A Short History of Nearly Everything Test | Final Test - Easy

Bill Bryson
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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. In times past, Earth was:
(a) Flatter.
(b) More hospitable.
(c) Smaller.
(d) Less hospitable.

2. The author states that one scientist claimed there is less genetic diversity among the entire human population than there is among a:
(a) Group of giraffes.
(b) School of fish.
(c) Clan of chimpanzees.
(d) Cluster of bacteria.

3. The author states that extinction seems to be:
(a) Because of natural disasters.
(b) Almost exclusively caused by humans.
(c) A natural part of the life cycle.
(d) A rare occurrence on Earth.

4. How many elements occur naturally on Earth?
(a) 52.
(b) 92.
(c) 12.
(d) 142.

5. The troposphere is the layer of atmosphere:
(a) Farthest away.
(b) Closest to the ground.
(c) Just above the highest clouds.
(d) That is coldest.

6. Bryson states that the first species to care for its weak and frail members was:
(a) Australopithecines.
(b) Homo erectus.
(c) Gigantopithecus.
(d) Homo habilis.

7. How did humans become dispersed across the planet?
(a) Through continental drift.
(b) Through a giant flood.
(c) Nobody knows for sure.
(d) Using canoes.

8. Compared to Homo sapiens, Neanderthals were:
(a) Twice as tall.
(b) Larger and sturdier.
(c) Half as short.
(d) Smaller and weaker.

9. What percentage of the human body consists of water?
(a) 97.
(b) 32.
(c) 14.
(d) 65.

10. Each cell of the human body contains what length of DNA?
(a) 1.5 feet.
(b) 2 inches.
(c) 0.5 inch.
(d) 6 feet.

11. Mitochondria convert food and oxygen into ATP, which is what?
(a) Energy used by the body.
(b) Waste that needs to be discarded.
(c) A self-destruction signal.
(d) A new generation of mitochondria.

12. With so many hominid species existing in the past, why did only one survive?
(a) Larger brain.
(b) Greater capacity for compassion.
(c) Nobody knows.
(d) Climate change.

13. What did Carl Linnaeus develop that is still in wide use today?
(a) Way to differentiate closely related bacteria.
(b) Method to unravel DNA codes.
(c) Binomial system of genus and species.
(d) System for naming lunar features.

14. What book did paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould write?
(a) Amazing Creatures.
(b) Enormous Animals.
(c) Wonderful Life.
(d) Fantastic Voyage.

15. Charles Darwin suggested that evolution was a process taking millions of years, which many met with skepticism because scientists:
(a) Thought life on Earth had existed no more than 3,000 years.
(b) Believed Earth to be much younger.
(c) Did not like Darwin.
(d) Believed only birds evolved, not mammals or reptiles.

Short Answer Questions

1. What helped scientists start accepting the idea of ice ages?

2. The first hand axe was shaped with a stone how many years ago?

3. How many chromosomes are there inside a human cell's nucleus?

4. At this time, how many plant and animal species are becoming extinct per week?

5. Ice ages are caused by:

(see the answer keys)

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