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Mechanisms of Evolution Links

The following list consists of collections of resources. Most of them emphasize the mechanisms of evolution as well as the evidence for it.

A comparison of the five kingdoms of life our students learned about in the 20th century animals plants fungi protists and bacteria with the kingdoms for the21st century archaea bacteria and eukaryotes

One major challenge for teaching evolution is that our understanding of evolution and life itself have recently been changed by molecular genetics. The bacteria are far more diverse at a molecular level than the rest of this, and have been split into two kingdoms. The rest of us (plants, animals, fungi, and protists) are all compartively similar at a genetic level. The DNA in human beings and oak trees is approximately 50% identical.

  • Darwiniana & Evolution. This site offers links to articles, essays, papers, letters, and photos related to Charles Darwin, the father of evolutionary biology. Topics include evolution, theology, race, and natural selection. (more info)
  • Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes: Lesson Plans. This website provides access to lesson plans published by the Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes (ENSI). Based on 32 key ideas of scientific thought, the ENSI program emphasizes the importance of teaching the nature of modern science before introducing the elements of evolution as an example of modern scientific thinking. This website features lessons in three categories - the nature of science, the origins of life, and evolution. Lesson plans are organized into eight sections including an overview of concepts and objectives, logistics such as time, materials, and teaching preparations, and ready-to-use handouts and worksheets for students. These lessons are intended for use in any high school biology course, and may also be used in middle school and/or lower division university courses depending on slight modifications and the experience and level of students. (more info)
  • How Evolution Works. How Stuff Works is a site that offers in-depth articles explaining in simple terms how things work. This article provides a detailed description of the theory of evolution. It begins with the basic process of evolution, how life works through DNA and enzymes, the speed of mutations, natural selection, holes in the theory, and major questions about the theory, such as where the first living cell came from. Links are provided for more information. (more info)
  • Kimball's Biology Pages. This site uses the power of hypertext to present biology topics. Some of the information has been adapted from the author's text Biology, published in 1994. The site includes a consolidated index (A-Z), and a table of contents, grouped by category. A news archive (mid-1999 to present) provides developments in the topic areas and links the user to relevant background material. (more info)
  • Understanding Evolution. The intent of this website is to give teachers a background understanding of evolution, opening the door by giving them strategies for teaching and responding to misconceptions and roadblocks. The heart of the site is Evolution 101, which can serve as a primer to evolutionary theory or an intensive course in the nitty gritty details of speciation, micro- and macroevolution, and ongoing research into how evolution happens. The site is replete with practical examples of how evolution impacts our daily lives, including lesson plans about bunny breeding, the problem of antibiotic resistance in disease organisms, and the conservation and breeding of endangered species. (more info)
  • University of California, Berkeley Museum of Paleontology Exhibit Halls: Evolution Wing. This online museum exhibit traces evolutionary thought as it has developed over time, considering the contributions of scientists and thinkers including Aristotle, Darwin, Wallace, and many others. Under 'Explore the Theory of Evolution' the user is introduced to the theory and science behind evolution, the writings of Charles Darwin, and links to a Timeline of Evolutionary Thought, Dinosaur Discoveries, an explanation of Systematics, and a Vertebrate Flight case study of convergent evolution. Under 'History of Evolutionary Thought' the user is given a list of 27 key players in the development of evolutionary thought. Each name is hyperlinked to a photograph and biography of that scientist. The site also provides a link to the University of California, Berkeley Museum of Paleontology, Evolution Forum, a website where teachers can access and share information concerning the teaching of evolution. (more info)

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