Why the study of evolution matters

"Teaching science without evolution is like teaching sentence structure without the alphabet." That's a quote from Carin Bondar, one of the awesome scientists interviewed in this video about why evolution needs to be taught in public schools.

You'll note that all the scientists in the video happen to be female. That's because it's kind of a response, meant as a counterpoint to that incredibly obnoxious video of Miss America contestants' responses to the same question. Women who know science know evolution matters.

Thanks to scientists Matt Shipman, David Wescott, Jamie Vernon, Kevin Zelnio and Andrea Kuszewski for producing this awesome film.


  1. This is wonderful, I am just bummed y’all didn’t post it when I submitted it a week ago. I hope the new submit tool helps.

    Consider having a programmer look for the connection between who submits what links, and what then gets posted later on.  To find good posters via software.

  2. Unfair. You can’t expect Miss America contestants to understand how they have evolved up from lower life forms. Because they haven’t.

    1. Unfair. You can’t expect Miss America contestants to understand how they have evolved up from lower life forms. Because they haven’t.

      The contestants might be pretty smart, but they still have to pander to the troglodyte judges.

      1. Hey, they are participating in their own objectification. Not the brightest bulbs in the bin.

  3. Too bad there isn’t an evolution based dietary/lifestyle program. Oh snap, there is. The one getting trashed by the mainstream medical community. Paleo! 

  4. Is she saying that to understand gravity or atomic structure I must know evolution first? If so, then it’s a rather silly argument. 

    I hate these stupid debates, because they skirt the core issue: forced schooling is immoral whether a creationist or an evolutionist does it. The politicization of the educational industry has been a massive mistake.

    1. I agree! Forced schooling, why it’s like forced healthcare! The government should let me die in a pool of my own stupidity! God bless America

  5. As a scientist, I’m terribly disappointed in the quote that opens this post. It may seem like it’s clever, highlighting the fundamental importance of evolution by relating it to the “basic” units of the alphabet; unfortunately, the analogy falls apart completely, and in fact a bit self-destructively, once you know a little bit about the science of language.

    Sentence structure (syntax) has nothing to do with the alphabet.  There is no natural human language whose syntax depends at all on an alphabet.  Moreover, there are numerous examples of languages (say, the Chinese languages) that have no alphabet, but whose syntax can still be described.

    Alphabets are arbitrary ways of encoding the sounds of language in static, visual form.  What’s worse, alphabets are invented by humans as a tool for recording language. It’s a dangerous analogy to make to suggest that evolution is invented by people.

    Let me hazard another analogy in the same form as the quote above “Teaching science without teaching evolution is like teaching calculus without Roman numerals.”

    Although the intent is noble, and the video is otherwise one of the best I’ve seen for conveying fundamental importance of evolution to science, the rampant misinformation people have about linguistics is always disappointing.

    (For the people at home playing “irony bingo”: syntax is an evolved capacity of the human mind, whereas alphabets are intelligently designed…)

  6. Evolution, SHMevolution.

    Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: disrespect and ignorance towards ASPECT RATIOS.

    I know it makes me sound like an elitist, but I’m simply not watching anything that’s been edited so poorly, regardless of the content. I don’t want to see photos taken with your thumb on the lens, watch video recorded with the lens cap on, nor check out something that’s just out-of-focus altogether – same diff. Is it wrong that I find it just a little bit insulting that I’m supposed to ignore random funhouse-mirror freak-out special effects?

    I can only think of a few explanations for this behavior: the editor either isn’t aware of aspect ratio issues, doesn’t know how to correct them, or thinks things look fine as-is. All those cases scream, “I’m not someone who should be tasked with making videos”.

  7. This video I fraught with fallacious statements. Most of the definitions of evolution they gave are actually definitions of other concepts in biology. Also statements like ‘all science requires evolution’, or ‘is essential for understanding modern biological sciences’ are simple untrue. Most biology sub-fields develop independently of evolution theory, and do not even require evolution to be true to function. 

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