Jerry Coyne shares Kevin Padian’s new paper (available for free) on some of the most common misrepresentations of evolution and how to avoid them…
If you teach evolution, or like to read about it, there’s a new paper you should read by Kevin Padian in the journal Evolution: Education and Outreach(free download; reference below). It’s a discussion of misrepresentations about evolution that occur not only in popular science writing, but also in textbooks. As president of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), and a respected paleontologist at Berkeley who works on the evolution of birds and flight, Padian carries considerable authority in this area. And indeed, his points are generally good. In fact, I was embarrassed to see that I’ve been guilty of some of these misrepresentations, for which I’m sometimes called to account by readers here.
I do have a couple of disagreements with Padian’s points (more below), but on the whole they’re solid and worth absorbing. Here are some that I agree with, or at least don’t strongly disagree with:
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