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# Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin

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15 Jun 2017, 04:01
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The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2018 New RC
Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distinct species can be difficult because no single accepted definition of the term exists. One approach, called the biological species concept, bases the definition on reproductive compatibility. According to this view, a species is a group of animals that can mate with one another to produce fertile offspring but cannot mate successfully with members of a different group. 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. Second, sometimes the differences between two populations might not prevent them from interbreeding, even though they are dissimilar in traits unrelated to reproduction; some biologists question whether such disparate groups should be considered a single species. A third problem with the biological species concept is that investigators cannot always determine whether two groups that live in different places are capable of interbreeding.

When the biological species concept is difficult to apply, some investigators use phenotype, an organism’s observable characteristics, instead. Two groups that have evolved separately are likely to display measurable differences in many of their traits, such as skull size or width of teeth. If the distribution of measurements from one group does not overlap with those of another, the two groups might reasonably be considered distinct species.

(Book Question: 54)
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

(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

(Book Question: 56)
With which of the following statements regarding the classification of individual species would the author most likely agree?

A. Phenotype comparison may help to classify species when application of the biological species concept proves inconclusive.
B. Because no standard definition exists for what constitutes a species, the classification of animal populations is inevitably an arbitrary process.
C. The criteria used by biologists to classify species have not been based on adequate research.
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.
E. Phenotype overlap should be used as the basic criterion for standardizing species classification.

(Book Question: 57)
Which of the following best describes the function of lines 10-13 [First, mating between groups labeled as different species (hybridization), as often occurs in the canine family, is quite common in nature.]?

A. It elaborates the definition of the biological species concept given in a previous sentence.
B. It develops a point about the biological species concept made in the previous sentence.
C. It states the author’s central point about the biological species concept.
D. It identifies a central assumption underlying the biological species concept.
E. It demonstrates why the biological species concept is invalid.

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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2017, 11:05
1
Why answer choice C is not the right answer. Can anyone explain why B over C?
Which of the following best describes the function of lines 10-13?
A. It elaborates the definition of the biological species concept given in a previous sentence.
B. It develops a point about the biological species concept made in the previous sentence.
C. It states the author???s central point about the biological species concept.
D. It identifies a central assumption underlying the biological species concept.
E. It demonstrates why the biological species concept is invalid.
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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Updated on: 01 Jul 2017, 18:42
19
Minakshi20 wrote:
Why answer choice C is not the right answer. Can anyone explain why B over C?
Which of the following best describes the function of lines 10-13?
A. It elaborates the definition of the biological species concept given in a previous sentence.
B. It develops a point about the biological species concept made in the previous sentence.
C. It states the author's central point about the biological species concept.
D. It identifies a central assumption underlying the biological species concept.
E. It demonstrates why the biological species concept is invalid.

Hi, I chose the right answer, so I hope that my experience may help.

This is a purpose question. It asks the function of particular lines 10-13:

"First, mating between groups labeled as different species (hybridization), as often occurs in the canine family, is quite common in nature."

---> The above sentence introduces the first among some disadvantages of biological species concept.
Now we assess 5 options

A. It elaborates the definition of the biological species concept given in a previous sentence.
No. Definition of this concept is already mentioned before, in lines 4-5 of the passage. OUT

B. It develops a point about the biological species concept made in the previous sentence.
Hm. Let's see what the previous sentence says - "Yet this idea can be too restrictive". We can see clearly that this sentence is an introduction about limitations of the biological species concept, and the sentence in line 10-13 elaborates on the first negative point of its limitation. CORRECT

C. It states the author's central point about the biological species concept.
If the question asked about function of this sentence "Yet this idea can be too restrictive", then answer might be yes. But in fact, the following sentence, which introduces the first disadvantage of the concept, is the one we have to look at. OUT.

D. It identifies a central assumption underlying the biological species concept.
No, it's not. It just simply provides details of the first flaw of the concept. OUT.

E. It demonstrates why the biological species concept is invalid.
To me, this option could be considered a runner-up. The reason why this option is incorrect might be its inappropriate word choice "invalid". When a method is invalid, it might be regarded as no value and we should not use it at all, but this is not necessarily true in the case of biological species concept. According to author, "this idea can be too restrictive". Therefore, we may understand that in general, the concept has some values, but IN SOME CASES, it seems not to be effective as expected.

That's my reasoning. Hope it will help. Just respond if you have any further concern.

Originally posted by Lucy Phuong on 28 Jun 2017, 04:45.
Last edited by Lucy Phuong on 01 Jul 2017, 18:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2017, 16:26
2
Lucy Phuong wrote:
Minakshi20 wrote:
Why answer choice C is not the right answer. Can anyone explain why B over C?
Which of the following best describes the function of lines 10-13?
A. It elaborates the definition of the biological species concept given in a previous sentence.
B. It develops a point about the biological species concept made in the previous sentence.
C. It states the author's central point about the biological species concept.
D. It identifies a central assumption underlying the biological species concept.
E. It demonstrates why the biological species concept is invalid.

Hi, I chose the right answer, so I hope that my experience may help.

This is a purpose question. It asks the function of particular lines 10-13:

"First, mating between groups labeled as different species (hybridization), as often occurs in the canine family, is quite common in nature."

---> The above sentence introduces the first among some disadvantages of biological species concept.
Now we assess 5 options

A. It elaborates the definition of the biological species concept given in a previous sentence.
No. Definition of this concept is already mentioned before, in lines 4-5 of the passage. OUT

B. It develops a point about the biological species concept made in the previous sentence.
Hm. Let's see what the previous sentence says - "Yet this idea can be too restrictive". We can see clearly that this sentence is an introduction about limitations of the biological species concept, and the sentence is line 10-13 elaborates on the first negative point of its limitation. CORRECT

C. It states the author's central point about the biological species concept.
If the question asked about function of this question "Yet this idea can be too restrictive", then answer might be yes. But in fact, the following sentence, which introduces the first disadvantage of the concept, is the one we have to look at. OUT.

D. It identifies a central assumption underlying the biological species concept.
No, it's not. It just simply provides details of the first flaw of the concept. OUT.

E. It demonstrates why the biological species concept is invalid.
To me, this option could be considered a runner-up. The reason why this option is incorrect might be its inappropriate word choice "invalid". When a method is invalid, it might be regarded as no value and we should not use it at all, but this is not necessarily true in the case of biological species concept. According to author, "this idea can be too restrictive". Therefore, we may understand that in general, the concept has some values, but IN SOME CASES, it seems not to be effective as expected.

That's my reasoning. Hope it will help. Just respond if you have any further concern.

Thank you Lucy Phuong for that excellent explanation!
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2017, 18:58
1
GMATNinjaTwo wrote:
Thank you Lucy Phuong for that excellent explanation!

Thank you so much, expert :D

I must admit that getting a right answer is not easy, but helping other people understand it is another challenge. Btw, appreciate your time and effort that you, experts, have spent for us on this forum.
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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05 Aug 2017, 09:14
2
I agree this is a good explanation, but why do you say that "Yet this idea can be too restrictive" is a previous sentence?? It's in line 10, so it cannot be a previous sentence in my view.

Many thanks in advance for clarification!

GMATNinjaTwo wrote:
Lucy Phuong wrote:
Minakshi20 wrote:
Why answer choice C is not the right answer. Can anyone explain why B over C?
Which of the following best describes the function of lines 10-13?
A. It elaborates the definition of the biological species concept given in a previous sentence.
B. It develops a point about the biological species concept made in the previous sentence.
C. It states the author's central point about the biological species concept.
D. It identifies a central assumption underlying the biological species concept.
E. It demonstrates why the biological species concept is invalid.

Hi, I chose the right answer, so I hope that my experience may help.

This is a purpose question. It asks the function of particular lines 10-13:

"First, mating between groups labeled as different species (hybridization), as often occurs in the canine family, is quite common in nature."

---> The above sentence introduces the first among some disadvantages of biological species concept.
Now we assess 5 options

A. It elaborates the definition of the biological species concept given in a previous sentence.
No. Definition of this concept is already mentioned before, in lines 4-5 of the passage. OUT

B. It develops a point about the biological species concept made in the previous sentence.
Hm. Let's see what the previous sentence says - "Yet this idea can be too restrictive". We can see clearly that this sentence is an introduction about limitations of the biological species concept, and the sentence is line 10-13 elaborates on the first negative point of its limitation. CORRECT

C. It states the author's central point about the biological species concept.
If the question asked about function of this question "Yet this idea can be too restrictive", then answer might be yes. But in fact, the following sentence, which introduces the first disadvantage of the concept, is the one we have to look at. OUT.

D. It identifies a central assumption underlying the biological species concept.
No, it's not. It just simply provides details of the first flaw of the concept. OUT.

E. It demonstrates why the biological species concept is invalid.
To me, this option could be considered a runner-up. The reason why this option is incorrect might be its inappropriate word choice "invalid". When a method is invalid, it might be regarded as no value and we should not use it at all, but this is not necessarily true in the case of biological species concept. According to author, "this idea can be too restrictive". Therefore, we may understand that in general, the concept has some values, but IN SOME CASES, it seems not to be effective as expected.

That's my reasoning. Hope it will help. Just respond if you have any further concern.

Thank you Lucy Phuong for that excellent explanation!
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2017, 09:52
CorporateFinancier wrote:
I agree this is a good explanation, but why do you say that "Yet this idea can be too restrictive" is a previous sentence?? It's in line 10, so it cannot be a previous sentence in my view.

Many thanks in advance for clarification!

I agree that this is a confusing reference, but the question is trying to highlight the sentence that begins in line 10 and ends in line 13. True, you could argue that the question might be referring to both sentences together, but if you make that assumption, none of the answer choices would be correct! Thus, using process of elimination, choice (B) best describes the function of lines 10-13.
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2017, 00:34
When the biological species concept is difficult to apply, some investigators use phenotype, an (25) organism’s observable characteristics, instead.

i third question answer is . Phenotype comparison may help to classify species when application of the biological species concept proves inconclusive.

Here inconclusive and difficult to apply has been taken for same meaning although it differs.

I rejected the option for the same difference .

can anyone help.
thanks
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2017, 08:40
1
kannu44 wrote:
When the biological species concept is difficult to apply, some investigators use phenotype, an (25) organism’s observable characteristics, instead.

i third question answer is . Phenotype comparison may help to classify species when application of the biological species concept proves inconclusive.

Here inconclusive and difficult to apply has been taken for same meaning although it differs.

I rejected the option for the same difference .

can anyone help.
thanks

Consider the second example cited in the first paragraph:

Quote:
Second, sometimes
the differences between two populations might not
(15) prevent them from interbreeding, even though they
are dissimilar in traits unrelated to reproduction;
some biologists question whether such disparate
groups should be considered a single specie

Even though the two populations can interbreed, we would not be able to definitively conclude that we have two species. Thus, although not directly stated in the passage, we can infer that using the biological species concept would prove inconclusive in that case.

Quote:
A. Phenotype comparison may help to classify species when application

Choice (A) is the best answer to the third question.
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2017, 02:15
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 ?
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2017, 21:25
1
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!
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2017, 06:06
Time taken 5 min

Q4 is a typical GMAT trap ...option E is at the extreme type ans choice and shall be eliminated.. nice passage!!
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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Updated on: 05 Dec 2017, 12:06
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,
Thanks for your response and it helped me to understand why B) is incorrect.
I agree that the author does not respond to a critique.Just to confirm if it was a response to a critique ,the author would have stated his opinion regarding criticism of this theory,correct ?

Also,for understanding sake,can you confirm the following ?

You mentioned that
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
.

But doesn't the author's way of transitioning from the drawbacks of one theory (say theory 1) to a theory (say theory 2) which can resolve the issue in theory 1 without specifying any drawbacks of theory 2 suggest a preference for theory 2 ?

Also,the author's main aim is to Determinine whether a given population of animals
constitutes a distinct species .
At the end he says using theory 2 that
If the distribution of measurements from one group does not overlap with those of another, the two groups might reasonably be considered distinct species.

Doesn't this clearly show that theory 2 is the winner here ?

Thanks,
Saksham.

Originally posted by Sakshamachiever on 04 Dec 2017, 12:40.
Last edited by Sakshamachiever on 05 Dec 2017, 12:06, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2017, 11:50
1
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
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2017, 20:17
1
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

jawele, that's right! Choice (A) represents a PRACTICAL challenge. According to the biological species concept, a species is a group of animals that can mate with one another but not with members of a different group. The text in lines 20-21 describes the third problem with this approach. Even though in theory this criteria might help us determine whether two groups belong to the same species, if the groups live in different places, there is no way to determine whether they can interbreed. Thus, even though the criteria might make sense in theory, we cannot practically apply it.

Choice (C) is a better answer.
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Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2017, 22:56
Sakshamachiever wrote:
Hi,
Thanks for your response and it helped me to understand why B) is incorrect.
I agree that the author does not respond to a critique.Just to confirm if it was a response to a critique ,the author would have stated his opinion regarding criticism of this theory,correct ?

Also,for understanding sake,can you confirm the following ?

You mentioned that
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.

But doesn't the author's way of transitioning from the drawbacks of one theory (say theory 1) to a theory (say theory 2) which can resolve the issue in theory 1 without specifying any drawbacks of theory 2 suggest a preference for theory 2 ?

Also,the author's main aim is to Determinine whether a given population of animals
constitutes a distinct species .
At the end he says using theory 2 that
If the distribution of measurements from one group does not overlap with those of another, the two groups might reasonably be considered distinct species.

Doesn't this clearly show that theory 2 is the winner here ?

Thanks,
Saksham.

Even if the author had a preference for "theory 2", choice (B) would not be appropriate. The author PRESENTS criticisms of the biological species concept. RESPONDING to criticisms would involve citing criticisms (made by others) and DEFENDING the biological species concept against those criticisms. For example:

Responding to criticisms that she was weak on crime, the mayor pointed out that crime rates have decreased by 5% every year since she took office.

Furthermore, the author only suggests that theory 2 is "the winner" in certain situations. This does not necessarily imply that the author favors one over the other. For example, Medicine X might be great for lowering cholesterol MOST of the time. However, under certain circumstances, it might be better to prescribe Medicine Y. That doesn't make Y better than X, it just means that Y is better in SOME cases.

Similarly, the author states that theory 2 can be used "when the biological species concept is difficult to apply." This does not suggest that theory 2 is better. It simply suggests that there is an alternative that can be used in situations when the biological species concept is not appropriate (i.e. when the drawbacks described would make it inaccurate).

Regardless, the author is not "responding to a critique" of the biological species concept, so choice (B) should be eliminated.
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Joined: 16 Nov 2016
Posts: 224
Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2018, 22:26
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

with regard to option C, is the author really considering two different approaches...it seems to me that he is merely presenting facts...
that's why I picked option A
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Posts: 541
Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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30 Apr 2018, 23:00
P1 - An idea is introduced. 3 flaws in that idea are pointed out.
P2 - An alternative of previous idea is described.

(Book Question: 54)
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
-----------------------------------------------

(Book Question: 55)
The author of the passage mentions “groups that live in different places” (in line 21) most probably in order to
pre-thinking - there is a flaw in concept, that is explained using this line.
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------ correct
D. note an instance in which phenotype classification is customarily used
E. describe an alternative to the biological species concept
----------------------------------------------

(Book Question: 56)
With which of the following statements regarding the classification of individual species would the author most likely agree?

A. Phenotype comparison may help to classify species when application of the biological species concept proves inconclusive. ---- correct

--------------------------------------------

(Book Question: 57)
Which of the following best describes the function of lines 10-13 [First, mating between groups labeled as different species (hybridization), as often occurs in the canine family, is quite common in nature.]?
Pre-thinking : before this line, they gave the definition of a study. but called that idea very restrictive. these lines are defining that restriction.

I first selected B and E. one of them should be answer.
B. It develops a point about the biological species concept made in the previous sentence. --- correct.
E. It demonstrates why the biological species concept is invalid. --- so first study is true for some part, while false for rest. but is it really proving the study wrong. what if this line is true. then are you sure that this is of same group. this is not 100% true choice.
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GMAT Club Verbal Expert
Joined: 20 Nov 2016
Posts: 274
Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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01 May 2018, 10:14
1
ENEM wrote:
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

with regard to option C, is the author really considering two different approaches...it seems to me that he is merely presenting facts...
that's why I picked option A

ENEM, maybe this post will help?
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Intern
Joined: 19 Sep 2016
Posts: 4
Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin [#permalink]

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02 May 2018, 00:30
why is the answer to the 4th questions B and not E. ??
Re: Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin   [#permalink] 02 May 2018, 00:30

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