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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
Webcast: The science of evolution

Overview:
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.

Author/Source:
New York Times

Grade level:
9-12

Time:
10 minutes

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

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)

  • 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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