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Wesley’s Introductory Biology Test

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Take the test!

The “correct” answers (according to the test’s answer key) follow marked with a + sign.

Whoever formed and picked these questions is a dolt and whoever fisked the answers (hello Wesley) needs to go take 9th grade biology again. I was particulary amused by question 36 which required me to answer that eukaryotes have no nucleus. Some of my comments included in bold. Also, it is standard practice to warn that wrong answers count against you and no such warning was included. Very bad form. Discounting the bad answers as noted below, I knew the correct answer for 48 of the 51 questions which is evidently better than Wesley since he didn’t spot the vast majority of the mistakes I pointed out. I missed questions 8, 9, and 40.

Question 1:

The physical evidence that the earth is far older than 10,000 years and species have clearly changed over time clearly allows for the rejection of one of the four hypotheses about the origin of modern organisms. Which of the following models is it?

-Separate types
+Static model
-Common descent

Question 2:

Which of the following elements are NOT responsible for the emergence of species?

-independent evolutionary change
-isolation of populations
+gradual change in climate
-evolution of reproductive barriers

Question 3:

Which of the following alleles is distinct to a particular race?

-Cystic Fibrosis to the White Race
-D8s384 (DNA fingerprint) to the Asian race
-Sickle cell anemia to the Black race
+None of the above

Question 4:

Biodiversity is organized and grouped into two groups

-Monera and eukarya
-plants and animals
+prokaryotic and eukaryotic
-organic and inorganic

Question 5:

What body part is a vestigial trait in humans

-body hair

Question 6:

How do doctors bottle strong infections

+a cocktail of several medications
-only strong antibiotics
-tea and rest
-there is nothing to be done, the illness is terminal

Question 7:

What type of selection did Charles Darwin argue exists in an evolutionary manner?

+Natural selection
-Ecobalance selection
-Frequency dependent selection

Question 8:

Which race was originally NOT identified by Linneaus?

+pacific Islander

Question 9:

Lucy is the most complete fossil of …

+Australopithecus afarensis
-Homo neanderthalensis
-Australopithecus africanus
-Homo erectus

Question 10:

This is questionable. The rate difference is small between S&SE Asia and Latin America (0.7% and 0.6% respectively) and probably well outside the margin of error. Plus Sub-Saharan Africa still has a greater new infection rate than any other region of the world by a factor of 7.

Which of the following areas has the highest AIDS new infection rate?

+South and Southeast Asia
-North Africa and Middle East
-Latin America
-Australia and New Zealand

Question 11:

Which of the following does not provide evidence for why humans are all the same species despite of differences in race?

-wave-like pattern of B Blood groups distribution in Europe and Asia
-Ability to reproduce and create fertile offspring
-alleles such as sickle cell anemia are not race bound
+different cultures and features exist

Question 12:

This is an odd answer. Difficult to distinguish from faster natural selection. “Must develop” sounds awfully telic for NeoDarwinian evolution. Freudian slip?

Why do plants have so much potential for development for treatment of natural diseases?

-Plants have cell walls which can block 50% of bacterial disease
-The natural selection of plants has occurred much faster than with animals, therefore, they have developed superior resistances to most diseases
+Plants are immobile, so to survive, they must develop resistances to the many diseases that find their way to the plants
-Photosynthesis provides enough extra nutrition to fight off most diseases

Question 13:

Discussed when? Discussed where? Impossible to answer this question.

Which model of the origin and progression of species has not been discussed?

-Separate Types (different species evolve separately)
-Common Descent
+Top to Bottom (trickle down) evolution

Question 14:

Evolution at its core, can be best described as:

+the natural change in allele frequency over time
-the effect foreign factors have on species
-the adoption of traits by populations

Question 15:

Choose the choice that is false. Species arise through…

-isolation of populations
-independent evolutionary change
-evolution of reproductive barriers

Question 16:

Which is NOT a general observation by Charles Darwin?

-individuals within populations vary and variation is heritable
-there will be more offsprings than will survive
-there will be differential survival and reproductions
+survival and reproduction is random

Question 17:

Which is true about AIDS?

There are two correct answers here. It is not acquired in large numbers quickly.

-not acquired in large numbers quickly
+first described in a young group of gay men
-first described in 1968
-immune systems still work properly

Question 18:

Which type is NOT evidence for evolution

-fossil record

Question 19:

Who is credited with bringing the theory of evolution into mainstream of modern science?

-Herbert Spencer
-Gregor Mendel
+Charles Darwin
-Albert Einstein

Question 20:

Here’s a real boner. None of the answers are correct. Chimps are believed to be our closest non-extinct relative but we didn’t evolve from them. The party line is that chimps and humans share a common ancestor.

It is believed that humans evolved from which group of primates?

-Squirrel Monkeys

Question 21:

What is the name of the Species of humans?


Question 22:

Say what? Similarity in structure and function is the correct answer.

Mammals, like lions, chimpanzees, humans, and bats:

-have similarities in bone structure and function
+have few bone structure similarities but have similar functions
-have similarities in bone structure but the functions differ in each species
-have no similarities in either bone structure or function

Question 23:

Which evolutionary model is most widely supported by modern science?

-the static model
-the transformation model
-the separate types model
+the common descent model

Question 24:

Very few protists are multicellular so there are two correct answers here!

Which of the following is NOT true about protista?

-They range in size and are multicellular and symbiotic
+All organisms in the kingdom have the ability to manufacture food
-They come in many forms including animal-like, plantlike, and fungi-like
-They are eukaryotic and contain membrane bound organelles

Question 25:

Which of the following kingdom contains prokaryotes?


Question 26:

Who developed the binomial name system for which animals are classified?

-Charles Darwin
+Carolus Linnaeus
-Hardy Weinberg
-Albert Einstein
-Louis Pasteur

Question 27:

Which of the following is an example of a vestigial trait in humans?


Question 28:

Yay Wesley! He caught this one!

Approximately about how many species have been identified so far?

-5 million
-Less than 1 million
-Less than 2 million (Correct)
+2 million

Question 29:

Wesley shoots, he scores again!

The three domains of life are:

-Bacteria, Protista, and Fungi
-Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya (Correct)
+Protista, Archaea, and Eukarya
-Monera, Eukarya, and Protista

Question 30:

Fallowing? Okay, I’m nitpicking, but I still caught it.

Which of the fallowing is NOT a characteristic of prokaryote cell:

-have no nucleolus
-exist in large numbers
-can live in and on another organism
+the kingdom of protista is made of this type of cell
-they are very versatile

Question 31:

Which is NOT one of the four general observations of natural selection?

-variation is heritable
+survivors are random
-individuals within populations vary
-more offspring than will survive

Question 32:

Which of the following is NOT how species arise?

+genetic compatibility
-isolation of populations
-evolution of reproductive barriers
-independent evolutionary change

Question 33:

Which of the following contribute(s) to carry receptors that recognize foreign bodies?

-Immune system
-None of the above

Question 34:

Which of the following make(s) species arise?

-Isolation of populations
-Independent evolutionary change
-Evolution of reproductive barriers
+All of the above

Question 35:

Which of these is a vestigial trait for human beings?

-finger nails
+tail bones
-eye lashes
-large brains
-a-b, 1-2

Question 36:

It took me five tries to figure out which wrong answer they wanted. The correct answer is “referred to as microbes”.

Which of these answers does NOT apply to Eukaryotic cells?

-they have membrane-bound organelles
+they have a nucleus
-they are referred to as microbes
-they were once symbiotic
-none of the above

Question 37:

Organisms came into being within the last 10,000 years, and have not changed substantially since their creation. The hypotheses about the origin of modern organisms being described is:

+static model
-separate types
-common descent

Question 38:

The most ancient fossilized cells, which lived approximately 3.5 billion years ago, are remarkably similar in appearance to modern:

-both a and b
+both b and c

Question 39:

A non-self substance, object, or organism typically has a unique chemical signature that causes an immune response. This signature is called a(n):

-T4 cells

Question 40:

Cool. This is the first question that taught me something I didn’t know. I had no idea 2 billion people are infected with asymptomatic latent TB.

Approximately 1/3 of the world’s population has this disease:


Question 41:

Bad answer. Lack of elasticity causes sickle RBCs to rupture before the parasite can reproduce. Shape has nothing to do with it. Polymerization of sickle hemoglobin also interferes with the parasite’s ability to digest it. The second answer isn’t good either but it’s at least equally as correct as the first.

Sickle cells help fight malaria because the cells:

+Their oblong shape cause the cells to die faster and the disease can’t spread.
-Are not able to host the disease, never allowing it to affect the person.
-Their round shape cause the cells to die faster and the disease can’t spread.
-Sickle cells do not help fight malaria.

Question 42:

In the five kingdom system which of the following groups is the only one that is made up exclusively of prokaryotic life forms?


Question 43:

Pedants could argue for billions of years over which answer is the best one here. I chose natural selection and will pedantically defend that choice to the death. 🙄

The relative survival and reproduction of one variant in a population compared to others in the same population is referred to as:

-artificial selection
-natural selection

Question 44:

Now how many of you know that there are documented cases of fertile mules? Hybrid fertility is a continuum not a matter of either fertile or infertile. Another icon of evolution down the drain and another wrong answer on this test.

A mule is a hybrid species created by the coupling of a horse and a donkey. Which statement below best describes the type of reprodutive barrier found in a mule?

-prezygotic barrier because a horse and a donkey will refuse to mate with each other
-prezygotic barrier because the sperm and egg of a horse and donkey are incompatible
-postzygotic barrier because the mule offspring of a horse and donkey cannot develop properly and rarely survive
+postzygotic barrier because the mule suffers from hybrid sterility in that the mule cannot produce proper sperm or eggs.

Question 45:


Which hypothesis about the evolution of Homo sapiens is most consistent with the evidence collected and genic information?

-Multiregional Evolution
-Hybridization and Assimilation
+Out of Africa
-None of the above

Question 46:

Which of the following is known to have drug-resistant strains?

+All of the above

Question 47:

Actually it’s the infection of T4 cells that causes an immune response. Loss of T4 cells results in immune deficiency. Yet another wrong answer.

The loss of T4 cells by AIDS results in…

-Immune response
-Immune deficiency

Question 48:

This also describes the static model. Two correct answers here.

This hypothesis states that organisms were created, perhaps millions of years ago, and changes have occurred, but brand-new species have not arisen.

-Static Model
-Seperate Types
-Common Descent
-None of the above

Question 49:

A group of individuals that can interbreed and produce fertile offspring but don’t breed with members of another species

-Basic Species Concept
-Gene Flow
+Biological Species Concept

Question 50:

Which of these concepts provides strong support against the theory of special creation?

-classification systems
+vestigial traits
-the missing link

Question 51:

Which of these is not true about Darwin’s process of natural selection?

-It is an inference based on four general observations.
+Darwin proved that elephant offspring have a high chance of survival.
-favorable inherited variations tend to increase in frequency in a population over time.
-the concept of adaptation can be explained by Darwin’s observation of finches.

Quote: "The coccyx has definitely lost its original phsyiological significance - it’s not a tail." Let's see: notwithstanding well-known current functions, the coccyx is "vestigal" and therefore is evidence of an evolutionary origin; yet the only reason we have for believing that it was originally a tail is because we assume that it had an evolutionary origin and is vestigal. Wonderful. This is about as useful as the circular homology "evidence." Yet another: "Given that the fossil record is so horribly incomplete it’s not surprising that the first vertebrate has not been discovered in it. Indeed, fossil remains of small populations may be irretrievably destroyed." Sure. Let's fall back on ol' Chuck's argument from ignorance/arrogance: the fossil record doesn't generally support the cherished theory, so there must be something wrong with the fossil record. Eric Anderson
Good comments Black Hole Sun. Interestingly, even when I selected the "corrected" answers I was marked wrong. Otherwise I got four wrong and was deemed to have come "close" and told that I "might not embarrass myself in discussions". Not only were there the errors mentioned above, but many of the questions were poorly worded, vague, and often very specific to the particular course and its content. Charlie

My usual consulting fee is $200/hr, [a**hole], 1/3 of which goes to our consulting business, 2/3 to my pocket.

Someone beat you to it and didn't charge a dime. I bet it's not the first time THAT has happened to you. -ds :cool:

Please refrain from using profanity here. See the Comment Moderation Policy.--Crandaddy


I provided the questions for this test. I put them out there just to test the waters - someone in a thread at Dispatches from the Culture Wars had suggested making politicians pass an AP Biology test before legislating the curriculum. We kicked the idea around a bit and I produced this study aid from my class. These questions were submitted by students to ease the workload on my professor, and to return the favor he put every question that we submitted online in a .pdf document.

"Someone obviously made an attempt to fisk the answers because “correct” is appended to two of the correct answers which will be marked wrong. I’d like to hear Wesley’s explanation for this."

Here's the explanation: They were in the original .pdf document that I provided. Wesley apparently copy + pasted every question. In the original document, all of the correct answers were bolded, but my professor accidentally let those two slip by. He apparently didn't do quality control on the questions either because a number of the bolded answers were simply wrong.

In answer to some other specific notes...

Question 10 - New infection rates of HIV: I'm looking at a global HIV chart in my textbook. By sheer numbers, sub-Saharan Africa beats everyone else COMBINED. By percentage, the highest number on the map is East Asia and Pacific Islands: 23% new cases in 2002. That's where we got our answer. It looks like the source was the UN Joint Program on HIV/AIDS. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if that means there was a 23% increase in infections, or if 23% of the total number of cases happened in 2002. Dang.

Question 13 - Which has not been discussed: Sorry about that one. If you remove "trickle down" and substitute "transformation," you get all four that we discussed in class. That question is utterly useless.

Question 20 - Humans evolved from which primate: I was pretty ticked about that one too, but like you said, chimps are our closest living relative.

Question 22 - Structure and function: The wording was changed on the final test to make the answer less ambiguous, so there's at least that to feel better about.

Question 29 - Domains of life: The correct answer is "Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya."

Question 36 - Eukaryotic cells: I also could not believe that question when I read it.

Question 44 - Fertile mules: There are documented cases but they are rare. The mule population would probably not survive if humans did not breed horses and donkeys.

Question 47 - T4 cells: Semantics, but you're right. The wording is flawed. It was changed on the final test.

Question 48 - Static model vs. Transformation: The Static model we looked at showed no change. Illustrated graphically, it looked like this: | | | | |

Great. At least someone finally responded about the test itself. My comments follow: -ds On Q48 I understand the static model is the one used by young earth creationists today and is the one Linnaeus used. He proposed that "kinds" in the bible are "species" and that while variation takes place within kinds, one kind cannot change into another kind. I'd never heard of the "transformation" model but a little googling found some reference to Lamarck's use and disuse theory as "transformation". This might be a little too esoteric and confusing as stated. Q44. Agreed. It does however raise the valid point that hybrids once presumed sterile aren't really sterile but rather have arbitrarily reduced fertility. Thus hybrid sterility might be quite a misnomer where the more accurate term would be hybrid infertility. A pet peeve of mine is the willy-nilly use of different metrics to define species. The biologic definition of species is the gold standard but it's impractical bordering on useless. There's absolutely no way to test for biologic speciation in extinct species and it's difficult bordering on impossible to thoroughly test for ability to produce fertile hybrids in suspected different species found in the wild. Heck, many species defy breeding in captivity with members of their own species to say nothing of trying to get them to breed with members of suspected different species. Thus rather flimsy and arbitrary ways of defining species have popped up so that filling in the blank pages in phylogenetic trees can proceed. Here's a thought experiment for you. Imagine you're a fossil collector in a far future where all records of past civilization has been lost and all dogs long ago reverted to their natural form - wolves, jackals, and coyotes. You start digging and discover a pet cemetary containing all kinds of fossilized dog skeletons from chihuahuas to saint bernards. Would you put them all in one species? Q10: HIV. In the interest of longevity it's probably not a good idea to place transients in there. The HIV hotspot moves around. Variation in quality and means of collecting statistics can change the data overnight too. Some claim that HIV incidence in Africa is so high because any sicknesses that aren't diagnosed as something else by unqualified health care providers are lumped into the HIV bucket (overreporting). Certain Asian countries are notorious for concealing problems from the outside world (underreporting). Many regions have virtually no means of making accurate diagnoses. When the new incidence rate (this is the per capita rate of new infection not the absolute number) in the WHO report) is close as it is between LA and SSEA it could change next year to the other way around. Q20: There's no defense for that one. I picked spider monkeys just because I knew for sure that we aren't descended from chimps, orangs, or gorillas. I thought spider monkeys were a living species and know we don't descend from any living species but was less sure of that than the other three choices. There REALLY needs to be a warning that incorrect answers count against you too if that's how scoring is done. In that case you have to be confident of better than even odds of knowing the correct answer otherwise you skip it and move along. I'm not sure about Wesley's claim that the position of correct answers isn't random and there's a standard position to use for guessing. I've never in my life used that as consideration of which answer to select although I've heard of it before. Isn't that like cheating? It's definitely not an honest way to take a test and shows a certain lack of character. But I suppose if people will game the test that way it's reasonable to mix the answer positions around so it doesn't work. Black Hole Sun
There appears to be a dearth of corrections to my corrections. Dhogaza, in a comment I didn't approve, offered to correct my corrections for his "usual consulting fee". He didn't name an amount. My guess is his usual consulting fee is a McDonald's Happy Meal and a trip to the playground. :lol: DaveScot

Mr. Scot,

If I understand correctly, the Discovery Institute boasts about its robust research programs. The DI is also well funded. Do you mean to state that the brave proponents of Intelligent Design cannot produce primary research in this setting?

And again, what, specifically, is the scientifically testable theory of Intelligent Design?

What do you understand is the dollar amount of funding at DI's disposal for ID related research? Here's the facts pal. The Discovery Institute's 2005 budget is $1.2 millon. That isn't enough to keep even a single modest research lab equipped, staffed, and running for a year. In a research lab at somewhere like Intel or Microsoft (the kind of research labs I spent most of my time in) that's barely enough to pay the salary and benefits of a few senior researchers to say nothing of support, administration, facilities, equipment, contractors, and utilities. Get a clue. And don't show your face around here again until you found one. -ds Dartos

Is there any particular reason you didn't post the preamble to the test, in which Wesley states:

"These test questions were collected from students in an introductory biology course. There are some problems with these questions, as there are repetitions and some of the questions were provided with incorrect answers."

Wesley didn't write the test, it was collected from students (and other parts of the preamble make it clear that Wesley wasn't the collector). Wesley states clearly that some of the answers are incorrect.

Makes it look like you're trying to intentionally mislead the readers of this blog, Dave.

Wesley also said anyone getting a poor score on the test should take up basket weaving or gardening. It's impossible to get a good score on that test with all correct answers because the test is so horribly flawed. Someone obviously made an attempt to fisk the answers because "correct" is appended to two of the correct answers which will be marked wrong. I'd like to hear Wesley's explanation for this. I don't think he even bothered taking the test himself. If he did he never would have made the basket weaving remark because he would've discovered the impossibility of a high score giving correct answers. That appears to be the level of effort Wesley puts into everything he does. His entire career is a random hodgepodge of never doing anything well. He calls it "eclectic". I call it "incompetent". -ds dhogaza
Re; ID research It needs to be pointed out that ID relies on exactly the same data that NDE is built upon. Data is not owned by any particular theory. Francis Crick wasn't out to test ID theory but his discovery that DNA incorporates a digital code that is translated into instructions for a protein assembling machine (ribosome) is perhaps the most compelling bit of evidence in existence for intelligent design theory. It certainly is for me since my expertise partially lies in digital process controls used in factory automation. All biology, paleontology, genetic, biochemical, and related reasearch is thus ID research because ID relies on evidence without regard to who found the evidence or what they were looking for when they discovered it. I feel your pain in that if you do the research you feel entitled to keep it from being employed by contrary hypotheses but that's just the way the cookie crumbles. The evidence is available to everyone. Get used to it. DaveScot

"What’s standing in the way of ID is the judicial system..."

Please link to the judicial ruling that prevents researchers from researching Intelligent Design.

Can researchers get public funding for ID research so long as it's legally considered a religion? Will any kids grow up to be ID researchers if they've been brainwashed in public school into thinking NDE is uncontested fact? Take all the time you need to arrive at the correct answer. -ds


I missed this question:

Does the abrupt appearance of distinct body plans sans precursors, in the fossil record, support the gradualistic model of Darwinian Evolution?

+ Hale No!
+ Don't be rediculous
- 47
+ Of course not - Give it time. We ain't found em' all yet.

That's right. And how do we know that the fossil record is mostruosily incomplete? Why, because it failed to confirm Darwin's theory. Mats
Perhaps the original ancestor had a coccyx and evolution extended it into a proper tail from there. Given that the fossil record is so horribly incomplete it's not surprising that Adam the first vertebrate has not been discovered in it. Indeed, fossil remains of the whole garden of Eden small populations may be irretrievably destroyed. ;-) DaveScot
Robert Wiedersheim then defines in circles. "The coccyx has definitely lost its original phsyiological significance - it’s not a tail." This only means something if we know that the coccyx once was a tail. If it never was it is not a vestige of anything. Charlie

To be honest Dave it looks like there may be some mistakes, which you’ve spotted. Good research – but misappropriated effort, I think.

My broader point was concerns what is ID, and what in needs to be to be accepted as science and the methods practitioners such as yourself might employ to get there.

Evolutionary theory is not complete and I’m sure it will get revised many, many times (as good theories should) to accommodate new data and give the best predictive model possible.

There will be many opportunities to bash it, but drying to diminish Evolution is not the way to make ID the dominant theory. Having a better, more scientifically robust explanation of how all this different life got here is.

A quick look at Uncommon Descent shows a load of ‘Pianka bashing’ recently. How is this helping ID exactly? More science, less culture war.

Dave, I’d be interested in your back of the envelope breakdown as to the percentage of content here on Uncommon Descent by category. These may not be mutually exclusive or collectively exhaustive, feel free to add or amend:

‘Critiquing Evolutionary Theory’
‘Commentating on the character’ of evolution proponents
Finding ID in scientific papers
Primary research
Notices of and feedback from events and personal items

For me – Primary research is the key (and you I believe agree based on an early comment). But ID is not generating any. I know there’s a fear of being ostracized by the scientific community for those that do – but at least that would start legitimate scientific debate. If Op Eds were research papers ID would be so much closer. In the battle to win hearts and minds, it needs to be minds first if this to be a truly scientific endeavor.


What's standing in the way of ID is the judicial system and most of that is prejudicial i.e. the judge sits on the bench with a preconceived notion that ID is not science and the Darwinian fairy tale is as strong as the theory of gravity. He rules accordingly. Nothing will change his preconceived notion. By exposing NDE in deep time as a just-so story while people are still young enough to have an open mind about it the political underpinnings keeping NDE viable will eventually collapse. We may be one SCOTUS justice away from tipping the balance as we speak. SCOTUS won't rule that ID will be taught, they'll rule that ID can be taught. That will be the death knell of NDE in deep time as without the protection of being taught in a vacuum absent criticism or contrary ideas NDE just doesn't hold up. -ds rich

Well, the ARN people are using a definition of "vestigial" that's different than the original.

'In 1893, Robert Wiedersheim published a list of 86 human organs that had in his words "lost their original physiological significance." Theorizing that they were vestiges of evolution, he called them "vestigial."'

The coccyx has definitely lost its original phsyiological significance - it's not a tail.

That's not the same as saying it has NO function whatsoever. You can pretty much prove anything false if you're free to use your own definitions for the words that make up that sentence ...


I think Dave, you'd be better served doing some research for ID rather that picking at Welsey.

Thanks for sharing your opinion. Rest assured I'll give it all due consideration. Do you have an opinion on the quality of the test? -ds rich
"Question 6: How do doctors bottle strong infections" I thought the correct answer to this would have been "glass". SCheesman

Thanks for your comments DS,

here at ARN is discussed many of the points in the test, particularly interesting is the discussion of the tailbone.

I would like to see a more in-depth discussion of the tailbone from an engineering and biomechanics standpoint.


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