moths and fraud

From: Jeff Witters (
Date: Fri Apr 20 2001 - 07:53:27 EDT

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    I am looking for some enlightenment on the matter of the famous peppered
    moths and industrial melanism. On a biology teachers' list, I am discussing
    the matter with a fellow who say that because the pics were staged, the
    whole matter is a case of fraud. That is, it gives the wrong idea to kids
    about massaging data, doctoring things to look like you want them to, etc.

    It is my understanding that what the pics are trying to show is the setting
    for something that actually HAPPENED -- moths formerly selected against,
    thus low pop'l freq., then increased in freq. with the change in bark color
    due to the soot. The fellow seems to me to have a somewhat naive view of
    what constitutes a useful image. His excitement over this is because he
    doesn't want to give any ammo to creationists. I agree, but this seems to
    be somewhat overreactive.
    Is there more to this?

    Jeff Witters
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