Even since the very first scientific articles and journals were made available to public view, information, ideas, and themes have all been twisted so that the content being portrayed is more relatable and easier to understand. However, as Dr. Stone notes, much of science is often oversimplified to the point where it is in fact incorrect. An example of this misinformation is apparent with the community’s perspective on the “classic” portrayal of evolution. As depicted in the transition from gorilla to monkey, the image suggests that the “original” species, the monkey, has the goal of eventually becoming a human, step by step; however, this is not true in the slightest. The concept of evolution deals with a species and its ability to best survive and adapt to its current environment. In contrast with the image, the “original” is not striving to become human, rather, humans happen to be one of the many branches which share a common ancestor. To further emphasize this point, Dr. Stone noted that humans are not the species. However, throughout millions of years of mutations, humans came to rise and are best suited for their environment, but not necessarily for all environments. Suggesting that humans are the most advanced species on earth would be incorrect. While humans may be best suited to the environment they inhabit may be correct, compare humans with bacteria that live in hot springs or bacteria that flourish in stomach acid. Humans would be scorched and killed instantly when exposed to the high temperatures in hot springs, while being dissolved in the high acidity of stomach acid. Evolution is not a ladder, but rather occurs through mutation, by chance.
Other misconceptions Dr. Stone noted were issues in science that seem hypocritical, yet are still used as proper scientific terms. Anyone who has taken a high school biology class is familiar with the term “wild type” of a species: the allele that is found in nature, however, this widely unchallenged definition suggests that there is only one “allele” or version of the species that exists in the wild. As stated before, mutation occurs in every offspring. While a fruit fly might mostly contain red eyes in the “wild”, there is still a relevant amount of insects that contain white eyes or other traits that are not “orthodox”. This hypocrisy in current biological terminology was possibly derived from Plato’s Theory of Forms. According to Plato, every object or species has an idealized form. This conflicts greatly with the research Darwin conducted during his career. If every species truly did have an idealized form, then all species would be the same. Having an idealized form suggests that species don’t in fact undergo evolution, but instead, undergo the ladder process depicted and improperly believed to be evolution. Each species does not strive to be a certain form, instead, it acquires adaptations that best allow it to survive in its given environment.