MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT DARWIN’S THEORY OF EVOLUTION.
MISCONCEPTION - EVOLUTION IS A THEORY ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF LIFE. <ul><li>Evolutionary theory focuses on how life changed after its origin. It looks at how life branched and diversified regardless of how it started. </li></ul>
MISCONCEPTION – EVOLUTION IS LIKE A CLIMB UP A LADDER OF PROGRESS; ORGANISMS ARE ALWAYS GETTING BETTER <ul><li>Natural selection weeds out individuals that are less successful in a particular environment, but this is always linked to the environment, not to “getting better” </li></ul><ul><li>For evolution – an organism just has to be fit enough to survive and reproduce in a particular environment. </li></ul>
MISCONCEPTION – EVOLUTION MEANS THAT LIFE CHANGED BY CHANCE. <ul><li>Mutation is the ultimate source of variation and mutation is random. However, natural selection which acts on this variation, is not a random process. </li></ul>
MISCONCEPTION – NATURAL SELECTION INVOLVES ORGANISMS “TRYING” TO ADAPT. <ul><li>Natural selection acts on genetic variation in a population and either an individual has genes that are good enough to survive and reproduce or it does not. It can’t get the right genes by “trying” </li></ul>
MISCONCEPTION – Natural Selection gives organisms what they “need”. <ul><li>Natural selection simply works on the variation in a species. It cannot “sense” what a species needs and direct the species. </li></ul>NATURAL SELECTION IS AN EDITOR
MISCONCEPTION – Evolution is “just” a theory <ul><li>Scientific theories are based on evidence; they allow us to make predictions and have been tested in many ways. </li></ul><ul><li>A theory in science is a well supported explanation of some aspect of the natural world. </li></ul>
MISCONCEPTION – Evolution is a theory in crisis and is collapsing as scientists lose confidence in it. <ul><li>Scientists do not debate about whether evolution took place, rather they argue about how it took place. </li></ul>
Misconception – Gaps in the fossil record disprove evolution. <ul><li>Evolutionary biologists expect gaps – not all transitional forms will be found (not all organisms fossilise well and good fossil- forming conditions are not always common. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Often, transitional fossils have been predicted although not present at the time, and have subsequently been discovered. Eg transitional organisms between modern birds and their theropod dinosaur ancestors and between whales and their terrestrial mammal ancestors. </li></ul>
Misconception – Evolutionary theory is incomplete and is currently unable to give a total explanation of life. <ul><li>Evolutionary science is a work in progress. Research continues to add to our knowledge and recent discoveries in molecular genetics support the theory. </li></ul>
To date, evolution is the only well-supported explanation for life’s diversity.
Misconception – the theory of evolution is flawed, but scientists won’t admit it. <ul><li>Scientists keep their minds open to all possibilities (as long as there is evidence) and continue to refine the theory of evolution. </li></ul>
Misconception : Evolution is not a science because it is not observable or testable. <ul><li>We cannot go back in time just as astronomers cannot visit the stars or chemists look at atoms but……….. </li></ul><ul><li>Fossils give us snapshots of how organisms change over time. </li></ul><ul><li>Studying modern organisms reveals examples of evolution. </li></ul><ul><li>Artificial selection in dogs demonstrates microevolution. </li></ul><ul><li>Lab experiments with fruitflies show the power of mutation. </li></ul>
Misconception: most biologists have rejected “Darwinism” <ul><li>Some of Darwins ideas have been modified eg the idea that evolution proceeds at a slow gradual pace has changed to accommodate the evidence that sometimes evolution happens at a relatively rapid pace. </li></ul><ul><li>Darwins overall principles are still there – just being added to. </li></ul>
And to think that I didn’t even know about genetics or mutations. All that support!
Misconception: evolution leads to immoral behaviour – if children are taught that they are animals, they will behave like animals. What do you think?
Misconception: Evolution and Religion are incompatible. <ul><li>Evolution (science) uses natural causes to explain natural phenomena. </li></ul><ul><li>Religion deals with beliefs that are beyond the natural world. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t have to choose between the two – they are compatible. </li></ul>
Misconception: Teachers should teach “both sides” and let students decide for themselves. <ul><li>Evolution is a scientific concept – creation is a religious belief. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Teaching creationism alongside evolution in science is like teaching that babies are brought by the stork alongside Reproduction in Human Biology! </li></ul><ul><li>There is no scientific evidence to support the stork theory – just as there is no scientific evidence to support creation. </li></ul>