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In several areas dark moths were more common than expected (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (In several areas dark moths were more common than expected (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CB601.2.2:

In rural East Anglia, where there were lichen-covered trees, and typical light moths seemed better camouflaged than melanics, the latter reached a frequency of 80%. In rural areas of northern Wales the proportion of melanic moths was higher than expected, and in southern Wales, where melanics were better camouflaged, they comprised only 20% of the population. This is inconsistent with Ford and Kettlewell's explanation for the spread of the dark moths in terms of selective visual predation.


CreationWiki response:

It needs to be noted that the traditional peppered moth story is no way a threat to creation science. Not only do the peppered moths remain peppered moths but it does not even represent a change in the peppered moth gene pool but only a temporary shift in populations. The fact that Evolutionists even consider this evidence for evolution is a sign of desperation.

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. The relative proportions of light and dark moths in East Anglia and northern Wales have been very well accounted for by a combination of visual selective predation, non-visual selection, and gene flow. This explanation merely fleshes out some of the details of Ford and Kettlewell's, and is perfectly consistent with it. …

But it is not consistent with the traditional peppered moth story; which includes none of this; and that is the point Wells making.

1. The assertion by Wells (2000, 146) that "melanics in south Wales seemed better camouflaged than typicals, yet they comprised only about 20% of the population" is false. Wells appears to have misread a statement in one of the articles he cited in support of this assertion in his earlier essay of 1999. In the referenced article, Steward (1977a, 232) wrote

  • . . . experiments in 1973 and 1974 at Tongwynlais in south Wales (Steward 1977b) showed that carbonaria was at an advantage to typical in this locality, and yet was only present at a low frequency (c.20%).

Wells seems to have taken the words "this locality" in this sentence as referring to south Wales instead of to the rather more obvious and more limited vicinity of Tongwynlais. However, it is clear from the table appearing just two pages further on in Steward's article that the conditions he reported for Tongwylnais did not generalise to the whole of south Wales. …

Wells does seem to have made an error here, by concluding that Steward was referring to all of south Wales, rather than just Tongwynlais.