Before each class lecture I will post here a list of preparation questions. These questions are designed to prepare you for each new topic. If we have a pop quiz on the listed day, it may include these questions AND at least one surprise question from previous lectures to encourage review. I recommend you thus have answers for them — at least in your head! — before each class meeting. You will have twelve pop quizzes by the end of the course, with the lowest two grades dropped. They count for a total of 25% of your final grade. If you are absent for any reason when a quiz is given (other than a scheduled college event you told me about in advance), your grade will be recorded as a zero. You may use any source to answer these questions before class. For a quiz, of course, you’re on your own. Since we don’t have a traditional textbook, you’ll find most of the answers by searching online.
January 25 (Friday) —
1. Vestigial structures are always fun. What are they in an evolutionary context?
2. What vestigial structures do you have?
January 23 (Wednesday) —
1. Let’s start our discussion of evolution with the most basic concept. What is natural selection? Please give an example of natural selection in action.
January 18 (Friday) —
1. Continue learning the Geologic Time Scale. (Here is a pdf version of our required-time-scale.) Your first quiz will include some random part of it.
2. Your first radioactive dating problem! No higher math required. Here it is: a meteorite crashes into Earth and is collected. One of its mineral crystals contains 1.5 µg of Uranium-238 and 1.5 µg of Lead-206 and other daughter isotopes. The half-life of Uranium-238 is 4.5 billion years. How old is this meteorite?
January 16 (Wednesday) —
1. Be sure to work on learning the Geologic Time Scale. (Here is a pdf version of our required-time-scale.) Your first quiz will include some random part of it.
2. Relative geologic time requires a simple concept: the principle of superposition. Please be ready to explain superposition, and relative time, for that matter. Google is your friend.