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Myths and misconceptions about evolution - Alex Gendler

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How does evolution really work? Actually, not how some of our common evolutionary metaphors would have us believe. For instance, it's species, not individual organisms, that adapt to produce evolution, and genes don't "want" to be passed on -- a gene can't want anything at all! Alex Gendler sets the record straight on the finer points of evolution.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Producer Daniel Spencer
  • Director Patrick Semple
  • Narrator Julianna Zarzycki

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Additional Resources for you to Explore

"A human being, looking at the natural world, sees a thousand times purpose. A rabbit's legs, built and articulated for running; a fox's jaws, built and articulated for tearing. But what you see is not exactly what is there..." starts a blog by Eliezer Yudkowsky.
Biological evolution is descent with modification. This definition encompasses small-scale evolution (changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next) and large-scale evolution (the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations). 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.
"It will soon be 200 years since the birth of Charles Darwin and 150 years since the publication of On the Origin of Species, arguably the most important book ever written. In it, Darwin outlined an idea that many still find shocking - that all life on Earth, including human life, evolved through natural selection." Read the entire article entitled Evolution: 24 myths and misconceptions.
Unfortunately, many people have persistent misconceptions about evolution. Some are simple misunderstandings—ideas that develop in the course of learning about evolution, possibly from school experiences and/or the media. Other misconceptions may stem from purposeful attempts to misrepresent evolution and undermine the public's understanding of this topic. Browse the lists to learn about common misconceptions regarding evolution, as well as clarifications of these misconceptions.
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Can you think of how this tendency to attribute intent and purpose to nature may itself have come about as a product of human evolution?
07/08/2013 • 
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About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Producer Daniel Spencer
  • Director Patrick Semple
  • Narrator Julianna Zarzycki

Share

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