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In 2004, Jared Diamond published Collapse, a rigorous analysis

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In 2004, Jared Diamond published Collapse, a rigorous analysis  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 16 Sep 2017, 23:35
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In 2004, Jared Diamond published Collapse, a rigorous analysis of why certain ancient societies have perished. His groundbreaking study explored the environmental and historical factors that contributed to the demise of the “Viking colonies” of Greenland, the Polynesians of Easter Island, and the Anasazi of the American southwest. Diamond’s core thesis was that human recklessness and lack of foresight were the major factors in precipitating the ends of these societies.

Diamond’s work was among the first to seek out the commonalities between deforestation in Easter Island and resource depletion in ancient Greenland. Because he posited that human agency played a key role in determining whether cultures disintegrate or thrive, his message was viewed by many prominent environmental activists as a call to action – societies can remain vibrant providing they make prudent decisions regarding resource management.

However, many critics have claimed that Diamond’s explanations for the extinctions of ancient societies were simplistic, and placed undue blame on the regions’ inhabitants. For example, Terry Hunt, an archaeologist at the University of Hawaii, has claimed that the Polynesian deforestation, which Diamond attributed to the recklessness of the native peoples, was actually caused by predatory rats. Moreover, Hunt has noted that Diamond overlooked the role that European disease played in decimating native populations. If these other factors are taken into account, the issue of blame becomes a far more complex one and some of Diamond’s positions may need to be reconsidered.

1) According to the passage, which of the following is used by Diamond as piece of evidence for his core thesis?

A) The fact that diseases were introduced by Europeans
B) The fact that deforestation resulted from animal behavior
C) The fact that cultures were unable to accurately predict the future
D) The fact that there was proper resource management
E) The fact that there was a natural depletion of food sources


2) The primary purpose of this passage is to:

A) refute the opinion put forth in an important piece of research.
B) call for more research to help evaluate a controversial position.
C) analyze a significant research study and its implications.
D) suggest that a particular research study is misguided.
E) provide addition


3) According to the passage, which of the following must be true of Polynesian deforestation?

A) It was caused by predatory rats, and not by the actions of the Polynesian people as has been theorized.
B) It was cited by Terry Hunt as the cause of the demise of the Polynesians of Easter Island.
C) It was caused by the recklessness and lack of foresight of the Polynesian people.
D) It was used by Jared Diamond to illustrate how human recklessness can lead to the demise of a society.
E) It was surprisingly similar to the resource depletion that occurred in ancient Greenland.


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Originally posted by sidd13 on 16 Sep 2017, 03:39.
Last edited by sidd13 on 16 Sep 2017, 23:35, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: In 2004, Jared Diamond published Collapse, a rigorous analysis  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2017, 23:13
What's the source?
I really think answer to 3 rd question is not correct.
Terry hunt never cited that deforestation lead to decimating population.
I think it was Diamond who attributed the deforestation to elimination of societies ..hence it should be D.
Please post OE
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Re: In 2004, Jared Diamond published Collapse, a rigorous analysis  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2017, 23:27
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prachi18oct wrote:
What's the source?
I really think answer to 3 rd question is not correct.
Terry hunt never cited that deforestation lead to decimating population.
I think it was Diamond who attributed the deforestation to elimination of societies ..hence it should be D.
Please post OE


Hi the source is Veritas

This RC i believe is taken from the TED talk given by him.

The OE is
In this specific style question, you need to go back to the passage and confirm which one of these five facts was used to support Diamond’s position. Answer choices (A) and (B) are two things that are used by Hunt to support his position – they were used to undermine Diamond’s core thesis so these are both incorrect. (D) and (E) also have it backwards. Diamond believed that it was human behavior – “human recklessness” and “lack of foresight” – that led to the extinction of these societies. Proper resource management and a natural depletion of food sources would not support this thesis. (C) matches exactly the reason given by Diamond in the last sentence of the first paragraph: “a lack of foresight”. “Foresight” is defined as: “the ability to predict or the action of predicting what will happen or be needed in the future.” So a “lack of foresight” is synonymous with an “inability to accurately predict the future.” Remember that the primary difficulty in specific style questions is wordplay. The correct answer will often use a synonymous, but difficult to recognize, form of what is stated in the passage and the incorrect answer choices will use similar but inaccurate descriptions of what you read. The correct answer is (C).
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Re: In 2004, Jared Diamond published Collapse, a rigorous analysis  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2017, 23:30
The OE you provided is for question 1 which seems correct.
Can you post OE for 2&3 questions too?
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Re: In 2004, Jared Diamond published Collapse, a rigorous analysis  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2017, 23:36
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prachi18oct wrote:
The OE you provided is for question 1 which seems correct.
Can you post OE for 2&3 questions too?



I feel this RC is tough to crack as while solving i got only 1 correct out of 3, so shared it.
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Re: In 2004, Jared Diamond published Collapse, a rigorous analysis  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2018, 11:57
sidd13 wrote:
prachi18oct wrote:
What's the source?
I really think answer to 3 rd question is not correct.
Terry hunt never cited that deforestation lead to decimating population.
I think it was Diamond who attributed the deforestation to elimination of societies ..hence it should be D.
Please post OE


Hi the source is Veritas

This RC i believe is taken from the TED talk given by him.

The OE is
In this specific style question, you need to go back to the passage and confirm which one of these five facts was used to support Diamond’s position. Answer choices (A) and (B) are two things that are used by Hunt to support his position – they were used to undermine Diamond’s core thesis so these are both incorrect. (D) and (E) also have it backwards. Diamond believed that it was human behavior – “human recklessness” and “lack of foresight” – that led to the extinction of these societies. Proper resource management and a natural depletion of food sources would not support this thesis. (C) matches exactly the reason given by Diamond in the last sentence of the first paragraph: “a lack of foresight”. “Foresight” is defined as: “the ability to predict or the action of predicting what will happen or be needed in the future.” So a “lack of foresight” is synonymous with an “inability to accurately predict the future.” Remember that the primary difficulty in specific style questions is wordplay. The correct answer will often use a synonymous, but difficult to recognize, form of what is stated in the passage and the incorrect answer choices will use similar but inaccurate descriptions of what you read. The correct answer is (C).


Attn Mod: broall workout Gnpth GMATNinja
I wanted to point out some issues with the thread:
1) According to the above post, OA for Q1 should be C.
2) This post (https://gmatclub.com/forum/in-2004-jare ... l#p1927075) don't seem to be related to this RC. It should be removed.
3) Don't think the OAs are right for any of the questions.

This should be archived or updated with the correct OAs in order to prevent others from dealing with wrong OAs. Thanks!
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Re: In 2004, Jared Diamond published Collapse, a rigorous analysis &nbs [#permalink] 11 Aug 2018, 11:57
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In 2004, Jared Diamond published Collapse, a rigorous analysis

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