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Table 2 Exemplar quotes of inaccurate and accurate pressure use in student explanations of evolutionary pressure

From: “Force-Talk” in Evolutionary Explanation: Metaphors and Misconceptions

  Student responses Model (Fig. 1)
Inaccurate use of pressure The selective pressures on the snail, probably predation in this case, caused the change to come about slowly. Model A
Pressure is what promotes change and evolution. Without it, no change would be required because there would be no outside force. Model B
A pressure being some outside force that makes the species have to evolve and adapt in order to account for the change. Model C
Pressures would be certain forces of nature that results in a mutation and evolution. Model D
Accurate use of pressure The term pressure in this instance is referring to the threats posed by predators to their prey. The ancestral species that was lacking poison probably experienced more predation and those that exhibited the poisonous trait were more likely to survive and pass on the useful genes. When I mentioned pressures I am referring to the elements that fuel evolution and allow certain traits to be passed on to future generations. Pressures include temperature, precipitation, predation, etc. Model E
  1. Responses are linked to the associated model represented in Fig. 1