A Short History of Nearly Everything Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Bill Bryson
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 121 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. James Hutton was a geologist who wondered why:

2. With scientists having found so many dinosaur bones by the dawn of the twentieth century, what did they conclude about the age of Earth?

3. According to the Reverend William Buckland, the biblical reference to "in the beginning" with regards to the formation of Earth could refer to:

4. How do today's professional astronomers search for supernovae?

5. When radiation was first discovered, people thought it must have:

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Albert Einstein before he became well known in the scientific community.

2. Describe what happens in a supernova.

3. Describe inner solar system asteroids.

4. What is the theory of continental drift? Who first proposed this theory, and how was it received?

5. Where do earthquakes occur?

6. Summarize what the author says about why it took so long to discover that Pluto has a moon.

7. Why is the term "dinosaurian" a misnomer?

8. Describe what happened to an enormous thighbone discovered in New Jersey in 1789.

9. Describe the three basic layers of Earth, namely, the crust, mantle, and core.

10. When scientists first tried to grasp the idea of atoms, what did they disagree on?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is continental drift? How did this concept emerge within the scientific community? How long did it take for this idea to gain acceptance? What evidence pointed to the reality of continental drift?

Essay Topic 2

How has man influenced the extinction of plant and animal species? How does the author feel about this influence? What does his writing state or imply about what should be done differently?

Essay Topic 3

Explain how lead, despite being toxic to humans, found its way into gasoline. Why was safety ignored? Who fought to remove lead from gasoline? Describe this individual, his campaign, and the resistance he met. What was the outcome of his campaign?

(see the answer keys)

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