Overcoming Obstacles to Evolution Education

Evolution: Education and Outreach

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 617-621

First online:

Homology: Why We Know a Whale Is Not a Fish

  • Andrew J. PettoAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of WisconsinNational Center for Science Education
  • , Louise S. MeadAffiliated withNational Center for Science Education Email author 


Homology is a fundamental concept in comparative and evolutionary biology and yet often the focus of antievolution challenges. In describing structural similarity that is the result of common ancestry, hypotheses about homology require rigorous testing and form the basis for making predictions about anatomy and physiology as well as the fossil record. Communicating the basics of homology to students is essential for a high school biology curriculum.


Classification Evolution Homology