Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Evolution ChallengesIntegrating Research and Practice in Teaching and Learning about Evolution$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Karl S. Rosengren, Sarah K. Brem, E. Margaret Evans, and Gale M. Sinatra

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199730421

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730421.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 August 2019

“Two-Thousand Years of Stasis”

“Two-Thousand Years of Stasis”

How Psychological Essentialism Impedes Evolutionary Understanding

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 “Two-Thousand Years of Stasis”
Source:
Evolution Challenges
Author(s):

Susan A. Gelman

Marjorie Rhodes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730421.003.0001

This chapter examines how psychological essentialism poses a set of conceptual obstacles to a full grasp of evolutionary theory for ordinary (non-expert) children and adults. Specifically, this chapter describes five essentialist assumptions that are common in everyday thought and are inconsistent with evolutionary theory, including: assumption of category stability and immutability, assumption that category boundaries are strict and impermeable, failure to understand within-category variability, by either denying its existence or treating it as ‘noise’, treating causes as inhering in individuals rather than resulting from population-level forces, and viewing categories as progressing toward an ideal state. Some of these obstacles impede acceptance of evolutionary theory; others impede understanding evolutionary theory. The chapter concludes with speculations about implications for science education.

Keywords:   essentialism, understanding evolution, accepting evolution, categories & concepts, science education

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .