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Determining whether a given population of animals constitutes a distin

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The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2018 New RC
(Line)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
(5) 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
(10) 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
(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 species. A
third problem with the biological species concept is
(20) 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
(25) 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
(30) 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?

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.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #1 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #2 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #3 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #4 OA

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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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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.

Last edited by Lucy Phuong on 01 Jul 2017, 18:42, edited 1 time in total.

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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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New post 01 Jul 2017, 18:58
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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New post 03 Jul 2017, 19:50
Can anybody post OAs for all questions please...


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New post 03 Jul 2017, 22:22
mrana10 wrote:
Can anybody post OAs for all questions please...


Sent from my iPad using GMAT Club Forum


As posted above, OAs are C, C, A, and B.

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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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New post 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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New post 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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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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New post 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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New post 19 Oct 2017, 21:25
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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New post 16 Nov 2017, 13:42
Time Taken - 7 mins 55 secs

Got all the question right :grin:
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