4/18/2008

Evolution: 24 Myths and Misconceptions

Michael Le Page writes in New Scientist:Most of us are happy to admit that we do not understand, say, the string theory in physics, yet we are all convinced we understand evolution. In fact, as biologists are discovering, its consequences can be stranger than we ever imagined. Evolution must be the best-known yet worst-understood of all scientific theories.Shared misconceptions:– Everything is an adaptation produced by natural selection– Natural selection is the only means of evolution– Natural selection leads to ever-greater complexity– Evolution produces creatures perfectly adapted to their environment– Evolution always promotes the survival of species– "Survival of the fittest" justifies "everyone for themselves"– Evolution is limitlessly creative– Evolution cannot explain traits such as homosexuality– Creationism provides a coherent alternative to evolution

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