Most geologists believe oil results from chemical
transformations of hydrocarbons derived from
organisms buried under ancient seas. Suppose,
instead, that oil actually results from bacterial action
on other complex hydrocarbons that are trapped
within the Earth. As is well known, the volume of
these hydrocarbons exceeds that of buried organ-
isms. Therefore, our oil reserves would be greater
than most geologists believe.
Which of the following, if true, gives the strongest
support to the argument above about our oil
(A) Most geologists think optimistically about the
Earth's reserves of oil.
(B) Most geologists have performed accurate chem-
ical analyses on previously discovered oil
(C) Ancient seas are buried within the Earth at
many places where fossils are abundant.
(D) The only bacteria yet found in oil reserves could
have leaked down drill holes from surface
(E) Chemical transformations reduce the volume of
buried hydrocarbons derived from organisms
by roughly the same proportion as bacterial
action reduces the volume of other complex