introduction" to Charles Darwin's Origin of Species (1971 edition) London: J.M. Dent & Sons, , p. xi.

324 For detailed information, see Harun Yahya, Darwinism Refuted, New Delhi: Goodword Books, November 2000.

325 Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, Chapter 11: "Insects,"

326 Encarta Encyclopedia 2001, Deluxe Edition CD, "Butterflies and Moths."


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