Yes it is a misunderstanding of evolution. Many biologists still hold onto the belief that evolution happens continuously and gradually and that evolution is a relentless march towards greater and greater perfection. Such a view is far from the truth. The theory of punctuated equilibrium was proposed by Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould in the early 1970's when they find that there is no evidence of gradual continuous evolution in the fossil record. A new species, though clearly related to an earlier, existing species, abruptly appears in the fossil record, and then it exists for a few million years or less before becoming extinct, without changing much, if at all, and a new species appears that is clearly related to it but is clearly different. Again there is not a continuous series of transition forms between 2 species.
Eldredge and Gould therefore argue that during the life time of a species, nothing much changes because most changes are deleterious. However, if the environment changes then there is a bigger chance that a mutation will be adaptive instead of deleterious. In fact since environment changes are not slow or gradual, adaptations to a new environment must be fairly rapid for an organism to avoid extinction. Before the end of the last ice age 13,000 years ago, the Chihuahuan Desert of the SW USA was not a desert at all, but a wooded area. Yet today it is a dry desert with many species having become extinct, and they have been replaced by species that are adapted to the desert environment. Speciation or macroevolution therefore can take place within the span of a few thousand or a few hundred years, if the environment changes drastically.
Therefore lots of evolution may merely mean that a species had to change a lot to adapt to a drastically different environment, not because such a species has evolved higher levels of perfection than a more slowly evolving species. A slowly evolving species may simply be living in a rather stable environment for a long period of time and therefore there is no need to change what ain't broke. Apes for example have evolved little over a span of 25 million years, because they have always lived in forests. Humans, which evolved on the African savanna from an ape, had to change a lot more because adaptations that are good for living inside a forest are bad if one tries to live in the savanna. One can certainly argue that humans are more evolved than apes, and that we are superior. Indeed in some ways we are superior, but in other ways we are worse. We are not as strong or as fast in a sprint as apes. We are more likely to die during child birth than apes, and we develop back problems by walking on two legs for decades. We are smarter than apes, but our skulls cannot support a massive jaw muscle in order to house a bigger brain. As a result our jaws are a lot weaker than the jaws of apes. Therefore despite being more evolved, we are not superior in every way than our closest relatives. We are better in some areas and worse in others. That is because evolution is the result of adaptations to a changing environment, not a relentless march towards greater perfection. In fact, in most cases, good enough is good enough, and there is no improvement on traits that are less than perfect despite millions of years or longer of having such traits.
If we look at fossil feathers belonging to Archaeopteryx, a fossil bird that lived some 150 million years ago, we find that it is very similar in anatomical detail to modern bird feathers. It shows that feathers have not improved much for 150 million years. Good enough is good enough. If change is not needed to adapt to a new environment, then changes may not happen at all for 150 million years or longer.