Plants & Human Affairs
Cherries.wmf (7140 bytes) Plants & Human Affairs (BIOL106)  -  Stephen G. Saupe, Ph.D.; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321;;

Review for Exam #2 - Fall '08

     The exam will be a mixture of objective (e.g., multiple choice, definition, fill-in-blank) and subjective (short answer) questions.  You may use pencil or pen to complete your exam, though I strongly recommend pencil.  The exam is designed to last one hour.  In general, the exam could include:  (1) anything covered in class; (2) lecture notes on line; (3) readings/text; and (4) study sheets, articles, handouts or other materials used/assigned in class.  I try to ask an equal number of questions about each class.  The following is a summary of the main topics that are "fair game" for the exam. 

Class Leader (info in Public folder)

Columbus Day



More Evolution Study Questions

1.   Can you define/describe/use conversationally the following terms/concepts:  archipelago, catastrophism; coevolution; evolution; extant; extinct; fitness (reproductive); natural selection; paradigm; population; homologous structure; natural selection � disruptive (diversifying); natural selection � directional; natural selection � stabilizing; special creation; intelligent design; uniformitarianism; variation; vestigial (rudimentary) organ; selection � stabilizing

2.   Why is evolution important?

3.   Discuss how each of the following provide evidence for evolution: comparative anatomy, embryology, geology, paleontology, breeding.

4.   What is a homologous structure?  analogous structure?  vestigial organ?  What evolutionary conclusion can be drawn from these structures?  Give examples of each.

5.   Discuss crabs or peppered moths or antibiotic resistance in microorganisms as examples of evolutionary change.  Can you think of any others?

6.   What does Darwin mean by fittest?

7.   What is adaptation?  Can you define adaptation?  Can you give an example?

8.   Why is it important?

9.   Why is it true that organisms are never perfectly adapted?

10. Discuss the significance of Dobzhansky's quote at the beginning of this guide.

11. Stephen Gould argues that the proof of evolution is revealed by the imperfections of nature.  Using an example such as the Panda's thumb, explain what he means.

12.  Evolution is a testable, falsifiable theory.  Explain using an example.

13.  Explain the fallacy expressed by ex-President Reagan's quote below.  Contrast it with the quote by Darwin.

14.  Why do males have nipples?

15.  Explain why, from an evolutionary perspective, males/females have organsms.

16.  There is a separation of the site of organism and the site of intercourse in human females.  Explain why, from a strictly adaptationist viewpoint this separation is unexpected.  Then, explain why this situation exists.

17.  Gould cites three major pieces of evidence in support of evolution.  What are they?  (hint:  direct observation, imperfections, fossils).

18.  What the three major types of natural selection?  Give examples of each.  Identify the environmental conditions (i.e., stable vs. changing) for each.

19.  Can you identify the contributions of each of the following individuals:  Buffon, Lamarck, Wallace, Darwin, Malthus, Fitzroy, Dobzhansky.

Well, it is a theory.  It is a scientific theory only and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science - that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was.

President Reagan
Dallas 1981


I had two distinct objectives in view.  Firstly, to show that species had not been specially created and secondly that natural selection has been the chief agent of change...Hence, if I have erred in....having exaggerated its [natural selection's] power...I have at least, I hope, done good service aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations.

Charles Darwin
Descent of Man



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Last updated:  10/31/2008 / � Copyright  by SG Saupe