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Lesson summary for:
Investigating Common Descent: Formulating Explanations and Models

Students formulate explanations and models that simulate structural and biochemical data as they investigate the misconception that humans evolved from apes.

National Academy of Sciences

Grade level:

Two class periods.

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.

  • Similarities among existing organisms (including morphological, developmental, and molecular similarities) reflect common ancestry and provide evidence for evolution.

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing.

  • Scientists may explore many different hypotheses to explain their observations.

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

  • Scientists use multiple lines of evidence (including morphological, developmental, and molecular evidence) to infer the relatedness of taxa.

Teacher background:

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