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Unit Evolution

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Unit: Evolution



Big Idea:

The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life


Enduring Understanding:

1.A.: Change in the genetic makeup of a population over time is evolution.

1.B: Organisms are linked by lines of descent from common ancestry.

1.C: Life continues to evolve within a changing environment.

1.D: The origin of living systems is explained by natural processes. 


Required Reading:

  • Campbell: Chapter 21(briefly), 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

  • Labs: BLAST Activity, Population Genetics Dry Lab


    • Mom Always Liked Your Best

    • Exaggerated Traits and Breeding Success in Widowbirds

    • The Evolution of Human Skin Color

    • My Brother's Keeper 


Learning Objectives:By the end of this unit, you should be able to.... 


Define evolution adaptation, recognize examples, and describe examples of evolution adaptations. (Ch 22.2) 

2. Explain the criteria necessary for a population to adapt. (Ch 22.2)
3. Provide evidence of evolution and give examples of the following: direct observation, homology, fossil record, biogeography. (Ch 22.3) 
4. Describe the role of genetic variation as fuel to evolution. (Ch 23.1)
5. Explain how the concept of average heterozygosity. (Ch 23.1)
6. Compare and contrast mutations for new alleles vs. new varieties of genes. (Ch 23.1)
7. Use the Hardy-Weinberg equation to measure evolutionary change. (Ch 23.2)
8. Give examples of how a population might evolve in response to violation of a different pre-condition of HW equilibrium. (Ch 23.3)
9. Compare and contrast natural selection vs. sexual selection. (Ch23. 4)
10. Explain the importance of species to preserve some variation in the population, give examples of dipolidy, balanced selection, heterozygote advantage, frequency-dependent selection. (Ch 23. 4)
11. Describe the difference between biological species vs. morphological species concepts. (Ch 24.1)
12. Give example of how different isolations (reproductive, geographical, etc)  can be a mechanism for speciation. (Ch 24.1 & 24.2)
13. Explain how reproductive isolation can change using the concept of hybrid zones. (Ch 24.3)
14. Explain how speciation can occur in different rapidly or slowly and what drives the mechanism. (Ch 24.4)
15. Explain why fossil records is necessary incomplete. (Ch 25.2)
16. Explain how oxygen revolution and endosymbiont theory can be used to explain eukaryotic cells evolution. (Ch 25.3)
17. Explain key adaptations that give rise to plant, animal, colonization. (Ch 25.3)
18. Define adaptive radiation. (Ch 25.4)
19. Explain why evolution is not goal-oriented. (Ch 25.6)
20. Compare and contrast between classification and systematics. (Ch 26.1)
21. Be able to read a cladogram find the relationships between organisms. (Ch 26.1)
21. Explain why morphological comparisons alone do not always yield correct phylogenetic relationship. (Ch 26.2)
22. Be comfortable reading a phylogenetic tree and identify common branch, time variance. (Ch 26.3)
23. Explain how molecular clock can help track evolutionary time. (Ch 26.5)
24.  Compare and contrast the three domains. (Ch 26.6)




Below is a list of vocabularyterms used in this unit. By the end of the unit, you will be able to write a working definition of each term and correctly use each term. 


Human Genome Project bioinformatics catastrophism
uniformitarianism adaptations natural selection
homology convergent evolution genetic variation
population gene pool Hardy-Weinberg principle
genetic drift gene flow relative fitness
sexual selection neutral variation species 
morphological species concepts biological species concepts allopatric speciation
sympatric speciation hybrid zones macroevolution
protocells fossil record plate tectonics
mass extinctions adaptive radiations binomial
genus phylogenetic trees homology
analogy clade orthologous gene
paralogous gens molecular clock domains




Extra Worksheets/Notes from past years/review/challenge materials: 


Supplement Material/Websites:




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