This unit of instruction covers information on biological diversity, natural selection, and classification. Within this unit students will identify how environmental factors affect the process of genetic variability and reproductive isolation within species.
Students will also look at how the evolutionary theory was developed and the many scientists who contributed to the creation of the theory as well as assess scientific evidence that supports the theory of evolution.
The study of natural selection began with Charles Darwin, an English naturalist, who sailed upon the HMS Beagle for five years to South America. It was while he was on the Galapagos Islands that he discovered a population of finches that he believed evolved from a common ancestor due to competition. After he returned from his voyage, Darwin published a book called "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection" in 1859. This book introduced the idea that populations evolve through the process of natural selection. Within the scientific community today, Darwin's work still remains inspiring amongst many scientists.