Walking Whales and Singing Flies

Judy Diamond, E. Margaret Evans and Amy N. Spiegel

in Evolution Challenges

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199730421
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949557 | DOI:
Walking Whales and Singing Flies

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This chapter describes Explore Evolution, an influential exhibit developed for university museums in Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas with support from the National Science Foundation. Researchers intensively studied the exhibit’s impacts on visitor reasoning about evolution, and they gained new insight into how exhibits can influence visitor understanding of complex ideas. The research uncovered a significant finding: a single visit to the Explore Evolution exhibit improved visitors' ability to explain evolutionary problems. This significant, if incremental, change was seen across the participants, regardless of age, differing religious beliefs or prior knowledge. Moreover, visitors realized that evolution occurred regardless of the nature of the organism. Explore Evolution’s inclusion of diverse organisms helped visitors recognize that evolution occurs in all living things.

Keywords: university museum; exhibit; diverse organisms; insight; explain evolution; visitors

Chapter.  8264 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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