Science & Society
Belief versus acceptance: Why do people not believe in evolution?
Article first published online: 30 SEP 2009
Copyright © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 31, Issue 11, pages 1255–1262, November 2009
How to Cite
Williams, J. D. (2009), Belief versus acceptance: Why do people not believe in evolution?. Bioessays, 31: 1255–1262. doi: 10.1002/bies.200900082
- Issue published online: 21 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 30 SEP 2009
- intelligent design creationism;
- science education
Despite being an established and accepted scientific theory for 150 years, repeated public polls show that evolution is not believed by large numbers of people. This essay examines why people do not accept evolution and argues that its poor representation in some science textbooks allows misconceptions, established and reinforced in early childhood, to take hold. There is also a lack of up-to-date examples of evidence for evolution in school textbooks. Poor understanding by science graduates and teachers of the nature of science and incorrect definitions by them of key terminology, serve only to undermine efforts to improve public understanding of evolution. This paper has several recommendations, including the introduction of evolution to primary age children and a call to bring evolution back as the central tenet of biology.