Spot theory spoiled, according to an article in Nature, vol 453, p 1146, 26 June 2008.
Large spots on the wings of butterflies and moths are thought to have evolved to scare predators away. Researchers at Cambridge University tested this theory by placing models of moths in the oak and ash trees around Cambridge. Some had dark spots, some had light spots and some had no spots. The wings were shades of grey, some clearly different from the tree bark, other the same shade as the tree bark. Some of the spotted ones attracted more predators.
Nature summarised the conclusions: “Eyespots proved costly to those targets that were otherwise well-camouflaged, which suggests that eyespots may evolve more easily in already conspicuous species.”
Editorial Comment: This is not the first study to cast doubt on the predator deterring theory. The eyespot theory is part of a belief system that claims living things are the result of an endless war of nature only enabling the toughest or best disguised to survive. However, when scientists actually test the eyespot theory it doesn’t work. So why not start with the premise that originally there were no predators and such eyespots have either a mating or a sheer beauty function – of course this starting point fits Biblical history, which tells us that God made all creatures to live in a good world without any predators, to be “pleasing to the eye” like the trees in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9).
Evidence News 24 September 2008