I think I may have sent this before, but here it is anyway.
Wells' critique of the work on evolutionary change in the peppered moth was
substantially drawn from the work of Michael Majerus (Melanism: Evolution
in Action" by Michael E.N. Majerus: Oxford University Press,1998).
Wells quotes the following sentence from Majerus' book: "The findings of
these scientists show that the precised description of the basic peppered
moth story is wrong, inaccurate, or incomplete, with respect to most of the
story's component parts."
However, the next sentence reads: "When details of the genetics, behaviour,
and ecology of this moth are taken into account, the resulting story is one
of greater complexity, and in many ways greater interest, than the simple
story that is usually related."
Furthermore, a couple sentences later Majerus states: "First, it is
important to emphasize that, in my view, the huge wealth of additional data
obtained since Kettlewell's initial predation papers (Kettlewell 1955a,
1956), does not undermine the basic qualitative deductions from that work.
Differential bird predation of the typica and carbonaria forms, in
habitats affected by industrial pollution to different degrees, is the
primary influence on the evolution of melanism in the peppered moth."
I would highly recommend reading Majerus' book. It is realy excellent and
the most thorough study of melanism that I know of. It will answer almost
any question you might have about how past studies were conducted and what
exactly they show.
Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
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