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Chapter 2 Theories and Methods in Studying Biological
True / False Questions
1) Bioanthropologists study modern humans as well as humans in the past just as if they were any other
species of animal.
2) Unless a hypothesis can be found to be false, it is not a scientific inquiry.
3) “Venus figurines” have always been hypothesized to be connected to fertility.
4) In inductive research and reasoning, a hypothesis is generated before any data are collected.
5) Science and religion are each involved in answering questions most suitable for its arena and need not
be in conflict with each other.
6) Since DNA is easily preserved, it has become the “data of choice” for bioanthropologists.
7) Scientists go beyond looking for knowledge and seek truth.
8) Theories in science have more credibility than hypotheses.
9) Science is based on TSM, religion on faith, and common sense on experience.
10) Stephen Jay Gould believes religion and science will always be in conflict.
11) The culture a scientist was brought up in can be an important biasing agent in what that scientist
12) A hypothesis is a good guess about something that can be tested.
13) Hypotheses cannot be proved but theories can.
14) Sherlock Holmes maintained that only deductive science yields knowledge.
15) Of all of the countries of the world, the US is the highest in the number of people who do not believe
16) Japanese scientists tend to focus on groups of people and primates before individuals.
17) The most ancient DNA from a human is about 40kyr old.
18) Marine and ice cores only date climatic events.
Multiple Choice Questions
1) Bioanthropologists might study all of the following topics except
A) people’s cultural pasts
B) comparative femur bones of prehumans
C) a comparison of head shapes all over the world
D) how colobus monkeys behave
2) The best way to study science is by its
A) method of inquiry
B) use of quantitative methods
C) adherence to rules of math and physics
D) ability to repeat experiments
3) If you wanted to characterize Venus statuettes, you’d include all of the following items except
A) they represent the female form carved in bone, stone, or ivory
B) over 500 of them have been found in Europe from Spain to Siberia
C) new research suggests they represent women in general, not just mothers and fertility
D) they date to between 25 and 15 kyr ago.
4) Theoretically, DNA analysis is able to do all of the following except
A) age the owner of the DNA
B) establish family relationships of burials
C) sex the owner of the DNA
D) date specific splitting events
5) Molecular genetics
A) has taken over the field of paleoanthropology
B) should be used only in combination with fossil studies
C) is able to date fossil material better than any previous method
D) has little interest for bioanthropologists because it analyzes only extinct species.
6) Molecular dating differs from all others because it dates
A) molecules of DNA
B) events such as splitting
C) entire organisms
D) only non-organic items.
7) Jon Miller explains that the reason most Americans don’t believe in evolution is due to
A) the political arm of fundamental Christian Churches
B) religious fundamentalism
C) poor science education
D) all of the above
8) Geoff Clark suggests European and North American paradigm differences are due to
A) European snobbery
B) Warfare and displacement in Europe but not in North America
C) The difference in length of time of scientific discovery in Europe and NA
D) The fact that 95% of European scientists are male.
9) The largest number of people who do not believe in evolution live in
A) the USA
C) South Africa
D) Saudi Arabia
10) Creationism is not science because it
A) does not require evidence to support it
B) cannot be found to be incorrect
C) cannot be tested
D) all of the above
11) Japanese science differs from Western science mostly in its focus on
A) individuals rather than groups
B) the difference between humans and other animals
C) hearing rather than seeing
D) both a and b are equally important.
12) In order for a bone to be a true fossil, it must
A) be at least 100 kyr old
B) contain carbon
C) become mineralized
D) not be broken
13) By definition, post depositional effects can
A) fossilize a bone
B) destroy fossils completely
C) be used to find frauds
D) change the provenience of fossil materials
14) Ice and marine cores date
A) human bones for the last 10 kyr
B) world wide climatic events
C) fossilized sea mammals
D) sunken ships
15) Experts often disagree on evolutionary findings due to differences in their own
D) all of the above
16) All of the following are fossils EXCEPT
A) footprints at Laetoli
B) burial stains
C) cast of a bone
D) all of the above are fossils
17) Which of the following stands the best chance of fossilizing?
A) an infant’s skull
B) a tooth of any aged individual
C) rib bones
D) ends of long bones
18) Using ancient DNA to date bones has numerous problems, including ALL BUT which of these? It
A) is expensive
B) is easily contaminated
C) has been found to be 30% inaccurate
D) can be altered by chemicals in the ground
Short Answer Questions
1. Connect these appropriate words as used by anthropologists: truth, proof, knowledge, data.
2. How has molecular genetics fit into a field that was basically built on studying fossils?
3. Make up a hypothesis about the materials used to make the desk you are sitting at. Using TSM, how
would you go about testing that hypothesis? Be specific.
4 .Discuss the two western “intellectual traditions” in terms of how each views biology, language, and
culture and how each explains scientific findings.
5. When should bioanthropologists use molecular dating?
1. Discuss the new hypothesis about Venus statuettes: what is it, how was it tested, and with what
2. Why does Jon Miller believe most Americans do not believe in evolution? Do you agree with him?
3. Discuss science, religion, and common sense in your life: what is each based on and how are they
4. Discuss the process of fossilization and comment on the variability factors in the process.
CHAPTER 2 ANSWERS
TRUE / FALSE
1) TRUE 10) FALSE
2) TRUE 11) TRUE
3) FALSE 12) TRUE
4) FALSE 13) FALSE
5) TRUE 14) FALSE
6) FALSE 15) FALSE
7) FALSE 16) FALSE
8) TRUE 17) FALSE
9) TRUE 18) TRUE
1) A 10) D
2) A 11) A
3) B 12) C
4) A 13) D
5) B 14) B
6) B 15) D
7) D 16) D
8) B 17) B
9) B 18) C