3.1a The basic theory of biological evolution states that the Earths present-day species
developed from earlier, distinctly different species.
3.1b New inheritable characteristics can result from new combinations of existing genes
or from mutations of genes in reproductive cells.
3.1c Mutation and the sorting and recombining of genes during meiosis and fertilization result in a great variety of possible gene combinations.
3.1d Mutations occur as random chance events. Gene mutations can also be caused by
such agents as radiation and chemicals. When they occur in sex cells, the mutations can
be passed on to offspring; if they occur in other cells, they can be passed on to other
body cells only.
3.1e Natural selection and its evolutionary consequences provide a scientific explanation for the fossil record of ancient life-forms, as well as for the molecular and structural
similarities observed among the diverse species of living organisms.
3.1f Species evolve over time. Evolution is the consequence of the interactions of (1) the
potential for a species to increase its numbers, (2) the genetic variability of offspring due
to mutation and recombination of genes, (3) a finite supply of the resources required for
life, and (4) the ensuing selection by the environment of those offspring better able to
survive and leave offspring.
3.1g Some characteristics give individuals an advantage over others in surviving and
reproducing, and the advantaged offspring, in turn, are more likely than others to survive and reproduce. The proportion of individuals that have advantageous characteristics will increase.
3.1h The variation of organisms within a species increases the likelihood that at least
some members of the species will survive under changed environmental conditions.
3.1i Behaviors have evolved through natural selection. The broad patterns of behavior
exhibited by organisms are those that have resulted in greater reproductive success.
3.1j Billions of years ago, life on Earth is thought by many scientists to have begun as
simple, single-celled organisms. About a billion years ago, increasingly complex multi-
cellular organisms began to evolve.
3.1k Evolution does not necessitate long-term progress in some set direction.
Evolutionary changes appear to be like the growth of a bush: Some branches survive
from the beginning with little or no change, many die out altogether, and others branch
repeatedly, sometimes giving rise to more complex organisms.
3.1l Extinction of a species occurs when the environment changes and the adaptive
characteristics of a species are insufficient to allow its survival. Fossils indicate that
many organisms that lived long ago are extinct. Extinction of species is common; most
of the species that have lived on Earth no longer exist.