Evolution: Education and Outreach

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 505–508

Misconceptions About the Evolution of Complexity

Overcoming Obstacles to Evolution Education

DOI: 10.1007/s12052-008-0082-3

Cite this article as:
Petto, A.J. & Mead, L.S. Evo Edu Outreach (2008) 1: 505. doi:10.1007/s12052-008-0082-3


Despite data and theory from comparative anatomy, embryology, molecular biology, genomics, and evolutionary developmental biology, antievolutionists continue to present the eye as an example of a structure too complex to have evolved. They stress what we have yet to explain about the development and evolution of eyes and present incomplete information as evidence that evolution is a “theory in crisis.” An examination of the evidence, however, particularly evidence that has accumulated in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, refutes antievolutionists’ claims. The distribution of eyes in extant organisms, combined with what we now know about the control of eye development across diverse groups of organisms, provides significant evidence for the evolution of all major components of the eye, from molecular to morphological, and provides an excellent test of predictions based on common ancestry.


Evolution of complexityVertebrate eyeMisconceptionsIntelligent design

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.National Center for Science EducationBerkeleyUSA