One scientific discipline, during its early stages of development, is often related to another as an antithesis to its thesis. The thesis discipline tend to concern itself with discovery and classification of phenomena, to offer holistic explanations emphasizing pattern and form, and to use existing theory to explain the widest possible range of phenomena. The paired or antidiscipline, on the other hand, can be characterized by a more focused approach, concentrating on the units of construction, and by a belief that the discipline can be reformulated in terms of the issues and explanations of the antidiscipline.
The relationship of cytology (cell biology) to biochemistry in the late nineteenth century, when both disciplines were growing at a rapid pace, exemplifies such a pattern. Researchers in cell biology found mounting evidence of an intricate cell architecture. They also deduced the mysterious choreography of the chromosomes during cell division. Many biochemists, on the other hand, remained skeptical of the idea that so much structure existed, arguing that the chemical reactions that occur in cytological preparations might create the appearance of such structures. Also, they stood apart from the debate then raging over whether protoplasm, the complex of living material within a cell, is homogeneous, networklike, granular, or foamlike. Their interest lay in the core “fundamental” issues of the chemical nature of protoplasm, especially the newly formulated enzyme theory of life.
In general, biochemists judged cytologists to be too ignorant of chemistry to grasp the basic processes, whereas cytologists considered the methods of biochemists inadequate to characterize the structures of the living cell. The renewal of Mendelian genetics and, later, progress in chromosome mapping did little at first to effect a synthesis.
Both sides were essentially correct. Biochemistry has more than justified its extravagant early claims by explaining so much of the cellular machinery. But in achieving this feat (mostly since 1950) it has been partially transformed into the new discipline of molecular biology—biochemistry that deals with spatial arrangements and movements of large molecules. At the same time cytology has metamorphosed into modern cellular biology. Aided by electron microscopy, it has become more similar in language and outlook to molecular biology. The interaction of a discipline and its antidiscipline has moved both sciences toward a synthesis, namely molecular genetics.
This interaction between paired disciplines can have important results. In the case of late nineteenth-century cell research, progress was fueled by competition among the various attitudes and issues derived from cell biology and biochemistry. Joseph Fruton, a biochemist, has suggested that such competition and the resulting tensions among researchers are a principal source of vitality and “are likely to lead to unexpected and exciting novelties in the future, as they have in the past.”
9. Which one of the following best states the central idea of the passage?
(A) Antithetical scientific disciplines can both stimulate and hinder one another’s research in complex ways.
(B) Antithetical scientific disciplines often interact with one another in ways that can be highly useful.
(C) As disciplines such as cytology and biochemistry advance, their interaction necessarily leads to a synthesis of their approaches.
(D) Cell research in the late nineteenth century was plagued by disagreements between cytologists and biochemists.
(E) In the late nineteenth century, cytologists and biochemists made many valuable discoveries that advanced scientific understanding of the cell.
10. The passage states that in the late nineteenth century cytologists deduced the
(A) maps of chromosomes
(B) chemical nature of protoplasm
(C) spatial relationship of molecules within the cell
(D) role of enzymes in biological processes
(E) sequence of the movement of chromosomes during cell division
11. It can be inferred from the passage that in the late nineteenth century the debate over the structural nature of protoplasm (line 25-29) was most likely carried on
(A) among cytologists
(B) among biochemists
(C) between cytologists and biochemists
(D) between cytologists and geneticists
(E) between biochemists and geneticists
12. According to the passage, cytologists in the late nineteenth century were critical of the cell research of biochemists because cytologists believed that
(A) the methods of biochemistry were inadequate to account for all of the chemical reactions that occurred in cytological preparations
(B) the methods of biochemistry could not adequately discover and explain the structures of living cells
(C) biochemists were not interested in the nature of protoplasm
(D) biochemists were not interested in cell division
(E) biochemists were too ignorant of cytology to understand the basic processes of the cell
13. The author quotes Fruton (lines 62-64) primarily in order to
(A) restate the author’s own conclusions
(B) provide new evidence about the relationship of cytology to biochemistry
(C) summarize the position of the biochemists described in the passage
(D) illustrate the difficulties encountered in the synthesis of disciplines
(E) emphasize the ascendancy of the theories of biochemists over those of cytologists
14. Which one of the following inferences about when the enzyme theory of life was formulated can be drawn from the passage?
(A) The theory was formulated before the appearance of molecular biology.
(B) The theory was formulated before the initial discovery of cell architecture.
(C) The theory was formulated after the completion of chromosome mapping.
(D) The theory was formulated after a synthesis of the ideas of cytologists and biochemists had occurred.
(E) The theory was formulated at the same time as the beginning of the debate over the nature of protoplasm.
15. Which one of the following statements about cells is most compatible with the views of late nineteenth-century biochemists as those views are described in the passage?
(A) The secret of cell function resides in the structure of the cell.
(B) Only by discovering the chemical composition of protoplasm can the processes of the cell be understood.
(C) Scientific knowledge about the chemical composition of the cell can help to explain behavioral patterns in organisms.
(D) The most important issue to be resolved with regard to the cell is determining the physical characteristics of protoplasm.
(E) The methods of chemistry must be supplemented before a full account of the cell’s structures can be made.
16. Which one of the following best describes the organization of the material presented in the passage?
(A) An account of a process is given, and then the reason for its occurrence is stated.
(B) A set of examples is provided and then a conclusion is drawn from them.
(C) A general proposition is stated, and then an example is given.
(D) A statement of principles is made, and then a rationale for them is debated.
(E) A problem is analyzed, and then a possible solution is discussed.