Date of this Version
Answers to common misconceptions about biological evolution Class of BIOS 472, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Spring 2017
“When you have an established scientific emergent truth, it is true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tyson, Science in America. Very few people outside of a particular scientific discipline can actually say they understand it, because most do not have the training to “speak the language.” They are then not particularly bothered by its tenets and predictions. Of all the major branches of science, however, evolutionary biology is an exception to this generalization because even though people are not versed in the field, they sometimes have a negative, knee-jerk objection. This objection is often because they are told that evolution conflicts with their faith-based beliefs. To the contrary, it is actually the case that most of the world’s religions accept evolution, especially theistic evolution, where life was created and then evolved. However, to a few who do not understand the biology of evolution, even this is unacceptable. In this book we identified a number of misconceptions that we think at least some of the general public has about evolutionary biology. Our intent is to present how evolutionary scientists approach these specific questions and what their consensus of the evidence shows to be true. We hope that those who have heard of the misconceptions we address will come to appreciate the evidence that scientists actually discovered and interpreted.