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. Photosynthesis was developed during the early history of life on Earth by what?

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

3. Of all the elements occurring naturally on Earth, how many does the author say are central to life?

4. Which body of water holds more than half of the planet's water?

5. Of the available land on Earth, how much is suitable for people to live on?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Bryson say that fossils represent only a tiny fraction of life on Earth?

2. How long do human cells live?

3. What does the author say about radioactive waste being dumped into oceans?

4. What is cytoplasm?

5. Throughout the history of Earth, what are some of the causes of different species going extinct?

6. What type of scientific work did the monk and scientist Gregor Mendel do?

7. How do ice ages begin?

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

9. Describe the presence of bacteria in humans.

10. Describe what happened when the KT meteor crashed on Earth, killing off the dinosaurs.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe what the author means about Yellowstone being a supervolcano. What do scientists know about Yellowstone's history? How did it form? What is a caldera? Describe other supervolcanoes the author writes about.

Essay Topic 2

Explain supernovas. What exactly are they? Describe the mechanism behind them. How long do they last? What contributions do supernovas make to the universe?

Essay Topic 3

In your own words, explain Superstring Theory.

(see the answer keys)

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