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Archived Comments for: Is Oklahoma really OK? A regional study of the prevalence of biological evolution-related misconceptions held by introductory biology teachers

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  1. Right or wrong?

    M. Barton Laws, Program in Public Health, Brown University

    23 November 2014

    One of the items in your quiz is "Evolution cannot cause an organism's traits to change during its lifetime." This is supposedly true, and you find it noteworthy that the percentage of students disagreeing with it rises after education.

    However, the statement is not false at all, it is obviously and ubiquitously true. Every organism's traits change during its lifetime. I used to weigh about 5 1/2 pounds and couldn't walk or talk. Now I weigh 160 pounds and sometimes use a chainsaw, among other changed traits. These traits have changed, during my lifetime, because animals evolved to develop and grow. They also evolved to undergo specific changes in traits in response to environmental conditions. When I eat more, I get fatter. When I lift weights, I get stronger. It is evolution that caused all these things to happen.

    It seems to me that many students who disagreed with this statement simply thought it through a bit further than the authors of the test.

    Competing interests

    None declared
  2. Correction

    M. Barton Laws, Program in Public Health, Brown University

    8 December 2014

    Sorry, I meant to write "the statement is not true at all, it is obviously and ubiquitously false," got confused by the double negative.

    Competing interests