What are some common misconceptions about evolution

Evolution is just a theory
Caution trap: The term "theory" denotes a rather uncertain statement in everyday language; in science this would correspond more to the term "hypothesis". In science, on the other hand, a "theory" is already backed up by many findings, almost in accordance with a "law of nature".

So when one speaks of evolution "theory", the very good evidence is actually emphasized!
I wasn't there
Evolutionary processes usually take place over very long periods of time, but in the case of microorganisms they can still be observed directly due to their rapid generation sequence.
But not even the scientists agree on it
The term "evolution" denotes, on the one hand, the concrete course of the phylogenetic historical development of life on earth. This process is clearly proven by innumerable scientific evidence, including on a genetic, morphological and geological level, even if the fossil history is still patchy.

The term "evolution" also describes the "theory *" (* for the meaning see above) according to which regularities this change took place and is still taking place. So when two scientists argue about "evolution", it is not a question of whether the phylogenetic historical development of the species took place on earth, but at most about detailed questions to explain this completely undisputed change.
Only the strongest survives
First mistake: In an evolutionary context, success means bringing your genes into the next generation by ensuring the survival of as many of your own offspring as possible. Physical strength can be an advantage, but every exaggerated physical characteristic also has its price, e.g. too much energy consumption by the muscles. Depending on the selection factors (predators, food availability, mating preference of the females, strategies for rearing young), very different combinations of properties can be advantageous.

Second mistake: Only if two species agree in all aspects of the use of their habitat will one species (usually under laboratory conditions) displace the other (principle of exclusion of competition). Often one of the two competing species in the same habitat will use one or more environmental factors differently (it occupies a different ecological niche [attention: this niche term is not to be understood spatially, but means a certain combination of uses!]). A relocation of the habitat is also possible, for example through migratory movements (e.g. migratory birds).
“Because of the struggle for life, any variation [...] if it is in any degree useful to an individual [...] will tend to preserve that individual and generally inherit it from his offspring become. I have named this principle [...] natural selection ”(Charles Darwin, 1859)
“With the higher animals it is a very general fact that the males fight against each other for the possession of the females [...]. This very general phenomenon necessarily results in a form of natural selection that increases the vitality and fighting power of the male animals [...]. Male rivalry [...] is obviously a real force in nature ”(Alfred Russel, Wallace 1889)
Everything develops higher and higher in the direction of the human being
From our vertebrate or mammalian perspective, many family tree schemes seem to indicate this, but in the primate family tree, for example, the last two branches chimpanzee and human could simply be rotated by 180 ° without changing the meaning, so that the chimpanzee would then appear as the "crown" of creation. The same applies to all other branches of the family tree.

Due to the incomplete fossil record, especially in family trees for human evolution, side branches were often wrongly classified directly in the main branch, so that the impression of a linear series of developments with an apparently clear tendency (e.g. with regard to the brain volume) is created. Similar misrepresentations can be found e.g. in the horse family tree. Actually, all of these family trees resemble rather heavily branched "family trees" with many extinct side branches. A genealogical tree from left to right would also be less misleading.

Geological time tables are also rather misleading in this regard, e.g. when they speak of the "Age of Fish", followed by the "Age of Amphibians", etc. There is no clear trend towards higher complexity, but rather erratic scale swings. However, a more appropriate uniform designation as the "age of bacteria" for almost all geological ages would perhaps be a bit bleak from our perspective ☹
“It is absurd to talk about one animal standing higher than another. We humans consider those with the most developed mental faculties to be the highest. A honey bee would undoubtedly use instincts as a criterion. ”(Charles Darwin, 1837)
"Since people belong to the Catarrhini [i.e. belong to the Old World monkeys of Africa and Asia] we must conclude, as much as the conclusion may hurt our pride, that our early ancestors should be correctly named ”(Charles Darwin, 1871)
"Personally, I conclude that of all the causes which gave rise to the differences in the outward appearance of the human races, and to some extent those between humans and the lower animals, sexual selection was by far the most effective" (Charles Darwin, 1871) .
"The theory of evolution will bring about a remarkable revolution in natural science ...
Psychology is placed on the new foundation. ”(Charles Darwin, 1859)
So why should I believe that?
One does not have to (and cannot) "believe" in evolution: The tribal development of living beings on earth is simply a fact that can be clearly proven with scientific methods, the explanatory models for this development are subject to the same scientific test criteria as all other biological, chemical or physical laws . Neither a confirmation nor a falsification of religious ideas can be derived from this fact, as long as these ideas do not exceed the limits of their area of ​​responsibility and, as in the case of an ideology, attempts are also made to derive scientific statements.
Evolution and creation arise from two separate paths of knowledge. But both give motives for responsible action.
“There is something sublime in this view of life, which, with its multiple powers, was originally breathed into a few or just one form, and - while its planet continues to revolve according to the iron laws of gravity - it is drawn from such a simple beginning has developed and is still developing an infinite number of the most beautiful and wonderful forms. "(Charles Darwin, 1859)
A few of these animals then noticed which trait would be good for them and then also developed them
According to the outdated, early theory of Lamarck's explanation of species change, the use or non-use of organs is decisive for their expression and these acquired properties would then also be passed on to the offspring.

In fact, however, the individuals in a population vary greatly in terms of their characteristics and, depending on the change in the environment, an already existing characteristic expression can then prove to be advantageous (pre-adaptation). The genetic information for this trait is then passed on to the descendants of these individuals, so that this trait expression asserts itself in the population over the course of several generations. How the respective selection factor will change cannot be predicted in advance!

The spontaneous mutations, which, in addition to genetic recombination, especially through sexual reproduction, are the basis for the great variability, occur randomly! Only the selection then gives a "direction" so to speak.
How is a fly supposed to become a person?
It is easy to see that closely related species split up or change. This process called "microevolution" by creationists is now even accepted by many creationists who are now trying cleverly to present the so-called "macroevolution", i.e. the emergence of higher taxonomic groups (e.g. animal phyla), as impossible. In fact, the "macroevolution" is only a continued "microevolution" (ie "perfectly normal" evolution) over very long periods of time.

The only systematic unit that is decisive for evolution is the species. All higher order categories (in ascending order: genus, family, order, class, tribe, kingdom; cf. also learning program systematists) only serve as artificial aids for a simpler classification of the Family relationships.