Plant Biology 694. Creation and Evolution: Differing World Views

Midterm examination: DUE 10 February 1997

You will have approximately 10 days to complete the work on this midterm. Please complete this exam by following these criteria:

1. Exams must be typed using single line spacing and one inch margins.

2. The exam is open note, open book, and you may use any other references. Where appropriate, give citation information (e.g., if you get information off the web, include the URL).

3. You are expected to work alone on the exam.

4. If you have any questions be sure to ask for clarification.

Questions: (1=10 pts; 2=20pts; 3=20 pts; 4=25pts; 5=25pts)

1. Define the following terms: a. Evolution theory; b. Creation science; c. Natural theology.

2. Write a short myth to explain one of the following phenomena:

a.Why lizards, fish, frogs, turtles and birds usually come from eggs and other animals do not.

b.Why different plants have different pollinators (e.g., bee, bird, moth, or abiotic vectors).

c. Why different groups of humans have different skin colors.

3.In regard to the differing world views of creationism and evolution, Doug Futuyma writes, "And the fundamentalist assault is not limited to evolutionary biology: physics, astronomy, geology, anthropology, and psychology are all under attack." Explain how the different creationist worldviews (i.e., literal interpretation of Genesis; intelligent design) may affect nonbiological disciplines of science. Expand on the ideas presented by Futuyma (p. 5) using other examples.

4. Karl Popper's falsifiability criterion for defining science has been a key issue in the creation/evolution debate.

a. Briefly characterize what science is and is not, and address the issues of falsifiability in determining whether evolution theory can be considered as a legitimate branch of science.

b. Using Popper's falsifiability criterion, discuss what evidence could be used to falsify the creation model presented by Gish.

c.What evidence could be used to falsify evolution theory?

5. The principle of uniformitarianism was a key factor in the development of Darwin's ideas on species immutability.

a. Define uniformitarianism.

b.Outline the history documenting the development of the principle of uniformitarianism.

c.Discuss the principle of uniformitarianism in the context of Gish's creation model (i.e., what patterns should one see throughout the earth's history if the creation model is accurate).

d. Discuss the principle of uniformitarianism in the context of chapters 1-2 of Origin, which deal with Variation Under Domestication and Variation Under Nature.


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