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 all existing water is fresh water?

2. Each cell of the human body contains what length of DNA?

3. In a cell, what is the cytoplasm?

4. What are eukarya?

5. Most human traits, including eye color, are determined by:

Short Essay Questions

1. What are bipeds? What are some of the unique challenges they face because of their structure?

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

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

4. What does Bryson caution regarding extinction?

5. Why haven't scientists discovered every species of plant and animal life yet?

6. How do ice ages begin?

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

8. Describe the presence of bacteria in humans.

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

10. Describe the fossilized traces of microbes found in Greenland.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Describe how radiation was discovered. How was it researched? What happened to the researchers? What misunderstandings did people first have about radiation? How did these misunderstandings affect the public? What do we now know about radiation that people failed to recognize initially?

Essay Topic 3

The author shares many stories of one person making an important discovery and someone else getting credit for it. Cite two examples of this. Why does Bryson discuss these cases? What do you feel he is trying to reveal about scientific discoveries and the scientific community?

(see the answer keys)

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