Of Moths and Men
Of Moths and Men
Cover of the British edition, showing a display cabinet with the peppered moth removed.
Author(s) Judith Hooper Language English Publisher Norton Publication date 2002 Pages 377 ISBN 0393051218 OCLC Number 50022818 Dewey Decimal 576.8/2/092 B 21 LC Classification QH375 .H66 2002
Of Moths and Men is a controversial book by the journalist Judith Hooper about the Oxford University ecological genetics school led by E.B. Ford. The book specifically concerns Bernard Kettlewell's experiments on the peppered moth which were intended as experimental validation of evolution. She highlights concerns about the methodology of Kettlewell's experiments and suggests that these issues could invalidate the results obtained, ignoring or disparaging evidence supporting natural selection while repeatedly implying that Kettlewell and his colleagues committed fraud or made careless errors. Subject matter experts have described the book as presenting a "conspiracy theory" with "errors, misrepresentations, misinterpretations and falsehoods".
Allegations of poor experimental practice
Hooper alleges several flaws in experimental methodology, including gluing the moths in place on parts of trees where they would not naturally settle, feeding birds heavily enough to condition them to expect feeding at that point, artificially boosting recapture rates, altering experiments (unconsciously) to favour the expected outcome, and errors in statistical analysis.
Historian of biology David Rudge has also carefully reexamined the records upon which Hooper's argument is based. His conclusions were that her historical research was poor and she had shown fundamental misunderstandings about the nature of science.
The book was described as well written in reviews in the mainstream press, but it has been criticised in scientific publications. Writing in Nature, Coyne (2002) attacked Hooper's "flimsy conspiracy theory [of] ambitious scientists who will ignore the truth for the sake of fame and recognition [by which] she unfairly smears a brilliant naturalist". In Science, Grant (2002) critically summarised the book's content, saying "What it delivers is a quasi-scientific assessment of the evidence for natural selection in the peppered moth (Biston betularia), much of which is cast in doubt by the author’s relentless suspicion of fraud". Bryan Clarke, who worked alongside Kettlewell at Oxford, described Hooper's book as "a treasury of insinuations worthy of an unscrupulous newspaper".
The entomologist and expert on peppered moth evolution Michael Majerus described the book as "littered with errors, misrepresentations, misinterpretations and falsehoods" and published research specifically refuting some of Hooper's claims.
- ^ a b Bryan Clarke (2003). "Heredity - The art of innuendo". Heredity 90 (4): 279–280. doi:10.1038/sj.hdy.6800229. http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/v90/n4/full/6800229a.html. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
- ^ Rudge 2005
- ^ A review in The Guardian.
- ^ A review in the Los Angeles Times
- ^ Michael Majerus (2004). "The Peppered moth: decline of a Darwinian disciple" (.doc). Archived from the original on 2008-06-27. http://web.archive.org/web/20080627023646/http://www.gen.cam.ac.uk/Research/Majerus/Darwiniandisciple.doc. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
- ^ Majerus, Michael (2008). "Non-morph specific predation of peppered moths (Biston betularia) by bats". Ecological Entomology 33 (5): 679–683. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2311.2008.00987.x.
- Coyne, J. (2002). "Evolution under pressure. Review of Judith Hooper: "Of Moths and Men: Intrigue, Tragedy and the Peppered Moth"". Nature 418 (6893): 19–20. doi:10.1038/418019a.
- Grant, B. (2002). "Sour Grapes of Wrath". Science 297 (5583): 940–941. doi:10.1126/science.1073593. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/297/5583/940?ijkey=3Yam/BuhfWbGQ&keytype=ref&siteid=sci.
- Rudge, D.W. (2005). "Did Kettlewell Commit Fraud? Re-examining the Evidence". Public Understanding of Science 14 (3): 249–268. doi:10.1177/0963662505052890. PMID 16240545.
Biology Writers and researchers Works
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Business and Industry Review — ▪ 1999 Introduction Overview Annual Average Rates of Growth of Manufacturing Output, 1980 97, Table Pattern of Output, 1994 97, Table Index Numbers of Production, Employment, and Productivity in Manufacturing Industries, Table (For Annual… … Universalium
List of Olympic medalists in rowing (men) — This is the complete list of men s Olympic medalists in rowing from 1900 to 2008. See also: List of Olympic medalists in rowing (women), Rowing at the Summer Olympics, and Lists of Olympic medalists Contents 1 Current program 1.1 Single… … Wikipedia
Un-Men — Superherobox caption=Promotional cover for The Un Men #1 Art by Tomer Hanuka character name = The Un Men publisher = DC Comics and Vertigo debut = Swamp Thing #1 (Nov. 1972) (cameo) Swamp Thing #2 (Jan. 1973) (full) creators = Len Wein Berni… … Wikipedia
List of film director and actor collaborations — Film directors frequently choose to work with the same actor or actress across several projects. Such collaborations may span years or even decades. The following list has been alphabetized by the director s last name. A *Jim Abrahams / Lloyd… … Wikipedia
The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex — … Wikipedia
Stirling Smith Museum and Art Gallery — [http://www.smithartgallery.demon.co.uk Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum] is an institution based in Stirling, Central Scotland, dedicated to the promotion of cultural and historical heritage and the arts, from a local scale to nationally… … Wikipedia
Religion and children — Children usually acquire the religious views of their parents, though they may also be influenced by others they communicate with such as peers and teachers. Aspects of this subject include rites of passage, education and child psychology, as… … Wikipedia
Peppered moth evolution — This article is about the peppered moth s significance in evolutionary biology. For its evolutionary ancestry, see Insect evolution. Biston betularia f. typica, the white bodied peppered moth … Wikipedia
E. B. Ford — Infobox Scientist name = Edmund Brisco Henry Ford box width = image width =150px caption = Edmund Brisco Henry Ford birth date = 23rd April 1901 birth place = Papcastle, Cumbria death date = 2nd January 1988 death place = residence = citizenship … Wikipedia
Polymorphism (biology) — Light morph Jaguar (typical) Dark morph or melanistic Jaguar (about … Wikipedia