DragonflyIssuesInEvolution13 Wiki

In researching evolutionary topics, it has come to my attention that the term evoltuion is used in so many different contexts that really have nothing to do with evolution in a biological sense.  I will say that I had no idea this was a sort of pet peeve of mine until I started researching different topics for this class.  I also was one who would use the term evolution outside of a biological context, I mean, who doesn't love the "Evolution of Dance" (which I have included for those who have not seen it)? 


Evolution of Dance - By Judson Laipply

  Bock (2007) defines evoluition as "change in organisms over time with the minimum time being one generation. Hence evolutionary change is observed between organisms of one generation and their descendants."  As an educator, it is important to always be very concious of my language.  Using evolution only in the correct, scientific and biological is key in eliminating misconcpetions of the definition itself.  The Merrium-Webster Dictionary has the following definitions online:

biology : a theory that the differences between modern plants and animals are because of changes that happened by a natural process over a very long time

the process by which changes in plants and animals happen over time

: a process of slow change and development

The only issue I have is with the third definition where there is no mention of living organisms.  Evolution is dealing with the changes that occur in organisms.  Things that are not living that change are mostly due to human modification.  This is not evolution, this is change and modification with updated models and improvements.  Abiotic factors that change have no benefit to the abiotic factor, therefore, not evoltuion.  Evolution consists of organisms changing over time, where those changes benefit the species' survival. 


Bock, W. J. (2007). Explanations in evolutionary theory. Journal Of Zoological Systematics & Evolutionary Research, 45(2), 89-103. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0469.2007.00412.x