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In archaeology, as in the physical sciences, new discoveries

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Re: In archaeology, as in the physical sciences, new discoveries [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2013, 08:43
I am surprised I got all right! Took exactly 8 minutes. My reasoning for the answers:

1. c - the first line of the essay presents a contention and follows it with an example.
2. D- obvious choice as author quotes an authority to give credence to the find.
3. C - Everything other that C,D are cited directly in the line starting " her completeness.." further D is eliminated as the species is spoken of all through the essay.
4. D - here is where CR is tested. Inference is something that is directly stated or can be obtained by putting two statements together. A is an unsupported assumption. B - Not enough reason to conclude this. C- Assumption at best not an inference. E- MOST IMPORTANT - cannot be concluded.
5.D -because it presents a story line where new information pertaining to the past is discovered which challenges the currently held theories about the past event ( absolutely parallel to the given essay)

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Re: In archaeology, as in the physical sciences, new discoveries [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2013, 02:25
Looks like a substandard passage.

Consider question 1:

1. The Organization of the passage could best be described as :

(A) Discussing a controversial scientific discovery
(B) Contrasting previous theories of development with current findings
(C) Illustrating a contention with a specific example
(D) Arguing for the importance of a particular field of study
(E) Refuting a popular misconception

The OA is C. But choice C doesn't say, "A contention followed by an illustration" but instead "illustrating a contention with a specific example". One can indeed understand what the sentence means but a quality question needs to have greater clarity.

Also, except for choice C, the other choices sound more like asking the main idea of the passage rather than the organization of the passage

Choice B in fact sounds a better choice because, in the passage, the new findings are contrasted with existing theories. In both the paragraphs, the author indeed does say that the current findings are totally different from all the existing theories.

Now consider question 4:

4. It can be inferred from the passage's description of the discovered fossil hyoid bone that

(A) Australopithecus afarensis were capable of speech
(B) the discovered hyoid bone is less primitive than the hyoid bone of apes
(C) the hyoid bone is necessary for speech
(D) the discovery of the hyoid bone necessitated the reexamination of prior theories
(E) The hyoid bone was the most important fossil found at the site

This is an inference question. So we expect some reasoning to be done. But the OA is D which is more of a paraphrase of ,"hyoid bone, a rarely preserved bone in the larynx that supports muscles of the throat, has had a tremendous impact on the theories about the origins of speech."

Choice B in my opinion is better because the passage says that the hyoid bone is more similar to that of apes than that of humans. This means the hyoid bone of the species is less primitive than that of the apes.
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Re: In archaeology, as in the physical sciences, new discoveries [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2013, 14:39
hi all,
I have few doubts regarding the answers.

Q1. How the passage presents a contention.??
an idea is given and then that idea is presented with examples.
author has not mentioned a theory which he has refuted.he has presented a theory which in deed refutes some conception.
so how ans. is ' Illustrating a contention with a specific example'.


Q4. I feel that re-examination of prior theory..... is mentioned in regard of preceding sentence.( it had been thought ......... swing through trees.)
not for ' hyoid bone'. the word 'Also' in sentence "Also, the presence of a hyoid bone",shows that there are 2 observations 1 is 'arboreal habitat of their ape
cousins' and other is ' hyoid bone'.



pls comment.....

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Re: In archaeology, as in the physical sciences, new discoveries [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2015, 05:44
For God's sake, I hope GMAT avoids such kind of RC's ... It's a killer passage for a non-native.....
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New post 04 May 2016, 07:08
Hello, guys. Sorry to bump the topic, but can anyone help me with question 2)?

2. The passage quotes Zeresenay Alemseged in order to
(A) provide evidence to qualify the main idea of the first paragraph
(B) question the claims of other scientists
(C) provide evidence to support the linguistic abilities of afarensis species
(D) provide evidence that supports the significance of the find
(E) provide a subjective opinion that is refuted in the second paragraph

I got this RC on the MGMAT RC book and there letter (A) is: qualify the main idea of the first paragraph.
I went for letter A but the OA is (D) - which I also agree that is correct. MGMAT explanation is that "to qualify a piece of information is to limit or dimish it", do you guys think this is correct?

Thank you!

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In archaeology, as in the physical sciences, new discoveries [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2016, 06:31
ramonguib wrote:
Hello, guys. Sorry to bump the topic, but can anyone help me with question 2)?

2. The passage quotes Zeresenay Alemseged in order to
(A) provide evidence to qualify the main idea of the first paragraph
(B) question the claims of other scientists
(C) provide evidence to support the linguistic abilities of afarensis species
(D) provide evidence that supports the significance of the find
(E) provide a subjective opinion that is refuted in the second paragraph

I got this RC on the MGMAT RC book and there letter (A) is: qualify the main idea of the first paragraph.
I went for letter A but the OA is (D) - which I also agree that is correct. MGMAT explanation is that "to qualify a piece of information is to limit or dimish it", do you guys think this is correct?

Thank you!


Hi ramonguib

Understand that the main idea of the paragraph is to introduce the concept of " how new discoveries undermine old theories"

Zeresenay Alemseged talks about the significance of discovery. But says nothing about how it is going to change the prevailing concepts. So the reference has nothing to do with the main idea. Ping me if you need further clarification.
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In archaeology, as in the physical sciences, new discoveries [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2016, 19:00
Hello,

Can anyone please help ascertain why in Q1 Choice C is better than B?
I dont have MGMAT RC book and here on the post the OEs arent there..pls help

Last edited by Youraisemeup on 13 Jul 2016, 19:33, edited 1 time in total.

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New post 14 Jul 2016, 01:36
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debbiem wrote:
Hello,

Can anyone please help ascertain why in Q1 Choice C is better than B?
I dont have MGMAT RC book and here on the post the OEs arent there..pls help


Hi debbiem

So the passage is not talking about how old theories have been refuted. It talks about how new findings refute old theories. It boils down to the purposed of the passage. It is all about describing a concept which states " Old theories are constantly refuted by new theories"
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New post 14 Jul 2016, 02:13
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New post 22 Aug 2017, 13:20
Completed in 09:05 with 100% accuracy! (For the very first time ever in GMAT RCs :lol: )

In archaeology, as in the physical sciences, new discoveries frequently undermine accepted findings and give rise to new theories. This trend can be seen in the reaction to the recent discovery of a set of 3.3-million-year-old fossils in Ethiopia, the remains of the earliest well-preserved child ever found. The fossilized child was estimated to be about 3 years old at death, female, and a member of the Australopithecus afarensis species. The afarensis species, a major human ancestor, lived in Africa from earlier than 3.7 million to 3 million years ago. " Her completeness, antiquity and age at death make this find of unprecedented importance in the history of paleo-anthropology" said Zeresenay Alemseged, a noted paleo-anthropologist. Other scientists said that the discovery could reconfigure conceptions about the live and capacities of these early humans.

Prior to this discovery, it had been thought that the afarensis species had abandoned the arboreal habitat of their ape cousins. However, while the lower linbs of this fossil supported findings that afarensis walked upright, its gorilla-like arms and shoulders suggested that it retained the ability to swing through trees. This had initiated a reexamination of many accepted theories of early human development. Also, the presence of a hyoid bone, a rarely preserved bone in the larynx that supports muscles of the throat, has had a tremendous impact on the theories about the origins of speech. The fossil bone is primitive and more similar to that of the apes than to that of humans, but it is the first hyoid bone found in such an early human-related species.


1. The Organization of the passage could best be described as :
(A) Discussing a controversial scientific discovery - No controversy is mentioned!
(B) Contrasting previous theories of development with current findings - theories? Plural? No such theories are mentioned
(C) Illustrating a contention with a specific example - CORRECT: Contention = "new discoveries frequently undermine accepted findings and give rise to new theories." and specific example = "The fossilized child was estimated to be about 3 years old at death, female, and a member of the Australopithecus afarensis species."
(D) Arguing for the importance of a particular field of study - discoveries are focued in the passage and not the field of study
(E) Refuting a popular misconception - No misconception is mentioned


2. The passage quotes Zeresenay Alemseged in order to
(A) provide evidence to qualify the main idea of the first paragraph - the main idea of the first passage is that new discoveries frequently undermine accepted findings and give rise to new theories; Zeresenay is talking about just the fossilized girl and not the discoveries.
(B) question the claims of other scientists - no claims are presented
(C) provide evidence to support the linguistic abilities of afarensis species - linguistics are discussed in the second paragraph. GMAT TRAP
(D) provide evidence that supports the significance of the find - CORRECT: Zeresenay was talking about the finding only!
(E) provide a subjective opinion that is refuted in the second paragraph - nothing is refuted.


3. Each of the following is cited as a fact in the importance of the discovery of the fossils EXCEPT
(A) the fact that remains were those of a child - "Her completeness, antiquity and age at death make this find of unprecedented importance..."
(B) the age of the fossils - same as A
(C) the location of the discovery - CORRECT: Ethopia is mentioned, but that is not mentioned in the IMPORTANCE PART of the premise.
(D) the species of the fossils - " The fossilized child was estimated to be about 3 years old at death, female, and a member of the Australopithecus afarensis species"
(E) the intact nature of the fossils - "Her completeness, antiquity and..."


4. It can be inferred from the passage's description of the discovered fossil hyoid bone that
(A) Australopithecus afarensis were capable of speech - nothing about speech is mentioned.
(B) the discovered hyoid bone is less primitive than the hyoid bone of apes - No such comparision is presented
(C) the hyoid bone is necessary for speech - necessity is not mentioned
(D) the discovery of the hyoid bone necessitated the reexamination of prior theories - CORRECT: "Also, the presence of a hyoid bone, a rarely preserved bone in the larynx that supports muscles of the throat, has had a tremendous impact on the theories about the origins of speech.". Underlined portion means that the existing theories were impacted, meaning reexamined! This is a very subtle inference.
(E) The hyoid bone was the most important fossil found at the site - no comparision of importance is mentioned


5. According to the passage, the impact of the discovery of the hyoid bone in the field of archaeology could best be compared to which of the following examples in another field?
(A) The discovery and analysis of cosmic rays lend support to a widely accepted theory of the origin of the universe - gorilla like arms and hyoid bone undermines existing theories and does not strengthens.
(B) The original manuscript of deceased 19th century author confirms ideas of the development of an important work of literature - undermining existing theories is the essense of the passage and not strengthening.
(C) The continued prosperity of a state-run economy stirs debate in the discipline of macroeconomics - Close but continued prosperity does not agree with newly discovered.
(D) Newly revealed journal entries by a prominent Civil War-era politician lead to a questioning of certain accepted historical interpretations about the conflict - CORRECT: Newly revealed is close to "the first hyoid bone found in such...", and questioning of certain accepted historical... is close to "has had a tremendous impact on the theories about the origins of speech"
(E) Research into the mapping of the human genome gives rise to nascent applications to individually tailored medicines - correction of existing theories is mentioned rather than rising new theories!

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Re: In archaeology, as in the physical sciences, new discoveries [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2017, 11:55
Hey GMATNinja

Can you share your thoughts on Q2?

2. The passage quotes Zeresenay Alemseged in order to
(A) provide evidence to qualify the main idea of the first paragraph
(B) question the claims of other scientists
(C) provide evidence to support the linguistic abilities of afarensis species
(D) provide evidence that supports the significance of the find
(E) provide a subjective opinion that is refuted in the second paragraph

I am confused between option A and D. Any tips how to solve such questions?

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Re: In archaeology, as in the physical sciences, new discoveries   [#permalink] 09 Sep 2017, 11:55

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