10H/H3 ( Grades: 9-12 ): Darwin argued that certain biologically inherited characteristics give an organism an advantage in surviving and reproducing compared to other organisms of the same species. The offspring would also inherit and pass on those advantages, and over generations the accumulation of these inherited advantages would lead to a new species.
5A/M1 ( Grades: 6-8 ): One of the most general distinctions among organisms is between plants, which use sunlight to make their own food, and animals, which consume energy-rich foods. Some kinds of organisms, many of them microscopic, cannot be neatly classified as either plants or animals.
5A/M4 ( Grades: 6-8 ): Traditionally, a species has been defined as all organisms that can mate with one another to produce fertile offspring.
5B/H2 ( Grades: 9-12 ): The sorting and recombination of genes in sexual reproduction results in a great variety of possible gene combinations in the offspring of any two parents.
5B/M1a ( Grades: 6-8 ): In some kinds of organisms, all the genes come from a single parent.
5B/M2a ( Grades: 6-8 ): In sexual reproduction, a single specialized cell from a female merges with a specialized cell from a male.
5F/H3 ( Grades: 9-12 ): Natural selection provides the following mechanism for evolution: Some variation in heritable characteristics exists within every species; some of these 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. As a result, the proportion of individuals that have advantageous characteristics will increase.
5F/H4b ( Grades: 9-12 ): Heritable characteristics influence how likely an organism is to survive and reproduce.
5F/H5 ( Grades: 9-12 ): New heritable characteristics can result from new combinations of existing genes or from mutations of genes in reproductive cells. Changes in other cells of an organism cannot be passed on to the next generation.
5F/H6b ( Grades: 9-12 ): Chance alone can result in the persistence of some heritable characteristics having no survival or reproductive advantage or disadvantage for the organism.
5F/M2a ( Grades: 6-8 ): Individual organisms with certain traits are more likely than others to survive and have offspring.
5F/M5 ( Grades: 6-8 ): Reproduction is necessary for the survival of any species.
6A/M7 ( Grades: 6-8 ): Like other complex organisms, people vary somewhat in size and shape, skin color, body proportions, body hair, facial features, muscle strength, handedness, and so on. But these differences are minor compared to the overall similarity of all humans, as demonstrated by the fact that people from anywhere in the world can reproduce with each other and donate blood or organs to one another. Humans are indeed a single species. Furthermore, as great as cultural differences between groups of people seem to be, people's complex languages, technologies, and arts unite them as a species distinct from others.
6B/H6 ( Grades: 9-12 ): Following fertilization, cell division produces a small cluster of cells that embeds itself in the wall of the uterus. As the embryo develops, it receives nourishment and eliminates wastes by the transfer of substances between its blood and the blood of its mother.
6B/M1 ( Grades: 6-8 ): Human fertilization occurs when sperm cells from a male's testes are deposited near an egg cell from the female ovary, and one of the sperm cells enters the egg cell.
6C/H6 ( Grades: 9-12 ): The human body is a complex system of cells, most of which are grouped into organ systems that have specialized functions. These systems can best be understood in terms of the essential functions they serve for the organism: deriving energy from food, protection against injury, internal coordination, and reproduction.
NSTA National Science Education Standards
C.2.1 ( Grades: 5-8 ): Reproduction is a characteristic of all living systems; because no individual organism lives forever, reproduction is essential to the continuation of every species. Some organisms reproduce asexually. Other organisms reproduce sexually.
C.2.2 ( Grades: 5-8 ): In many species, including humans, females produce eggs and males produce sperm. Plants also reproduce sexually--the egg and sperm are produced in the flowers of flowering plants. An egg and sperm unite to begin development of a new individual. That new individual receives genetic information from its mother (via the egg) and its father (via the sperm). Sexually produced offspring never are identical to either of their parents.
C.2.4 ( Grades: 5-8 ): Hereditary information is contained in genes, located in the chromosomes of each cell. Each gene carries a single unit of information. An inherited trait of an individual can be determined by one or by many genes, and a single gene can influence more than one trait. A human cell contains many thousands of different genes.