The 1122 final exam will consist of three parts:
Part 1) A section of multipe-choice, matching, and short-answer questions similar to your previous exams. This section will cover the portion of the course since Exam II.
Part 2) The essay question below.
Part 3) An essay question about one of four creation stories, as discussed below.
Final Exam Part 2:
The second part of the final exam will consist of this essay question:
Write an essay of 400 to 700 words summarizing the current scientific understanding of the history of the Earth and its life, from Earth's origin to the present. Your answer should include the current scientific understanding of the origin and present context of humans in Earth history. Your answer should be a summary that is both (a) factually correct and complete and (b) coherent and well-organized. It should contain at least five quantitative references to ages or times of events in Earth history.You will not be allowed to use any notes in writing your response. You will not be allowed to use a computer to write this answer. You will not be allowed to use any paper other than the paper provided by the instructor.
There are many ways to write a good essay. However, experience shows that there are some ways to produce an insufficient or flawed essay. These include . . .
Reciting the geologic time scale. Five repetitions of "The ____ began ___ years ago" is not a history.
Focusing extensively on one time period. For example, a two-page essay that is still in the Archean on the second page is unlikely to cover the entire topic of the history of the Earth and its life.
Drawing on sources beyond those provided for GEOL 1122. Searching for accounts of Earth's history on the internet can lead to incorporation of ideas that are not supported by evidence.
Excluding the acitivities of Homo sapiens. The history of life includes the Holocene and the activity of humans.
Final Exam Part 3:
For one of four creation stories, you will be asked to answer the following question. We will pick the four stories after we finish our last story, and one of those four will be chosen by a random procedure at the time of the exam.
For the story and cultural group indicated,
(a) give the time the story was written or the context in which was written, if such information is provided in Creation Stories From Around the World,
(b) recount the story, in no more than 200 words, as told in Creation Stories From Around the World,
(c) indicate whether or not you think the story is a literal account of the origin of the earth and/or its life and/or its peoples. If your answer is "yes", indicate why you think so and why you would pick this story rather than one of the others. If your answer is "no", indicate why you reject this story.
Your explanation of why you accept or reject this story should, if possible, be couched in terms of the rules for accepting or rejecting propositions that were discussed in this course.
(d) comment on the story in terms of how it portrays the human relationship to nature or in terms of its implications for the society from which it comes.
Whether you answer "yes" or "no" to part C will have no effect on your grade, so long as you justify your response as indicated above.
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