The Botany of Desire Test | Final Test - Medium

Michael Pollan
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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. Darwin in his original book about the origin of species was adamant that man does not introduce or produce _____________.
(a) Variability.
(b) Fertilizer.
(c) The same breed.
(d) Genetically modified plants.

2. Genetic ____________ is the catchall term used to describe the various unexpected effects that misplaced or unregulated foreign genes can have in an environment.
(a) Instability.
(b) Variance.
(c) Code.
(d) Regulation.

3. Pollan suggests that drugs have both positive and negative qualities. The wine of _______ was both a scourge and a blessing.
(a) Apollo.
(b) Dionysus.
(c) Venus.
(d) Zeus.

4. The _________ in the potato is what causes it to produce its own pest killing chemicals, keeping other chemicals from being necessary.
(a) Vitamin.
(b) Starch.
(c) Genome.
(d) Gene.

5. The book suggests that the decisions that a culture makes in which plants drugs to promote or prohibit help to ______.
(a) Make people feel bad.
(b) Promote instability.
(c) Reinforce cohesion.
(d) Marginalize people.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to the book, some of the most bitter and "bad" plants are the ones that contain the most powerful _______.

2. Nature, Pollan admits, seems to be filled with ___________, making the growth process nearly impossible to control.

3. The book states that the effect of making pot illegal was that the counterculture engaged in _______the plant.

4. Farmers who plant Bt crops must leave a certain portion of their land for non-Bt crops to provide a ________ for the bugs.

5. The author speculates that in order to transcend the normal day experience, we may need to a single volume of knowledge, which is a natural history of the __________.

Short Essay Questions

1. What has been the recurrent theme about plants which are forbidden by others? What are they supposed to provide?

2. What might have happened if the police chief had seen the marijuana plant in Pollan's backyard?

3. What are some of the possible genetically modified food advances people might see in the future, according to Pollan?

4. What is the status of marijuana use and growing in Amsterdam, according to Pollan in his book?

5. Why are cats so drawn to catnip, according to the research that Pollan does after seeing how his cat response to using this herb?

6. What did Heath have to say about Pollan's question about pest resistance to the chemicals the potatoes are designed to produce?

7. After a few days of drenching rain, what did the NewLeaf potato plants look like in Pollan's garden?

8. Describe the experience Pollan had when the police almost found his large marijuana plants in his backyard?

9. What was going on at the time of Pollan's visit to Amsterdam for research for this book?

10. As the various lands in Europe began to rely on the potato, what were the positive benefits of this situation?

(see the answer keys)

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