, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 55–58 | Cite as

Overcoming the conceptual barriers to understanding evolution

Kostas Kampourakis: Understanding evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014, xix+253pp, $34.99 PB, $90.00 HB
  • Jonathan Kaplan
Book Review

In Understanding Evolution, Kostas Kampourakis has two related goals. The first is to demonstrate that there are conceptual hurdles to properly understanding evolutionary theory. Kampourakis argues that educators, and other promoters of evolutionary theory, have underestimated how difficult it is to understand evolutionary theory and have tended to treat some gaps in understanding that are in fact the result of conceptual difficulties as if they were instead the result of, e.g., religious intolerance to the theory. This, he thinks, is a mistake. Once we accept that there are aspects of evolutionary theory that are counterintuitive, and that a host of cognitive biases make accepting evolutionary biology difficult, we will be, he argues, in a better position to present compelling argument that can work against these biases. That is the second goal of the book—to present an explanation of contemporary evolutionary theory that is attentive to the ways in which the theory might seem...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of History, Philosophy, and ReligionOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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