Four Misconceptions: The Theory Of Biological Evolution

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The theory of biological evolution through natural selection is widely accepted and taught in most western education systems. However, there are many misconceptions regarding evolution, held both by proponents of evolution and by those opposing it. Generally, these misconceptions occur due to a misunderstanding or ignorance of how evolution functions, due to an over simplistic version of it being taught (Scott, 2004). The four misconception that will be discussed in this essay however, will be: the idea of it not being a fact because it is simply a ‘theory’, the supposed impossible coexistence of humans and monkeys, the lack of evidence regarding new species, and finally the misconception that everything is ‘too complex’ to have come about …show more content…
This, however, is a misunderstanding of the scientific use of the term ‘theory’. Which is used to refer to ‘a well substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses’, as defined by the National Academy of Sciences (Rennie, 2002) (Scott, 2004). Therefore, despite being referred to as a ‘theory’, facts do support biological evolution, and is itself also generally considered to be a fact, from a scientific perspective; as facts are observations which have been seen to have continuous evidence in support of themselves (Anon., 2008). However, facts are not set in stone, as evidenced by Scott’s (2004) example of the number of chromosomes in the human genome being changed from 22 to 23 due to the rise in evidence for the latter. Therefore, a better understanding of the terms regarding biological evolution can right this …show more content…
Again, a better understanding of the process of biological evolution allows for this misconception to be amended.

As shown, many misconceptions arise surrounding the discussion of biological evolution, many of which are due to a lack of understanding of the actual process of natural selection and misuse of various terms regarding biological evolution. However, these misconceptions are easily fixed by spreading a deeper understanding of some of the intricacies of natural selection and how the process is visible and applicable to the real world. Therefore, showing that the fault lies with the teaching of biological evolution, not with the actual theory itself. Which many of the misconceptions may be lead to

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