Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. Who was America's "greatest paleontologist and scientific administrator"?

2. What comprises the first 4 billion years of Earth's history?

3. What is the most common organism among the Burgess Shale fossils?

4. What make up periods?

5. How many levels are there in the taxonomy of life?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the boundary between the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras famous?

2. What is Chapter 3: Reconstruction of the Burgess Shale: Toward a New View of Life about?

3. What special insight or perspective does the Burgess Shale offer?

4. What are Marrella and Yohoia in terms of evolution?

5. What is the purpose of Chapter 2: A Background for the Burgess Shale?

6. What did Stephen Jay Gould desire to use the Burgess Shale for?

7. How does Gould begin Chapter 2: A Background for the Burgess Shale?

8. How is the "Cambrian explosion" defined?

9. What is the definition of decimation in the relation to the evolution of life?

10. What did Whittington find Opabinia to actually be?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Gould promotes the idea that evolution cannot hold up under intensive examination. First, examine evolution as a theory. Second, examine it as a theory in the context of the Burgess Shale. Support your agreement or disagreement with at least two logical reasons with solid examples. Can the conception of evolution hold up under intensive examination? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 1, Gould expresses the opinion that accepting his interpretation of the Burgess Shale has a psychological cost for humanity. Explain why Gould believes this and disagree or agree with his statement. Cite at least three reasons that support your argument.

Essay Topic 3

Chapter 2 focuses on the myth of the laboratory and of field work. What does Gould have to say about the myths behind these work stations? Discuss three examples that explain how Gould presents these working stations as mythic. Also, determine the similarities and differences between laboratory and field work.

(see the answer keys)

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