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Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a

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New post 20 Dec 2018, 17:53
pratiknayan10 wrote:
Can anyone please explain why option c in question 3 is wrong.
In the opening line it is mentioned that no single definition of the term exists. Is "Arbitary process" a too far interpretation of the same.
Kindly help

I believe you're referring to choice (B):

Quote:
B. Because no standard definition exists for what constitutes a species, the classification of animal populations is inevitably an arbitrary process.

And yes, you're on the right track. The second half of this statement does not reflect what the author has written.

If the classification of animal populations were inevitably an arbitrary process, then no matter what scientists may try, we wouldn't expect them to ever classify animal populations in a consistent way. Yet, in the second paragraph, the author suggests that phenotype comparison might reasonably be used to group animals into distinct species.

These two statements don't match, so we eliminate (B). On the other hand, choice (A) is almost a perfect rephrasing of what the author has written.

I hope this helps!
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New post 31 Dec 2018, 12:59
For Q3) Could someone explain how A is correct? In the passage the author clearly writes: "When the biological species concept is difficult to apply, some investigators use phenotype".

Difficult to apply does not mean inconclusive, so how does A make sense?

I chose D because the author writes "yet this idea can be too restrictive. First, mating between groups labeled as different species (hybridization), as often occurs in the canine family, is quite common in nature"

I understand that in D the answer says hybridization is THE way of undermining the biological species concept, but this phrasing seems to be more valid than A. Could someone explain where my thinking went wrong?

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New post 10 Jan 2019, 15:40
kchen1994 wrote:
For Q3) Could someone explain how A is correct? In the passage the author clearly writes: "When the biological species concept is difficult to apply, some investigators use phenotype".

Difficult to apply does not mean inconclusive, so how does A make sense?

I chose D because the author writes "yet this idea can be too restrictive. First, mating between groups labeled as different species (hybridization), as often occurs in the canine family, is quite common in nature"

I understand that in D the answer says hybridization is THE way of undermining the biological species concept, but this phrasing seems to be more valid than A. Could someone explain where my thinking went wrong?

GMATNinja

kchen1994, please see this post for an analysis on "difficult to apply" vs. "inconclusive" for answer choice (A).

As for answer choice (D), you are on the right track. Here is the exact wording of that answer choice:

Quote:
(D) The existence of hybrids in wild animal species is the chief factor casting doubt on the usefulness of research into reproductive compatibility as a way of classifying species.

The author mentions three separate issues with using reproductive compatibility as the basis for defining species. The author never says that one or another of those factors is more important than the others, so there is an issue with the word "chief" in the answer choice. You can eliminate answer (D) for that reason.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2019, 08:42
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jawele wrote:
Hi,

Could anybody help me out with (Book Question: 55)
The author of the passage mentions “groups that live in different places” (in line 21) most probably in order to

A. point out a theoretical inconsistency in the biological species concept
B. offer evidence in support of the biological species concept
C. identify an obstacle to the application of the biological species concept
D. note an instance in which phenotype classification is customarily used
E. describe an alternative to the biological species concept

Although I chose the correct answer, I'm still in doubt about A. Do the words in line 20 '...that investigators cannot always determine whether...' show why this answer choice is incorrect, i.e. the underlined words actually point to an inconsistency in practice, and not in theory?

Thank you

I choose wrong "A" over right answer "C". That's how I convince myself for right answer later on:

Between A and C, there is a difference of "Theoretical inconsistency" vs "Application" regarding "biological species concept".

Biological species concept is described in passage earlier; " blah..blah..".

Now, Three issues with this concept have been presented, and 3rd one is addressed in question,"groups that live in different places". In order to answer, we need to ask if a theory is given, can it be applied at given situation marked in yellow. The answer is "No", that why passage mentions it as one of the problem with biological species concept. It's because of some situation where concept is not applied, that comes under category of "application of concept can't be applied", not concept itself is at fault or inconsistent.
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New post 04 Jun 2019, 20:34
Quote:
(Book Question: 55)
The author of the passage mentions “groups that live in different places” (in line 21) most probably in order to

(A) point out a theoretical inconsistency in the biological species concept
(B) offer evidence in support of the biological species concept
(C) identify an obstacle to the application of the biological species concept
(D) note an instance in which phenotype classification is customarily used
(E) describe an alternative to the biological species concept


u1983, GMATNinja, SajjadAhmad, workout, GMATNinjaTwo, Gnpth

Dear experts, can you please explain why A is chosen over C?
My understanding is that theoretically, this concept is okay but while applying in the real world faced three problems.

egards,
Arup
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 14 Jun 2019, 15:44
GMATNinja wrote:
Sakshamachiever wrote:
Hi Experts,
In Q1. The passage is primarily concerned with

A. describing the development of the biological species concept
B. responding to a critique of reproductive compatibility as a criterion for defining a species
C. considering two different approaches to identifying biological species
D. pointing out the advantage of one method of distinguishing related species
E. identifying an obstacle to the classification of biological species

I am confused between B and C. While reading the passage,the focus was on drawbacks of biological species concept (based on reproductive compatibility) and towards the end an alternative was described.So I chose B.
Can anyone explain why this is incorrect ?

As for choice (B), the author does present several possible critiques of reproductive compatibility as a criterion for defining a species, but the passage is not concerned with responding to those possible critiques.

Rather, the author presents those drawbacks to illustrate situations in which the biological species concept is difficult to apply. The author then presents an alternative (phenotype) that can be used in such situations. The author does not say that the biological species concept should be abandoned in favor of phenotype. Instead, the author simply notes that some investigators use the latter when the biological species concept is difficult to apply.

The author considers both approaches but is not primarily concerned with defending or rejecting either. Thus, choice (C) is more appropriate.

I hope that helps!

I rejected the option C and picked B for the word "Biological" assuming that it is not supported by the passage and first line of the passage says about the species and not just the biological species,

While reviewing I could eliminate B more than C!

Any tips on how to avoid such mistakes - not over-using one word off or too extreme concept


Experts may please respond!


Originally posted by MAnkur on 13 Jun 2019, 21:15.
Last edited by GMATNinjaTwo on 14 Jun 2019, 15:44, edited 1 time in total.
fixed formatting
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New post 17 Jun 2019, 07:26
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MAnkur wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
Sakshamachiever wrote:
Hi Experts,
In Q1. The passage is primarily concerned with

A. describing the development of the biological species concept
B. responding to a critique of reproductive compatibility as a criterion for defining a species
C. considering two different approaches to identifying biological species
D. pointing out the advantage of one method of distinguishing related species
E. identifying an obstacle to the classification of biological species

I am confused between B and C. While reading the passage,the focus was on drawbacks of biological species concept (based on reproductive compatibility) and towards the end an alternative was described.So I chose B.
Can anyone explain why this is incorrect ?

As for choice (B), the author does present several possible critiques of reproductive compatibility as a criterion for defining a species, but the passage is not concerned with responding to those possible critiques.

Rather, the author presents those drawbacks to illustrate situations in which the biological species concept is difficult to apply. The author then presents an alternative (phenotype) that can be used in such situations. The author does not say that the biological species concept should be abandoned in favor of phenotype. Instead, the author simply notes that some investigators use the latter when the biological species concept is difficult to apply.

The author considers both approaches but is not primarily concerned with defending or rejecting either. Thus, choice (C) is more appropriate.

I hope that helps!

I rejected the option C and picked B for the word "Biological" assuming that it is not supported by the passage and first line of the passage says about the species and not just the biological species,

While reviewing I could eliminate B more than C!

Any tips on how to avoid such mistakes - not over-using one word off or too extreme concept


Experts may please respond!


I think you answered your own question! The key is to use process of elimination every time and to avoid prematurely eliminating options. If you know why it is wrong, eliminate it. But if you aren't quite sure what a choice means, leave it. If you are uncomfortable with a single word but not sure whether it's a deal-breaker, leave it.

For a broader discussion of RC technique, check out our RC guide for beginners.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2019, 10:15
GMATNinja wrote:
Sakshamachiever wrote:
Hi Experts,
In Q1. The passage is primarily concerned with

A. describing the development of the biological species concept
B. responding to a critique of reproductive compatibility as a criterion for defining a species
C. considering two different approaches to identifying biological species
D. pointing out the advantage of one method of distinguishing related species
E. identifying an obstacle to the classification of biological species

I am confused between B and C. While reading the passage,the focus was on drawbacks of biological species concept (based on reproductive compatibility) and towards the end an alternative was described.So I chose B.
Can anyone explain why this is incorrect ?

As for choice (B), the author does present several possible critiques of reproductive compatibility as a criterion for defining a species, but the passage is not concerned with responding to those possible critiques.

Rather, the author presents those drawbacks to illustrate situations in which the biological species concept is difficult to apply. The author then presents an alternative (phenotype) that can be used in such situations. The author does not say that the biological species concept should be abandoned in favor of phenotype. Instead, the author simply notes that some investigators use the latter when the biological species concept is difficult to apply.

The author considers both approaches but is not primarily concerned with defending or rejecting either. Thus, choice (C) is more appropriate.

I hope that helps!



Hi GMATNinja The passage talks about two approaches to identify different species of animals: the biological species and the phenotype method. However, answer option C states that the passage is concerned with two distinct methods for identifying 'biological species' rather than say,'related species' or 'species of animals'. This confused me into selecting an incorrect answer option. Ordinarily, I wouldn't have overthought the use of the word biological but because we're in GMAT land, I assumed that this was a trap. Can you help me understand why answer option C is not incorrect for this reason?
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2019, 14:11
1
Kinks wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
Sakshamachiever wrote:
Hi Experts,
In Q1. The passage is primarily concerned with

A. describing the development of the biological species concept
B. responding to a critique of reproductive compatibility as a criterion for defining a species
C. considering two different approaches to identifying biological species
D. pointing out the advantage of one method of distinguishing related species
E. identifying an obstacle to the classification of biological species

I am confused between B and C. While reading the passage,the focus was on drawbacks of biological species concept (based on reproductive compatibility) and towards the end an alternative was described.So I chose B.
Can anyone explain why this is incorrect ?

As for choice (B), the author does present several possible critiques of reproductive compatibility as a criterion for defining a species, but the passage is not concerned with responding to those possible critiques.

Rather, the author presents those drawbacks to illustrate situations in which the biological species concept is difficult to apply. The author then presents an alternative (phenotype) that can be used in such situations. The author does not say that the biological species concept should be abandoned in favor of phenotype. Instead, the author simply notes that some investigators use the latter when the biological species concept is difficult to apply.

The author considers both approaches but is not primarily concerned with defending or rejecting either. Thus, choice (C) is more appropriate.

I hope that helps!



Hi GMATNinja The passage talks about two approaches to identify different species of animals: the biological species and the phenotype method. However, answer option C states that the passage is concerned with two distinct methods for identifying 'biological species' rather than say,'related species' or 'species of animals'. This confused me into selecting an incorrect answer option. Ordinarily, I wouldn't have overthought the use of the word biological but because we're in GMAT land, I assumed that this was a trap. Can you help me understand why answer option C is not incorrect for this reason?

I agree that the wording of (C) is a bit confusing! Here's why the word "biological" isn't a great reason to eliminate (C):

The passage explores two methods to determine "whether a given population of animals constitutes a distinct species." These methods are:
  • "the biological species concept" and
  • "phenotype."

So, we know that the two approaches can be used to determine whether a given population constitutes a "distinct species", but aren't told whether that's the same thing as a "biological species," as specified in answer choice (C). Can we infer that these two terms mean the same thing?

If we want to eliminate (C), we have to assume that "distinct species" and "biological species" refer to two different things. Nothing in the passage suggests that these two things are different... sure, one method has "biological" in the name, but we know that both methods are used to determine the same thing. To illustrate that idea, consider the following:

  • In order to track revenue, a company can utilize either cash-basis accounting or accrual accounting.
  • Even though only one of the two methods has the word "accrual" in it, we could still say that both methods can be used to track how much revenue a company accrues each year.
  • Similarly, even though only one of the methods described in the passage has the word "biological" in the name, doesn't mean that the other can't also be used to identify biological species.

So even though the word "biological" in choice (C) is very confusing, it's not a good enough reason to eliminate (C). In fact, saying, "... two different approaches to identifying biological species" is no different than saying, "... two different approaches to identifying species of living organisms" ("biological" simply means "related to living organisms").

Choice (C) might not look good, but, using POE, it is the best answer.

I hope that helps!
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