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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
Webcast: Fossils, genes, and embryos

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Overview:
In lecture three of a four part series, evolutionary biologist David Kingsley examines the original objections to Darwin's theory and shows how modern evidence supports the theory.
This lecture is available from Howard Hughes' BioInteractive website.

Author/Source:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Grade level:
9-12

Time:
60 minutes

Teaching tips:
This lecture may be most useful for advanced high school biology courses. Clips of the lecture (now available as an indexed video with synchronized slides) might provide students with an experience similar to that of a first year college student. An interesting and useful exercise would be to have students watch the lecture (or part of it), take notes, and then process with classmates what the experience was like (both in terms of the content they learned and the way in which the lecture format challenged them to listen, absorb, and take notes).

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Present-day species evolved from earlier species; the relatedness of organisms is the result of common ancestry. (LS4.A)

  • Life on Earth 3.8 billion years ago consisted of one-celled organisms similar to present-day bacteria.

  • The fossil record provides evidence for evolution.

  • The fossil record documents the biodiversity of the past.

  • The fossil record contains organisms with transitional features.

  • There are similarities and differences among fossils and living organisms.

  • Similarities among existing organisms provide evidence for evolution. (LS4.A)

  • Anatomical similarities of living things reflect common ancestry. (LS4.A)

  • There are similarities in the cell function of all organisms. (LS4.A)

  • All life forms use the same basic DNA building blocks. (LS4.A)

  • Developmental similarities of living things often reflect their relatedness. (LS4.A)

  • Our knowledge of the evolution of living things is always being refined as we gather more evidence.

  • Our understanding of life through time is based upon multiple lines of evidence.

  • Scientists use the similarity of DNA nucleotide sequences to infer the relatedness of taxa. (LS4.A)

  • Scientists use fossils (including sequences of fossils showing gradual change over time) to learn about past life.

Teacher background:

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