Test Questions

From: allenroy (allenroy@peoplepc.com)
Date: Thu Jan 16 2003 - 13:07:01 EST

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    I found these questions on another email list.
    Would anyone on this list use these questions on any of your tests? Why?

    1. On page one of "The Blind Watchmaker" Richard Dawkins states:"Biology
    is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having
    been designed for a purpose". If living things _look_ designed--if the
    empirical evidence suggests purpose--then how does Dawkins know they
    _weren't_ designed? What is Dawkins' criteria for "apparent" design?

    2. Are scientists able to determine the specific evolutionary process
    that accounted for the complex arrangement of inanimate matter into a
    life form that grows, metabolizes, reacts to stimuli, and reproduces?
    (the four criteria for biological life)

    3. Give one example of an evolutionary process or mechanism which can be
    seen to create new functional information at the genetic level. Give one
    reference for any study that has shown that duplicated genes acquired
    different functions during an experiment or series of experiments.

    4. Computer programmers utilize complex codes to create software. The
    genetic code, which is more sophisticated, controls the physical
    processes of life and is accompanied by elaborate transmission and
    duplication systems. How does evolution, using natural processes and
    chance, solve the problem of complex information sequencing without

    5. Evolutionists believe the Cambrian explosion of new life began about
    525-550 million years ago. Stephen Jay Gould writes: ". . . an elegant
    study, published in 1993, clearly restricts this period of phyletic
    flowering to a mere five million years." (Scientific American, October
    1994, p. 89.) What is the approximate number of beneficial mutations
    which must have occurred per year during this 5-million-year period,
    given that billions x billions of information bits would have to be
    encoded? What percentage of mutations in multicellular organisms have
    been recognized as beneficial? List any you find.

    6. Within the field of biogenesis studies, there are a number of models
    which posit that the early, prebiotic earth must have had a reducing
    atmosphere (without oxygen or ozone). How could life begin to evolve
    without ozone to protect the earliest life forms from harmful UV radiation?

    7. Both "left-handed" and "right-handed" amino acids occur naturally.
    Life forms contain proteins consisting principally of "left-handed"
    amino acids. Assuming a simple protein molecule of 172 amino acids, what
    is the mathematical probability that all 172 amino acids would be

    8. Megatons of amino acids would be required to reach the necessary
    concentrations for protein synthesis in a vast primordial ocean.Puddles
    and ponds have a limited duration. Does evolution address this problem?

    9. Molecular biologist Michael Denton (Senior Research Fellow,
    University of Otago in New Zealand) in his book, Evolution: A Theory in
    Crisis, states there is not a trace of evidence on the molecular level
    for the traditional evolutionary series. Other molecular biologists
    agree/disagree with his conclusion. Why?

    10. How does evolution explain the emergence and development of sexual
    reproduction given that both male and female physiology would have to
    mutate simultaneously?

    11. True or False? Life appears abruptly and in complex forms in the
    fossil record and gaps appear systematically between various living kinds.

    12. Document from the fossil record the transitional forms leading up to
    the first fish, from their assumed invertebrate ancestors.

    13. Jellyfish consist entirely of soft body tissues. How do
    evolutionists explain the existence of jellyfish fossils, in view of
    their argument that soft body tissues of missing intermediate forms did
    not fossilize?

    14. The coelacanth fish was thought to be extinct for 70 million years,
    until one was caught off the coast of Madagascar in 1938. How do
    evolutionary biologists evaluate the discovery?

    15. Describe one undisputed example of a creature that was transitional
    between fish and amphibian.

    16. There are innumerable evolutionary enigmas, such as eyes, bat radar,
    and pterodactyl wings. In each case, all the component parts would have
    to evolve simultaneously in order to function properly. Discuss three
    other structures which defy evolutionary explanation.

    17. Describe one insect from the geologic record that was transitional
    between a non-flying insect and a flying insect.

    18. During the Industrial Revolution, dark-colored peppered moths
    appeared in larger numbers during environmental changes. Did a new
    species emerge, or did it already preexist? Is this macroevolution?

    19. "Bird-like" dinosaurs such as Struthiomimus were "lizard-hipped,"
    while dinosaurs such as the low-slung, four-legged Ankylosaurus were
    "bird-hipped." How do paleontologists who believe dinosaurs evolved into
    birds, account for these characteristics?

    20. Is it possible to document from the fossil record the series of
    transitional forms that led up to any dinosaur species?

    (a) Were the feathers of Archaeopteryx identical to modern flying birds?
    (b) Are there any undisputed true birds in the fossil record that had
    (c) Archaeopteryx had claws on its wings. Name three modern birds that
    have claws on their wings (either in the juvenile stage or as an adult).

    22. Evolution teaches that mammals evolved from reptiles. All mammals
    have three bones in the ear (and the Organ of Corti) and a single bone
    on each side of the lower jaw. All reptiles have a single bone in the
    ear and on average six bones on each side of the lower jaw. Speculate
    how intermediate forms could have managed to hear and chew, while the
    necessary restructuring was taking place and the Organ of Corti was
    being developed.

    23. Has any creature been identified as a direct ancestor of primates?
    Has any creature been identified as the common ancestor of man and apes?
    Explain your answers.

    24. Evolutionist Dr. Charles Oxnard (Professor of Anatomy and Human
    Biology, University of Western Australia) completed the most
    sophisticated computer analysis of australopithecine fossils ever
    undertaken, and concluded that they have nothing to do with the ancestry
    of man whatsoever and are simply an extinct form of ape (see Oxnard's
    The Order of Man, Yale University Press, 1984). How have
    paleoanthropologists responded to his conclusions?

    25. Stern and Susman write in the American Journal of Physical
    Anthropology 60:279-313 (1983) that the hands and feet of
    Australopithecus afarensis are not at all like human hands and feet;
    rather, they have the long, curved fingers and toes typical of arboreal
    primates. How, then, do some insist that the footprints Mary Leakey
    uncovered in strata (dated at 3.5 million years old) in Laetoli were
    made by Australopithecus afarensis, though these prints are
    indistinguishable from modern man? (Tuttle, Natural History, 64)

    26. Nebraska Man (based solely on a fossil tooth) became a significant
    image in America during the time of the Scopes trial (1925); later,
    scientists discovered the tooth came from a pig. A report in Nature
    (August 17, 1995) states that analysis of an incomplete shin bone from a
    creature dubbed Australopithecus anamensis suggests it walked upright
    "between 3.9 and 4.2 million years ago." How should we treat discoveries
    which have not yet faced the rigors of scientific validation?

    27. In 1982, Dr. Lyall Watson stated: "The fossils that decorate our
    family tree are so scarce that there are still more scientists than
    specimens. The remarkable fact is that all the physical evidence we have
    for human evolution can still be placed, with room to spare, inside a
    single coffin!" (Science Digest, vol. 90, May '82, p. 44.) Is Watson's
    statement still valid today?

    28. In his book, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to
    Evolution, Dr. Michael Behe defines an "irreducibly complex" system as a
    single system composed of several interacting parts that contribute to
    the basic function, and where removal of any one part causes the system
    to effectively cease functioning. Give an example of a system (living or
    non-living) that could be considered "irreducibly complex," and explain why.

    29. In his 1981 address to the geology staff at the Field Museum of
    Natural History in Chicago, Dr. Colin Patterson (Senior Paleontologist,
    British Museum of Natural History) asked: "Can you tell me anything you
    know about evolution? Any one thing? Any one thing that is true?" The
    answer he got was silence. Can you state any one thing about evolution
    you know to be true?

    30. If "yes", how do you know it's true?

    31. Should students have the academic freedom to critique evolution?

    "I have been shown that, without Bible history, geology can prove 
    nothing. Relics found in the earth do give evidence of a state of 
    things differing in many respects from the present. But the time of 
    their existence, and how long a period these things have been in the 
    earth, are only to be understood by Bible history. It may be innocent 
    to conjecture beyond Bible history, if our suppositions do not 
    contradict the facts found in the sacred Scriptures. But when men 
    leave the word of God in regard to the history of creation, and seek 
    to account for God's creative works upon natural principles, they are 
    upon a boundless ocean of uncertainty. Just how God accomplished the 
    work of creation in six literal days, he has never revealed to 
    mortals. His creative works are just as incomprehensible as his 
    existence."  Ellen Gould Harmon White,  1864

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