The student will investigate and understand that organisms change over time. Key concepts include
a) the relationships of mutation, adaptation, natural selection, and extinction;
b) evidence of evolution of different species in the fossil record; and
c) how environmental influences, as well as genetic variation, can lead to diversity of organisms.
Overview / Key Concepts
mechanisms through which evolution takes
place are a related set of processes that include
mutation, adaptation, natural selection, and
• Mutations are inheritable changes because a mutation is a change in the DNA code.
• Adaptations are structures, functions, or behaviors that enable a species to survive.
• A mutation may result in a favorable change or adaptation in genetic information that improves a species’ ability to exist in its environment, or a mutation may result in an unfavorable change that does not improve or impedes a species’ ability to exist in its environment.
• Individuals of a population exhibit a range of variations in a trait as a result of the variations in their genetic codes.
evidence for evolution is drawn from a variety
of sources of data, including the fossil record,
radiometric dating, genetic information, the distribution of organisms, and
anatomical and developmental similarities across species.
• Natural selection is the survival and reproduction of the individuals in a population that exhibit the traits that best enable them to survive in their environment.
• If a species does not include traits that enable it to survive in its environment or to survive changes in the environment, then the species may become extinct.
Knowledge & Skills
|• explain how
genetic variations in offspring, which lead to
variations in successive generations, can result from the
same two parents..
• describe how changes in the environment can bring about changes in species through natural selection, adaptation, and extinction.
• describe and explain how fossils are records of organisms and events in the Earth’s history.
|• explain the
evidence for evolution from a variety of sources of scientific data.
• analyze and evaluate data from investigations on variations within a local population.
• interpret data from simulations that demonstrate selection for a trait belonging to species in various environments.