Another dot in the blogosphere?

Misplaced logic

Posted on: March 11, 2021

Pokémon is 25-years-old this year, so it is unsurprising that some YouTube channels are creating content to grab a piece of the attention pie.

Video source

However, the content is not created equally. This list-based channel opted to use a perpetuated misconception to highlight “evolutions” that make no sense.

The misconception: The pocket monsters undergo metamorphosis and not evolution, even though the latter is the term used in games.

If we used biological knowledge, we might recall how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly by metamorphosis. Neither form looks like the other and makes “zero sense” from a layperson’s view. But this is perfectly logical with some basic developmental biology.

I can watch the video for entertainment value, but I cannot switch off the parts of my brain that that remind me how such videos perpetuate misconceptions, have great reach, and are more palatable than a textbook.

The script of such videos also provides a veneer of analysis — look at how these transformations make no sense or look at the mistakes the developers of Pokémon made. A more critical and informed content creator could have dug deeper and pointed out the differences between evolution and metamorphosis.

Sadly, the science logic videos are not as likely to draw clicks and eyeballs. This is a symptom of a race to the bottom. It is also a reminder to me to remind teachers not to use YouTube videos simply because they are “interesting” or “engaging”.

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