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MUSE | Natural Selection | Unit Overview and Materials | Section 2: Comparing Explanatory Models | 2D: Introducation to Darwin's Model


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Course Material 2D: Introduction to Darwin's Model

During these few days of instruction, students will be introduced to Darwin's model of natural selection in the same way that they learned about Paley and Lamarck (materials 2B and 2C). First, they will read an excerpt from Origin of Species and answer questions about it. Then they will have an opportunity to consider the example of artificial selection as it relates to Darwin's argument. Finally, students will spend time working in groups, thinking about Darwin's prior knowledge and beliefs.

Successful completion of this material involves:

  • Reading an edited version of an excerpt from Origin of Species
  • Answering questions about the reading and participating in a class discussion
  • Examining organisms that have undergone artificial selection (like pigeons or dogs) and thinking about how this process relates to natural selection
  • Working in a group to consider and answer questions about Paley's prior knowledge and beliefs


Students will provide written answers to questions on the reading and the group discussion of Darwin's prior knowledge and beliefs.