5 (more) Misconceptions about Evolution

I recently came across this excellent post debunking 5 common misconceptions about evolution (hat tip to Joe Hansen at It’s Okay to be Smart). It’s a great infographic, and in light of the recent debate about whether creationism is compatible with science, between young-Earth creationist Ken Ham and Bill Nye the Science Guy, I thought I’d take this opportunity to add five more.

Full disclosure, the five misconceptions I’m writing about here are indeed common, but the inspiration was not all mine. This list is actually presented in The Tangled Bank, by the prolific science writer Carl Zimmer. It’s a great book for a non-biology major evolution course (I happen to be using it for just that right now), or for anyone outside the field who would like to learn more about evolution. No paid promo here, it’s just my opinion.

One thing that clearly unites every argument denying evolution: they are nearly always some form of a straw man argument. With ever-growing mountains of overwhelming evidence to support the theories behind evolution, this is really the only type of argument available to creationists. They must make false claims about evolution that they then easily take down to give their arguments the appearance of credibility.

strawman-macleod

Any time a creationist makes an argument to discredit evolution that seems on its surface to be scientifically compelling, this is probably how they did it. (Cartoon by history professor Dr. James MacLeod)

So in addition to the 5 misconceptions listed by Molecular Life Sciences, I figured it would be useful to add 5 more to the list (with no claims about whether these fit at the top, bottom, or middle of such a list). It turns out that most denials are so weak, they can be refuted in short order. So let’s get started…

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