Which of the following is a key observation that must be explained in a unifying theory about life?
Many basic characteristics are shared by all living things.
At the time Darwin voyaged on the HMS Beagle, the popularly accepted theory in Western culture that explained the origin of Earth's plants and animals held that the various species _____.
had been created by divine intervention a few thousand years before
Carolus Linnaeus is considered to be the founder of _____, and he _____.
the binomial classification system ... thought that resemblances among different species reflected the pattern of their creation
The modern idea of extinction as a common occurrence in Earth's history was first proposed in the early 19th century writings of _____.
Lyell's principle of uniformitarianism _____.
strongly influenced Darwin's view of how living organisms could change over time
Which of the following is a true statement about Charles Darwin?
He proposed natural selection as the mechanism of evolution.
At the time Charles Darwin sailed on the HMS Beagle, _____.
several biologists had proposed that species might change over time, but none had suggested a convincing mechanism that might cause the change
Because he was well aware of the effect his theory of evolution would have on the public and on the Church of England, Darwin delayed publishing his work for several decades while he gathered additional evidence. After invoking selective breeding of domesticated species as evidence that groups of organisms are capable of change, he then proposed that natural populations can change as well. On which two lines of evidence did he base this proposal?
Organisms within a population vary, and all populations produce more offspring than can be supported by the environment, resulting in competition for survival within the population.
In Darwin's view of descent with modification _____.
natural selection can improve the match between an organism and its environment
What insight did Darwin gain from reading Thomas Malthus's essay on human suffering?
Organisms have the capacity to overreproduce.
The breeding of plants and animals for particular traits by humans is called _____.
According to the theory of evolution, anatomical and molecular homologies should _____.
produce similar patterns of evolutionary relatedness
When they were first sold, aerosol insecticides were highly effective in killing flies and mosquitoes. Now, several decades later, a much smaller proportion of these insects die when sprayed. The reason fewer insects die when they are sprayed is that _____.
many mosquitoes today are descendants of mosquitoes with insecticide-resistant characteristics
A population of zooplankton is exposed to a small number of predatory fish that feed on the larger-sized (adult) zooplankton. Which of the following predictions would most likely occur based on the principles of natural selection?
Adult zooplankton will start to reach sexual maturity when they are still relatively small.
How did some strains of Staphylococcus aureus become resistant to antibiotic drugs?
Some members of the bacteria population must have had a genetic variation that made them resistant to antibiotics.
An important challenge to traditional (pre-1860) ideas about species was the observation that seemingly dissimilar organisms such as hummingbirds, humans, and whales have similar skeletal structures. This most directly suggested to biologists that _____.
dissimilar organisms might have evolved from a distant, common ancestor
Which of the following is an example of convergent evolution?
Dolphins and sharks have a similar fusiform (streamlined) body shape.
All known organisms transcribe genetic information to protein molecules via the same genetic code. This finding strongly supports the hypothesis that _____.
all organisms are descended from a single common ancestor
Evidence from molecular biology supports the theory of evolution by demonstrating that _____.
closely related organisms have more similar DNA and proteins
What did Darwin observe about species on islands?
They are often closely related to species from the nearest mainland or neighboring islands.