Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Thirteen Misunderstandings About Natural Selection

  • Laith Al-Shawaf
  • Kareem ZreikEmail author
  • David M. Buss
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2158-2


The theory of evolution by natural selection is the unifying paradigm of biology and indeed of all the life sciences – it explains and integrates a huge diversity of known findings and predicts an astonishing number of new ones (Alcock 2009; Coyne 2009). It has been famously suggested that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution (Dobzhansky 1973). Prominent philosopher Daniel Dennett has said “If I were to give an award for the single best idea anyone ever had, I’d give it to Darwin, ahead of even Newton and Einstein and everyone else” (Dennett 1996, p. 21). Indeed, scientists, historians of science, and philosophers of science generally regard evolutionary theory as one of the most predictively powerful and explanatorily successful theories in the history of science (Alcock 2009; Coyne 2009; Dawkins 2009; Dennett 1996).

And yet, despite the simplicity of the core idea and its universal acceptance in the scientific community (e.g., Pew Research...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ColoradoColorado SpringsUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsLebanese American UniversityBeirutLebanon
  3. 3.The University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Karin Machluf
    • 1
  1. 1.Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA