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1 October 2014 Evolution Makes More Sense in the Light of Development
Kostas Kampourakis, Alessandro Minelli
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Abstract

We highlight some important conceptual issues that biologists should take into account when teaching evolutionary biology or communicating it to the public. We first present conclusions from conceptual development research on how particular human intuitions, namely design teleology and psychological essentialism, influence the understanding of evolution. We argue that these two intuitions form important conceptual obstacles to understanding evolution that should be explicitly addressed during instruction and public communication. Given that a major issue in evolution is understanding how very different forms may share common ancestry — antievolutionists have argued that this is inconceivable — we suggest that evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), which provides concepts and evidence that large morphological change is possible, could be used to address the intuitions that organisms have fixed essences (psychological essentialism) and that their structure indicates some kind of intentional design (design teleology).

©2014 by National Association of Biology Teachers. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
Kostas Kampourakis and Alessandro Minelli "Evolution Makes More Sense in the Light of Development," The American Biology Teacher 76(8), 493-498, (1 October 2014). https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2014.76.8.2
Published: 1 October 2014
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KEYWORDS
design teleology
evo-devo
evolutionary developmental biology
preconceptions about evolution
psychological essentialism
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