NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ836048
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
The Role of Metaphor in Darwin and the Implications for Teaching Evolution
Pramling, Niklas
Science Education, v93 n3 p535-547 May 2009
This article is about the role of metaphor in scientific knowledge formation and reasoning. These issues are studied by means of an example of the theory of evolution through natural selection. The premise is that the theory of evolution contains a set of problems regarding metaphor. A second premise is that these problems have to be handled in one way or another when trying to learn, explain, or discuss the theory. How metaphor plays a role in Darwin's writings is analyzed through examples taken from "On the Origin of Species". Which metaphors are used by Darwin and which problems do they solve and raise, respectively? It is shown how Darwin uses a variety of metaphors, and that he grapples with this issue. The findings are discussed in terms of the implications for teaching evolutionary theory. Some inherent difficulties in learning the theory of evolution, and more generally abstract complex scientific knowledge, are discussed.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Subscription Department, 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A