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Table 1 Paired data results (n = 180) for each question from pre- and post-teaching evolution quiz given to students of “Evolution of Biological Diversity,” Flinders University, South Australia

From: Evolution: Improving the Understanding of Undergraduate Biology Students with an Active Pedagogical Approach

Question   % Correct response
Pre-course (%) Post-course (%) Change (%)
1 Evolution is the same as “Natural Selection.” 64.4 89.4 25.0
2 The origin of life (i.e., the first organism to exist) was a result of evolution. 34.4 36.7 2.2
3 Evolution is primarily concerned with the origin of humans. 85.6 92.2 6.7
4 According to evolution, people and apes share a common ancestor. 97.2 95.6 −1.7
5 Scientists debate the mechanisms of evolution; not the occurrence of evolution. 68.9 83.3 14.4
6 Evolution is something that happened only in the past; it is not happening now. 97.8 97.8 0.0
7 Evolution is something that happens to individual organisms. 58.3 85.0 26.7
8 Evolution is a totally random process or series of “accidents.” 64.4 69.4 5.0
9 Evolution only occurs over millions of years. 67.2 82.8 15.6
10 All life on Earth is related. 86.1 92.8 6.7
11 There is actually very little evidence for evolution. 90.6 89.4 −1.1
12 One indication that evolution has not occurred is the total absence of “transition organisms” (those with traits intermediate between two different groups). 66.7 81.7 15.0
13 Fossils provide many problems which evolution cannot explain. 55.0 68.9 13.9
14 Evolution is an intrinsic part of biological, medical and agricultural research. 90.0 95.0 5.0
15 Evolution theory has been tested many times and has been supported by the evidence. 86.1 91.1 5.0
16 Dinosaurs lived during the time of early humans. 74.4 80.0 5.6
17 Evolution involves individuals changing in order to adapt to their environment. 22.8 48.9 26.1
18 There is actually considerable observable evidence against evolution. 71.1 77.8 6.7
19 Science can properly infer what happened in the past, based on evidence. 80.6 82.8 2.2
20 The formation of complex structures, like the eye, can readily be explained by evolution. 65.6 75.6 10.0
21 Evolutionary theory is the only theory that adequately explains the diversity of life on Earth. 61.1 63.9 2.8
22 Evolution is a scientific fact. 53.3 61.7 8.3