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We have learned that reliance on culture has increased in the course of human history. Yet the fact and mechanisms of evolution remain a key part of our human present and future because
people haven't stopped adapting biologically.
During the 18th century, many scholars became interested in biological diversity, human origins, and our position within the classification of plants and animals. At that time, the most commonly accepted explanation of the origin of species was
creationism, the belief that biological similarities and differences originated at Creation and that these characteristics, once set, could not change.
The Intelligent Design (ID) movement asserts that life forms are too complex to have been formed by natural processes and must therefore have been created by a higher intelligence. Attempts have been made to teach ID as an alternative theory to Darwinian evolution in biology classes in several states in the United States. However,
as a Pennsylvania district judge ruled in a 2005 case, ID violates the ground rules of science by invoking supernatural causation and making assertions that cannot be tested or falsified, and thus does not belong in a school's science curriculum.
Darwin and Wallace simultaneously proposed which of the following theoretical models?
B. Natural selection
Although Darwin became the best-known evolutionist, the idea of evolution had been around well before him. Darwin's key contribution was to propose a mechanism that drives evolution, which is known as
C. natural selection.
Which of the following does not seek to explain the origin of species by referring to an outside agent?
D. Extraterrestrial seeding
E. Intelligent Design
Sir Charles Lyell, the father of geology, influenced Darwin with his principle of catastrophism, the view that extinct species were destroyed by fires, floods, and other catastrophes. His geological research was also critical in Darwin's own formulations because it
cast serious doubt on the belief that the world was only 6,000 years old, allowing for a much broader time span for the gradual biological changes to take place that fossil finds were confirming.
What is the term for the belief that explanations for past events should be sought in ordinary forces that are at work today?
Natural selection is the process by which the forms most fit to survive and reproduce in a given environment do so in greater numbers than others in the same population. But more than survival of the fittest, natural selection is the natural process that leads to
differential reproductive success.
For natural selection to work on a particular population
A. their members must have a sufficiently long enough life span.
B. the environment must remain constant.
C. there must be a strong will to survive among the members of the population.
D. there must be variety within that population.
E. there must be genotypic diversity but phenotypic homogeneity.
was first scientifically described by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace.
Which of the following statements about natural selection is not true? Natural selection
A. operates directly on genetic variety.
B. is the sum of environmental forces that conditions the survival of particular phenotypes.
C. operates with respect to specific environments.
D. is responsible for the maintenance of sickle hemoglobin polymorphism.
E. was first scientifically described by Darwin and Wallace.
This chapter describes the case of giraffes' long necks to illustrate how natural selection works on variety within a population. This explanation contrasts to the incorrect alternative of the inheritance of acquired characteristics which suggests that
in each generation, individual giraffes strain their necks to reach food just a bit higher, and that this straining somehow modifies their genetic material.
Why are genetics and evolution so important to anthropology? They
help anthropologists document and explain human biological diversity.
What does Mendelian genetics study?
A. changes in gene frequencies in breeding populations
B. the ways in which chromosomes transmit genes across generations
C. how nuclear DNA transmits information to other parts of the cell
D. evolution in pea plants
E. phenotypic mutations
Gregor Mendel's work with hereditary traits of pea plants
A. confirmed the paint-pot theory of inheritance.
B. was the basis for Darwin's theory of evolution.
C. led to the formulation of the law of independent assortment.
D. discredited the phenomenon of balanced polymorphism.
E. proved that natural selection operates on genotypes.
What role do recombination and independent assortment play in evolution? They
D. act to create genetic variability in a breeding population.
What is the process by which sex cells are produced?
A. Directional selection
D. Independent assortment
The DNA molecule
A. was discovered in the decade after Darwin's death.
B. is the basic hereditary material.
C. initiates and guides the construction of complex sugars.
D. is made up of three bases: adenine, cytosine, and factor.
E. is the messenger molecule of RNA.
Mutations are the most important source of variety on which natural selection depends and operates. There are two forms of mutations,
A. both discovered by Mendel.
B. called cancer-causing mutations and chromosomal rearrangement.
C. which occur only during the development of an individual.
D. called base substitution mutation and chromosomal rearrangement.
E. which always result in phenotypic change.
The term gene pool refers to all the
A. alleles, genes, chromosomes, and genotypes within a breeding population.
B. mutations in a breeding population.
C. alleles, genes, chromosomes, and genotypes of the animal kingdom.
D. processes of achieving a perfect fit to the environment.
E. mechanisms of competition over strategic resources.
A. is no longer affected by evolutionary processes.
B. remains the best explanation for genetic evolution.
C. is all in the genes.
D. is 75 percent genotype and 25 percent phenotype.
E. is not set at birth but has considerable plasticity.
Early on in this chapter, we learned that evolution refers to descent with modification over generations. Geneticists, however, have an even more specific definition of evolution:
a change in gene frequency; that is, in the frequency of alleles in a breeding population from generation to generation.
Any factor that contributes to the change in allele frequency in a breeding population from generation to generation is considered a mechanism of genetic evolution. Those mechanisms are
natural selection, mutation, random genetic drift, and gene flow.
The example of the sickle-cell allele demonstrates a key aspect of evolution through natural selection in that
adaptation and fitness are in relation to specific environments; traits are not adaptive or maladaptive all the time.
Which of the following statements about individuals with the HbS allele in the homozygous form is true? They
A. lack the capacity to digest lactose.
B. usually develop fatal cases of sickle-cell anemia.
C. rarely develop any form of sickle-cell anemia before reaching reproductive age.
D. usually are found in temperate regions of the world.
E. always develop fatal cases of sickle-cell anemia late in life.
Which of the following statements about the HbS allele is not true?
A. It is found in higher gene frequencies in regions where malaria is endemic.
B. It causes sickle-cell anemia in homozygous individuals.
C. It spread through the tropics as communities adopted slash-and-burn agriculture.
D. Heterozygous individuals have an increased immunity to malaria.
E. Homozygous individuals usually develop fatal cases of dysentery.
The study of sickle-cell anemia and its relation to malarial environments demonstrates that
changes in cultural adaptation can result in changes in the selective pressures on a human population.
Anthropologists that study the evolution of disease, such as venereal syphilis, focus not just on its biology but also on
its context of social and political history, such as the role of globalization in the spread and transformation of disease.
What does the term gene flow refer to?
A. the random loss of genes through sampling error
B. the genetic mutations that occur during meiosis
C. the movement of alleles from one chromosome to another
D. the exchange of genetic material between populations of the same species
E. a random pattern of chromosome mutations
What do gene flow and interbreeding act against?
C. Natural selection
E. Balanced polymorphisms
In the debate of how speciation occurs, advocates of punctuated equilibrium
suggest that long periods of stasis (stability), during which species change little, are interrupted by evolutionary leaps.
The so-called modern synthesis, the currently accepted view of evolution,
suggests that speciation occurs after the genetic isolation of two populations, which allows their gene pools to diverge.
How have modern-day creationists sometimes misunderstood the contrast between microevolution and macroevolution to comment on evolution? By
suggesting that macroevolution, in contrast to microevolution, cannot be demonstrated based on the fossil record
The theory of creationism argues that all the species present today were created as natural selection selected the fittest individuals.
The inheritance of acquired characteristics is central to Darwin's theory of evolution
Uniformitarianism states that the natural forces at work today have more or less been the same as those at work in the past.
Darwin proposed the theory of evolution, although the fact of evolution was known well before his work.
Intelligent Design explains some biological facts that evolution cannot explain.
Mendelian genetics studies the ways in which gene frequencies vary in communities from generation to generation.
One of Gregor Mendel's contributions to genetics was his discovery that traits are inherited as discrete units.
Recessive traits are expressed only in homozygous individuals.
The genotype refers to expressed traits based on their genetic makeup.
A balanced polymorphism refers to two or more forms, such as alleles of the same gene that change frequencies in a population from generation to generation.
Mendel's concept of independent assortment is based on the fact that individual traits are inherited independently of one another.
In molecular genetics, the term crossover refers to a site on the DNA molecule where homologous chromosomes have exchanged segments by breakage and recombination
Mitosis is the special process by which sex cells are produced.
Genetic evolution involves changes in gene frequencies between generations within a given breeding population.
Natural selection is the only mechanism driving genetic evolution.
Natural selection operates directly on the genotype of an organism.
Directional selection works to reduce genetic variation by removing maladaptive traits from the gene pool.
Directional selection has eliminated sickle-cell anemia from all human populations, except those in regions where diabetes is endemic.
The HbS allele has been maintained in certain populations in Africa, India, and the Mediterranean because heterozygotes with this allele are less susceptible to malaria.
Globalization remains an important factor in the spread and mutation of disease in today's world.
Mutations introduce genetic variation into a gene pool.
Gene flow between populations works to prevent speciation.
Microevolution refers to small-scale change in allele frequencies over generations without speciation.
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