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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CB601.3:

The differing frequencies of the different color varieties of peppered moths can better be explained by the direct effects of mutagenic pollutants, since the usual explanation of differential bird predation lacks support.


Wells, Jonathan, 1999. Second thoughts on peppered moths. or


  1. The explanation of differential bird predation affecting frequencies of color varieties does not lack support. On the contrary, support for the basic story is overwhelming (Grant 1999; Majerus 1999). Wells and others simply ignore the bulk of the research and pick out the few dissenters and the disagreements about minor details.

  2. An explanation in terms of the direct effect of pollutants fails. The early experiments (by Helsop Harrison) that claimed to show such an effect lacked appropriate controls, could not be replicated, and reported mutagenesis levels that were more than enough to induce complete sterility (Majerus 1999).


  1. Grant, Bruce S., 1999. Fine tuning the peppered moth paradigm. Evolution 53(3): 980-984.
  2. Majerus, M. E. N. 1999. (letter). Quoted by Frack, Don. 1999. Peppered moths, round 2, part 2.

Further Reading:

Majerus, Michael E. N., 1998. Melanism: Evolution in Action, Oxford University Press.
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created 2001-2-17