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SCIENCE TRIVIA XVIII

171) Which scientific term refers to the formation of a new species?


Speciation is the formation of new and distinct species in the course of evolution.

172) What species of reptile is the sole surviving member of its order?


The single species of tuatara is the only surviving member of its order, which flourished around 200 million years ago.

173) What science combines computer science, statistics, engineering, and biology?


As an interdisciplinary field of science, bioinformatics combines computer science, statistics, mathematics, and engineering to analyze and interpret biological data.

174) Which term refers to the variability of life on Earth?


Biodiversity is a measure of the variety of organisms present in different ecosystems.

175) What is the scientific study of animal biology?


Zoology is the branch of biology that studies the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct.

176) Which theory explains the movement of the Earth's continents?


Continental drift is the movement of the Earth's continents relative to each other, thus appearing to "drift" across the ocean bed. The speculation that continents might have drifted was first put forward by Abraham Ortelius in 1596.

177) What scientist's book laid the foundations for classical mechanics?


Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation, which dominated scientists' view of the physical universe for the next three centuries.

178) What scientist wrote Mysterium Cosmographicum?


Kepler's first major astronomical work, Mysterium Cosmographicum (1596), was the first published defense of the Copernican system.

179) What scientist may have been driven mad by exposure to mercury?


Late in life, Isaac Newton suffered a nervous breakdown, but it probably wasn't his fault. A 1979 examination of Newton's hair showed astronomical amounts of mercury, probably as a result of all of his alchemy experiments. Too much mercury can drive a man mad, and that may have been exactly what it did to Newton.

180) What did Al-Kindi refute in the 9th century?


Al-Kindi is unanimously hailed as the "father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy" for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion of Greek and Hellenistic philosophy in the Muslim world. As an advanced chemist, he debunked the myth that simple, base metals could be transformed into precious metals such as gold or silver.


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