SC 135 - First Exam 2012


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

_______                       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



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

_______                       a.  Fossil types                                  b.  Fossil layers

                                    c.  Anatomical features                      d.  Point mutations

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



                        3.   The biological process of respiration

_______                       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?



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

_______                       a.   Null hypothesis                            b.  Confounding factors

                                    c.   Placebo effect                             d.   Counter hypothesis

                                                e.   Guys who sabotaged the experiment



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

_______                       a.  Homology only                     b.  Analogy only

                                    c.  Homology and analogy          d.  Neither homology nor analogy

                                                   e.  Something I don’t really care about



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

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

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

                                               e.   Children, parents, insane people



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

_______                       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



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

_______                        a.  Lost as random energy                                  b.  Buried

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

                                                   e.  Pretty chewed up



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

_______                       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



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

_______                       a.  Evolution                          b.  Species                 c.  Tribes

                                    d.  Colonialism                       e.  Um, pornography?



                        11.  ATP is a molecule used

_______                    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



                        12.   Which is using a model?

_______                       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?






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:


2.   When Redi did his experiment with maggots -

Why was he

told his first

set-up was wrong?

What about

the set-up

did he change?

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


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



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







6.   Give two different reasons why quantitative data is preferred to qualitative data.



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




8.   Give two different reasons why viruses are not considered “alive” -



9.   What does “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” mean?



10.  What is the biological definition of metabolism?




11.  What are two rules that apply to science as a general system?


12.  What, specifically, is a gene?



13.  Put the following groups in order from the largest to the smallest:  Class, Family, Genus, Kingdom, Order, Phylum, Species, Subfamily, Superorder.
1 4 7
2 5 8
3 6 9
14.  Put these in the proper order for a typical food chain:  consumer, decomposer, producer.






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









2.   Answer the following about classic Scientific Method:

Two features a good

hypothesis should have


Role served by the

experimental variable


Purpose of the control


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




4.   What are three different things that can be compared based on homologies and used to determine biological relatedness?





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






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 -





compared to sexual



compared to sexual

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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