DL6.4

Catholic Faith Permeation for this outcome:
  • Change in species and populations is a natural part of God's plan. Evolution of species is a naturally occurring phenomenon as species respond and adapt to their environment. Even extinction is a natural part of the evolutionary process, but it is not the place of human beings to deliberately or accidentally cause these extinctions.
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Some background material:
  • Note the list of Catholic Scientists in this area (Appendix I). This list only includes Catholics, but many scientists are and were believers in God, and this had an effect on their work. Charles Darwin was an Anglican minister, and a man of faith all his life. (see, for example, an article from the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion: http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/faraday/Issues.php This same site has also an excellent paper on the Ethics of Genetic Modification.)
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Indicator:
a. Propose questions to investigate related to the structures and behaviours that help organisms survive in their environments (e.g., "What advantage are different beaks for birds?", "Why do owls turn their heads to look sideways?", "Why do rabbits change colour at different times of the year?", "Why do caribou migrate?", "Why do ground squirrels hibernate?").
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Indicator:
b. Show interest and curiosity in learning about organisms' adaptations to different environments by journaling, participating in a nature walk, or sharing science-related information about adaptations (gathered from print or video resources or personal experience) with classmates.
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Indicator:
c. Describe examples of structures and behaviours, including seasonal changes, which help living things survive in their environments during the lifetime of the organism.
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Indicator:
d. Describe examples of adaptations to structures and behaviours (e.g., flippers, webbed feet, night-time vision, wide wings, camouflage colouring, migration, and hibernation) that have enabled living things to adapt to their environments in the long term.
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Indicator:
e. Explain how scientists use fossils and the fossil record as a source of information to identify changes or diversity in species over long periods of time.
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f. Suggest reasons why specific species of organisms have or might become endangered or extinct.
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Indicator:
g. Gather information from a variety of sources (e.g., Elder, traditional knowledge keeper, naturalist, textbook, non-fiction book, museum display, encyclopaedia, and website) to answer student-generated questions about the structural and behavioural adaptations of organisms.
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h. Compare closely-related animals that live in different parts of the world and propose explanations for any differences in their structures and behaviours.
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Indicator:
i. Research the advantages of particular structures or behaviours of organisms that suit different environments (e.g., how different bird beaks are best suited to obtain different types of food, how different types of foot structure are best suited for different environments).
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Indicator:
j. Suggest reasons to explain how results of similar and repeated studies of the adaptations of organisms may vary and suggest possible explanations for variations (e.g., independent studies may reveal different responses by polar bears to temperature changes or pollution).
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