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.

Tags

More like this

Michael Majerus has spent countless hours conducting research on the Peppered Moth (Biston betularia). He's observed them in the field, bred them in the lab, watched them get eaten by things, kept careful count of the things that he's seen, and, recently, given a talk about his findings. Jonathan…
There are 11 new articles in PLoS ONE this week. As always, you should rate the articles, post notes and comments and send trackbacks when you blog about the papers. Here are my own picks for the week - you go and look for your own favourites: Flowering Time Diversification and Dispersal in…
There are 33 new articles in PLoS ONE today. As always, you should rate the articles, post notes and comments and send trackbacks when you blog about the papers. You can now also easily place articles on various social services (CiteULike, Mendeley, Connotea, Stumbleupon, Facebook and Digg) with…
St. Bernard Dog I woke up this morning to see headlines such as the following in my newsreader: Study Casts Doubt on Creationism ... and St. Bernard Study Casts Doubt on Creationism.... It turns out that the shape of the dog's head has evolved over time, and that this can only be explained by…