Misconceptions About Evolution

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Evolution helps us to understand the history of life. While evolution is very widely accepted, many people hold to misconceptions about it. This list should help to dispel some of those myths.

Evolution is a theory about the origin of life

The theory of evolution primarily deals with the manner in which life has changed after its origin. While science is interested in the origins of life but these are not issues covered in the area of evolution. What is known is that regardless of the start, at some point life began to branch off. Evolution is, therefore, dedicated to the study of those processes.

Must Read: Ecology

Organisms are always getting better

While it is a fact that natural selection weeds out unhealthy genes from the gene pool, there are many cases where an imperfect organism has survived. Some examples of this are fungi, sharks, crayfish, and mosses – these have all remained essentially the same over a great period of time. These organisms are all sufficiently adapted to their environment to survive without improvement.

Evolution means that life changed ‘by chance’

In fact, natural selection is not random. Many aquatic animals need speed to survive and reproduce – the creatures with that ability are more suited to their environment and are more likely to survive natural selection. In turn, they will produce more offspring with the same traits and the cycle continues.

Natural selection involves organisms ‘trying’ to adapt

Organisms do not “try” to adapt – it is natural selection that enables various members of a group to survive and reproduce. Genetic adaptation is entirely outside of the power of the developing organism.

Also Read: Plant – Living Organism

Natural selection gives organisms what they ‘need.’

Natural selection has no “intelligence” – it cannot tell what a species needs. If a population has genetic variants that are more suited to their environment, they will reproduce more in the next generation and the population will evolve. If a genetic variant is not present, the population will most likely do – or it will survive with little evolutionary change.

Evolution is ‘just’ a theory

Scientifically speaking, a theory is a well substantiated idea that explains aspects of the natural world. Unfortunately other definitions of theory cause a great deal of confusion in the non-scientific world when dealing with the sciences.

Evolution is a Theory in Crisis

The minutiae of the process are vigorously debated which can cause anti-evolutionists to believe that the theory is in crisis. Evolution is sound science and is treated as such by scientists worldwide.

Gaps in the Fossil Record Disprove Evolution

Actually, many transitional fossils do exist – for example, there are fossils of transitional organisms between modern birds and their dinosaur ancestors, as well as whales and their land mammal ancestors. There are many transitional forms that have not been preserved, but that is simply because some organisms do not fossilize well or exist in conditions that do not allow for the process of fossilization. Science predicts that there will be gaps in the record for many evolutionary changes.

Have a Look at: Biodiversity

Evolutionary Theory is Incomplete

Evolutionary theory is like all of the other sciences in this respect. Science is always trying to improve our knowledge. At present, evolution is the only well-supported explanation for all of the life’s diversity.

The Theory is Flawed

Science is an extremely competitive field – if any flaws were discovered in evolutionary theory they would be quickly corrected. All of the alleged flaws that creationists put forth have been investigated careful by scientists and they simply do not hold water. They are usually based on misunderstandings of the theory or misrepresentation of the evidence.

Evolution is not science because it is not observable

Evolution is observable and testable. Astronomers can obviously not physically touch the objects they study

Don’t Miss: The Himalayas: An insight into their evoluton and importance

Most Biologists have rejected Darwinism

Scientists do not reject Charles Darwin’s theories, they have modified it over time as more knowledge has been discovered. Darwin considered that evolution proceeds at a deliberate, slow pace – but in fact it has now been discovered that it can proceed at a rapid pace under some circumstances. There has not been, so far, a credible challenge to the basic principles of Darwin’s theory. Scientists have improved and expanded on Darwin’s original theory of natural selection – it has not been rejected, it has been added to.

Evolution Leads to Immoral Behavior

All animal species have a set of behaviors that they share with other members of their species. Slugs act like slugs, dogs act like dogs, and humans act like humans. It is preposterous to presume that a child will begin to behave like another creature when they discover that they are related to them. It is nonsensical to link evolution to immoral or inappropriate behavior.

Evolution Supports “Might Makes Right”

Yet a great deal of knowledge can be gained through multiple lines of study. This is true also of evolution. It is also true that there are many mechanisms of evolution that can be, and are studied through direct experimentation as with other sciences.

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