Name ________________
BIO508-Fall2006-Exam 1
(40pts Total)
(1 pt each) Multiple Choice
___ 1. Which of the scientists below is most likely to have made the following statement:
“Organisms acquire changes in their characteristics during their lifetimes, and then
pass these changes on to their offspring”.
a. Linnaeus b. Lamarck c. Fisher
d. Haldane
___ 2. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Striving to be man, the worm mounts through all
the spires of form.” On what theory is this prose based?
a. uniformitarianism b. transformationalism c. natural selection d. essentialism
___ 3. What information below is not needed to estimate the rate of molecular evolution
between two sequences?
a. knowledge of the proportion of base pair differences
b. estimate of absolute time to the common ancestral sequence
c. knowledge of the number of synapomorphies
d. estimate of the average rate of base pair substitution
___ 4. Why do evolutionary biologist use models to estimate the number of nucleotide
differences between two DNA sequences?
a. because the observed number of differences usually provides an over-estimate
of sequence divergence
b. because the observed number of differences usually provides an under
estimate of sequence divergence
c. because parsimony analysis requires a model of evolution
d. there is no specific reason; evolutionary biologists like to explore complicated
models because simple explanations are usually incorrect
___ 5. Which statement below best describes the interpretation of bootstrap values that
are calculated for nodes of phylogenetic trees?
a. they reflect the probability that a clade represents the most likely speciation
b. they reflect the probability that a clade represents the true speciation history
c. they reflect the probability of obtaining a clade given random sampling of the
d. they reflect the probability that the clade is falsely constructed
___ 6. Which of the factors below contribute to the possibility of incomplete lineage or
allele sorting during the speciation process.
a. ancestral polymorphism
b. effective population size
c. time between speciation events
d. all of the above
___ 7. Which of the following are examples of homoplasy?
character reversal and autapomorphy
character reversal and character convergence
autapomorphy and synapomorphy
homology and analogy
Consider the following species and sequences to answer the next 5 questions (8-12)
Species 1
Species 2
Species 3
Species 4
___ 8. How many sites are informative for character mapping using the cladistic
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
___ 9. Using the concepts of cladistics and parsimony, which species pairs below are
most likely to be sister taxa?
a. 1&2
b. 1&3
c. 1&4
___ 10. Using the concept of similarity or genetic distance, which species pairs below are
most likely to be sister taxa?
a. 1&2
b. 1&3
c. 1&4
___ 11. How many different monophyletic groups are there if you build a single,
bifurcating tree (i.e. 4 terminal branches) using all 4 species?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
___ 12. How many autapomorphies are there in the dataset?
a. 2
b. 4
c. 6
d. 8
___ 13. Why is it a smart idea to use a slowly evolving gene to reconstruct evolutionary
relationships among very distantly related species?
a. because distantly related species generally have too much polymorphism to
use fast evolving genes
b. because slowly evolving genes are more likely to exhibit clocklike behavior
c. because slowly evolving genes are less likely to show saturation of sites when
comparing distantly related species
d. because fast evolving genes are more likely to be influenced by natural
___ 14. Which of the following shows the correct order along the ‘special creation-toevolution’ continuum of beliefs and theories?
a. Flat earthism – Young-earth creationism – Gap creationism – Intelligent Design
b. Geocentrism – Flat earthism – Theistic evolution – Day-age creationism
c. Young-earthism – Theistic evolution – Intelligent design – Flat earthism
d. Materialistic evolution – Gap creationism – Buddhism - Presbyterian
___ 15. Who said the following: “ The mystery of the beginning of all things is
insolvable by us; and I, for one, must be content to remain agnostic.”
a. Katie Couric
b. Plato
c. Charles Darwin
d. Compte de Buffon
___ 16. In Judge Overton’s decision concerning McLean vs the Arkansas Board of
Education, he proposed guidelines for distinguishing science from religion.
Which of the following was not one of his guidelines?
a. Science is guided by natural law
b. Science is explanatory by reference to natural law
c. Science is only based on factual information
d. Scientific conclusions are tentative
___ 17. Although a broad oversimplification, most traits that evolutionary biologists
study are
a. Polygenic b. Mendelian c. Environmentally determined d. Simple
___ 18. Which of the following statements best describes the speciation process?
a. Speciation is always a gradual, bifurcating process
b. Speciation generally occurs among sub-groups of individuals of a population
c. Speciation generally occurs through the genetic differentiation of
geographically separated populations
d. New species are formed when two distantly related species hybridize
___ 19. True or False. The process of adaptation requires genetic change at the
population level.
a. True
b. False
___ 20. Which of the following statements about contemporary taxonomy and
phylogenetic analysis is most correct?
a. Taxonomy is use to reveal the Scale of Nature
b. Taxonomy is a method of classifying species in a hierarchical way that does not
necessarily reflect evolutionary relationships
c. Phylogenetic analysis attempts to classify organisms in a hierarchical way that
does reflect evolutionary relationships
d. Binomial nomenclature is only used in taxonomy
(1 pt each) Match the letter from THE LIST with the following statements:
___1. Variation in this trait allows tiger salamanders to adapt to aquatic habitats
___2. Proponent of the mutational theory of evolution
___3. Stochastic process that makes it difficult to reconstruct phylogeny during an
adaptive or species radiation
___4. Independent evolution of the same characteristic among taxa that don’t share an
immediate common ancestor
___5. Shared derived character state
___6. Philosophy that the simplest explanation is probably the correct one
___7. Model of nucleotide sequence evolution
___8. Term for a variant type of gene or DNA sequence
___ 9. The “watch-maker” metaphor is used to support this form of creationism
___10. Leading population geneticist during the era of the modern synthesis
___ 11. Area of evolutionary biology that focuses on diversity and the history of life
___ 12. One of the arguments made by intelligent design advocates against evolution
___ 13. A proposition or supposition
___ 14. A mature, interconnected body of statements that is widely accepted and based
on strong evidence
___ 15. A characteristic or trait of an organism
a. allele
b. Pauley
c. Thomas Hunt Morgan
d. phenotype
e. intelligent design
f. metamorphosis
g. convergent evolution
h. Fisher
i. synapomorphy
j. incomplete lineage sorting
k. irreducible complexity
l. macroevolution
m. jukes-cantor
n. parsimony
o. hypothesis
p. theory
q. Darwin
r. microevolution
Short Essay: Answer 3 of the following 4 questions (5 pts each)
1. Why does creationism continue to be a problem in the USA, but not in other equally
developed countries of the world (e.g. European countries)?
2. Briefly explain how natural selection operates as a mechanism of evolution. Is natural
selection the only mechanism of evolution?
3. Discuss how a creationist verses an evolutionary biologist would explain the existence
of 5 digits in humans, rather than some other number of digits.
4. Discuss 3 reasons for why a gene tree may not reveal the true order of branching
events for a group of related species.
Graduate Students Only (5 pts)
1. Is it possible to distinguish between hybridization and incomplete allele/lineage sorting
as factors that contribute to the incongruence between gene trees and species trees?
Assume it is and please describe how it might be possible.
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