What do you know about Charles Darwin?
What do you know about Charles Darwin?
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This isn't your regular science class quiz. Test your knowledge of the Father of Evolution — from his theories to the theological controversy.
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Q: What was Charles Darwin's most famous work?
Published in 1859, the book introduced the controversial notion that humans were a product of evolution, changing over time through the process of natural selection.
- "The Original Species"
- "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection"
- "Evolution 101: How Humans Evolved from Apes"
- "The Origin of all Species"
Q: Darwin had a strange hobby. He created a weekly club for:
In what was termed the the “Glutton Club,” members dined primarily on birds of prey. Darwin was reportedly a fan of munching on armadillos — but he couldn’t stand the taste of owl.
- Eating exotic animals
- Drawing animals with human faces
- Observing ants in an ant farm
- Testing which animal was physically fit by making them fight in an arena
Q: Which evolutionary "no-no" did Darwin commit?
Darwin married his first cousin, Emma Wedgwood. They had 10 children, though two died as babies and another died at the age of 10. Darwin worried that their close genetic ties caused their children to be less fit, but the surviving children all led prosperous lives.
- He constantly put himself in danger studying deadly animals.
- He didn't have children.
- He married his first cousin.
- He knowingly passed on a genetic disease to his children.
Q: True or false? Darwin was the first to discover and publish studies about evolution.
Darwin, alongside Alfred Russel Wallace, introduced the theory of evolution by natural selection. However, evolution in general had been studied for hundreds of years.
Q: Which of these statements about Darwin is NOT true?
Darwin hesitated to go public with his theory of natural selection because he anticipated a negative reaction from his Christian peers. His ideas were indeed controversial in the faith, and continue to be to this day; however, the Church of England issued an apology 125 years after Darwin died for its initial rejection of his theories.
- He was talented at the art of backgammon.
- He hoped that his "On the Origin of Species" would cause a revolution.
- He got queasy at the sight of blood.
- He spoke out against slavery.
Q: What was the name of the ship that took Darwin to the Galapagos, where he found evidence supporting evolution?
Darwin almost didn’t join the voyage on the Royal Navy vessel. There were at least two other scientists invited to go along in Darwin’s place, and his father was reluctant to let him go on such an adventure until Darwin’s uncle convinced him otherwise.
- HMS Beagle
- HMS Endeavor
- SS Evolution
- The Santa Maria
Q: Before dedicating his life to science, what did Darwin obtain a degree to become?
Though he studied to become a doctor, Darwin was turned off by surgery and blood. Instead, he sought a degree to become a parson and studied naturalism.
Q: Which of these is not a basic principle of natural selection?
In order for natural selection to occur, one population of a species must have a trait that is advantageous for survival. For example, the two different kinds of English peppered moth differ just enough so that one of them is camouflaged, and thus protected from predators. The camouflaged moths will go on to reproduce, and eventually the majority of the population will have the camouflage trait.
- Genetic variation
- Lack of predators
- Inheritance of traits
- Differential reproduction
Q: True or false? In "On the Origin of Species," Darwin posits that humans evolved from apes.
Though he suggests that all living things evolved from a common ancestor, the only statement that Darwin makes in this book with regard to humankind is that "light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history." He did tackle the subject in his 1871 book, "The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex."
Q: What is Social Darwinism?
Social Darwinism applies "survival of the fittest" to social and political settings rather than biological ones. It is related to controversial topics such as eugenics and racism.
- The theory that social animals are more likely to survive
- A system for corporate promotions that selects the "fittest"
- The tenet that science should take precedence over religion in society
- The idea that natural selection can be applied to human society
Q: What bird gave Darwin his natural selection epiphany?
During his time in the Galapagos Islands, Darwin realized that finches differed from island to island, resulting in no less than 12 different species. He analyzed his findings and came to realize that the finches had adapted to their different environments.
Q: True or false? Darwin argued that despite distinctions between races, humans are all one species.
Darwin was a monogenist and believed that the differences found between human races were superficial ones, rather than adaptations to different environments.
Q: Why did writer and philosopher Daniel Dennett call Darwin’s theory of evolution a "dangerous idea"?
In his book "Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life," Dennett argues that natural selection explains life without the need for a creator.
- It opened the door to eugenics.
- It removed a god, or designer, from the equation.
- It was used as justification for racist laws.
- It was responsible for the acceptance of live animal testing.
Q: Which of these statements is true?
In response to U.S. Rep. Paul Brown's statement that evolution is a lie "straight from the pit of hell," Georgians from Athens-Clarke County banded together through a "Darwin for Congress" Facebook page and submitted write-in votes.
- Darwin received almost 4,000 votes in a 2012 congressional election in Georgia.
- Darwin was an avid atheist who spoke out against Christianity.
- Darwin started the field of eugenics.
- Darwin resented and felt threatened by Alfred Russel Wallace.
Q: What tiny insects spurred Darwin's interest in naturalism?
Jacopo Werther, Manjithkaini, Jean and Fred Hort, and Obsidian Soul/Wikimedia Commons
While studying theology at Christ’s College at the University of Cambridge, Darwin took part in the latest fad, beetle collecting.
- Roly polies
C'mon, man! Are your science skills extinct?You could blame it on genetics ...Leaping (Galapagos) lizards! Good job! Talk about survival of the fittest!
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