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Biology II: Evolution Unit Standards
Summarize the history of evolutionary thought.
Explain how Darwin’s voyage on the Beagle ,and the work of Thomas Malthus and the
process of artificial selection influenced Darwin’s thinking and lead to his development
of the idea of natural selection.
Explain why individuals cannot evolve and why evolution does not lead to perfectly
adapted organisms.
Describe two examples of natural selection known to occur in nature. Note three key
points about how natural selection works.
Explain how the fossil record provides some of the strongest evidence of evolution.
Explain how biogeography, comparative anatomy, comparative embryology, and
molecular biology support evolution.
Explain how evolutionary trees are constructed and used to represent ancestral
Define the gene pool, a population, and microevolution.
Explain how mutation and sexual recombination produce genetic variation.
Explain why prokaryotes can evolve more quickly than eukaryotes.
Describe the five conditions required for the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and explain its
Distinguish between stabilizing selection, directional selection, and disruptive selection.
Describe an example of each.
Explain how geologic processes can fragment populations and lead to speciation.
Explain how sympatric speciation can occur, noting examples in plants and animals.
Explain how reproductive barriers might evolve in isolated populations of organisms.
Describe the conditions on the surface of the early Earth. Describe the current evidence
supporting the idea that life existed at least 3.5 billion years ago.
Describe the four stages that might have produced the first cells on Earth.
Describe the experiments of Dr. Stanley Miller and their significance in understanding
how life might have first evolved on Earth.
Describe the key events in the history of life on Earth.
Distinguish between the relative age and the absolute age of a fossil. Explain how
radiometric dating is used to determine the age of rocks and fossils.
Briefly describe the history of life on Earth, noting the major eras, their time range, and
which types of life were most abundant. Describe the key events that serve to divide
these eras.
Explain how and why adaptive radiations occur.
Explain why evolutionary trends do not reflect “directions” or “goals.”
Distinguish between homologous and analogous structures and provide examples of each.
Describe the process of convergent evolution.