Evolution

AQA Objective B1b

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What does Darwin's theory explain?

How species of living things have changed over geological time.

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What evidence supports Darwins theory?

The theory is supported by evidence from fossils, and by the rapid changes that can be seen to occur in microorganisms such as antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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Why did Darwin's ideas cause controversy?

because the ideas can be seen as conflicting with religious views about the creation of the world and creatures in it.

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Darwin’s finches

Darwin studied the wildlife on the Galápagos Islands - a group of islands on the equator almost 1,000 kilometres west of Ecuador. He noticed that the finches - songbirds - on the different islands there were fundamentally similar to each other, but showed wide variations in their size, beaks and claws from island to island. For example, their beaks were different depending on the local food source. Darwin concluded that, because the islands are so distant from the mainland, the finches that had arrived there in the past had changed over time.

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What does the theory of evolution state that evolu

natural selection

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What are the key points of Natural selection?

  • Individuals in a species show a wide range of variation.
  • This variation is because of differences in genes.
  • Individuals with characteristics most suited to the environment are more likely to survive and reproduce.
  • The genes that allowed the individuals to be successful are passed to the offspring in the next generation.
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Where does most of the evidence from evolution com

Fossils - Fossils show how much, or how little, organisms have changed over time. One of the problems with the fossil record is that it contains gaps. Not all organisms fossilise well, and there will be many fossils that have been destroyed by the movements of the Earth, or simply not yet been discovered.

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What are some of the factors that can cause a spec

  • changes to the environment, such as a change in climate
  • new diseases
  • new predators
  • new competitors
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Extinction

Individuals that are poorly adapted to their environment are less likely to survive and reproduce than those that are well adapted. Similarly, it is possible that a species that is poorly adapted to its environment will not survive and will become extinct.

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