Correct. Modern apes did not exist when humans began to evolve. Humans and apes each evolved independently from a common ancestor that existed more than 5 million years ago. This ancestor was neither a human nor an ape, and millions of years of evolutionary change occurred in both lines of descent to create the species existing today.
Question 1 of 6 Evolution means that apes are the ancestors of humans.
Identify the environmental effect leading to the spread of these inherited physical traits. Select the most likely evolutionary process involved in the appearance of the heritable physical trait described.
Misconceptions about Evolution
Question 2 of 6 Evolution is the process where higher organisms like humans develop from lower organisms like bacteria.
Correct. Currently living bacterial species are not “lower” on the evolutionary tree than humans. Just as humans are the product of billions of years of evolutionary change, so are currently living bacteria. Selection can lead to more complexity or to less complexity. Evolution is NOT a directed process from less to more complex.
Question 3 of 6 Darwin was the first scientist to suggest that evolution occurred.
Correct. Evolution, a change in the population frequency of genetic traits over time, was known to occur long before Darwin. Darwin proposed a hypothesis that described a mechanism for how evolution occurs, not the fact of heritable changes in populations.
Correct. Just as tigers are the product of billions of years of evolutionary change, so are currently living fish. Evolution is NOT a directed process toward “perfection.” The surrounding environment determines which traits are beneficial to a population's survival and reproduction. While a tiger may appear more adapted to land dwellers like us, could a tiger survive and reproduce in an ocean environment?
Question 4 of 6 Because life began in the oceans, land-dwelling organisms like tigers are more adapted than ocean-dwelling organisms like fish.
Question 5 of 6 Natural selection means environmental pressure can cause a genetic trait such as antibiotic resistance in bacteria to appear and spread throughout a population.
Correct. Genetic traits must already exist in a population for natural selection to have an effect on them. Environmental pressure means an environmental condition is affecting the fitness (ability to reproduce successfully) of some individuals over others. Natural selection does cause existing traits to increase in frequency in populations. However, if a genetic trait that improves fitness does not already exist, natural selection cannot create it.
Question 6 of 6 A Tibetan monk who lives a healthy life for 98 years is more fit than a father of two who dies of cancer at 28 years of age.
Correct. Although defined differently in popular culture, the scientific term fitness refers to an organism’s ability to pass his or her genetic material into the next generation and beyond. Although the Tibetan monk lived a long and healthy life, he did not pass his healthy genes into the next generation. Good job. You've completed this activity.
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