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Listen: Dead Peppered Moths Can’t Evolve

Evolution News

On an episode of ID the Future, biologist Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong and Zombie Science: More Icons of Evolution, debunks a study purporting to breathe fresh life into an old and throughly discredited icon of evolution, the peppered moth. Wells also tells how this icon of a moth “evolving” from light to dark lives on in current textbooks, in the same form many parents probably remember from their school days.

Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Dr. Wells and others have shown that many of these pictures used dead moths, pinned in places that live ones never rest. The supposed science of peppered moth evolution has been shown to be false as well. But the pictures and the claims are persuasive, so some textbooks still use them. This prompts host Rob Crowther to ask Dr. Wells what parents can do to help their kids understand the truth?

Photo: A peppered moth, by Andy Phillips, via Flickr (cropped).