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Online Course for Teachers: Teaching Evolution

About this Course 

SESSION 2

SESSION 2: How Does Darwin's Theory Illustrate the Process of Science?

National Science Education Standards
Addressed in SESSION 2

Science Standard C:

All students should develop understanding of:

Biological evolution

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Species evolve over time. Evolution is the consequence of the interactions of (1) the potential for a species to increase its numbers, (2) the genetic variability of offspring due to mutation and recombination of genes, (3) a finite supply of the resources required for life, and (4) the ensuing selection by the environment of those offspring better able to survive and leave offspring.

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The great diversity of organisms is the result of more than 3.5 billion years of evolution that has filled every available niche with life forms.

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Natural selection and its evolutionary consequences provide a scientific explanation for the fossil record of ancient life forms, as well as for the striking molecular similarities observed among the diverse species of living organisms.

 
Science Standard G:

All students should develop an understanding of:

Science as a human endeavor

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Individuals and teams have contributed and will continue to contribute to the scientific enterprise.

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Scientists are influenced by societal, cultural, and personal beliefs and ways of viewing the world. Science is not separate from society but rather science is a part of society.

 

Nature of scientific knowledge

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Science distinguishes itself from other ways of knowing and from other bodies of knowledge through the use of empirical standards, logical arguments, and skepticism, as scientists strive for the best possible explanations about the natural world.

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Scientific explanations must meet certain criteria. First and foremost, they must be consistent with experimental and observational evidence about nature, and must make accurate predictions, when appropriate, about the systems being studied. They should also be logical, respect the rules of evidence, be open to criticism, report methods and procedures, and make knowledge public.

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Because all scientific ideas depend on experimental and observational confirmation, all scientific knowledge is, in principle, subject to change as new evidence becomes available.

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