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Webcast: The science of evolution


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Evolutionary biologist Sean Carroll introduces the field of Evo-Devo, using examples from fruit flies, butterflies, and icefish to explain how this research is transforming our understanding of evolution.
This video is available from the New York Times website.

New York Times

Grade level:

10 minutes

Teaching tips:
This short video would make an easy introduction to a unit on developmental genetics for an AP biology course.

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)

  • Features sometimes acquire new functions through natural selection.

  • An organism's features reflect its evolutionary history.

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

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

  • Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence. (P6, NOS2)

  • Scientific knowledge is open to question and revision as we come up with new ideas and discover new evidence. (P4, P6, NOS3)

  • Scientists use multiple research methods (experiments, observational research, comparative research, and modeling) to collect data. (P2, P3, P4, NOS1)

  • Science is a human endeavor. (NOS7)

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

  • Scientists use developmental evidence 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.

  • Environmental changes may provide opportunities that can influence natural selection. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

Teacher background:

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