Mistakes even filter into biology journals and texts. al., in their cell biology text, proclaim, "It was Charles Darwin's great insight that organisms are all related in a great chain of being..." In fact, the idea of a great chain of being, which traces to Linnaeus, was overturned by Darwin's idea of common descent.Misunderstandings about evolution are damaging to the study of evolution and biology as a whole.One common mistake is believing that species can be arranged on an evolutionary ladder from bacteria through "lower" animals, to "higher" animals and, finally, up to man.Mistakes permeate popular science expositions of evolutionary biology.[evolution: a change in the gene pool] In this moth there are two color morphs, light and dark. By 1898, the 95% of the moths in Manchester and other highly industrialized areas were of the dark type. The moth population changed from mostly light colored moths to mostly dark colored moths.The moths' color was primarily determined by a single gene.[gene: a hereditary unit] Individuals are selected. Evolution can be divided into microevolution and macroevolution.The kind of evolution documented above is microevolution.
It is not a difficult concept, but very few people -- the majority of biologists included -- have a satisfactory grasp of it.
Others think the distinction between the two is arbitrary -- macroevolution is cumulative microevolution. The fact that all organisms are linked via descent to a common ancestor is often called evolution.
The theory of how the first living organisms appeared is often called evolution. And frequently, people use the word evolution when they really mean natural selection -- one of the many mechanisms of evolution.
As a result, more dark moths survived until reproductive age and left offspring. [evolution: a change in the gene pool] In order to understand evolution, it is necessary to view populations as a collection of individuals, each harboring a different set of traits.
The greater number of offspring left by dark moths is what caused their increase in frequency. A single organism is never typical of an entire population unless there is no variation within that population.
Evolution can occur without morphological change; and morphological change can occur without evolution.