Peppered moths are back

Update: If it wasn’t before, this radio show is online as RealAudio at the BBC Website.

I don’t think this has been blogged yet. Earlier this month BBC Radio 4 broadcast a double interview with Michael Majerus, oft-mentioned on PT for his peppered moth research, and Jerry Coyne, a well known evolutionary biologist and regular critic of ID/creationism, and an oft-cited critic of aspects of the peppered moth research.

Quentin Cooper, the reporter, does an excellent job reviewing the whole history of the situation, the influence of Coyne’s critique, and Majerus’s new results. The piece tells the key points of the whole complex story in just a few minutes. And at the end, Coyne basically says that it’s time for the peppered moths to go back into the textbooks, which is a significant thing to say given Coyne’s past criticisms.


Majerus, M. E. N. (1998). Melanism: evolution in action. Oxford ; New York, Oxford University Press.

Coyne, J. (1998). “Not black and white.” Nature, 396: 35-36. (Free online here (HTML), here (pdf))

Quentin Cooper, Michael Majerus, Jerry Coyne (2007). “The Peppered Moth.” Interview on The Material World, BBC Radio 4, October 11, 2007.