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

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How did Wilson react against the religion he inherited?
(a) He embraced it but insisted on the ability to hold exclusive beliefs.
(b) He maintained his faith in spite of his scientific research.
(c) He tried to reconcile his science with his faith.
(d) He rejected literal interpretation of the Bible.

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

3. Wilson says that biological classification is based on the "Origin of Species" and what?
(a) Military organization.
(b) Systems theory.
(c) Dianetics.
(d) Systematics.

4. How do Gnostics and alchemists view snakes?
(a) As symbols of destruction and re-creation.
(b) As symbols of eternal life.
(c) As symbols of the old order of gods.
(d) As symbols of divinity.

5. How does Wilson characterize the current state of knowledge?
(a) Interconnected.
(b) Fragmented.
(c) Irreconcilable.
(d) Unified.

Short Answer Questions

1. What has research on the mind had to focus on?

2. How many cells comprise the brain?

3. What did Descartes argue for, in Wilson's account?

4. What did Condorcet pioneer?

5. Where does Wilson propose to test the benefit of consilience?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does E.O. Wilson mean by the Ionian Enchantment?

2. How would you describe Rene Descartes' influence on Wilson's idea of consilience?

3. How does Wilson offer the physical sciences as a metaphor for consilience?

4. How would you describe Rousseau's influence on Wilson's idea of consilience?

5. How does Wilson use evolution as a parallel for consilience?

6. What is the relationship between complexity theory and consilience?

7. How do anatomical limitations affect our science, in Wilson's account?

8. What is reductionism, and what makes it useful for science?

9. What three-part division does Wilson divide the brain into?

10. In what way does Wilson distinguish between evolutionary progress and consilience?

(see the answer keys)

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