SC 135 - First Exam 2012

Answer Key


Links in each number connect to the pertinent sections of the online book.





On the line to the left, place the letter of the choice that best  answers the question.

Three Points Each.                  NOTE:  "e" answers are never the correct answer.


                        1.   In evolution by natural selection, species get

___C___                       a.  Generally better than they were

                                    b.  New features that they need when they need them

                                    c.  More suited to conditions at that time and place

                                    d.  All of these

                                    e.  Arrogant and really annoying


                                        ...the first two were part of Lamarck's ideas, both wrong.



                        2.    Typically, the time measurement of a molecular clock involves counting

___D___                       a.  Fossil types                                  b.  Fossil layers

                                    c.  Anatomical features                       d.  Point mutations

                                    e.  A tick, then a tock, then a tick, then a tock…


                                        ...on separate family branches, new but different mutations show up
                                            at an accepted rate - the number of different mutations can be used
                                            to figure out how long the branches have been separate.



                        3.   The biological process of respiration

___C___                       a.  Always uses oxygen                          b.  Is only done by animals

                                    c.  Shifts energy between molecules     d.  Is just breathing

                                                e.  This is trickier than it looks, isn’t it?


                              's the basic definition.



                        4.    If, in an experiment, you don’t get the results you expected, those results support the

___A___                       a.   Null hypothesis                          b.  Confounding factors

                                    c.   Placebo effect                             d.   Counter hypothesis

                                                e.   Guys who sabotaged the experiment


                                        ...the null hypothesis means your hypothesis is wrong.



                        5.    If two species of non-related animals have similar wing shapes is an example of

___B___                       a.  Homology only                     b.  Analogy only

                                    c.  Homology and analogy          d.  Neither homology nor analogy

                                                   e.  Something I don’t really care about


                                        ...since they aren't related, the wings will have different structures / homology,
                                            but they are used for the same thing (flying) / analogous.



                        6.    A list where each item includes the ones before it -

___C___                       a.  Tissues, cells, organelles                         b.  Tissues, organs, cells

                                    c.  Cells, tissues, organs                              d.  Organs, tissues, cells

                                               e.   Children, parents, insane people


                                        ...organs are built from tissues, which are built of cells.



                        7.   In a double-blind medical test, treatment information is hidden from

___A___                       a.  Patients and doctors                      b.  Doctors and manufacturers

                                    c.  Patients and manufacturers               d.  Patients and supervisors

                                    e.  Whoever is crazy enough to agree to blinding


                               no one at the testing level knows who is in which group.



                        8.   In a typical food chain,  almost all of the material is eventually

___D___                        a.  Lost as random energy                                  b.  Buried

                           c.  Taken up and kept at higher levels                  d.  Recycled

                                                   e.  Pretty chewed up


                               ...broken down by decomposers, while energy just gets lost at
                                            every transfer until it's pretty much all lost as heat.



                        9.    The most common fossils “started” as a dead thing

___B___                       a.  Buried in lava                 b.   Sunk to the bottom of a water body

                c.  In dirt under a tree          d.   Covered by a mudslide

                        e.  Stuck into the rocks by demons


                                        ...where soft parts will be eaten and hard parts will be buried
                                            in sediments.



                        10.  Which term is applied depending on natural reproductive behavior in the environment?

___B___                       a.  Evolution                          b.  Species                 c.  Tribes

                                    d.  Colonialism                     e.  Um, pornography?


                                        ...who better to know what the group is than the members?



                        11.  ATP is a molecule used

___C___                    a.  To determine classification relationships         b.  As a coding system

                                 c.  As a source of energy                                   d.  As a model for chemistry research

                                                        e.  Whenever three initials are needed


                               from respiration is usually moved to very-usable ATP.



                        12.   Which is using a model?

___A___                       a.  Testing product toxicity on mice

                                    b.  Using one car to test a new fuel for that type of car

                                    c.  Drawing a diagram for how an experiment will be set up

                                    d.  Giving a placebo to subjects during an experiment

                                    e.  Is Project Runway about scientists?


                                        ...a model is an imperfect stand-in for something that can't itself be tested.






Answer any eight of the following questions for 4 Points Each.

Note:  if you answer more than eight, only the first eight  will be corrected.

You can get partial credit on these answers.


1.    The two different ways that indirect observations can be made:
Through other people's observations Through devices
2.   When Redi did his experiment with maggots -

Why was he                Meat "needed" air exposure to

told his first                    turn into maggots.

set-up was wrong?

What about        Sealed the second container

the set-up           with cloth, to let air in.

did he change?

3.    What evolutionary process can produce fairly close relatives that do have pretty different functions?

              ...divergent evolution, sending relatives into different environments and/or niches.

4.    The difference between just a group of individuals and a colony is that…

              ...individuals in a colony do different jobs to support each other.

5.   For either of the first-level energy-transforming processes, give the -

NAME                   CHEMOSYNTHESIS

OF THE                              or


TYPE OF                          HOT CHEMICALS

ENVIRONMENTAL                   or

ENERGY USED                     LIGHT

6.   Give two different reasons why quantitative data is preferred to qualitative data.
Data can be combined and compared better. Results are easier to explain, get others to understand.

7.   Briefly explain the what postmodernism means, applied to science.


               ...human endeavors are influenced by the beliefs of the humans doing them - culture, prior knowledge, and prejudices all can influence the ideas and interpretations of scientists.

8.   Give two different reasons why viruses are not considered “alive” -
They have no independent metabolism.

They don't really interact with the environment.

They don't grow or develop.

They are no cellular.

9.   What does “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” mean?

    's the (wrong) belief that embryo development replays evolutionary history.

10.  What is the biological definition of metabolism?

    's all of the energy-moving reactions in a system.

11.  What are two rules that apply to science as a general system?
Based upon testing ideas.

Meant to gain support but not to prove,

But ideas can be disproved / falsified.

Uses accepted rules of logic.

Always set up to be changed or discarded.

12.  What, specifically, is a gene?

              ...a DNA code for a particular type of protein.

13.  Put the following groups in order from the largest to the smallest:  Class, Family, Genus, Kingdom, Order, Phylum, Species, Subfamily, Superorder.
1   Kingdom 4   Superorder (super = over) 7   Subfamily (sub = under)
2   Phylum 5   Order 8   Genus
3   Class 6   Family 9   Species
14.  Put these in the proper order for a typical food chain:  consumer, decomposer, producer.
(makes the fuel)
(needs fuel already made)
(recycles fuel raw materials)




Answer any four of the following questions for Eight Points Each.

Note:  if you answer more than four, only the first four will be corrected.

You can get partial credit on these answers.


1.   Give two different rules that apply to each in binomial nomenclature



The genus name Always capitalized



Means nothing by itself Never capitalized



Treated as foreign (italicized or underlined) Abbreviated with genus initial and second word
2.   Answer the following about classic Scientific Method:

Two features a good

hypothesis should have

It's testable It's predictive

Role served by the

experimental variable

It's the thing being tested

Purpose of the control


Comparison - shows results without variable, or with variable changed in known way
3. What are four basic features that all living things are supposed to have?
Genetic systems
(send information on to offspring)
Internally organized
Use and transform energy Interact with environment
Reproduce Evolve
4.   What are three different things that can be compared based on homologies and used to determine biological relatedness?
Internal structure Embryo structures
Protein molecules DNA sequences

5.   Give four general types (not specific examples!) of confounding factors.

(influence of experimenter's expectations)
(if test group too small)
(test process affects resulats)
Outside influences

HINT:  If you can think of examples, figure out what type or category of confounding factor it fits into.

6.    Give the following for asexual reproduction -



Offspring are genetic copies of the original


compared to sexual

Actually reproduces the parent, make actual copies
(Not makes many offspring, which is just a way around the disadvantage)


compared to sexual

Original and offspring all have the same weakness
7.   Put these in order so that each later level contains the earlier ones:  Community, Ecosystems, Individuals, Populations.





Answer as many as you are able.  Wrong answers will not result in points being lost from the main exam.   You can get partial credit on these answers.


When scientists discovered weird ecosystems active at hydrothermal vents, why had they gone to look at the vents in the first place – what else happens at the vents?  Three Points.



How are fossils in amber different from other fossils?  Three Points.



What sort of “experiments” were in the book’s linked soup commercials?  Three Points.



When an anthropologist “discovered” many odd sexual practices in South Pacific islanders, what was really the explanation for those stories?  Three Points.




What word is often used about experimental evidence, but never should be used?  Three Points.



Why shouldn’t that term be used, exactly?  Three Points.




What is the added level in a triple-blind test? Three Points.



If Haeckel, the “Ontogeny Guy,” was wrong with his Big Idea, why is he still considered important?  Three Points.




What was the other study area of Linnaeus?  Three Points.




Soon, how will a species be defined and identified?  Three Points.






SCI 135 

Michael McDarby


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