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

Bill Bryson
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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. The early Cambrian period, or the Cambrian explosion, refers to a time how long ago?

2. What is the current estimate of the number of species that have lived on Earth since the beginning of life on our planet?

3. What is the highest elevation that humans are able to live and survive on Earth continuously without special accommodations?

4. Which of the following is not a DNA component?

5. By volume, how much of the Earth's habitable space is covered by water?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the author say about bacteria and humans, particularly their interaction?

2. What is the water distribution across the world's major oceans?

3. How are scientific discoveries challenging the understanding of human evolution?

4. How many elements occur naturally on Earth? How many are central to life?

5. Describe the Indonesian volcanic eruption of 1815.

6. How does DNA replicate itself?

7. What does Bryson caution regarding extinction?

8. How do ice ages begin?

9. What does the author lament about the study of wildlife throughout much of human history?

10. Describe the layer of atmosphere called the troposphere.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain what Bryson says about water distribution on our planet. How much is saltwater? How much is fresh water? Describe where the different types of water are distributed throughout the world.

Essay Topic 2

What are quarks? Describe them in detail, including their function, composition, colors, and "flavors."

Essay Topic 3

Describe who the following scientists were and how they started out in their careers, and explain what they are best known for:

1. Marie Curie.

2. Albert Einstein.

3. Carl Sagan.

(see the answer keys)

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