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Cultural Literacy Test - Life Science I

Take your time with the following cultural literacy test. If you select the correct answer it will be highlighted in green and the related information will be shown. If the first answer selected is incorrect, it will be highlighted in yellow, indicating try again. If the second answer selected is incorrect, the correct answer will be displayed. See the Bibliography to learn more about this test.

Wrong Answer Try Again Correct
1. If a desert tortoise spends the summer or the dry season in a burrow, what is it doing?
2. Who was Gregor Mendel?
a British physician who discovered how blood cir­culates
an Austrian monk who pioneered the study of ge­netics
a Russian chemist who formulated the periodic table of elements
a Dutch scientist who classified members of the insect family
3. What does the theory of natural selection state?
A plant or animal can return to the characteristics of its ancestors.
A population of animals will move from one region to another.
Those organisms that are best adapted to the envi­ronment will survive.
All organisms are made up of cells.
4. Which of these pairs of animals can interbreed?
cats and dogs
horses and donkeys
rats and mice
none of the above
5. What is the chemical change that produces alcohol in wine?
6. What is osmosis?
the removal of waste products
the movement of molecules of liquid through a membrane
the maintenance of a balanced environment
the clumping together of cells
7. If a man with pure dominant genes for six fingers and a woman with recessive genes for five fingers have a child, how many fingers will the child have on each hand?
six on one hand, five on the other
8. What is the best definition of a cell?
the site of protein synthesis
the material that makes up genes
the unit of structure and function of all living things
any living plant or animal
9. What is the role of chromosomes?
They contain enzymes that release energy in respi­ration.
They propel organisms.
They control all of the functions of a cell.
They contain the genes that will determine the characteristics of an organism.
10. What is the difference between instinct and condition­ing?
Instinct is a reaction of hunger; conditioning is a reaction of fear.
Instinct is innate behavior; conditioning is learned behavior.
Instinct is learning in early youth; conditioning is learning later in life.
Instinct is possessed by the higher animals; condi­tioning is possessed by lower animals.
11. What do the amoeba, the paramecium, and the euglena have in common?
They are all sessile.
They are all one-celled organisms.
They are all types of algae.
They are all types of mold.
12. The thorns of the rose, the shape of the walking stick insect, and the coloration of the chameleon are examples of
13. In what substance is nitrogen found?
carbon dioxide
14. To what classes do salamanders and snakes belong?
Salamanders are reptiles and snakes are amphibi­ans.
Snakes are reptiles and salamanders are amphibi­ans.
Both are reptiles.
Both are amphibians.
15. In order, which animals are herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores?
alligator, anteater, hedgehog
skunk, elephant, pig
dog, horse, eagle
sheep, lion, human
16. An animal undergoing metamorphosis is
changing from cold-blooded to warm-blooded
moving from one location to another
changing from one developmental stage to the next
mutating in a beneficial manner
17. For what are James Watson and Francis Crick known?
establishing the function and structure of DNA
discovering how plants get nourishment
recognizing the similarities between primates and humans
discovering the function of gills in aquatic animals
18. Why do certain trees have needles instead of leaves?
The needles provide protection against bark-eating animals.
The needles do not taste good to predatory insects.
The needles contain the seeds that allow the trees to reproduce.
The needles allow the trees to exist in colder tem­peratures and with less water.
19. What is homeostasis?
the loss of water from a cell
the maintenance of a balanced internal environment
the process during which sex cells are formed
the sudden appearance of a new, inheritable trait
20. What was Charles Darwin's major contribution to the scientific world?
the refutation of the existence of God
the discovery of the age of the earth
the formulation of a viable theory of evolution
the invention of the microscope
21. Which of the following is not true of birds?
They are vertebrates.
They are warm-blooded.
They have a four-chambered heart.
They have functional teeth.
22. What is the correct order of stages in the life cycle of a butterfly?
caterpillar - larva - butterfly
egg - larva - pupa - imago
egg - imago - caterpillar - butterfly
larva - imago - pupa - butterfly
23. Why are identical twins studied to determine the effects of heredity and environment on personality?
Identical twins consist of a male and female.
Identical twins are usually treated the same way by parents.
Identical twins have identical genetic makeup.
Identical twins share the same environment in the womb.
24. In chemistry, what is a bond?
a tiny particle in the nucleus of an atom
the unit used to measure the amount of a substance
a molecule made up of only one atom
the force that holds atoms together to form molecules
25. Which of these animals are invertebrates?
lobsters, crabs, and shrimp
salmon, eels, and trout
frogs, toads, and salamanders
snakes, lizards, and turtles
Excellent. You are on your way to true cultural literacy.
Good. You have more than a passing knowledge of this subject.
Fair. You have a competent grasp of many aspects of this subject.
Poor. You could use some improvement in this area.
Below 60%
Time for literacy training.
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