“As a moth brushes a window with its wing.”

I am elbow deep into researching my new best friend, Thomas Algernon Chapman.  He is becoming more and more fascinating and I am uncovering some very insightful facts. 

One journal that I am reading a lot is the ‘Entomologist’s Record’, to which he submitted a lot of work over the years.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that he, with his friend, J.W. Tutt, did a lot of work and thinking about melanism in peppered moths.  It’s the most common and widely-used example of natural selection at work (as any biologist will tell you) and their discussions seem to be ahead of their time.  In most of the literature about this phenomenon (and studies over the years) Tutt is cited as being the first to point it out. 

Here is one of the many articles on the subject as written by Tutt in 1891 with valuable contributions from Chapman.  Reading the journals preceding and following this one really paints a picture of how these theories form and the misguided tangents that get explored before someone (in this case, often Chapman) pull things back on track.  Have a read at some early thoughts about melanism in peppered moths.  It’s great (if that’s your cup of tea)!

 

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