The peppered moth has long been upheld as one of the earliest and most convincing examples of short-term evolution. For those too lame to read the links I will provide below, I will briefly summarize the situation.
Here’s the deal. Moths in the industrial parts of England began to change in about the 1840s. The peppered moth, named for its coloring, gradually began to exhibit a subspecies companion, all black. A fellow whose name you will learn by reading up on the subject before you post cited the irrefutable changeover from the “typical,” or spotted, moths to the all-black “melanic” type, presumably tied to bird predation and the easy pickings a spotted moth would provide birds over a sooty-looking one in the nasty industrial areas of England. A study conducted much later showed that the melanic population declined roughly in tune with the volume of industrial pollution. This was seemingly supported my similar studies across the pond in Michigan. Presumably, the “typicals” now had a chance to make their comeback.
You’ve read your biology book; you’ve heard of these guys. But there are many new issues to consider.
Unfortunately, the studies that conclusively prove this theory are pretty much bullshit.
Naturally, our friends with the one-book library have heartily endorsed the revision.
But wait! The moderates haven’t conceded yet. Well, maybe they’re not moderates. They’re real biologists who are elated at being able to revise next year’s textbook for a new generation of students–and profits.
What? You thought I was being imparital about this? Hell, no. I offer a simple explanation for what is currently being observed.
- All of the above sources note that peppered moths rest under large, high branches of trees. Exactly where the studies of peppered moths were not conducted. Ooooh. Better bust out the Good Book, 'cause my drunken uncle is gonna bust you one now.
Or, maybe, just maybe, the behavioral habits of the melanic moths could have changed, too. Do all black moths hide under branches, too? Why? Those bullshit studies proved one thing: the black ones definitely died less out in the open. When the forests were carbon-coated. So maybe they don’t take their safety as seriously as they should in these environmentally conscious times. (“Only a couple more years, mate,” they may be saying… but that’s another depressing thread.)
- What about the birds that predate upon these creatures? What do we know about them, and their response to a shitty environment? Have new bird species replaced the old ones, perhaps? Or have the birds evolved, perhaps behaviorily, too?
Studies should be forthcoming, soon, now, last month. I don’t know where to look for them. This is a serious issue and biologists are jumping onto it like flies onto… the biological truth. So I’d like to hear your considered thoughts on the issues I’ve brought up, which I think are short-term evolution; behavioral evolution; and change in the local ecology. Plus, I’ve offered my paper-thin arguments in support of the theory of short-term behavioral evolution, which I will enjoy seeing served back to me lightly sauteed, or perhaps blackened.
I’ll be reading up, because if the above post doesn’t conclusively prove it, I don’t know jack about this subject.