I.  The cell is the basic unit of life. Living cells are composed of elements that form large, complex molecules. The primary source of energy to sustain most life is derived from a conversion of light energy to chemical energy through the process of photosynthesis.

II.  Evolution
provides the central scientific understanding of the history of the modern living world. Evolutionary processes allow some species to survive through long term Earth changes, while leading to extinction of others. Organisms that inherit characteristics advantageous for survival in their physical environment reproduce and increase the proportion of individuals with similar traits in the species.

III.  Genetics information passed from parent to offspring is coded in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules. The molecular structure of the DNA molecule is consistent in all living things and similar in members of a species; variance in the sequence of DNA bases in an organism gives it unique characteristics. The information in DNA provides instructions for assembling protein molecules in cells.  There are predictable patterns of inheritance. Asexual reproduction produces offspring that have the same genetic code as the parent and leads to less variation in a species.  Sexual reproduction produces offspring with a mixture of DNA increasing the genetic variation of an organism, and therefore, the species.

Living systems interact with naturally occurring processes in the physical environment. Human intervention can affect the balance of natural cycles within the environment. Scientific data must be considered in the analysis of human decisions which would impact these cycles and alter the living world.

Questions about Biology/Life Science End Of Course Performance Assessment?
Please visit the NJDoE website:
NJ DoE Academic & Professional Standards--Science


MIT OpenCourseWare Biology

UC Berkeley Evolution

Indiana University Evolution and the Nature of Science Institute

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, PU

Microbial Ecology and Environmental Microbiology, PU

Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science

Evolution on PBS

Virtual Pig Dissection

The University of Arizona The Biology Project

Marine Science

NOVA: Intelligent Design on Trial

American Institute of Biological Sciences

National Association of Biology Teachers

American Museum of Natural History


Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes

The Complete Work of Darwin Online