Study Guide for Exam 1
How Scientist Discover Truth
1. What is meant by the “Special Creation”? How was life created according to the Special Creation”?
a. According to the Special Creation, everything was created in one location and for one purpose. Everything exists in the way it was created and there is no such thing as change, evolution, adaptation, or anything of the sort.
2. Did early naturalist adequately consider and investigate the ideas of the special creation?
Yes, for example Darwin. Darwin studied specimens with a strong belief in the Special Creation. He was studying to be a priest and when he began to see organisms which contradicted the beliefs of the Special Creation, he kept searching.
3. Describe the source of conflict between science and religion.
Truth. Truth is at the base of each rift between science and religion.
4. Differentiate between Rationalism and Empiricism. How do they work together in science? If you want to learn more check out What is the meaning of the strophic form in human imagination?
Rationalism is about having beliefs that are based purely on reasoning and emotional response. Empiricism is about having beliefs that are based purely on observational experiences.
5. Why was there so much scientific knowledge lost during the medieval period? There was a revolt and many books were destroyed and people were not educated.
6. What is a scientific theory? How is it different from a hypothesis or a scientific law?
A theory is an explanation of an observed occurrence in the world. A hypothesis is a theory which needs to be tested. Scientific law is something that has been proven time and time again and always occurs under the same circumstances.
7. What is the connection between predictions and hypotheses?
The prediction fuels the hypotheses. A hypothesis takes a prediction and places a condition on it to test for a specific result. It’s like giving an action to a statement.
Questions for Microevolution: Don't forget about the age old question of Which is the correct order of tags for basic markup?
If you want to learn more check out What level of consciousness does the process of awareness indicates?
We also discuss several other topics like What is decision-making like in international relations?
1. Define the following words: Population, genotype, phenotype, gene, allele, gene pool and microevolution. If you want to learn more check out What medications inhibit cox1/cox2? what are those medications used for?
a. Population: an inbreeding group in a particular geographical location
b. Genotype: the genetic makeup of an organism
c. Phenotype: the physical appearance of that genetic makeup of an organism
d. Gene fragments of DNA that determine specific traits
e. Allele: alternative forms in specific genes
f. Gene Pool: genes found in a given population
g. Microevolution: the study of which alleles are found in a population and how the
frequency of those alleles change over time
2. In Biology, we talk about organisms evolving. What does that mean? What is it that is actually evolve?
We are talking about how populations NOT individuals evolve. We are studying how nature determines which alleles in a gene become more frequent, which traits “die off”, etc. Don't forget about the age old question of What does otzi have?
3. Define microevolution.
Microevolution is the study of how allele frequency in a population’s gene pool changes throughout the generations for the improvement of the species.
4. What are the 5 mechanisms or agents that drive microevolution?
Mutation, Selection, Genetic Drift, Gene Flow, and Bottleneck
5. What is the source for all new alleles? (Another way of asking this is “what is the only means by which new genetic information comes into being?”)
6. Understand the theory of Natural selection and be able to identify an example of it.
a. The theory of Natural selection is often summed up as “Survival of the Fittest.” Who are deemed the fittest? What special trait do they have?
The fittest creatures are those who have characteristics which aide their survival. Natural selection takes that trait and gradually, it becomes more popular in a given population. For example, when the first grand extinction occurred and sea life was at risk, some of those animals developed traits which allowed them to survive on land, allowing flora and fauna to continue on in life.
7. How does sexual selection differ from natural selection?
Sexual selection is specifically for traits that would help to increase the individual’s chances of procreation and doesn’t necessarily aid in its survival.
8. Give an example of sexual selection.
The now extinct European Elk had huge antlers because the females found it attractive. However, some of the antlers would extend even past eight feet and these elk lived in a forest area in Europe, where hunting for sport was very popular. They were hunted into extinction because the antlers didn’t provide any camouflage or agility.
9. What is the main factor that determines whether a new allele will become more common in the population?
An allele becomes more popular if it helps the population in some way, either with survival of the fittest or with sexual selection.
10. Why is genetic drift most powerful in small populations?
Smaller populations means that one slight change will have a larger affect. When there is a population of ten and one has a mutation, we can say that ten percent of the population is mutated. When there is a population of a hundred and one has a mutation, then only one percent of the population is mutated.
11. Would you expect a population established by the founder effect to have more or less variety than the original population?
There would be around the same amount of variety. In the founder effect, the population is also isolated from other parts of the world. Typically, the following generations are mixtures of the same people who founded the area and thus there would be little diversity.
12. How does a population that has gone through a bottle neck differ from one that was established by the founder effect?
A bottleneck means that the few organisms left procreated internally, whereas with the founder effect, there was more of a choice in the matter. Bottleneck populations have the genes of identical twins because there is such a lack of diversity, such as today’s cheetahs.
13. What evolutionary example is Pitcarin Island an example of
14. What is the difference between genetic drift and natural selection?
Genetic drift is a random process whereas selection is deliberate.
15. Give an example of gene flow.
When one tree frog decides to live by the water frogs and procreates successfully, the tree frogs genes are then introduced to the water frog species and gets mixed in.
16. Why do cheetahs, as well as many other endangered species, have so little genetic variation among them?
Many endangered species have gone through the bottleneck effect and when that happens, interbreeding is the only way to save the species.
Questions for Macroevolution (Speciation)
1. What percentage of species has gone extinct?
2. Define species.
A group of individuals that under normal circumstances are capable of interbreeding to produce fertile offspring
3. How many mass extinctions have there been?
4. What are the three stages of speciation?
i. a population becomes reproductively isolated from the rest of the species
ii. genetic divergence leads to the development of unique traits for each group
iii. novel traits arise between the two groups that ensure reproductive isolation during future contacts (isolating mechanisms)
5. What is genetic divergence and what causes it?
Genetic Divergence is caused by isolating mechanisms. There are two types; prezygotic (before conception) and postzygotic (after conception).
6. A glacier forms and isolates a population of horses away from others of its species. What type of extrinsic reproductive isolation is this?
7. Beatles are stuck on a log and float across the sea to an island. What type of extrinsic reproductive isolation is this?
Dispersal and colonization
8. What are the 3 factors that drive genetic divergence?
Prezygotic, postzygotic, and branching and unbranched evolution
9. What is the result of genetic divergence?
Mutation, selection, and genetic drift
10. Describe the various types of isolation mechanisms: Temporal, Behavior, Mechanical, Gametic, Ecological, Zygotic Mortality, Hybrid Inviability and Hybrid Offspring.
11. If humans come from ape like ancestors than why are there still apes today?
Because humans are a branched evolution and apes are unbranched. We are both forms from a common ancestor, however we do not follow the same family tree exactly because our ancestors parted ways.
12. Do we see speciation occurring today?
Yes; an example of this could be the nene goose in Hawaii.
Fossils, Rocks and Clocks
1. How do we know the earth’s past?
There are multiple types of “natural clocks”. We can read the layers in the Earth’s crust, we can cut open a tree and read the rings, cut open a coral, sift through the layers of a mountain, etc. 2. What are the three types of rocks and explain how rocks can cycle and change from one form to another?
Igneous rocks formed from volcanoes
Metamorphic when the other types of rocks are buried under the crust and undergo immense pressure, the chemicals will physically change
Sedentary loose gravel blown together and layered into a solidified form
3. How is an igneous and sedimentary rock converted into a metamorphic rock? When they are buried under the ground and undergo immense pressure
4. How are the different types of sedimentary strata made? (Example, conglomerates, sandstone and shell.) How do you tell if sandstone formed from wind or water?
The type of grains that creates the rock. Rough grain are wind transferred and smooth grains are carried by water.
5. How are we able to determine the relative ages of rocks and fossils?
We can count backwards from the layer of earth in which they were found or we can use carbon dating. 6. Be able to list the geological time intervals from the broadest to the most specific. Eons, Eras, Periods, Epics.
7. What types of rocks are fossils found in?
Sedentary rocks hide fossils, because they are the layer that is buried.
8. How do we know what the ancient climate was like in a particular geographic area? The dust of the earth has chemical compounds that can reveal the atmosphere at the time of that layer of dirt and also layers that reveal the climate history, such as a layer of ash in between layers of ice indicating clear alterations between summer and winter seasons.
9. What geological era is known at the age of Fish? Which is known as the age of Reptiles? Which is known as the age of Mammals? What is known as the age of Bacteria?
Paleozoic= Age of Fish
Mesozoic= Age of Reptiles
Cenozoic= Age of Mammals
Precambrian= Age of Bacteria
10. Suppose a scientist measures that a rock has only 1/16th of its original potassium40 content (he/she knows this by measuring 3 times as much Argon40 as potassium40 in the rock). How old is the rock? The halflife of potassium40 is 1.3 billion years.
If it is 1/16th of its original amount, then it has gone through four halflives, so we multiply 1.3 billion by 4 and we find that the rock is 5.2 billion years old.
11. Why are scientist so confident that radiometric dates are valid?
Because they can compare the radiometric dates with fossils which already have known dates and the dating matches up.