Stranger Fruit

Mike Majerus

Nick Matzke over at PT has just made me aware that Mike Majerus had passed away after a sudden illness. Those of us who have followed the ID issue will know Majerus from the studies he did of melanism in peppered moths Biston betularia and the empirical work he did to refute the nonsense spouted by the likes on Jonathan Wells and Judith Hooper on Kettlewell?s work on the moths.

His last paper, ?Industrial Melanism in the Peppered Moth, Biston betularia: An Excellent Teaching Example of Darwinian Evolution in Action? appeared last month in Evolution: Education and Outreach you could do worse to honor the researcher that was Mike Majerus than to check it out. The abstract reads (in part):

Some criticisms of the work [of Kettlewell] are shown to be the result of lack of understanding of evolutionary genetics and ecological entomology on the part of the critics. Accusations of data fudging and scientific fraud in the case are found to be vacuous. The conclusion from this analysis of criticisms of the case is that industrial melanism in the peppered moth is still one of the clearest and most easily understood examples of Darwinian evolution in action and that it should be taught as such in biology classes.