Teleology’s long shadow

  title={Teleology’s long shadow},
  author={Alexander J. Werth and Douglas Allchin},
  journal={Evolution: Education and Outreach},
We describe the ubiquity of teleological language and thinking throughout biology, as a context for understanding how students think about evolution, as well. Examples can be found in molecular biology, physiology, ecology, and taxonomy, at least. Recent research documents a deep human psychological tendency to attribute purpose or intent (and thus normative meaning) to natural phenomena. We present a possible evolutionary explanation. Still, these cognitive habits help foster scientific errors… 
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