B.1.32 Explain how natural selection leads to organisms that are well suited for survival in particular environments, and discuss how natural selection provides scientific explanation for the history of life on Earth as depicted in the fossil record and in the similarities evident within the diversity of existing organisms.

 

Molecules and Cells

7.4.1Explain that similarities among organisms are found in external & internal anatomical features, including specific characteristics at the cellular level, such as the number of chromosomes. Understand that these similarities are used to classify organisms since they may be used to infer the degree of relatedness among organisms.

7.4.3 Explain how, in sexual reproduction, a single specialized cell from a female merges with a specialized cell from a male & this fertilized egg carries genetic information from each parent & multiplies to form the complete organism.

7.4.4 Explain that the basic functions of organisms, such as extracting energy from food & getting rid of wastes, are carried out within the cell & understand that the way which cells function is similar in all organisms.

7.4.5 Explain how food provides the fuel & the building material for all organisms.

7.4.6 Describe how plants use the energy from light to make sugars from carbon dioxide & water to produce food that can be used immediately or stored for later use.

7.4.7 Describe how organisms that eat plants break down the plant structures to produce the materials & energy that they need to survive, & in turn, how they are consumed by other organisms.

8.4.5 Explain that energy can be transferred from one form to another in living things.

8.4.6 Describe how animals get their energy from oxidizing their food & releasing some of this energy as heat.

B.1.2 Explain that every cell is covered by a membrane that controls what can enter and leave the cell. Recognize that in all but quite primitive cells, a complex network of proteins provides organization and shape. In addition, understand that flagella and/or cilia may allow some Protista, some Monera, and some animal cells to move.

B.1.3 Know and describe that within the cell are specialized parts for the transport of materials, energy capture and release, protein building, waste disposal, information feedback, and movement. In addition to these basic cellular functions common to all cells, understand that most cells in multicellular organisms perform some special functions that others do not.

B.1.4 Understand and describe that the work of the cell is carried out by the many different types of molecules it assembles, such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids.

B.1.6 Show that a living cell is composed mainly of a small number of chemical elements - carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, and sulfur. Recognize that carbon can join to other carbon atoms in chains and rings to form large and complex molecules.

B.1.9 Recognize and describe that both living and nonliving things are composed of compounds, which are themselves made up of elements joined by energy-containing bonds, such as those in ATP.

Developmental and Organismal Biology

B.1.18 Explain that the regulatory and behavioral responses of an organism to external stimuli occur in order to maintain both short- and long-term equilibrium.

B.1.19 Recognize and describe that metabolism consists of the production, modification, transport, and exchange of materials that are required for the maintenance of life.

Genetics

8.4.3 Recognize/describe that new varieties of cultivated plants, such as corn & apples, & domestic animals, such as dogs & horses, have resulted from selective breeding for particular traits.

8.4.7 Recognize & explain that small genetic differences between parents & offspring can accumulate in successive generations so that descendants are very different from their ancestors.

B.1.21 Understand and explain that the information passed from parents to offspring is transmitted by means of genes which are coded in DNA molecules.

B.1.23 Understand that and describe how inserting, deleting, or substituting DNA segments can alter a gene. Recognize that an altered gene may be passed on to every cell that develops from it, and that the resulting features may help, harm, or have little or no effect on the offspringÕs success in its environment.

B.1.24 Explain that gene mutations can be caused by such things as radiation and chemicals. Understand that when they occur in sex cells, the mutations can be passed on to offspring; if they occur in other cells, they can be passed on to descendant cells only.

B.1.26 Demonstrate how the genetic information in DNA molecules provides instructions for assembling protein molecules and that this is virtually the same mechanism for all life forms.

B.1.28 Illustrate that the sorting and recombination of genes in sexual reproduction results in a great variety of possible gene combinations from the offspring of any two parents. Recognize that genetic variation can occur from such processes as crossing over, jumping genes, and deletion and duplication of genes.

B.1.29 Understand that and explain how the actions of genes, patterns of inheritance, and the reproduction of cells and organisms account for the continuity of life, and give examples of how inherited characteristics can be observed at molecular and whole-organism levels - in structure, chemistry, or behavior.

Evolution

B.1.30 Understand and explain that molecular evidence substantiates the anatomical evidence for evolution and provides additional detail about the sequence in which various lines of descent branched off from one another.

B.1.31  Describe how natural selection provides the following mechanism for evolution: Some variation in heritable characteristics exists within every species, and some of these characteristics give individuals an advantage over others in surviving and reproducing. Understand that the advantaged offspring, in turn, are more likely than others to survive and reproduce. Also understand that the proportion of individuals in the population that have advantageous characteristics will increase.

B.1.34 Explain that evolution builds on what already exists, so the more variety there is, the more there can be in the future. Recognize, however, that evolution does not necessitate long-term progress in some set direction.

B.1.35 Explain that the degree of kinship between organisms or species can be estimated from the similarity of their DNA sequences, which often closely matches their classification based on anatomical similarities. Know that amino acid similarities also provide clues to this kinship.

B.1.36 Trace the relationship between environmental changes and changes in the gene pool, such as genetic drift and isolation of sub-populations.

Ecology

7.4.8 Understand & explain that as any population of organisms grows, it is held in check by one or more environmental factors. These factors could result in depletion of food or nesting sites and/or increased loss to increased numbers of predators or parasites. Give examples of some consequences of this.

8.4.4 Describe how matter is transferred from one organism to another repeatedly & between organisms & their physical environment.

8.4.8 Describe how environmental conditions affect the survival of individual organisms & how entire species may prosper in spite of the poor survivability or bad fortune of individuals.

B.1.37 Explain that the amount of life any environment can support is limited by the available energy, water, oxygen, and minerals, and by the ability of ecosystems to recycle the residue of dead organic materials. Recognize, therefore, that human activities and technology can change the flow and reduce the fertility of the land.

B.1.38 Understand and explain the significance of the introduction of species, such as zebra mussels, into American waterways, and describe the consequent harm to native species and the environment in general.

B.1.39 Describe how ecosystems can be reasonably stable over hundreds or thousands of years. Understand that if a disaster such as flood or fire occurs, the damaged ecosystem is likely to recover in stages that eventually result in a system similar to the original one.

B.1.40 Understand and explain that like many complex systems, ecosystems tend to have cyclic fluctuations around a state of rough equilibrium. However, also understand that ecosystems can always change with climate changes or when one or more new species appear as a result of migration or local evolution.

B.1.41 Recognize that and describe how human beings are part of EarthÕs ecosystems. Note that human activities can, deliberately or inadvertently, alter the equilibrium in ecosystems.

B.1.43 Understand that and describe how organisms are influenced by a particular combination of living and nonliving components of the environment.

B.1.44 Describe the flow of matter, nutrients, and energy within ecosystems.

B.1.47 Explain, with examples, that ecology studies the varieties and interactions of living things across space while evolution studies the varieties and interactions of living things across time.

Historical

B.2.1 Explain that prior to the studies of Charles Darwin, the most widespread belief was that all known species were created at the same time and remained unchanged throughout history. Note that some scientists at the time believed that features an individual acquired during a lifetime could be passed on to its offspring, and the species could thereby gradually change to fit an environment better.

B.2.2 Explain that Darwin argued that only biologically inherited characteristics could be passed on to offspring. Note that some of these characteristics were advantageous in surviving and reproducing. Understand that the offspring would also inherit and pass on those advantages, and over generations the aggregation of these inherited advantages would lead to a new species.

B.2.3 Describe that the quick success of DarwinÕs book Origin of Species, published in 1859, came from the clear and understandable argument it made, including the comparison of natural selection to the selective breeding of animals in wide use at the time, and from the massive array of biological and fossil evidence it assembled to support the argument.

B.2.4 Explain that after the publication of Origin of Species, biological evolution was supported by the rediscovery of the genetics experiments of an Austrian monk, Gregor Mendel, by the identification of genes and how they are sorted in reproduction, and by the discovery that the genetic code found in DNA is the same for almost all organisms.

 

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