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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
Interview: Douglas Futuyma on natural selection

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Overview:
This interview with one of the most influential evolutionary biologists of today addresses many aspects of natural selection: how it works, examples, misconceptions, and implications.
This article appears at ActionBioscience.org.

Author/Source:
ActionBioscience.org

Grade level:
9-12

Time:
20 minutes

Teaching tips:
Though clear, the content and writing level of this resource are somewhat advanced. However, it might serve as good topic for discussion in an AP biology classroom.

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

  • Evolution results from selection acting upon genetic variation within a population. (LS4.B)

  • New heritable traits can result from recombinations of existing genes or from genetic mutations in reproductive cells. (LS3.B)

  • Mutations are random.

  • Traits that confer an advantage may persist in the population and are called adaptations. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Random factors can affect the survival of individuals and of populations.

  • Organisms cannot intentionally produce adaptive mutations in response to environmental influences.

  • Over time, the proportion of individuals with advantageous characteristics may increase (and the proportion with disadvantageous characteristics may decrease) due to their likelihood of surviving and reproducing. (LS4.B, LS4.C)

  • Evolution results from genetic drift acting upon genetic variation within a population.

  • Speciation is the splitting of one ancestral lineage into two or more descendent lineages.

  • Evolution does not consist of progress in any particular direction.

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing. (P3, P4, P6, P7)

  • Science is a human endeavor. (NOS7)

  • As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life.

  • There is variation within a population. (LS3.B)

Teacher background:

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