Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Test on Evolution - For Fundie Critics

An ongoing aggravation is to behold how many clueless Christian Fundies regularly opine on evolution, and criticize evolutionary biologists and others - without knowing anything about it. At least when I critique bible believers, I know whereof I speak because while attending Loyola University (in the 60s) I had to take courses in Biblical exegesis, Textual Analysis, and scriptural interpretation. The Fundies, most of them, have never taken any courses in evolution - and yet feel it is their wont to yap all they want about it, ignorantly criticizing and commenting on what they clearly don't understand. (Heck, most haven't even read Darwin's Origin of Species)

In the interest of intellectual honesty, therefore, I invite these fundie commentators (starting with my irrepressible brother - "Pastor Mike") to take the following test to ascertain if they are really qualified to talk about evolution, far less criticize it.

I regard a qualification to talk (write) about the subject (say on their blogs) getting at least 7 of 10 correct. I regard a qualification to criticize it, getting at least 8 of 10 correct.

----Start test (Time - 1 hour)

1) A fossilized animal bone specimen is found to contain 0.125 gram of an unnamed radioactive isotope. Analysis reveals that the original mass was 1 gram. What is the half-life of the sample if it is dated at 3 million years?

2)Which of these would be involved in molecular evolution?

A) tRNA B)mRNA C) rRNA D) All the preceding

3) The mutation rate for human albinism is u = 0.00001. (e.g. 1 in every 100,000). If the equilibrium frequency q = 0.01, what is the reduction in fitness?

4) Blatella Germanica, the German cockroach has the following identified alleles:

D- resistance to the pesticide dieldrin
d- non-resistance

After some defined time, the population exhibits the following three genotypes:

DD, Dd and dd

If over time, each dd and Dd roach produces one offspring, and each DD produces TWO, then find:

a) the relative fitness for the DD roaches
b) the relative fitness for the Dd roaches
c) the relative fitness for the dd roaches

5) Given the same information as above, find:

a) the selection value for the DD roaches
b) the selection value for the Dd roaches
c) the selection value for the dd roaches

6. a) Based on your analysis from 4, 5 which allele of the German roach is “deleterious”?

b) Over successive generations of German roaches it can be shown that the gene frequency of the deleterious allele will be decreased by:

-Dq = - spq / (1 – sq)^2

where p is the gene frequency for the favored allele ( = 0.60)

If it reproduces at a ratio of 3:2 relative to the disadvantaged allele., use this information to find:

The gene frequency (q) of the disadvantaged allele for the roach, and thence, the magnitude of -Dq.

7) For the same example, above, estimate the values of p and q when

-Dq = -0.07

state any assumptions made.

8) In DNA there are always FOUR bases: A (adenine), C (cytosine), T (thymine) and G (guanine)

WHICH one of the following complementary base pairings would NEVER occur?

A) A-T B) G-C C) C-T D) NONE of the preceding

9) Micro-evolution is allegedly tested on the bacterium E. Coli, grown in a medium devoid of galactosides, so that its three available proteins are synthesized at an exceedingly slow rate – about 1 molecule every five generations.

If galactoside is now introduced into the medium the rate of synthesis of all three proteins is increased a thousandfold. If it is withdrawn, the synthesis rate returns to its original low form.

Which of the following components is critical to the process described above?

A) a “regulator” gene (i) B) a repressor protein R C) An operator segment of the DNA D) a molecule of inducer galactoside b E) All the preceding

10. Explain why the preceding example is not really an illustration of microevolution. Define micro-evolution and provide the testable criteria for a genuine example of your choice. Be sure to include in the example how it shows microevolution and not macro-evolution.

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