Through use of this Evidence of Evolution Case Study, students will learn about the available pieces of evidence that support the theory of evolution through natural selection. This approximately week-long case study is meant to be completed with a partner, or as a small group. Students learn independently about each of the pieces of evidence for evolution, and analyze fossils, anatomy of modern-day organisms, embryological structures, and the geological history of the Earth.
Students during this activity will be introduced to the scientific evidence supporting the theory of evolution by learning about the following topics:
1. Fossil evidence, including relative dating of fossils, radiometric dating of fossils, and comparisons between fossils, and modern-day organisms.
2. The geological history of the Earth, including the dating of rocks, continental drift, and plate tectonics.
3. The analysis of homologous structures, comparative anatomy, and discussion of divergent evolution.
4. Comparison to analagous structures and process of convergent evolution.
5. Discussion of transition fossils and intermediate fossils.
6. Molecular evidence for evolution through comparison of DNA strands, amino acid sequences, and homologous molecules.
7. Analysis of embryological evidence and comparative embryology.