Majerus’ motive in defending Darwin, according to Science, vol 304, 25 June 2004. Michael Majerus is an expert in moths, who is setting out to prove that the UK’s peppered moth is an example of evolution in action. This appeared to be proven in the 1950s when Bernard Kettlewell carried out a series of experiments in Britain where he placed light and dark forms of the moth on light and dark tree trunks and counted how many were eaten by birds. The birds ate the moths that were on the opposite coloured backgrounds, leaving the camouflaged moths to survive and breed. Since then biology textbooks and popular science media have used Kettlewell’s results as proof of evolution.
In the 1990s Kettlewell’s experiments were severely criticised, mainly because moths do not rest on tree trunks, and changes in proportions of dark and light moths occurred in North America but were not associated with changes in tree trunk colour, a reported in “Not Black and White” Nature, vol. 396, p35, 5 Nov 1998. Majerus is conducting similar experiments to Kettlewell but modifying his methods to avoid the problems in the original studies. When he has finished he plans to take his results to the public via a road show around Britain, and possibly the USA. Majerus wants to make a public stand against teaching creation and Intelligent Design in biology classes. He claims: “To have people believe the biology of the planet is controlled by a Creator, I think that’s dangerous.”
Editorial Comment: Even if Majerus does prove differences in numbers of light and dark moths are caused by natural selection he will not have proven evolution. Removing light coloured moths does not make moths black, and vice versa. Light and black moths already existed. Natural selection can only change the number of dark or light moths that survive to reproduce. When they do reproduce they will only produce more moths, i.e. they reproduce their own kind.
Majerus’ motive is revealed in his final comment above. What he wants to take on a road show is his anti-creation anti-Creator philosophy disguised as science. Majerus’ experiments are a good reminder that scientific research is not done in an ideological vacuum. All scientists have faith – it is just a matter of what or who they have faith in. Majerus’ can only choose between creators such as the Genetic engineers who are trying to control the planet, or the Real and Original Genetic Engineer who has the right to control His planet. Majerus is also rather illogical. Any Creator powerful and intelligent enough to create a planet is capable of controlling its biology. (Ref. moth, selection, evolution)