Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. After considering all the different contexts for ants' communication, how does Wilson describe their form of communication?
(a) As instinctive teamwork.
(b) As socially conditioned.
(c) As electrochemical resonance.
(d) As released pheromones.

2. What do the natural science stimulate, in Wilson's account?
(a) Religious controversy.
(b) Radicalism.
(c) Other sciences.
(d) Industry.

3. How would you describe the relationship between Descartes' theories and modern science of the brain?
(a) Descartes' dualism has been rejected.
(b) The molecular work on the brain has completely surpassed anything Descartes theorized.
(c) Descartes sense of consciousness' abstraction has been embraced by scientists who practice consilience.
(d) Modern science has centered on the role of doubt in awareness.

4. What kind of progress does Wilson see in the history of life on earth?
(a) He sees the role of blind chance marring the evolutionary record.
(b) He sees a tendency toward adaptation to environment.
(c) He sees a punctuated equilibrium.
(d) He sees a tendency toward complexity.

5. What subject would Wilson like to see more of in undergraduate education?
(a) Arts.
(b) Sciences.
(c) Humanities.
(d) Philosophy.

6. Where do the images of snakes in dreams likely come from, in Wilson's account?
(a) The intuition of subterranean experience.
(b) The Bible story of the garden of Eden.
(c) A widespread fear of snakes.
(d) The mystic significance of snakes.

7. How can science help us, in Wilson's account?
(a) Science can give us better stories to tell about psychological nature.
(b) Science can reveal the extent of human powerlessness.
(c) Science can expand the limits of what we can see.
(d) Science can show us how our impressions are created by our feelings.

8. When does sleep occur, in molecular terms?
(a) When tryptophan is released in the brain.
(b) When certain chemicals decrease in the brain.
(c) When serotonin is released in the brain.
(d) When REM begins.

9. Where does the unification of intellectual work have its benefit, in Wilson's account?
(a) In the future.
(b) In politics.
(c) In philosophy.
(d) In environmental policy.

10. What does science use as proof of a theory?
(a) Repeated experiments.
(b) Natural laws.
(c) Phenomena witnessed by neutral observers.
(d) Hypotheses.

11. Who proposed the idea of unity of species that follow a few simple laws?
(a) Solon.
(b) Thales of Miletus.
(c) Socrates.
(d) Plato.

12. What force did John Locke believe in, in Wilson's account?
(a) The civilizing force of discipline.
(b) The damaging force of society.
(c) The therapeutic force of society.
(d) The nurturing force of the environment.

13. What does Wilson say evidence from the natural sciences says about Enlightenment thinkers?
(a) They made correct assumptions about the evolution of species.
(b) They made correct assumptions about the nature of divinity.
(c) They made correct assumptions about the material world.
(d) They made correct assumptions about the presence of dinosaurs.

14. What do the laws of physics transcend, in Wilson's account?
(a) Cultures.
(b) Mythologies.
(c) Languages.
(d) Galaxies.

15. Under what circumstances are theories accepted universally?
(a) When experimental data can be confirmed.
(b) When a hypothesis explains phenomena.
(c) When evidence is supported by interlocking theories.
(d) When a theory promises to explain phenomena.

Short Answer Questions

1. Where is the seat of consciousness in the brain?

2. What is consilience?

3. What is the goal, in Wilson's account, of molecular research on human cells?

4. What would need to be true before we could establish the goals and progress of evolutionary processes, in Wilson's account?

5. Why does Wilson say that the concept of evolutionary progress is not easily defined?

(see the answer keys)

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