BI 171 - First Exam - 2010

Links connect to relevant parts of the online book.

Multiple Choice.

Place the letter of the choice that best answers the question on the line to the left.
Two Points Each. NOTE: "e" answers are never the correct answer.

_______ 1.  If fossil layers in any fossil bed are oriented as they originally were, the top fossil organisms

                    a. Are related to the lower ones                    b. Died more recently than lower ones
                    c. Died longer ago than the lower ones          d. Are forms that still exist
                                            e. Feel really superior, ‘cause they're on top.

_______ 2.  Which of these is a hypothesis?

                    a. The dog looks bigger now than it did earlier                b. The dog does not like me
                    c. The dog is growling                                                  d. The dog has very white teeth
                                                    e. Why am I still standing here??

_______ 3.  The most common form of peer review could also be called

                    a. Editorial review             b. Design critique            c. Process supervision             d. Preapproval
                                                            e. Isn't that one of those reality dating shows?

_______ 4.  Which once-accepted concept has been largely discredited, shown to be wrong?

                    a. Viruses are bacteria          b. Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny           c. Placebo effect
                    d. Triple-blind testing                                                            e. Biology is fun

_______ 5.  A typical lab microscope, where the specimen is imaged against a white background, is a

                    a. Transmission light microscope                     b. Scanning light microscope
                    c. Transmission electron microscope               d. Scanning electron microscope
                                            e. Very annoying device to work

_______ 6.  If Alfred Russel Wallace had not existed, Charles Darwin

                    a. Would have never come up with his Natural Selection theory
                    b. Might never have published his Natural Selection theory
                    c. Would have left out what became key details of his Natural Selection theory
                    d. Would never have made the trip that led to his Natural Selection theory
                    e. Would only be remembered for his wacky practical jokes

_______ 7.  Which two processes are strongly affected by genetic redundancy?

                    a. Metabolic pathways and embryo development            b. Crossing over and point mutations
                    c. Extra chromosomes and cell division                         d. Genome determination and replication
                                            e. Making silly jokes and sticking them onto exam questions

_______ 8.  Which best describes the purpose of control tests?

                    a. To remove the variable and get the same results
                    b. To figure out how factors beyond the variable affect results
                    c. To repeat the procedures several times
                    d. To always produce clear results
                    e. This is too much of a lose control test to be sure

_______ 9.  The current way to determine species is based on -

                    a. Behavior in nature                     b. Ability to make offspring                     c. Description
                    d. If offspring can make offspring                            e. Poking it with a sharp stick

_______ 10.  Pretty much all of the DNA sequence of a species representative is its

                    a. Mass sequence            b. Combinatorium            c. Genome           d. Mutation inventory
                                                                        e. Future ID card

_______ 11.  Carrying capacity always acts as a limiting factor, or brake, on

                    a. Fitness                b. Population growth               c. Evolution               d. Adaptation
                                            e. I know, I know! ...How much can be carried, right -?

_______ 12.  Which basically says, "Your idea is wrong"?

                    a. Non-predictive             b. False result             c. Null hypothesis            d. Negative analogy
                                                        e. Annoying voices in your head

_______ 13.  An organism's growth and development is directed at its ability to

                    a. Photosynthesize                     b. Eat                     c. Move
                    d. Reproduce                                       e. Sell cool clothes on tv

_______ 14.  Artificial selection would work in the development of

                    a. Mating partners                 b. Dairy cows                c. Computer simulations
                    d. Extinct forms                    e. Survivor contestants

_______ 15.  Which comes closest to being the same as a microscope's resolution?

                    a. Imaging system             b. Maximum magnification            c. Ease of use
                   d. Focusing capability                 e. Microscopes make promises on New Year's Eve-?

_______ 16.  In a colony of single-celled organisms,

                    a. The cells all look and act the same          b. At least 2 different species are always present
                    c. It becomes one huge cell                        d. Cells specialize on different jobs
                                  e. They often declare independence and carry tiny new flags

_______ 17.  The roles available to organisms in ecosystems are know as

                    a. Slots                     b. Species                     c. Niches
                    d. Clades                     e. Employment opportunities

_______ 18.  Which actually starts as quantitative data?

                    a. How many flies have crooked wings?                    b. How bad is the headache?
                    c. How fast is the stream flowing?                            d. How hairy are the mice?
                                       e. How crazy is this driving me?


Short Answer.

Pick NINE questions to answer in the spaces provided.
NOTE: if you answer MORE than nine, only the first nine will be corrected.
Four Points each. Partial credit is possible.

1.  What two different other rates have the most effect on evolutionary rates?


2. What are two areas of genetics that evo-devo is particularly interested in?


3.  Briefly explain the most widely-accepted idea for why cells tend to be small.



4.  Put the following groups in order from the largest to the smallest: Class, Family, Genus, Kingdom, Order, Phylum, Species, Subclass, Superorder.
1 4 7
2 5 8
3 6 9
5.  For each, give a disadvantage -
6.  Define confounding factors without using the words "confound" or "factor."


7.  In science, what is reductionism?



8.  LaMarck had an idea, other than about passing on acquired characteristics, that still affects attitudes toward evolution today. What was it?


9.  Put in the other strand for this DNA sequence -

T   C   C   G   A   T   C   A   T   C   G   C   A   A   T


Bonus - How many codons should this be? ____________

10.  In an experiment, what is an artifact?


11. Give one way that an electron microscope is _________ compared to a light microscope:


12a.  Explain how molecular clocks are uniformitarian -



12b. Briefly explain why they have to be.



13.  Why do some specimens have to be sectioned? What is the purpose?



14.  Give two features of viruses that cause some biologists to consider them not living.


15.  Define sexual selection.



Long Answer.

Select and answer completely any four of the following questions.
Note: if you answer more than four, only the first four will be corrected.
Seven Points Each. Partial credit is possible.

1. Define the classification-related terms:
Analogous -


Homologous -


Feature -
Feature -
Systematics -


Cladistics -


2. For the four experimental "systems" listed below, give a critical discovery in genetics history that was made using them.
3.  Give four rules from the classic Cell Theory.




4.  Answer for asexual reproduction: BASIC
Compared to Sexual
To Overcome Disadvantage
5.  Name four of the Six "Basic" Kingdoms, and for each list enough traits to make it clearly different from the other five.




6. What are four basic features that all living things are supposed to have?




7.  Give the steps that, according to the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, should happen between the steps given.
The environment around a population changes




The new population is different enough to be considered a new species.

8.  For alternation of generations -





Link to Answer Key


Answer as many or as few as you wish. You can't lose points on the rest of the exam by getting these wrong. Partial credit is possible.

Why is it particularly difficult to develop drugs that will affect viruses? Three Points.

In general (not just in science), what was the concept of postmodernism about? Three Points.

What's the "extra" level in a triple-blind test? Three Points.

What error made people think that aluminum pots might be linked to Alzheimer's disease? Three Points.

How is a Law in physics generally different from a Law in biology? Three Points.

Linnaeus came up with terms for what non-classification-related organisms? Three Points.

Why did Gregor Mendel wind up doing his work with pea plants? Three Points.

Other than for research, why did Darwin probably spend so much time ashore? Three Points each.

How can an species reduce its potential for evolutionary change? Three Points.

Which major group typically reproduces sexually, but has no genders? Three Points.

For Three Points Each, give reasons why Rosalind Franklin probably did not receive a Nobel Prize for the discoveries she contributed to.






BI 171

Michael McDarby


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