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Life Sciences Evolution Exam Guide

Acme Guide: Evolution exam


Cell Theory What are the key points regarding this theory?

Why is a cell a fundamental unit of life?

Abiogenesis In this theory, where did new species come from?
  How is “fixity of species” related to theory of evolution?

Why does sexual reproduction contribute to diversity of species?

What is the most reliable method to dating the earth’s age?

When is a population considered adapted to minor environmental fluctuations (changes).

How is an inherited variation related to the environment?

What are two examples of the rate of change in evolution?

What are four definitions of evolution and why?

(consider process, theory, change in gene pool and diversity in species)

How is structure and function related homologous, analogous and vestigial structures?

What are four forms of indirect evidence? Provide an example.

What are three reasons why fossils may create some confusion in regards to creating a phylogenic tree.

Lamarck Did the organism change to the environment or did the environment change the organism in Lamarck’s theory and law?

What was his theory?

What was his law?

What are some examples of his theory and law?

What is an example of “an acquired characteristic”

  What are Darwin’s six specific points?

How did Darwin link “natural selection” to “artificial selection”?

Why is struggle for existence linked to Malthus

Why is Wallace linked to “survival of fittest”?

In both Lamarck’s and Darwin’s theories, is the source of genetic variability discussed? Why not?

Darwin’s ideas was based upon overpopulation and survival of the fittest, why?

Evolution in action In the case study of English Peppered Moths, what is the source for change in colour of the moth?

In the case study on amino acids and insects, how is biochemical indirect evidence linked to “degree of relatedness”?

  In the case study with mosquitos and DDT, some mosquitos developed resistance to DDT. How would Lamarck and Darwin explain this?
  If an animal “develops” a trait to catch prey, is this a proof of an acquired characteristic?
  Lamarck states some animals “develop” an acquired characteristic vs Darwin says “nature selects”. What is the difference in the role of environment on the organism for these two theories?
  In the case study of horses, what type of selection and rate of evolution is occurring?

In the “Barbellus” lab, how is geological evidence linked to phylogenetic trees?

  If an organism does not have “genetic potential” to adapt then the species becomes what?

What does the term “assurance” mean?

What does “fundamental” mean?

What does “fluctuate” mean?

  What is directional selection? Example


  What is stabilizing selection? Example
  What is disruptive selection? Example
  What is an example of evidence that is not indirect evidence?
  What is the difference between convergence and coevolution?
  What is “speciation” and how is it linked to isolation mechanisms?


  How is speciation linked to adaptive radiation?
  How is adaptive radiation linked to divergence of a species?
  In an interbreeding population of organisms, what is a fertile offspring called?

If two species interbreed and create nonfertile species, what are they called?

  If someone visited the Hawaiian Islands and noticed 10 species of butterflies while going from island to island, how could they explain the diversity of species by looking at Darwin’s evidence in the Galapagos Islands? What would be the role of isolation mechanisms, adaptive radiation, overpopulation, fitness of species and types of selections such as disruptive, stabilizing and directional selection.
posted by Marc Bernard Carmichael in Biology Eleven,Biology Eleven Notes,Evolution and have No Comments

Life Science Acme Guide for Chapter 3 Quiz

Acme Guide for Chapter 3


  1. Darwin’s importance of competition and or struggle for existence came from which author/researcher?
  2. What was the essay by Malthus called and how was it linked to Darwin’s ideas?
  3. Step by step, what are the six point that Darwin uses to explain his theory of evolution and natural selection?
  4. Which evolutionary theorist used the giraffe to show use and disuse?
  5. What is the difference between the theory of disuse and use and law of acquired characteristics?
  6. If an organism was intentionally changes such as chopping off tails or cutting ears (such as some dog species) and the pups were still born with tales, which theory could this evidence challenge?
  7. Recalling the industrial melanism case study, how did the moth originally get the black colour?
  8. Darwin fostered the idea of both natural and artificial selection, what would be an example of artificial related to domestic animal stocks?
  9. If the environment selects a specific trait in an insect population, whose theory would. This evidence supports?
  10. If a population in a cold and dry environment has a warm protective covering as a form of an adaption that allows the species survive and produce more offspring, whose theory is supported by this evidence?
  11. Could birth rate be influenced by getting long legged bird species bottoms wet?
  12. Was the source of variability in a species every discussed in Darwin’s theory?
  13. What is the process of multiplication of species called?
  14. What is an example and definition for term hybrid? Can some hybrids become infertile?
  15. What is a preserved imprint of a former living organism foot called?
  16. In a short passage of geological time there is a rapid change in morphology, unlike gradual model of change, this is called what?
  17. According do Darwin the story behind why there were 14 different species in the Galapagos islands is due to a variety of variables.
  18. Were there natural predators?
  19. Where did the original species come from?
  20. Was there an abundance of food for just one type of species?
  21. How is speciation linked to natural selection? (for example, how isolation mechanisms influence which species survives? Could you give an example?
  22. How did diversity in population influence which birds, iguanas and even tortoise to survive.
  23. If a bird species did not have a specific trait or shape of beak, could it survive on another island? Why?
  24. Could you use the answers from the above questions to explain speciation and natural selection in the Galapagos island?


Study resource at blog is file is “Lumen Biology Resources”

posted by Marc Bernard Carmichael in Biology Eleven,Biology Eleven Notes,Evolution and have No Comments

Biology 11 DNA,Taxonomy and Evolution Review

Taxonomy, Evolution and DNA Review


1.   What are the building blocks of DNA?

2.   How is DNA similar and different from RNA?

3.   What is a “nucleotide”?

4.   How do nucleic acid base pairs match up?

5.   Which nucleic acid base is not found in DNA?

6.   What is the sequence of converting information from DNA to a protein?


The code of a strand of DNA can be “transcribed” and “translated”

7.   What does transcribe mean?

8.   How do you translate the DNA code?

9.   What is a “triplet”?

10.        What is a complementary strand?

11.        Can you translate a strand of mRNA given a table that includes mRNA triplets? (See worksheet)



1.   What is the distinction between direct and indirect proof?

2.   How is convergent and divergent evolution linked to types of proof of evolution?

3.   How can fossils be linked both to gradual and punctuated rates of changes of evolution?

4.   What is a trait from Darwin or Lamarcks point of view?

5.   How are traits linked to populations and gene frequency?

6.   What is speciation and how is it linked to isolation mechanisms?

7.   What is  the significance of gentic drift, gene flow, and non random mating linked to evolution ( Clue please look at chapter on DNA and Evolution)


Chapter Three Quiz feedback


1)   Darwin verse Lamarack

·      Lamarack proposed a law of use and disuse

·      Lamarack proposed that a trait produced by use and disuse was an acquired characteristic

·      The example of the length of the giraffes neck  was used to show that the length got longer to access food.

·      The individual organism changes due environmental needs



In comparison


·      Darwin proposed that changes in living things was due to a process which he called natural selection

·      Like farmers select specific traits in agriculture, Darwin said that “Nature” was selecting the traits in living things in the wild. He referred to the selection by humans as call “Artificial selection” and the selection of traits by nature as “natural selection”.

·      Darwin used a two part premise to explain how nature selected a trait

·      His first “proof” was to show that there was some mechanism that was keeping populations from over populating. Using economist Malthus’s ideas, he proposed that populations do not over populate due to “a struggle for existence”. Put simply, population size was being affected by something.

·      His second “proof” was to state that within any population of species, there is a wide range of traits. He did not know the source of these traits but he did notice a diversity in traits. He noted that organisms with survived and were able to pass these traits on were those organism that had a trait that  was able to adapt to what was occurring in the natural environment. This idea of competition and survival of the fittest was similarly proposed by Wallace who spoke about traits allow species to compete and survive and then pass along traits.

·      Put simply, Darwin said that species do not over populate because there is something limiting that growth, The factor that seemed to limit growth was a Natural Selection of traits that allowed the species to survive and pass those traits onto the next generation. The key point is…nature..the environment is doing the selection.


Using the Galpagos Islands and Finches


So here is how the story should go…


A population of original finches arrives at a new location. In this case an island.

The island is able to support the population both with food, water, and habitat. So the population is able to survive, reproduce and grow. In addition, there are no predators to limit the growth of the population. So the population grows but does not over populate. So there must be a reason why.


Within this population is a diversity in shapes of beaks. Those birds with beaks that are able to eat the food on that island are more likely to survive. Nature is selecting a specific trait. Those who do not have that trait migrated. This introduces the idea of “gene flow” (yes..this is on the test!!!)..something Darwin did not know about.


Those birds who did not have the right beak shape for a specific island could fly to another island. Again..migration and gene flow. On the new island was a different habitat. The species which had a trait that allowed the species to survive and populate on the new island was now being selected by a natural source. Aha..natural selection!


What are the implications of this statement?

The reason why things change with time is governed by a mechanism in which nature is doing the selection. The organism that has the trait that allows it to adapt to a small change in the environment will pass that trait to the next  generation. Notice that two key words are being used: survive and adapt.


DNA and Darwin and Lamarck


The theory of Natural Selection was able to propose a feasible explanation as to how and why species change with time. It proposed that “nature” was selecting traits that improved the chance for survival and therefore reproduction.


The idea of a characteristic or a trait was a means to show an adaptation had occurred. The actual source of that adaptation was hidden until the mechanisms of how DNA was discovered.


Mutations are a change in the sequence of nucleic bases within DNA. Mutations can also occur due to missing or extra chromosomes or sequences of DNA changing. Put simply..the source of variation is within the code of DNA.


An example of a favoured mutation is the change in colour of English peppered Moths.  When the DNA, which mutated created a black pigmented Moth, the population of black moths increased when predators could not find the moth on dark, charcoal coated trees. When the soot in the air decreased due to cleaner burning of coal, the trees now could show their natural white colour. Those moths that had not adopted the changed DNA were able to now increase their population.

This change in expression of traits lead to a more definitive definition of evolution within biology in respect to a change in allele frequency within a population.



Evidence, mechanisms, rates of change and forming new species.


1.   If a population is isolated due to morphology, geography, behavior or ecology it is forming a new species due to an isolation mechanism. Notice that there is now a ..that in singular ..species being formed. So we notice that isolation mechanism is linked to the term speciation.

2.   If one species crosses the isolation mechansim, then a new species can be formed. If that product of reproduction is not able to reproduce, it is some times called a hybrid. A hybrid is something new due to mixing two species.

3.   Darwin proposed that Nature is selecting traits and this is what is going on to create new species. He did not come up with the term “adaptive radiation”.

4.   After the mechanism of how DNA works was discovered and explored, there was now a valid source to explain things like mutations and traits. It has been proposed  that a specific segment of DNA is responsible for making a specific protein. This segment has been called “a gene” and the theory is that for one gene there is a specific protein. Introducing this idea into evolution, now we can talk about Gene Flow, Gene Pool, Genetic Drift all linking to a change in populations due to the presence or lack of genetic material.

5.   The idea of a gene is now being challenged because it has been discovered that several pieces of DNA code may be involved in making a protein. It is also being proposed that expression of sequences of DNA can also be regulated. So..once again..the reason why things change with time is a theory and subject to scientific inquiry.


Rates of change


There are several examples where Darwin’s mechanism also showed a gradual change in time. This created a group of folks who proposed that things change gradually and the theory put forth was called Gradualism.


In 1972, a new theory was proposed to explain gaps in fossil records and quick changes in evolution. The idea was that a population quickly adapts to adapt and then reaches equilibrium. Think about cell phones and you get the idea real fast. One product sets the pace and others hurry to catch up. If you graph this rapid change you have a line with a large slope followed by a flat horizontal line where there is equilibrium.


Mention equilibrium and the physicist and chemist get all excited. Some physics folks suggested that energy within the system was being used up to a point where there was none left for those who could adapt. Chemist jumped for joy and started getting involved with metabolic rates, equilibrium constants and meanwhile, the biologist knew that all things are connected. Lets think of this as the Three Bear Theorem. Too hot, too cold and then..just right.


Now the question is…is anyone reading these notes. It is a dark and stormy afternoon in Vancouver. The heat has been turned off in my room. I am wearing a sweatshirt and hidden underneath it is  a snoopy t shirt that says “dazed and confused”. I am exhausted, cold and my head is full of phlegm. It is Friday and the class before me is taking a physics pre test. A population of fruit flies is now invading my room and some inspired student decided to  submerge an electric heating element in one of my fish tanks. Five fish gave their lives two days after remembrance day. Poppies do not grow in aquariums. As predicted, several students did not read my notes and so their quiz marks are less than stellar. If any one can remember what the t shirt I am wearing says, then I will give bonus marks on the next evaluation.






Vancouver School Board




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posted by Marc Bernard Carmichael in Biology Eleven,Biology Eleven Notes,Evolution and have No Comments