It is kind of odd that I find myself writing with the intent to teach people about evolution. It would seem very few people actually know what evolution is. And there are a lot of reasons for this.
One big reason is that textbooks do a really poor job at explaining evolution, most actually get it wrong. Even the teachers at grade schools and high schools often don’t understand what evolution is. So they end up teaching a faulty version of evolution. Most often, they say it is one animal turning into another. Even the textbooks in schools are often incorrect, mainly because the people writing them don’t know what evolution is let alone how to describe it. Then you even have those who reject evolution writing the textbooks and putting their own false version of it down in print. Only to end up being taught to children.
So what is evolution? In the most simplistic way possible to describe it, it is change. Nothing magical or extraordinary about it.
Nothing actually ends up turning into something else. Instead, it’s just a variation of what it once was, even if it looks vastly different than its ancestor. A good way to think about it is if you take a piece of clay and mold it into something. It’s still clay no matter what shape you make it.
Another example is the termite. The termite simply is a variation of a wood eating cockroach. It’s a social wood eating cockroach. It didn’t stop being a cockroach when it evolved, because it’s still a cockroach, just a variation of them.
Even humans are just variations of our ancestors. All of us are still eukaryote, unikonts and opisthokonts, despite how we look so vastly different. Just as we are still primates and mammals. When we say ‘Homo sapiens’, it is just a name for specific type of variation of our ancestors.
Again, there is nothing magical or special about it. One organism does not turn into another completely different type of organism, that because does not outgrow its ancestry.