SCI 135 - First Exam Spring 2016

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.  The experimental variable should vary

_______    a. Between the beginning and the results                             b. Among different experimental tests
                c. Between the experimental test and the control test            d. Whenever you measure it
                                        e. Because if it didn’t, it would be an invariable

        2.  The confounding factor associated with postmodernism is

_______    a. Artifacts         b. Chance        c. Reproducibility         d. Bias
                                    e. Is a post really that modern-?

        3.  In a typical food chain

_______    a. Materials are mostly recycled but energy is mostly lost
                b. Energy is mostly recycled but materials are mostly lost
                c. Both energy and materials are mostly recycled
                d. Both energy and materials are mostly lost
                e. I think at this point I’m mostly lost

        4.  Which is defined from group behavior in the natural habitat?

_______    a. Metabolism         b. Evolution            c. Species         d. Confounding factors
                                                    e. How viral a meme is

        5.  What important stage of science often happens during the publishing phase?

_______    a. Funding             b. Statistical manipulation            c. Application of control test
                d. Peer review                        e. Increasing your Twitter following

        6.  Molecular clocks get their timing from

_______    a. Variation of features         b. Accumulation of mutations        c. Radioactive decay
                d. Depth of fossil layer                            e. The local cell phone towers

        7.  Researchers connect fossils to living groups using mostly

_______    a. Radioactive dating         b. Analogy        c. Homology         d. Genetic analysis
                                                        e. A really big dartboard

        8.  The term metabolism is concerned mostly with

_______    a. Synthesis         b. Energy         c. Digestion        d. Breakdown         e. Getting ready for swimsuit season

        9.  Looking at cells through a microscope is a type of

_______    a. Control test         b. Field test        c. Indirect observation         d. Direct observation
                                                e. Odd way to avoid an argument

        10.  Reducing the impact of pure chance on experimental results is usually done by

_______    a. Changing the control test                                b. Selecting participants very carefully
                c. Eliminating every other confounding factor       d. Using large numbers of test subjects
                                                e. Betting on the results in Las Vegas

        11. Which is an example of the null hypothesis at work?

_______    a. Experimental results do not support the hypothesis
                b. There is no way to set up a control group
                c. Testing can only be done in the field
                d. There are no good ways to explain an observation
                e. This guy named Dr. Null has an idea

        12. Populations typically evolve rapidly when

_______    a. They need to improve                         b. Conditions change around them
                c. There are many mutations                    d. Their variation is limited
                                            e. They can get a big prize


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.  For the types of living things found most commonly as fossils, give two different features they had when they were alive.  Don't just give general life features, but you can include where they lived.


2.  Briefly explain how convergent evolution works.

3.  For each, give one weakness for using -

4.  Briefly explain why the placebo effect is an artifact.

5.  What, technically, is a gene?

6.  What are two different “features of Life” that typically are not found in viruses?


7.  What is the basic idea of “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”?

8.  Put, in order, the three levels of a typical food chain.


9.  Carbon dating only works for objects up to about 60,000 years old. Why doesn’t it work for older things?

10a. What widely-accepted idea was challenged by Redi’s experiment?

10b.. What specific change was Redi trying to show didn’t happen?

11. In disagreements about classification, what are scientists -

12.  Put the following groups in order from the largest to the smallest: Class, Family, Genus, Kingdom, Order, Phylum, Species, Subfamily, Superclass.
1 4 7
2 5 8
3 6 9

13.  In a double-blind drug test, what two different groups are blinded?


14. What feature would make a species colonial?

15. Briefly explain how respiration is a second-level transformation.

16. Put these in order so that each one is made up of the things before it: organs, tissues, cells.


17.  The two major advantages of quantitative data over qualitative data:



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.  For four of the six basic Kingdoms of Life, give the name of the Kingdom and enough features to clearly set that Kingdom's members apart from those of the other five.





2.  Give the following for sexual reproduction -
compared to asexual
compared to asexual

3.  Two different processes that take some energy from the environment to make chemical bond energy in fuel molecules - Type of environmental energy used by each named process -



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



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

6.  Put these in order so that each later level contains the earlier ones: Community, Ecosystems, Individuals, Populations.


7.  For each of these nuclear particles, give two basic features, plus one overall feature that comes from their total number in an atom.
PROTON Feature
PROTON Feature
PROTON Feature from Total
NEUTRON Feature from Total

Link to Answer Key


 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.

Why is variation such an important feature of groups? Three Points.

For many discoveries reported in the internet, what important step has not happened? Three Points.

Why should the word proof (or prove) not be used for scientific results? Three Points.

How can one person’s experimental results be another person’s observation? Three Points.

For triple-blind tests, what group is added? Three Points.

What turned out to be wrong with the aluminum produces Alzheimer’s experiment? Three Points.

How can ethics be a confounding factor? Three Points.

Why is the classification guy known as Linnaeus if that wasn’t his name? Three Points.

Some living things live in “extreme” environments. For Two Points Each, what are examples of types of such environments?

What major is group is classified like regular Kingdoms but not included in the basic Kingdom system? Three Points.



SCI 135 

Michael McDarby


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