Peppered moths again

Arthur V. Chadwick (
Wed, 31 Mar 1999 11:32:51 -0800

Jonathan's response:

The issue here is not a matter of opinion -- whether Majerus's or mine --
it's a matter of evidence.

ALL the evidence points to the fact that peppered moths do not rest on tree
trunks in the wild. Majerus acknowledges this in his 1998 book. It
doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this simple fact seriously
undermines the relevance of Kettlewell's observations. The scientific
method would require, at the very least, that observations be repeated on
moths resting in their natural habitat.

And it doesn't even take a scientist to see that photographs of peppered
moths manually positioned on tree trunks do not represent their natural
condition. The continued use of these photographs by textbook-writers
constitutes deliberate misrepresentation, i.e., fraud.

This is not an issue of creationism vs evolutionism. I do not claim that
the peppered myth validates the former or invalidates the latter. If the
classical story were true it would not threaten creationism anyway, since
it only involves changes within a species.

What the peppered myth DOES do, in my opinion, is to demonstrate how a
commitment to Darwinism can seduce otherwise good scientists into ignoring
or even misrepresenting the evidence.

In 1973, Theodosius Dobzhanksy wrote: "Nothing in biology makes sense
except in the light of evolution." I think it would be better (and
certainly more scientific!) to say: "Nothing in biology make sense except
in the light of evidence."