Education Article

Evolution: Education and Outreach

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 416-419

First online:

“Little Monkeys on the Grass…” How People for and Against Evolution Fail to Understand the Theory of Evolution

  • Steven R. JakobiAffiliated withPhysical and Life Sciences Department, Alfred State College Email author 


In an informal survey, only five percent of 306 college freshmen students in an introductory biology course provided a correct scientific definition for the theory of evolution. The other respondents provided answers that ranged from “organisms improving themselves” (42 percent) to “monkeys becoming humans” (seven percent). Some of the potential reasons for the lack of understanding of the concept of evolution are explored.


Student survey Freshmen college students Definition of evolution