We typically think of evolution occurring within populations of organisms. But in fact, evolutionary concepts can be applied even beyond the biological world. Any system that has variation, differential reproduction, and some form of inheritance will evolve if given enough time. Find out how an understanding of evolution can illuminate the field of linguistics.
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Evolution: Education and Outreach
This article is written for teachers and comes with links to additional examples, supplementary information, and classroom tips.
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.
- Evolution results from natural selection acting upon genetic variation within a population.
- Evolution results from genetic drift acting upon genetic variation within a population.
- Evolution results from mutations.
- Natural selection and genetic drift act on the variation that exists in a population.
- New heritable traits can result from mutations.
- Mutation is a random process.
- Random factors can affect the survival of individuals and of populations.
- As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life, for example in agriculture, biodiversity and conservation biology, and medicine and health.