How do peppered moths after the Industrial Revolution show the process of natural selection?

1 Answer
Apr 21, 2017

The peppered moths reverted back to the white form which dominated before the industrial revolution showing the process of natural selection.


During the industrial revolution with an increase in the burning of coal and production of soot, the black form of the peppered moth was dominate. Natural selection favored the black form in an environment that was polluted.

With cleaner methods of burning coal and the use of other forms of energy, the pollution levels decreased. The black form was no longer favored, and the population of the black form decreased back to the levels seen before the industrial revolution.

This shows that natural selection will favor some existing variations within a species over other variations. Natural selections works.

However while natural selection works this is not direct evidence for Darwinian evolution. Both the black and white variations existed both before, during and after the industrial revolution. No new variations were created by natural selection. Natural selection can only select from what exists. Natural selection can cause extinction but not new forms so the peppered moths show natural selection but not evidence for Darwinian evolution.