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Re: In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that [#permalink]
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Interesting question!

I got 2/4 correct. My approaches are as follows:

Question1: Actually I expected something more like "how naturalists define the origin of species" stemming from the passage, but the closest answer to that was A, so I took it.
Question2: So debatable question for me. I got confused between D and E and took D as a correct answer. I think an expert answer would be great for this question.
Question3: The last sentence of the passage clearly indicates that mistletoes require some intermediary during their reproducing phase, so E was the clear answer
Question4: Author just explains how naturalists consider origin of species but do not mention any subjective judgment of it. He doesn't criticize, disbelieve or talk energetic about it or just takes his own approach to achieve his self-interest. So impartial would be the best fit for that.

Please, let me know my flaws or problem in my logic.

If helpful give kudos :)
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In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that [#permalink]
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Official Explanation


2. A naturalist is likely to consider for mutual affinities of organic beings, each of the following factors EXCEPT:

Difficulty Level: Hard

Explanation:

Towards the end of para 1, the author has put forward his opinion that besides the factors mentioned by naturalists (the options), it is imperative to consider how such perfect co-dependence exists between species. Hence, option (E) is the correct answer.

A, B, and C are mentioned in the opening sentence of Para 1 and D is mentioned in the last sentence of para 2.

Answer: E


Hope it helps­
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In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that [#permalink]
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Official Explanation


4. The tone of the author can best be described as:

Difficulty Level: Very Hard

Explanation

The author has first stated the accepted theories about origin of species. Then, he has put forth his opinion and substantiated it with relevant examples. Hence, (B) is the correct answer.

(A) The author is not critical of the views—he merely does not accept them as the final explanation.

(C) The words are extreme—the author does agree to the prevalent line of thought, but he also wants the alternatives explored.

(D) Same as C.

(E) The author has not used any word/phrase which would imply exuberance.


Hope it helps­
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In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that [#permalink]
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Official Explanation

1. What is the primary purpose of the author in writing the passage?

Difficulty Level: 700

Explanation:

The author has conceded the current line of thought about the origin of different species found on earth. However, he also points out inconsistencies which he is convinced need to be delved into further. Hence, option (A) is the correct answer.

(B) The author does not disprove anyone. He merely states that some inconsistencies in a belief make it important to revisit that belief.

(C) The author talks of factors other than external that need to be explored—‘it is equally …plant itself. ’

(D) The author does not try to substantiate anything in the passage.

(E) The author does not dedicate the entire passage to discussing the structure of different species.

Answer: A


Hope it helps­
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In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that [#permalink]
SajjadAhmad wrote:
Official Explanation

1. What is the primary purpose of the author in writing the passage?

Difficulty Level: 700

Explanation:

The author has conceded the current line of thought about the origin of different species found on earth. However, he also points out inconsistencies which he is convinced need to be delved into further. Hence, option (A) is the correct answer.

(B) The author does not disprove anyone. He merely states that some inconsistencies in a belief make it important to revisit that belief.

(C) The author talks of factors other than external that need to be explored—‘it is equally …plant itself. ’

(D) The author does not try to substantiate anything in the passage.

(E) The author does not dedicate the entire passage to discussing the structure of different species.

Answer: A


Hope it helps

Hi SajjadAhmad

Can you please suggest where my reasoning is wrong
following are the excerpts from the passage
it is equally preposterous to account for the structure of this parasite,
In one very limited sense, this may be true; but it is preposterous to attribute to mere external conditions

Nevertheless, such a conclusion, even if well founded, would be unsatisfactory,

Perhaps I might be wrong
But this to me suggests that the author is quite disaproving of the naturalists.­
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Re: In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that [#permalink]
Expert Reply
rvarora wrote:

Hi SajjadAhmad

Can you please suggest where my reasoning is wrong
following are the excerpts from the passage
it is equally preposterous to account for the structure of this parasite,
In one very limited sense, this may be true; but it is preposterous to attribute to mere external conditions

Nevertheless, such a conclusion, even if well founded, would be unsatisfactory,

Perhaps I might be wrong
But this to me suggests that the author is quite disaproving of the naturalists.


Your identified text from the passage is fine but you probably didn't notice the tone of the author. The author didn't make any conclusive point against naturalists rather he/she softly said the naturalists could be wrong. Two words could and must make a huge difference in the GMAT Reasoning you need to identify the intensity of the words. The author is saying naturalist could be wrong but he didn't say they must be wrong so that is why the author is not disproving rather giving more ideas to explore the true conclusion.

Hope it helps
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Re: In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that [#permalink]
For question 4 I selected option A Critical. The reason is that in second paragraph author is using examples to show that he doesnt not fully agree with the naturalist. Overall author view is that naturalist point should be limited to external factors only and should consider few more reasons to explain the origin of species.
I still didn't get how Option (B) is better than option A
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Re: In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that [#permalink]
HASTOWINGMAT wrote:
For question 4 I selected option A Critical. The reason is that in second paragraph author is using examples to show that he doesnt not fully agree with the naturalist. Overall author view is that naturalist point should be limited to external factors only and should consider few more reasons to explain the origin of species.
I still didn't get how Option (B) is better than option A

The OA is correct.

I would like to point out to the bold portions taken from the passage which proves the author is not critical -
In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that a naturalist, reflecting on the mutual affinities of organic beings, on their embryological relations, their geographical distributions, geological successions and other such facts, might conclude that each species had not independently created, but had descended, like varieties, from other species. Nevertheless, such conclusion, even if well founded, would be unsatisfactory, until it could be shown how the innumerable species inhabiting this world have been modified, to acquire that perfection of structure and co-adaptation which most justly excites our admiration.

Naturalists continually refer to external conditions, such as climate, food, etc. as the only possible cause of variation. In one very limited sense, this may be true; but it is preposterous to attribute to mere external conditions, the structure, for instance, of the woodpecker, with its feet, tail, beak, and tongue, so admirably adapted to catch insects under the bark of trees.


In the first bold part, the author is not denying that the conclusion may be true, but further studies should be performed.
In the second bold part, the author says partly the naturalist may be true, but they are not fully correct.

If he was being critical, the author would use a few "tougher" words like - 'however, this is not true...' or 'but this justification does not make sense because ..'

The author is not saying the naturalists are completely wrong, but he is saying they cannot be stating things with absolute certainty unless some work (some prerequisites) are met.

Does that help?
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Re: In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that [#permalink]
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What about the word “preposterous AnirudhaS and Sajjad1994

preposterous
adjective
- contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous.

Preposterous is an extreme word, not neutral in any sense. Clearly the author is in complete disbelief !

I am very surprised by the AO for Q4.

Naturalists continually refer to external conditions, such as climate, food, etc. as the only possible cause of variation. In one very limited sense, this may be true; but it is preposterous to attribute to mere external conditions, the structure, for instance, of the woodpecker, …….. the other, it is equally preposterous to account for the structure of this parasite, with its relations to several distinct organic beings, by the effects of external conditions, or of habit, or of the volition of the plant itself.
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Official Explanation


3. Which of the following can be inferred from the information in the passage?

Difficulty Level: 650

Explanation

The last part of the second para clearly explains that the mistletoe has flowers having separate sexes, so it needs the assistance of certain insects to bring pollen from one flower to the other. It obviously can’t do so on its own. Thus, (E) is the correct answer.

(A) Opposite. Most naturalists believe that each species has descended from some other species.

(B) Opposite. The author states, in the last sentence of the passage, that the unique characteristics of the woodpecker and the mistletoe cannot be explained merely as the effect of external conditions.

(C) Opposite. According to the author, this commonly accepted belief is clearly not sufficient to explain the existence of species such as the woodpecker and the mistletoe.

(D) This may or may not be true but cannot be ascertained for sure from the passage.

Answer: E
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In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that [#permalink]
Sajjad1994 - Thanks for the explanation, but the passage doesn't state anything about mistletoe's reproduction, but mentions only about mistletoe's nourishment. Hence, how can Option D, which talks about mistletoe's reproduction, be inferred from the passage.

Passage excerpt: "In the case of the mistletoe, which draws its nourishment from certain trees, which has seeds that must be transported by certain birds, and which has flowers with separate sexes absolutely requiring the agency of certain insects to bring pollen from one flower to the other, it is equally preposterous to account for the structure of this parasite, with its relations to several distinct organic beings, by the effects of external conditions, or of habit, or of the volition of the plant itself."
-> It talks about mistletoe requiring nourishment from trees that have seeds transported by birds. No mention of reproduction

Option (E): The mistletoe cannot reproduce by itself but needs the assistance of other species.
-> talks about reproduction

Can you please guide what I am missing here?

AndrewN - Would be great if you can please correct me. Thanks
Sajjad1994 wrote:
Official Explanation


3. Which of the following can be inferred from the information in the passage?

Difficulty Level: 650

Explanation

The last part of the second para clearly explains that the mistletoe has flowers having separate sexes, so it needs the assistance of certain insects to bring pollen from one flower to the other. It obviously can’t do so on its own. Thus, (E) is the correct answer.

(A) Opposite. Most naturalists believe that each species has descended from some other species.

(B) Opposite. The author states, in the last sentence of the passage, that the unique characteristics of the woodpecker and the mistletoe cannot be explained merely as the effect of external conditions.

(C) Opposite. According to the author, this commonly accepted belief is clearly not sufficient to explain the existence of species such as the woodpecker and the mistletoe.

(D) This may or may not be true but cannot be ascertained for sure from the passage.

Answer: E



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In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that [#permalink]
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Pankaj0901 wrote:
Sajjad1994 - Thanks for the explanation, but the passage doesn't state anything about mistletoe's reproduction, but mentions only about mistletoe's nourishment. Hence, how can Option D, which talks about mistletoe's reproduction, be inferred from the passage.

Passage excerpt: "In the case of the mistletoe, which draws its nourishment from certain trees, which has seeds that must be transported by certain birds, and which has flowers with separate sexes absolutely requiring the agency of certain insects to bring pollen from one flower to the other, it is equally preposterous to account for the structure of this parasite, with its relations to several distinct organic beings, by the effects of external conditions, or of habit, or of the volition of the plant itself."
-> It talks about mistletoe requiring nourishment from trees that have seeds transported by birds. No mention of reproduction

Option (E): The mistletoe cannot reproduce by itself but needs the assistance of other species.
-> talks about reproduction

Can you please guide what I am missing here?

AndrewN - Would be great if you can please correct me. Thanks

Sajjad1994 wrote:
Official Explanation


3. Which of the following can be inferred from the information in the passage?

Difficulty Level: 650

Explanation

The last part of the second para clearly explains that the mistletoe has flowers having separate sexes, so it needs the assistance of certain insects to bring pollen from one flower to the other. It obviously can’t do so on its own. Thus, (E) is the correct answer.

(A) Opposite. Most naturalists believe that each species has descended from some other species.

(B) Opposite. The author states, in the last sentence of the passage, that the unique characteristics of the woodpecker and the mistletoe cannot be explained merely as the effect of external conditions.

(C) Opposite. According to the author, this commonly accepted belief is clearly not sufficient to explain the existence of species such as the woodpecker and the mistletoe.

(D) This may or may not be true but cannot be ascertained for sure from the passage.

Answer: E




Hello, Pankaj0901. I can see the problem, and it has to do with your interpretation of the grammatical structure of the sentence. That second relative (which) clause is not modifying trees, but is acting as the second element in a three-part list that modifies mistletoe:

In the case of mistletoe, which X, which Y, and which Z, it is equally preposterous...

Hence, it is mistletoe that draws nourishment... has seeds that must be transported by certain birds, and has flowers that are pollinated by insects. You can tell that the second relative clause is not referring to trees because of its use of has in which has—it would not make sense to say trees has.

Perhaps the explanation provided earlier makes more sense now. Thank you for thinking to ask.

- Andrew­
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Re: In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that [#permalink]
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