Misconception Monday: Is Our Readers Learnin?*

I wrote my first Misconception Monday post seven months ago. I admit that I was hoping for something more poetic like six months or even nine (the length of a school year), but as we all learned in Harry Potter, seven is the most magical number, so I’m going to go with it. What is “it,” you rightly ask? A test! I’m totally going to test you to see how much you have learned! And I’m super excited about it, I won’t lie. (Between this feeling of total joy at the thought of a test and my absolute giddiness at entering a Staples store, I sometimes question my decision not to be a teacher.)

Once again, I owe the content of this post to UC Berkeley’s Understanding Evolution web site, which, along with some editors from Pearson Education, came up with an “Evolution Misconceptions Diagnostic.” These twelve questions are meant to poke at and reveal weaknesses in your understanding of evolution. The best part about it is that every wrong answer is aligned to a misconception about evolution, so you can better understand where you went wrong and know which of my blog posts to re-read!

I'll post the first six questions today and the answers later in the week. I’ll repeat with the back six next week.

Now, clear your desks of everything but a no. 2 pencil, and let’s begin.

1. A volcano erupted on an island. The ash released from the volcano changed the acidity (pH) of the soil from the level it had been for hundreds of years. This significant change resulted in new environmental pressures on species in the soil. Which of the following is a likely outcome of these pressures?

Stephanie Keep
Short Bio

Stephanie Keep is the former Editor of Reports of the National Center for Science Education

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