The Pepper Moth

Did you know…

…the classic “pepper moth” story (prominently displayed at the Baltimore Aquarium) has nothing to do with evolution? A pepper moth is a pepper moth; regardless of whether it is predominately black or predominately white. (And people are people – made in His image – regardless of whether they are predominately black or predominately white as well!) These are merely examples of “genetic diversity.”

We recently had an exciting field trip at the Baltimore Aquarium. Zoos and aquariums always make fascinating Christian field trips since they portray such diverse displays of God’s awesome creation. Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth

Did you see the “pepper moth” display though? This is an old evolutionary story that has been “thrown out” of most textbooks because it is such bad science, yet it is such a popular story that it keeps creeping back into the public’s eye.

As the story goes, pepper moths are “peppered” with black and white spots. Once upon a time, they were predominately white. Due to coal soot accumulation during the industrial revolution, and “natural selection”, they slowly became predominately black. Although this is a common evolutionary story, it is merely an example of genetic variation. Even today, all pepper moths, black or white, still have the genes for both black and white spots. It is no different from the classic fruit fly experiments of separating the blue from the red eyed fruit flies. They are still all fruit flies!

The pepper moth story is a good example of the “bait & switch” method of teaching evolution. Did the predominately white pepper moths become predominately black over time? Yes, but this has nothing to do with evolution. So, in effect, you are “baited” with a true story, but the extension/conclusion of the story is the “switch.”

In order for evolution to occur, “new information” must be written into the DNA molecule. Had the pepper moth’s DNA lost the ability to produce white spots, a new “species” would exist. This is called “speciation.” But – this is due to a loss of information, not the development of new information.

Perhaps your computer software would be a good analogy.   Speciation is analogous to your computer having a program file corrupted. Due to God’s second law of thermodynamics, this will happen on occasion. Once a file is corrupted, the program is certainly “different.” Depending on which file was corrupted, the program could completely crash or you may not even notice the difference. On the other hand, “evolution” claims that new creatures are developed over long slow “corruption of files (DNA)” over millions of years. The “code” for arms, legs, bones, brains, etc is slowly “written” by this “corruption” process. That’s like saying that, “If we have enough hard drive crashes (which will corrupt files), it is possible for DOS3.2 to ‘evolve’ into Windows XP.” (I think a few dozen thousand software engineers would agree that this could never happen in a zillion years!)

Perhaps the most amusing thing about this display is – how did this pepper moth display find its way into an aquarium? I didn’t think they could swim! Oh well. Once again, the evidence of God’s marvelous creation is all around us and clearly seen! Rom 1:20

Jay Auxt