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Table 2 Central concepts and common misconceptions. A. Central concepts of the activity B. Common misconceptions about these topics that instructors should be sure to address (asterisks mark those specifically addressed by this activity). References are included where applicable

From: Making evolution stick: using sticky notes to teach the mechanisms of evolutionary change

A. Central concepts 1. Evolution does not occur in individuals, only in populations  
  2. Evolution is change in a population’s allele frequency  
  3. Natural selection and genetic drift require genetic variation, which arises from mutation and gene flow  
  4. Evolution can occur through random chance  
  5. Simple demonstrations can make abstract processes easier to understand  
B. Common misconceptions 1. All traits of organisms are adaptations Anderson et al. (2002)
  2. All members of a population develop new traits at the same time  
  3. “Fitness” refers to the strength, size, or speed of an individual Padian (2013)
  4.* Evolutionary mechanisms serve a purpose or strive for perfection. Natural selection involves individuals trying to adapt. Natural selection gives organisms what they need Bishop and Anderson (1990), Anderson et al. (2002) and Nehm et al. (2010)
  5.* Individuals can evolve. “Adaptation” means adjustment within an individual’s lifetime Bishop and Anderson (1990)
  6. All mutations are harmful Anderson et al. (2002)
  7.* Natural selection and evolution are the same thing Bishop and Anderson (1990) and Nehm and Reilly (2007)
  8.* Genetic drift only occurs in small populations Price et al. (2014)
  9.* Evolution is slow and gradual Price et al. (2014)