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MUSE | Natural Selection | Unit Overview and Materials | Section 2: Comparing Explanatory Models | 2E: Comparison of the Models


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Lesson 2E: Comparison of the Models

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to extend their understanding of the three models (studied in lessons 2B, 2C, and 2D) by using them to explain phenomena and by comparing them to one another. Students will work in groups to use the models of Paley, Lamarck, and Darwin to explain the origin of complex structures like the eye, the existence of fossils, and the variety of pigeon breeds. This lesson represents a turning point in the unit as students conclude their examination of the ideas of Paley and Lamarck and prepare for a more in depth study of Darwin's model of natural selection.

Successful completion of this lesson involves:

  • Working in a group to explain one phenomenon from the perspectives of Paley, Lamarck, and Darwin
  • Conferencing with another group to share ideas
  • Participating in a class discussion comparing the models


Student will develop written explanations for phenomena based on their understanding of the ideas of Paley, Lamarck, and Darwin.