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SC.912.L.15.1

Explain how the scientific theory of evolution is supported by the fossil record, comparative anatomy, comparative embryology, biogeography, molecular biology, and observed evolutionary change.
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning
Standard: Diversity and Evolution of Living Organisms -

A. The scientific theory of evolution is the fundamental concept underlying all of biology.

B. The scientific theory of evolution is supported by multiple forms of scientific evidence.

C. Organisms are classified based on their evolutionary history.

D. Natural selection is a primary mechanism leading to evolutionary change.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

Remarks/Examples

Annually Assessed on Biology EOC. Also assesses SC.912.L.15.10; SC.912.N.1.3; SC.912.N.1.4; SC.912.N.1.6; SC.912.N.2.1; SC.912.N.3.1; and SC.912.N.3.4.

TEST ITEM SPECIFICATIONS

    Also Assesses:

    SC.912.L.15.10 Identify basic trends in hominid evolution from early ancestors six million years ago to modern humans, including brain size, jaw size, language, and manufacture of tools.

    SC.912.N.1.3 Recognize that the strength or usefulness of a scientific claim is evaluated through scientific argumentation, which depends on critical and logical thinking, and the active consideration of alternative scientific explanations to explain the data presented.

    SC.912.N.1.4 Identify sources of information and assess their reliability according to the strict standards of scientific investigation.

    SC.912.N.1.6 Describe how scientific inferences are drawn from scientific observations and provide examples from the content being studied.

    SC.912.N.2.1 Identify what is science, what clearly is not science, and what superficially resembles science (but fails to meet the criteria for science).

    SC.912.N.3.1 Explain that a scientific theory is the culmination of many scientific investigations drawing together all the current evidence concerning a substantial range of phenomena; thus, a scientific theory represents the most powerful explanation scientists have to offer.

    SC.912.N.3.4 Recognize that theories do not become laws, nor do laws become theories; theories are well-supported explanations and laws are well-supported descriptions.

  • Clarification :

    Students will identify evidence and/or explain how the scientific theory of evolution is supported by the fossil record, comparative anatomy, comparative embryology, biogeography, molecular biology, and observable evolutionary change.

    Students will identify examples of and basic trends in hominid evolution from early ancestors to modern humans.

    Students will identify ways in which a scientific claim is evaluated (e.g., through scientific argumentation, critical and logical thinking, and consideration of alternative explanations).

    Students will assess the reliability of sources of information according to scientific standards.

    Students will describe how scientific inferences are made from observations and identify examples from biology.

    Students will identify what is science, what is not science, and what resembles but fails to meet the criteria for science.

    Students will explain the development of a theory.

    Students will recognize the differences between theories and laws.

  • Content Limits :

    Items assessing evolution will focus on a conceptual understanding of the supporting scientific evidence.

    Items will not require memorization of the names of specific human fossils or the names of the different hominid species.

    Items assessing the fossil record must focus on the fossil rather than geologic formations in isolation.

    Items assessing the fossil record will not require understanding of the specific mechanisms used for relative dating and radioactive dating.

    Items will not require the memorization of the geologic time scale, including era, period, and/or epoch.

    Items will not assess the origin of Earth.

    Items will not assess specific knowledge of the formation of microspheres or the evolution of RNA and DNA.

    Items will not address or assess the endosymbiotic theory.

    Items referring to adaptive radiation, convergent evolution, coevolution, or punctuated equilibrium should focus on the concepts rather than on the definition of the terms.

    Items referring to the development of language or the manufacturing of tools will relate this development to changes in the skull or brain size.

    Items will not assess types of genetic mutation or how these mutations occur.

    Items referring to comparative anatomy and comparative embryology will assess anatomical similarities such as homologous structures and vestigial organs but will not require specific knowledge of embryologic stages or structures.

    Items will not require knowledge of changes to specific species or geographic location of those species.

    Items will not assess genes, alleles, genetic drift, or gene flow.

    Items may assess how the overall contributions of scientists such as Darwin, Lamarck, Lyell, Malthus, Mendel, or Wallace aided in the development of the scientific theory of evolution.

    Items will not assess the differences among intelligent design, creationism, and the scientific theory of evolution.

    Items assessing a scientific claim, the development of a theory, or the differences between theories and laws are limited to the scientific theory of evolution.

  • Stimulus Attributes :

    Scenarios referring to specific species will include a description of the species in relation to context of the item.

    Scenarios addressing scientific inferences are limited to the scientific theory of evolution and trends in hominid evolution.

  • Response Attributes :
    None specified
  • Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply scientific knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge of SC.7.L.15.1, SC.7.L.15.2, SC.7.L.15.3, SC.8.E.5.10, SC.6.N.2.1, SC.6.N.2.2, SC.6.N.3.1, SC.6.N.3.2, SC.6.N.3.3, SC.7.N.1.6, SC.7.N.1.7, SC.7.N.2.1, SC.7.N.3.1, SC.8.N.1.6, SC.8.N.2.1, SC.8.N.2.2, and SC.8.N.3.2.

SAMPLE TEST ITEMS (1)

  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question:

    The scientific theory of evolution is supported by different types of evidence. The diagrams below show the skeletons of two different animal species.

     

    How does comparing the skeletons of these animals provide support for the scientific theory of evolution?

  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice