Joined: Sep. 2002
|@ Dave Wisker|
I always find it amusing whenever Majerus is mentioned with regards to peppered moths. I also love this quintessential Darwinian quote from Majerus:
“It is not my place to tell people what to believe. But I know that we are making a horrendous mess of
this planet, and I do not have faith in some supernatural intervention putting it right: No second coming; No helping hand from on high; No last minute redemption.”
What was the title of this lecture?
“The Peppered Moth: The Proof of Darwinian Evolution”
Ah. That explains a lot, don’t you think? Any person who goes from
1) It turns out the Peppered Myth is true!
2) There is no Jesus!
Should be a highly questionable source of information.
Here Wells speaks about Majerus’ findings:
Just for posterity, in case my reply never makes it out of moderation:
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I always find it far more amusing when people swallow Jonathan Wells’s writings uncritically. For example, in the the article you linked to, Wells wrote:
|Majerus concludes: “While the results may be somewhat biased towards lower parts of the tree, due to sampling technique, I believe that they give the best field evidence that we have to date of where peppered moths spend the day.”22|
What’s wrong with this picture?
In the seven years during which Majerus was peering out his window, far more than 135 peppered moths visited his back yard, but (as previous research showed) he couldn’t see most of them because they were resting high in the upper branches of his trees. Those he could see from the ground represented only a tiny fraction of the total.
Unfortunately, Wells (who, by the way, has never done ecological fieldwork in his life, and has never worked with the Peppered Moth), assumed Majerus’s dataset of 135 moths was assembled from observations taken on the ground. Where did he get this information? From Majerus’s published work? No—Wells got it from a newspaper article (see his footnote 21)!
Looking at the actual paper summarizing the research, Majerus wrote (my emphasis):
|The largest data set of peppered moths found in the wild was accumulated during a predation experiment that involved researchers climbing trees at dusk and dawn during the flight season of the moth (May to August) over 6 years. Of 135 peppered moths found, 50% were on horizontal branches (Fig. 4), 37% on trunks (Fig. 5), and 13% were on smaller twigs or in foliage (Majerus 2007).|
That makes Wells’s article a highly questionable source of information
Those who know the truth are not equal to those who love it-- Confucius