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Author Topic:   Peppered Moths and Natural Selection
Posts: 4268
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.8

Message 347 of 350 (838299)
08-18-2018 12:54 PM

Avian vision models and field experiments determine the survival value of peppered moth camouflage

Animal defensive coloration has long provided many important examples of evolution and adaptation. Of these, industrial melanism in the peppered moth is the classic textbook example of evolution in action, whereby dark and pale morphs suffer differential predation in polluted and unpolluted woodland based on their camouflage. Despite extensive work, a striking gap remains in that no study has ever objectively quantified their camouflage or related this directly to predation risk. Here we use image analysis and avian vision models to show that pale individuals more closely match lichen backgrounds than dark morphs. Artificial predation experiments in unpolluted woodland show 21% higher survival rates of pale than melanic individuals. Overall, we provide the strongest direct evidence to date that peppered moth morph frequencies stem from differential camouflage and avian predation, providing key support for this iconic example of natural selection.

At least as of now the full text can be downloaded.

Posts: 30100
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2

Message 348 of 350 (838304)
08-18-2018 2:01 PM

Peppered moths show normal variation, not evolution
I didn't contribute much to this thread but I did contribute so I get to write a summary which of course will simply say that the peppered moth is NOT evidence of the ToE. I see that many have as usual slammed the Creationist understanding of this, called us liars and so on, but it is a major tenet of Creationism that the different Kinds have build in variation, which explains the ability to adapt to different circumstances that threaten survival. This natural variation is co-opted to the Theory of Evolution by the notion that there is nothing to stop it from continuing beyond the genome of the Kind to form new Kinds.

GHowever, there is plenty to stop it. Variation is as simple as the Mendelian formula that has led to the recognition two alleles per gene that determine such things as pink versus white flowers or blue versus brown eyes. One gene with two alleles accounts for that. Most traits are governed by many genes so that there are a lot more than those two possibilities for variation of any particular trait than just those. Two alleles per gene is quite enough to code for great variety in any given trait.

As for Natural Selection, that may occur with varieties of the same species, no need to assume evolution beyond that.

And of course the idea that inability to interbreed between any two forms of the same creature as the definition of speciation or the formation of a new species is just a completely artificial meaningless standard.

The idea that mutation is what makes evolution beyond this possible is countered by the fact that all mutation can do is vary whatever the gene governs, it can't produce a new trait only a change in how the given trait is expressed: if flower color or eye color it will produce at best another color.

I've also argued at length that there is a built in natural barrier to evolution beyond the genome of the Kind, in that wherever particular traits are selected, part6icular alleles for certain traits that is, or in other words homozygosity is selected for those traits and reproduction is isolated from other individuals of the species, you are going to get new traits, new phenytypic expressions that cause the new population to differ in appearance from the old, that are built upon LESS genetic diversity. As long as reproductive isolation is maintained this will always been the direction of variation, there will always be the formation of new populations with disztinctive traits that are fomed by the loss of genetic diversity from the original population.

In any case the peppered moths show normal variation, and in fact it's awfully limited too, between a light colored version and a dark colored version. There is nothing whatever in this normal genetic fact to support the idea of getting anything other than a moth out of this built in genetic system.

ABE; Interesting that the next summarizer here accuses me of failing to address evidence given in the thread, which I assume would be evidence that you can get something other than a moth by the same means that gets you different colored moths, so what I find interesting is that he didn't bother to produce any of that evidence although he is very generaous with the insults. Such evidence one would think would be important in a Summary of such a thread. Guess not. Of course there is no such evidence, it's all makebelieve.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Inactive Member

Message 349 of 350 (838307)
08-18-2018 4:19 PM

Once a stupid, fact denying creationist, always a fact denying creationist.

I just read a summary by Faith that failed to address any of the evidence given in this thread the Mendelian genetics cannot explain the peppered moth. If, in fact, the goal of the thread was to convince a creationist of anything, it would be un utter failure.

But in my view, threads like this are a smashing success. You can predict the dissembling and denial filled behavior of creationists in the OP of a thread, and then watch it in action at the end of the thread.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith

No it is based on math I studied in sixth grade, just plain old addition, substraction and multiplication. -- ICANT

Posts: 17892
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2

Message 350 of 350 (838376)
08-20-2018 9:17 AM

My Summation
Just a few quick points:

  • As the thread title makes clear (Peppered Moths and Natural Selection), this thread was originally intended to be about the evidence for natural selection stemming from research into the peppered moth.

  • But despite the original intent that the topic be natural selection, it was discovered that the origin of melanism was a mutation in recent historical times. Since evolution combines "descent with modification" with natural selection, and since mutation is "descent with modification", melanism in the peppered moth is also a demonstration of evolution in action.

  • The basis for the change in melanism to darker is a mutation to a transposon gene. Not only can the gene jump around and change it's impact, but the mutation is a very simple one and by sheer probability must recur occasionally in new individuals. In other words, the mutation would eventually arise a peppered moth populations that do not possess the mutation.

  • Analysis points to the original occurrence of the current version of the mutation happening around 1819.

  • Recent research has shown with much greater rigor, clarity and unambiguity what Kettlewell attempted to demonstrate so many years ago, the effect of melanism on selection.


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