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Evolution Statements

Good nonfiction teaches us about our world. When people who are curious and intelligent encounter information, they often try to figure out how that information applies to themselves and their beliefs. Chapter 11 and 12 provide background about evolution, and ask readers to consider whether they agree or disagree with seven statements. As promised on page 222, here is how Dr. Art would respond to those statements.

"Evolution explains how plants and animals developed on Earth." Dr. Art agrees.

"I personally do not think that humans evolved from simpler life forms." Dr. Art disagrees. This is one of the biggest ideas in evolution, that all of Earth's organisms today share common ancestors, starting with simple single-celled organisms.

"Because of evolution, organisms keep becoming better and better." Dr. Art disagrees. Through natural selection, populations of organisms optimize their adaptations to the current environmental conditions. Some organisms lose abilities because of natural selection. For example, species that live in caves may lose the ability to see.

"Evolution teaches that God does not exist." Dr. Art disagrees. Evolution teaches us about the history of life on Earth, and how species change over time. Many religious leaders state that evolution is compatible with their beliefs in and about God.

"I understand how long a billion years is." Dr. Art disagrees. While we can easily talk about billions of years and light years, these concepts are so different from our daily reality that Dr. Art feels he cannot truly understand what they mean.

"The development of human beings was the purpose of evolution." Dr. Art disagrees. Evolution is not trying to get anywhere.

"The science that enables me to drive a car, get a flu shot, or use a computer is very different from the science that teaches evolution." Dr. Art disagrees. On page 219, he summarized the Awesome One Science Idea as follows: "All of science works together to explain reality." The whole book "Dr. Art's Guide to Science: Connecting atoms, galaxies, and everything in between" embodies this integrated understanding of science. Chapter 12 shows how all of science works together to help us know about the catastrophic extinction that occurred 65 million years ago.