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Big Idea 1 → The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.

  • Enduring Understanding 1.A: Change in the genetic makeup of a population over time is evolution.
  • Enduring Understanding 1.B: Organisms are linked by lines of descent from common ancestry.
  • Enduring Understanding 1.C: Life continues to evolve within a changing environment.
  • Enduring Understanding 1.D: The origin of living systems is explained by natural processes.

Big Idea 2 → Biological systems utilize energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to maintain homeostasis.

  • Enduring Understanding 2.A: Growth, reproduction, and maintaining organization of living systems require energy and matter.
  • Enduring Understanding 2.B: Growth, reproduction, and homeostasis require that cells create and maintain internal environments that are different from their external environments.
  • Enduring Understanding 2.C: Organisms use feedback mechanisms to regulate growth and maintain homeostasis.
  • Enduring Understanding 2.D: Growth and homeostasis of a biological system are influenced by changes in the system’s environment.
  • Enduring Understanding 2.E: Many biological processes involved in growth, reproduction, and homeostasis include temporal aspects.

Big Idea 3 → Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes.

  • Enduring Understanding 3.A: Heritable information provides for continuity of life.
  • Enduring Understanding 3.B: Expression of genetic information involves cellular and molecular mechanisms.
  • Enduring Understanding 3.C: Transfer of genetic information may produce variation.
  • Enduring Understanding 3.D: Cells communicate by generating, transmitting, and receiving chemical signals.
  • Enduring Understanding 3.E: Transmission of non-heritable information results in changes within and between biological systems.

Big Idea 4 → Biological systems interact, and these interactions possess complex properties.

  • Enduring Understanding 4.A: Interactions within biological systems lead to complex properties.
  • Enduring Understanding 4.B: Competition and cooperation are important aspects of biological systems.
  • Enduring Understanding 4.C: Variation within biological systems affects interactions with the environment.