Moth Proving Natural Selection – Fallacy?

Kettlewell Peppered Moth

I’m pretty sure few would know about Bernard Kettlewell. But if I mention the moths experiment, most may go “Aha!”, it being one of the major experiment results that demonstrates natural selection. The experiment: two types of moths, one light and one dark. Trees were initially light, and thus putting the dark moths in disadvantage because they’re more easily spotted by the predatory birds. As coal smoke from nearby industry slowly caused the trees to darken, the population of light moths decreased and dark moths increased. A pretty conclusive experiment!

Well, apparently that was a fraud, or at least an experiment that was not fairly and well executed (according to Neatorama, which also discusses 9 other popular scientific frauds):

  1. Kettlewell was responsible for nailing dead moths to the trees for the birds to feed on.
  2. Peppered moths rarely alight on tree trunks.
  3. Birds don’t normally feed on months that are on the side of trees.

There are also counter-claims, but for me, something that appears in my school Biology textbook should be very much free from such controversies aye?


2 comments so far

  1. alexa chung style on

    Hey which you very much for your article, it had been fairly and informative examine! I will be back afterwards for confident.

  2. kidney stone remedy on

    Great post indeed. Friend on mine has been waiting for this update.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: