Peppered moths are a classic evolutionary example of how a previously unknown trait can appear in a population and then come to dominate it due to a particular environmental change. That, of course, has also made them a major target for creationists, and Discovery Institute fellow Dr. Jonathan Wells has spent much of his career in trying to discredit the example, most famously by trying to claim that a posed example picture used in introductory textbooks somehow invalidated the detailed statistical results they were used to illustrate.
Today, Mike Dunford does a fantastic job explaining exactly how Wells is still grossly misrepresenting both the original classic study as well as a recent definitive re-testing of the key predation results.
What’s really embarrassing here is that Wells, unlike many of his Intelligent Design fellows, actually has a PhD. in biology, which, if still not in quite the right field for evaluating zoological field research, at least requires one to understand how to read and evaluate a technical paper. So mere ignorance cannot be his excuse for the errors and misrepresentations Dunford highlights.
Unfortunately, Wells also has something else: directions straight from God’s final representative on Earth, the Reverend Sun Yung Moon (a man who most recently crowned himself “humanity’s Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent.”), to destroy “Darwinism.”
“Father’s [Sun Myung Moon’s] words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism, just as many of my fellow Unificationists had already devoted their lives to destroying Marxism. When Father chose me (along with about a dozen other seminary graduates) to enter a Ph.D. program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle.” –Jonathan Wells, Darwinism: Why I Went for a Second Ph.D.
Just to be clear, Wells’ religion does not discredit his arguments. Rather, it is his religion that helps explain why he’s apparently sees fit to deceive people and misrepresent science.
Bonus: Another great article on The Other 95% dealing with some recent confused ID inquiries into the matter of comparative phylogenomics. Invertebrate freak Kevin makes a strong case that the critics hadn’t even read the paper they were attacking, and certainly don’t understand the scientific concepts involved.