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Ch 33: Origin & Evolution of Life

About This Chapter

With this overview of the origin and evolution of life, you can improve your understanding of topics like natural selection and random mutation. Concise but filled with helpful information, the lessons are designed to help you with homework or test preparation.

Origin & Evolution of Life - Chapter Summary

While studying these lessons, you will heighten your understanding of the origin and evolution of life. Some of the topics covered include the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, gene flow, and genetic drift. This chapter will also look at evidence for evolution. After reviewing the lessons, you should be ready to do the following:

  • Explain how living things come from non-living things
  • Describe interactions between population, genetics and the environment
  • Discuss changes in species over time
  • Recall differences in the evolutionary theories of Darwin and Mendel
  • List types of natural selection
  • Explain how a population adapts to environmental changes
  • Discuss what adaptations tell us about past evolution
  • Describe the connection between humans and primates

These lessons will help you quickly grasp concepts related to the origin and evolution of life. Key words are highlighted in bold for quick reference. A brief quiz is available to test your knowledge after each lesson, and the quizzes can be printed for use as a study tool.

11 Lessons in Chapter 33: Origin & Evolution of Life
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Origin of Life on Earth: Theories and Explanations

1. The Origin of Life on Earth: Theories and Explanations

Ever wonder how living things came from non-living things? We will explore what conditions on early Earth may have created life from non-living items.

Theories of Evolution: Lamarck vs. Darwin

2. Theories of Evolution: Lamarck vs. Darwin

We'll look at the interplay between population genetics and environment. Are traits individually acquired or do entire populations evolve? The flying hamsters and a few other notable experiments will provide the answers.

Evidence for Evolution: Paleontology, Biogeography, Embryology, Comparative Anatomy & Molecular Biology

3. Evidence for Evolution: Paleontology, Biogeography, Embryology, Comparative Anatomy & Molecular Biology

There is much support for the theory of evolution. This evidence comes from a variety of scientific fields and provides information that helps us trace changes in species over time. In this lesson, we'll look at this evidence and explore how it supports the theory of evolution.

Modern Evolutionary Synthesis: Definition & Formation

4. Modern Evolutionary Synthesis: Definition & Formation

In this lesson, we will discuss the history of evolutionary theory. We will focus on Darwin and Mendel, discussing why some scientists initially believed these two revolutionaries were incompatible, and how these problems were resolved.

Natural Selection: Definition, Types & Examples

5. Natural Selection: Definition, Types & Examples

We'll take a look at the types of natural selection that can occur. From flying hamsters to moths, you'll start to grasp the different paths organisms can take as they respond to their changing environments over time.

Genetic Variability and Random Mutation

6. Genetic Variability and Random Mutation

Evolution is driven by variation among populations. The amount of variability determines how well a population can adapt to environmental changes, while random mutations can provide new variations that help a population adapt to unexpected changes.

Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium: Definition, Equation & Evolutionary Agents

7. Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium: Definition, Equation & Evolutionary Agents

In this lesson we will define Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and break down the Hardy-Weinberg equation to figure out if a population of hypothetical beetles is evolving.

Gene Flow: Definition & Examples

8. Gene Flow: Definition & Examples

Chances are you've probably witnessed gene flow today! This lesson will define gene flow and give examples. It will also explain why gene flow creates genetic diversity.

Genetic Drift: Definition, Examples & Types

9. Genetic Drift: Definition, Examples & Types

Genetic drift reduces genetic variability of a population by decreasing the size of the population. The change in population size and variability often leads to new species and unique populations.

Natural Selection & Adaptation: Definition, Theory & Examples

10. Natural Selection & Adaptation: Definition, Theory & Examples

How does natural selection help shape the amazing types of animals we witness around us? In this lesson, we'll explore adaptations and what they can tell us about a species' past evolution.

The Evolution of Humans: Characteristics & Evolutionary History

11. The Evolution of Humans: Characteristics & Evolutionary History

Just like other organisms, humans have changed over time. We will look at the evolution of humans as well as connections with our primate relatives, including Old World and New World primates.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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