IB Development of Life Study Guide
Origin of Life on Earth
- How might organic compounds appeared on Earth?
- What may have cells have been preceded by?
- Outline the experiments of Miller and Urey into the origin of organic compounds
- Outline the contribution of prokaryotes to the creation of an oxygen-rich atmosphere
- Describe four processes needed for the spontaneous origin of life on Earth
- Outline two properties of RNA that would have allowed it to play a role in the origin of life.
- Discuss possible locations where conditions have allowed the synthesis of organic compounds
- Discuss the endosymbiotic theory for the origin of eukaryotes
- State that, at various stages in hominid evolution, several species may have coexisted
- Describe the major anatomical features that define humans as primates
- Outline the trends illustrated by the fossils of Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus including A. afarensis and A. africanus, and Homo including H. habilis, H. erectus, H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens
- Distinguish between genetic and cultural evolution
- Deduced the approximate age of materials based on a simple decay curve for a radioisotope
- Outline the method for dating rocks and fossils using radioisotopes, with reference to 14C and 40K (you must know the half life, dating range, and parent/daughter isotopes for these two).
- Discuss the incompleteness of the fossil record and the resulting uncertainties about human evolution
- Discuss the correlation between the change in diet and increase in brain size during hominid evolution
- Discuss the relative importance of genetic and cultural evolution in the recent evolution of humans
Phylogeny & Systematics
- Outline the value of classifying organisms
- Define clade & cladistics
- Distinguish, with examples, between analogous and homologous characteristics
- Outline the methods used to construct cladograms and the conclusions that can be drawn from them
- Explain the biochemical evidence provided by the universality of DNA and protein structures for the common ancestry of living organisms
- Explain how variations in specific molecules can indicate phylogeny
- Discuss how biochemical variations can be used as an evolutionary clock
- Construct a simple cladogram
- Analyze cladograms in terms of phylogenetic relationships
- Discuss the relationship between cladograms and the classification of living organisms