Pim van Meurs (
Tue, 6 Apr 1999 21:16:44 -0700

Jonathan: On a personal concluding note, I would like to add that my objections to
the textbook peppered myth have nothing to do with creationism, despite
Frack's repeated attempts to discredit me with that label. Even if the
classical peppered moth story were 100% accurate, it would pose no threat
to creationism -- including the young-earth variety -- so why would anyone
oppose it on "creationist" grounds anyway?

Young earth creationism stands no chance due to it's inability to deal with the facts of science. That in this case it does not affect YEC is merely coincidental. But the reason why creationism opposes the story is because it serves the false purpose of 'guilt by association'. To paraphrase your own words: "If the best example of evolution is shown to be wrong then what does this say about evolution". False premise, false conclusion but even worse a motive.

Jonathan: No, my objections have to do with the integrity of empirical science.

I doubt that given your responses, your unsupported accusations. After all actions speak louder than words would you not agree. If integrity of science were on your mind you would stand up against young earth creationism.

Jonathan: As a biology student, I accepted the peppered moth story at face value for
years; when I began looking beneath the surface, it struck me as an example
of how the theoretical commitments of otherwise good scientists can color
their use of empirical data.

And you think it is not possible that your theological commitments color your (ab)use of this event?

Jonathan: I have encountered such theoretical commitments before, even in areas which have no bearing on Darwinian evolution. In the present case, though, I have been surprised by the
intense hostility which has been directed at me for criticizing the classical story.

It's not the criticism that matters but the manner. Unfounded accusations, a less than thorough understanding of the literature.

Jonathan: The heated reaction from peppered myth advocates makes it
clear that there is more at stake here than quibbles over whether
references have been cited correctly or whether one or two or six moths
have been observed resting on tree trunks in the wild.

The heated reactions could also be a reflection on the poor scholarship of your response.

Jonathan: But there are deeper issues here, as well. One issue is whether scientific
theories are accountable to the evidence, or whether experts with
transparent theoretical commitments are to be given sole authority to tell
us what's true.

Or accuse others of fraudulent behavior ? See the knife cuts on two sides here.

Jonathan: Another issue is whether students of biology are to be
presented with the facts, or with staged photographs which misrepresent the
undisputed facts.

Undisputed facts ? Misrepresenting ? Perhaps it is your worldview that is really coloring the world you see ?

Jonathan: And another issue is whether Darwinian evolution is
empirically so shakey that it cannot tolerate a public debate over the
adequacy of its evidence.

Oh it can and it has. But the real issue is not the debate but the accusations made.

Jonathan: Is "creationism" versus "evolutionism" at issue here? If it is, it's not
because I brought it up. If Frack thinks it is, perhaps he should explain

You already explained this yourself. And yes you are right the integrity of science and those who consider themselves scientists is at stake here.