Professor Judy Stone, a Biology professor at Colby College discussed “The Unfinished Business of the Darwinian Revolution”. She highlighted “the evolution” of thought, well before Darwin entered the scene. Notably, it was intriguing as to how much the idea of evolution has changed, and even when Darwin postulated his theory, it was misinterpreted and took many years before its acceptance in the sciences. However, as Stone briefly discussed, this revolution to understanding Darwin is unfinished; but what do we do with this information and what does it imply?
As Stone noted, much of our understanding today is misrepresentative of Darwin’s true reasonings. Individuals are plagued with the stereotypical ape to human image, which misrepresents evolution as a moving, ladder-like process with an end goal. These even extend to Intro. to Biology courses across some colleges and high schools, further digging in this skewed image. What does this mean though? Such a misunderstanding is important; it shows that it is acceptable to misinterpret conclusions, and allow a false story to develop. This is problematic, and quite common, in all domains in life. Often the media portrays, and draws false conclusions, from all forms of people: Politicians, celebrities, newscasters. Moreover, academics may unintentionally misinterpret past, or new, research, and much like the story of evolution, create a new one that is far from indicative of the truth. This is especially rampant today, given the mass exchange of information across many domains.
However, what do we do with this seemingly common problem? Call a revolution to truly grasp the point being made before synthesizing or altering it? Perhaps not, but it does offer a space for individuals, like Stone, who seek to correct the falsely told narrative. Within this process, we might actually gain more; such misrepresentations motivate passionate people to re-examine the original source in depth, and strive to correct whatever misconstrued story has been told. Albeit the truth may never overpower the strong misinterpretations, like the iconic ape to human image, it will continue to foster discussion and push people to learn more about whatever process they deem misled.