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By examining fossilized beetles a research team has produced t

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By examining fossilized beetles a research team has produced t  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2017, 22:11
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By examining fossilized beetles a research team has produced the most detailed description of temperatures in Britain over the past 22,000 years. Fossils of species that still exist were selected and dated. When individuals of several species found in the same place were found to date to the same period, the known temperature tolerances of the existing beetle species were used to determine the maximum summer temperature that could have existed at that place and period.

The procedure of the researchers assumes which one of the following?

(A) Beetles can tolerate warm weather better than cold weather.

(B) Fossils of different species found in the same place belonged to different periods.

(C) The process of dating is more accurate for beetles than for other organisms.

(D) The highest actual summer temperature at a place and period equaled the average of the highest temperatures that could have been tolerated by each of the beetle species found there and dated to that period.

(E) The temperature tolerances of the beetle species did not change significantly during the 22,000-year period.
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Re: By examining fossilized beetles a research team has produced t  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Mar 2017, 00:15
Hi,

Can anyone provide the OE?

The research will make sense only if Option 4 is true.
Negating 4, breaks the argument. Am I correct?
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Re: By examining fossilized beetles a research team has produced t  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Mar 2017, 19:24
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Simplify the argument -

fossils of species that still exist were selected and dated --> the known temperature tolerances of the existing beetle species were used to determine the maximum summer temperature that could have existed at that place and period.

Option A - Incorrect.
No such assumption is required to measure the maximum summer temperature. Even if they could tolerate cold temperatures better, the argument still stands.

Option B - Incorrect.
Not true. look at what the argument says -
"When individuals of several species found in the same place were found to date to the same period ..."

Option C - Incorrect.
We cannot make this assumption as we do not have data about other organisms.

Option D - Incorrect.
Not true. The highest temperature was probably the lowest among the temperatures that those different species could tolerate. Otherwise, the species who had a tolerance below the average could not have survived.

Option E - Correct answer.
If it did change, we can no longer hypothesize about the past conditions through the present because the data would no longer be comparable.
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New post 18 Mar 2017, 16:14
p: beetles are found, dated and groupped
C: now by using some data researchers can identify the temperature
E is fine, because if the temperature tolerance would have changed, the results would be inaccurate
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New post 18 Mar 2017, 23:15
E it must be, Suppose A's maximum temperature tolerance in last 22000 years is estimated to be 96 Celsius. But if temperature tolerance of A initially were 150 Celsius and then changes to 96...then researches wont be able to find out most extreme temperature of that place.
So writer assumes that the change in temperature tolerance didn't change significantly. it might ranges from 105 to 95 and that is normal.
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Re: By examining fossilized beetles a research team has produced t  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2019, 12:10
Could someone please explain? I don't really follow the explanations which were provided in this post so far...
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Re: By examining fossilized beetles a research team has produced t  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2019, 03:30
mykrasovski wrote:
Could someone please explain? I don't really follow the explanations which were provided in this post so far...

Let's break the "procedure of the researchers" as described in the passage:
  • First, they found fossils of species of beetles that still exist, and determined the date of those fossils.
  • Then they narrowed their scope to cases in which "individuals of several species found in the same place were found to date to the same period."
  • Then, they used the "known temperature tolerances" of the species (which they know because the species exist in the current day) to determine what the maximum summer temperature could have been at the time when the fossilized beetles lived.

So, the researchers applied information about existing beetle species to fossils of the same species to produce "the most detailed description of temperatures in Britain over the past 22,000 years."

To answer the question, we need to find an assumption made by the researchers in this procedure. Let's look at the answer choices:
Quote:
(A) Beetles can tolerate warm weather better than cold weather.

The passage gives us no information about how well the beetles tolerate either cold or warm weather, and the researchers certainly did not have to assume that they tolerated one better than the other. (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) Fossils of different species found in the same place belonged to different periods.

The researchers only focused on cases in which "individuals of several species found in the same place were found to date to the same period." This is the opposite of the information in answer choice (B), so (B) is not an assumption made by the researchers.

Quote:
(C) The process of dating is more accurate for beetles than for other organisms.

The passage does tell us that dating beetles has produced "the most detailed description of temperatures in Britain over the past 22,000 years." But do the researchers have to assume that the process of dating is more accurate for beetles than other organisms?

No, they do not. The procedure used by the researchers would not be impacted in any way if all organisms could be accurately dated -- it is only necessary that the beetles can be accurately dated. (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) The highest actual summer temperature at a place and period equaled the average of the highest temperatures that could have been tolerated by each of the beetle species found there and dated to that period.

It really doesn't make sense that the highest actual temperature would be the average of the highest tolerated temperatures for the species that existed in that time and place.

Take this example: The fossils of two existing species are found in one location and dated to the same time period. One species can tolerate temperatures up to 100 degrees, and the other can only tolerate temperatures up to 60 degrees. Using the information in answer choice (D), the highest actual temperature would have to be 80 degrees -- which is impossible, because then the second species would not have been able to exist in that time period. (D) is out.

Now look at (E):
Quote:
(E) The temperature tolerances of the beetle species did not change significantly during the 22,000-year period.

The researchers use the temperature tolerances of beetles that exist today to determine what the maximum temperatures could have been over the past 22,000 years. So, the researchers must assume that the temperature tolerances of these beetle species have not changed significantly over this time period. (E) is the correct answer.

I hope that helps!
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Re: By examining fossilized beetles a research team has produced t   [#permalink] 23 Apr 2019, 03:30
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