978-0-393-05121-6 / 0393051218

Of Moths and Men: An Evolutionary Tale

by Hooper, Judith

Publisher:W. W. Norton & Company



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About the book:

Mutant moths and feuding scientiststhe real story behind the most famous experiment in twentieth-century evolutionary biology. H. B. D. Kettlewell was a British doctor who caught butterflies and moths as an all-consuming hobby. He went into the English woods with a missionto catch "evolution in action" among the now-famous peppered moths. His work became "Darwin's missing evidence," a fixture in biology textbooks for half a century. Only recently has new research brought a different story to light. Compellingly told, Of Moths and Men reveals Kettlewell as a deluded scientist who distorted facts and suppressed evidence he didn't like. Tyrannized by his mentor, the powerful E. B. Fordan imperious misogynist and eccentric Oxford don who was a Darwinian zealot determined to crush all enemies in his pathKettlewell ended his life a suicide. A story of hubris and heartbreak, Of Moths and Men reveals as much about the internecine battles of science as it does about the mysteries of evolution. 16 pages of b/w photographs.