|Plants & Human Affairs (BIOL106) - Stephen G. Saupe, Ph.D.; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321; email@example.com; http://www.employees.csbsju.edu/ssaupe|
Columbus Day – Some Scientific Considerations
Explain why Columbus, an Italian
moved to Portugal, but ultimately sailed under a Spanish flag.
A popular misconception is that
the first voyage of Columbus proved that the Earth was round. In fact,
there are two major flaws with this misconception.
(a) Explain why the voyage of Columbus DIDN’T prove the Earth was round.
(b) Provide at least four lines of evidence that Columbus knew before the voyage
that suggested the Earth was round.
Eratosthenes demonstrated the
circumference of the Earth is 250,000 stadia (=25,000 miles; ca. 10
stadia/mile). Explain how he derived this value.
Columbus estimated the length of
his journey to be from 21-28 days, depending on winds. Explain how he derived
Explain why Columbus departed
from the Canaries, but on his return went north to reach the Azores.
Another popular misconception is
that Columbus discovered “America.” Explain.
Two types of algae played a role
in Columbus voyage: Sargassum species & Fucus (and
What and where is the Sargasso
Name at least five plants that
Columbus hoped to find at journey’s end.
Identify some plants that
Columbus did find on his voyage?
Identify some consequences of the
Do you think that the voyage was
good or bad? Explain.
Read & explain the following poem
With hocked gems financing him
our hero bravely defied all scornful laughter
that tried to prevent his scheme.
Your eyes deceive he had said, an egg not a table
describes this unexplored planet.
Now three sturdy sisters sought proof,
forging along through calm vastness.
Days become weeks
as many doubters spread
fearful rumors about the edge.
At last welcome winged creatures appeared
signifying momentous success
Define or explain what is meant
by each of the following: native species, introduced species, exotic
species, naturalized species?
How does domestication differ
For each of the following, indicate if it is native to the Old World or New World.
Describe the diet of the typical European prior to the Columbian exchange. How would it change as a result of the voyages? Some foods that are considered "characteristic" of certain places are the result of the Columbian exchange. Can you give some examples?
Last updated: 10/14/2008 © Copyright by SG Saupe