Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lying To Our Kids

What if you were reading through your child's history book and found the story of Abraham Lincoln leading the Revolutionary soldiers into battle against the Brits? What if the article included a photo shopped picture of Lincoln doing just that? What if you brought it up to the textbook manufacturer and they admitted that they knew the picture was fake but left it in there anyway? I suspect this would bother you. Yet our science books do this all the time.
One of the best known examples of "evolution in action" is the story of the peppered moth. The story goes like this:

The peppered moth comes in two forms, white with speckles and dark. During the industrial revolution in England, the pollution killed the lichen on the trees and covered the trues with soot, turning them black. Because of this, predatory birds were able to clearly see the white moths on the tree trunks and they got eaten. The population changed from mostly white moths to mostly black. After the pollution was cleaned up, the population reverted back to mostly white. This was supposed to prove evolution.

Most of the research on this subject was done by H.B. Kettlewell in the 1950s, but it turns out there are some issues with the story. Assuming the story is accurate, it doesn't provide a bit of evidence for evolution and many scientists no longer use it as an example. The only thing the story showed was a temporary shift in gene frequency within the given species. The genes for both white and dark moths was already present in the moths' DNA. No new genetic information was created with this shift in moth color. In fact, if the pollution had continued and every light colored moth had been eaten, the genetic information for light colored moths would've been lost! This is the exact opposite of evolution.
Of course, that's all assuming that the story is true. It turns out that those famous pictures of moths resting on the polluted tree trunks were staged. In some cases, dead moths were glued to the tree trunks for the pictures. And yet, every year, your kids are shown these pictures in their science textbooks and told that they provide proof for evolution. There is even debate about whether the moths rest of the trunks of trees. Other scientists have determined that bats may be the primary predator of the moth so the color of the moths would be irrelevant in the first place. Clearly, there's more to this story than what the kids are taught in school.
No matter where you may stand on the issue of creation vs. evolutionism, I think everyone will agree that the makers of our children's textbooks should not be knowingly using fraudulent photos in the textbooks and yet they do. This bothers me and I think it should bother you too. The End.

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