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TEACH EVOLUTION LEARN SCIENCE Why Evolution Education Matters The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

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Presentation on theme: "TEACH EVOLUTION LEARN SCIENCE Why Evolution Education Matters The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology."— Presentation transcript:

1 TEACH EVOLUTION LEARN SCIENCE Why Evolution Education Matters The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

2 Evolution Education Matters Evolution is one of the most thoroughly studied and supported concepts in science Evolution is the foundation of biology Evolution is the only scientific explanation for the diversity of life Evolution is critical for understanding and advancing medicine

3 What is Science? Science is a particular way of knowing about the world In science, explanations are restricted to those that can be inferred from confirmable data--the results obtained through observations and experiments that can be substantiated by other scientists Anything that can be observed or measured is amenable to scientific investigation Explanations that cannot be based on empirical evidence are not a part of science -Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science The National Academy of Sciences (1998)

4 What is Evolution? Process by which the diversity of life on earth developed over time from common ancestors Over time, the genetic makeup of a population changes, resulting in changes in the distribution of characteristics in that population These changes result in differences within species (microevolution) as well as the emergence of new species (microevolution) Charles Darwin

5 Evolution is Science! Evolution is one of the most thoroughly studied concepts in the biological sciences Evolution is based on volumes of scientific evidence obtained through experimentation and observation of the natural world Evolutionary principles have been rigorously tested using the scientific method Evolution is accepted by the scientific community as the only scientific account for the diversity of species

6 Evolution is a Critical Topic in Science Education Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution - Theodosius Dobzhansky Preeminent geneticist, Theodosius Dobzhansky ©American Museum of Natural History

7 Evolution is the Foundation of Biology Evolution is a unifying concept in the life sciences It connects and provides a framework for understanding the various disciplines in biology, from botany to genetics to physiology and beyond

8 Evolution is the Foundation of Biology Evolution accounts for the diversity of life… Evolutionary mechanisms, including genetic mutation, migration of species, genetic drift, and natural selection, give rise to variation within species as well as to the rich array of distinct species.

9 The Beak of the Finch: Natural Selection In Action In the Galapagos Islands, finches evolved a variety of beak types adapted for cracking open different kinds of seeds. Changes in weather patterns have been shown to change the kinds of seeds availablefor example during drought, tough seeds that are difficult to crack are more abundant than soft seeds. Finches with large beaks adapted for eating these hard seeds are more likely to survive and reproduce than other finches. These finches become more abundant compared to those with small beaks.

10 Evolution is the Foundation of Biology Evolution accounts for the diversity of life… Evolutionary mechanisms, including genetic mutation, migration of species, genetic drift, and natural selection, give rise to variation within species as well as to the rich array of distinct species. Systematic change in organisms over time… The fossil record shows the emergence and disappearance of species over time as well as intermediary or transitional forms between species.

11 Intermediary Forms are Evidence for Evolution Archaeopteryx- Dinosaur and bird features Tiktaalik-Features of both fish and land-dwelling animals Australopithecus-Great ape and modern human features Model by Tyler Kiellor Photo by Kalliopi Monoyios Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Paleonanthropologist Donald Johanson and skeleton of the Australopithecus Afarensis fossil, Lucy, he discovered in 1974

12 Evolution is the Foundation of Biology Evolution accounts for the diversity of life… Evolutionary mechanisms, including genetic mutation, migration of species, genetic drift, and natural selection, give rise to variation within species as well as to the rich array of distinct species. Systematic change in organisms over time… The fossil record shows the emergence and disappearance of species over time as well as intermediary or transitional forms. And the similarities among living things The process of evolution has produced an astounding diversity of species! Yet organisms from yeast to worms to humans have striking similarities as a result of having descended from common ancestors.

13 Similarities Among Species Indicate Common Descent The Building Blocks of Life All life is made of essentially the same basic materials. All species are remarkably alike at the cellular, molecular, and genetic levels, and all use DNA as the basic mechanism of heredity.

14 Similarities Among Species Indicate Common Descent The Building Blocks of Life All life is made of essentially the same basic materials. All species are remarkably alike at the cellular, molecular, and genetic levels, and all use DNA as the basic mechanism of heredity. Biological development The developmental stages through which a diverse array of organisms pass and the genes that control these stages are similar.

15 Similarities Among Species Indicate Common Descent The Building Blocks of Life All life is made of essentially the same basic materials. All species are remarkably alike at the cellular, molecular, and genetic levels, and all use DNA as the basic mechanism of heredity. Biological development The developmental stages through which a diverse array of organisms pass and the genes that control these stages are similar. Structural Anatomy Common ancestry has resulted in remarkable similarities or homologies in the skeletal structures of animals as different as frogs, birds, and humans.

16 Structural Homologies ©UC Museum of Paleontology's Understanding Evolution

17 Evolution is Still Happening! Insects evolve resistance to pesticides New strains of influenza emerge Disease-causing microbes develop resistance to antibiotics Living things, including plants, birds, insects, and mammals adapt to climate change ©Phil Sloderbeck European Corn Borer

18 Understanding Evolution, Advancing Medicine Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Evolutionary biology has played an important role in explaining the origin and transmission of HIV, the variation in virus types, and the development of appropriate treatments.

19 Understanding Evolution, Advancing Medicine Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Evolutionary biology has played an important role in explaining the origin and transmission of HIV, the variation in virus types, and the development of appropriate treatments. Avian Influenza Developing computer models of the evolution of avian flu and other viruses may allow scientists to predict how quickly they may spread, aiding the development of preparedness plans.

20 Understanding Evolution, Advancing Medicine Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Evolutionary biology has played an important role in explaining the origin and transmission of HIV, the variation in virus types, and the development of appropriate treatments. Avian Influenza Developing computer models of the evolution of avian flu and other viruses may allow scientists to predict how quickly they may spread, aiding the development of preparedness plans. Genetic Markers of Disease Researchers are using the principles of evolution to examine genetic mutations that may account for increased risk of acquiring certain diseases. These has led to the discovery of genetic markers for Alzheimers and coronary artery disease.

21 Evolution is Not Controversial Among Scientists

22 There are No Scientific Alternatives to Evolution Creationism and other non-scientific beliefs : Do not rely on natural explanations of phenomena Are not based on observation or experimentation Do not generate testable predictions Are not accepted by the scientific community as explanations for the diversity of life

23 Support Evolution Education Support the inclusion of evolution in science curricula and education standards Oppose teaching non-scientific alternatives to evolution, including intelligent design and other forms of creationism Oppose teach the controversy, critical analysis, and other proposals that weaken evolution education

24 Support Evolution Education Write to your local newspapers Communicate with your policy makers Serve as a resource for science teachers Testify at school board meetings

25 For More Information Please Visit:


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