Science Exists in a Cultural Context (2 of 3)

prev page

Science corrects itself.
Sometimes people make mistakes. Occasionally scientists are swept up in a current of ideas that leads them astray. But errors, misconceptions, and misdirections are corrected by the scientific community itself. Sometimes corrections take years, decades, or even centuries. Improved understanding may result from new technology or changing perspectives, but sooner or later a closer approximation of the truth appears. The fact that old hypotheses fall and new ones take their place does not mean that science is invalid as a way of gathering knowledge. Plasticity of thought is the very essence of the scientific process.

For example, within the past 100 years, textbooks have gone from grouping all living things into two kingdoms, to portraying the connectedness of life as three domains.

Kingdoms to Domains

next page

Search · Site Index · Navigation · Copyright · Credits · Contact
Understanding Evolution For Teachers Home · Understanding Evolution Home

Read how others have recognized the Understanding Evolution website

Spanish translation of Understanding Evolution For Teachers from the Spanish Society of Evolutionary Biology.