Peppered Moth questions

This is not a culinary question so no responses regarding the proper seasoning of moths… (Sorry I know it’s a terrible joke but I couldn’t resist :wink: )

I the GD forum there was a debate regarding the possibility of african-americans having evolved greater athletic ability due to the hardships they were exposed to. Someone made the point that the short span of time the american slave trade was in place could have been sufficient for evolution to have an effect, and they used the peppered moth as an example of evolution working in less a century. Now I can think of a bunch of reasons why that’s not a valid inference but I would like to have some hard numbers if possible. So my questions are:

  • How long before an individual peppered moth reaches reproductive maturity and is likely to mate?

  • When trying to find answers to the above question on Google I mostly found creationist arguments attempting to debunk the peppered moth experiment. Does anyone know what the current consensus among biologists regarding the peppered moth experiment is? Can anyone point me towards a non-ideological examination of the experiment?


The peppered moth example is * textbook . Doesn’t mean it’s true, but it’s so classic that it’s in nearly textbook on evolution * ever. So yea, i’d say it’s pretty well accepted.

As for the human muscle thing, i’d have my reservations. IIRC the peppered moths changing from peppered to black was caused by a single gene locus. Now, a single human gene can also cause muscle growth… but I highly doubt that it’d be pronounced over 400 years = 10 generations? and then another 5-6 generations to dilute it again.

Here is a criticism of Wells’ criticisms of the peppered moth research, for starters. I thought that had a proper “peppered moth FAQ,” but I can’t find it if they do.

Thanks to both of you for the responses.

No takers on the reproductive cycle of the peppered moth?