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Some modern anthropologists hold that biological evolution

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Some modern anthropologists hold that biological evolution [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2008, 05:55
Discussed in detail at the below mentioned link
some-modern-anthropologists-hold-that-biological-evolution-149876.html#p1204234


Some modern anthropologists hold that biological evolution has shaped not only human morphology but also human behavior. The role those anthropologists ascribe to evolution is not of dictating the details of human behavior but one of imposing constraints—ways of feeling, thinking, and acting that “come naturally” in archetypal situations in any culture. Our “frailties”—emotions and motives such as rage, fear, greed, gluttony, joy, lust, love—may be a very mixed assortment, but they share at least one immediate quality: we are, as we say, “in the grip” of them. And thus they give us our sense of constraints.

Unhappily, some of those frailties—our need for ever-increasing security among them—are presently maladaptive. Yet beneath the overlay of cultural detail, they, too, are said to be biological in direction, and therefore as natural to us as are our appendixes. We would need to comprehend thoroughly their adaptive origins in order to understand how badly they guide us now. And we might then begin to resist their pressure.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to present
(A) a position on the foundations of human behavior and on what those foundations imply
(B) a theory outlining the parallel development of human morphology and of human behavior
(C) a diagnostic test for separating biologically determined behavior patterns from culture-specific detail
(D) a practical method for resisting the pressures of biologically determined drives
(E) an overview of those human emotions and motives that impose constraints on human behavior
2. Which of the following most probably provides an appropriate analogy from human morphology for the “details” versus “constraints” distinction made in the passage in relation to human behavior?
(A) The ability of most people to see all the colors of the visible spectrum as against most people’s inability to name any but the primary colors
(B) The ability of even the least fortunate people to show compassion as against people’s inability to mask their feelings completely
(C) The ability of some people to dive to great depths as against most people’s inability to swim long distances
(D) The psychological profile of those people who are able to delay gratification as against people’s inability to control their lives completely
(E) The greater lung capacity of mountain peoples that helps them live in oxygen-poor air as against people’s inability to fly without special apparatus
3. It can be inferred that in his discussion of maladaptive frailties the author assumes that
(A) evolution does not favor the emergence of adaptive characteristics over the emergence of maladaptive ones
(B) any structure or behavior not positively adaptive is regarded as transitory in evolutionary theory
(C) maladaptive characteristics, once fixed, make the emergence of other maladaptive characteristics more likely
(D) the designation of a characteristic as being maladaptive must always remain highly tentative
(E) changes in the total human environment can outpace evolutionary change
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Re: RC - Human Behavior [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2008, 05:55
IMO E, A, D
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Re: RC - Human Behavior [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2008, 10:02
Some modern anthropologists hold that biological evolution has shaped not only human morphology but also human behavior. The role those anthropologists ascribe to evolution is not of dictating the details of human behavior but one of imposing constraints—ways of feeling, thinking, and acting that “come naturally” in archetypal situations in any culture. Our “frailties”—emotions and motives such as rage, fear, greed, gluttony, joy, lust, love—may be a very mixed assortment, but they share at least one immediate quality: we are, as we say, “in the grip” of them. And thus they give us our sense of constraints.

Unhappily, some of those frailties—our need for ever-increasing security among them—are presently maladaptive. Yet beneath the overlay of cultural detail, they, too, are said to be biological in direction, and therefore as natural to us as are our appendixes. We would need to comprehend thoroughly their adaptive origins in order to understand how badly they guide us now.(Question1) And we might then begin to resist their pressure.(Question3)

A,E,E.

Q1 - refer "We would need to comprehend thoroughly their adaptive origins..."
"a position on the foundations of human behavior and on what those foundations imply "
Q2 - details vs constraints ==> morphology vs constraints
lung capacity -- related to morphology (details)
inability to fly -- constraint imposed by evolution / nature etc.
Q3 - refer the last line of the passage.
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Re: RC - Human Behavior [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2008, 10:53
priyankur_saha@ml.com wrote:
Some modern anthropologists hold that biological evolution has shaped not only human morphology but also human behavior. The role those anthropologists ascribe to evolution is not of dictating the details of human behavior but one of imposing constraints—ways of feeling, thinking, and acting that “come naturally” in archetypal situations in any culture. Our “frailties”—emotions and motives such as rage, fear, greed, gluttony, joy, lust, love—may be a very mixed assortment, but they share at least one immediate quality: we are, as we say, “in the grip” of them. And thus they give us our sense of constraints.

Unhappily, some of those frailties—our need for ever-increasing security among them—are presently maladaptive. Yet beneath the overlay of cultural detail, they, too, are said to be biological in direction, and therefore as natural to us as are our appendixes. We would need to comprehend thoroughly their adaptive origins in order to understand how badly they guide us now. And we might then begin to resist their pressure.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to present
(A) a position on the foundations of human behavior and on what those foundations imply
(B) a theory outlining the parallel development of human morphology and of human behavior
(C) a diagnostic test for separating biologically determined behavior patterns from culture-specific detail
(D) a practical method for resisting the pressures of biologically determined drives
(E) an overview of those human emotions and motives that impose constraints on human behavior
2. Which of the following most probably provides an appropriate analogy from human morphology for the “details” versus “constraints” distinction made in the passage in relation to human behavior?
(A) The ability of most people to see all the colors of the visible spectrum as against most people’s inability to name any but the primary colors
(B) The ability of even the least fortunate people to show compassion as against people’s inability to mask their feelings completely
(C) The ability of some people to dive to great depths as against most people’s inability to swim long distances
(D) The psychological profile of those people who are able to delay gratification as against people’s inability to control their lives completely
(E) The greater lung capacity of mountain peoples that helps them live in oxygen-poor air as against people’s inability to fly without special apparatus
3. It can be inferred that in his discussion of maladaptive frailties the author assumes that
(A) evolution does not favor the emergence of adaptive characteristics over the emergence of maladaptive ones
(B) any structure or behavior not positively adaptive is regarded as transitory in evolutionary theory
(C) maladaptive characteristics, once fixed, make the emergence of other maladaptive characteristics more likely
(D) the designation of a characteristic as being maladaptive must always remain highly tentative
(E) changes in the total human environment can outpace evolutionary change


O M G! If this is any representative of GMAT, I don't have words to say :(

Any ways, let me try my luck.

(1) I eliminated B C D in (1) Between A & E, I ended up with A. The passage is about author's position. The author mentions the constraints, but there is no overview.

(2) I was down to B & D for Q (2) as we need an analogy that compares human behavior and constraints. Picked D as it uses word psychological profile to mirror human behavior and says that people cannot control their lives completely, possibly because they are bound to the constraints of joy,love etc

(3) I did the negation test and A fits better and hence my choice for assumption. Lets say the author assumes that evolution favors the emergence of adaptive characteristics over the emergence of maladaptive ones. Then over a period of time the frailties will be gone. We do not need to study and resist them
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Re: RC - Human Behavior [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2008, 15:22
this went over my head !!


could hardly figure out A for 1 and E for 3 ,, would have skipped 2
Re: RC - Human Behavior   [#permalink] 10 Nov 2008, 15:22
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