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. What percentage of the human body consists of water?

2. In what year did Charles Darwin publish his famous book on natural selection called "On The Origin Of Species"?

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

4. The human body is composed of how many cells?

5. In times past, Earth was:

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is a hominid? Describe some of the hominids that existed in the past.

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

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

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

6. What did Charles Darwin do on the HMS Beagle?

7. How do ice ages begin?

8. What is cytoplasm?

9. What does a Swedish DNA study reveal about the origins of modern man?

10. What does the author say about oxygen and the highest elevations people can live at?

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

How did the dinosaurs become extinct? Explain the sequence of events that happened after the asteroid hit. What was the outcome to other life forms? What conditions changed in the aftermath? What group of animals became dominant following the dinosaur extinction?

Essay Topic 3

When Charles Darwin came up with the concept of evolution and natural selection, he was met by much opposition. Describe the controversy surrounding Darwin's theories. Why did people oppose his observations? How did he feel about this? Scientifically, what made his theories seem improbable?

(see the answer keys)

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