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# In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that a

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In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that a  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 13 Oct 2019, 07:41
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 387, Date: 13-Oct-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

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 distribution, geological succession, and other such facts, might come to the conclusion that each species had not been independently created, but had descended, like varieties, from other species. Nevertheless, such a conclusion, even if well founded, would be unsatisfactory, until it could be shown how the innumerable species inhabiting this world have been modified, so as 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 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.

Spoiler: :: OE
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.

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

(A) To analyze the origin of species
(B) To disprove a particular group of naturalists
(C) To explore the effects of external conditions on evolution of species
(D) To substantiate the existence of innumerable species on the planet
(E) To examine the structure of different species

Spoiler: :: OE
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.

2. A naturalist is likely to consider for mutual affinities of organic beings, each of the following factors EXCEPT:
(A) Geological succession
(B) Geography
(C) Biology
(D) Volition
(E) Co-dependence

Spoiler: :: OE
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.

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

(A) Most naturalists believe that each species has been created independently of the others.
(B) The unique characteristics of the mistletoe can, to a large extent, be explained as being the result of its external conditions.
(C) The commonly accepted belief amongst naturalists about the origin of species is sufficient to explain the existence of all species.
(D) The woodpecker was most likely created independently and has not descended from any other species.
(E) The mistletoe cannot reproduce by itself but needs the assistance of other species.

Spoiler: :: OE
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.

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

(A) Critical
(B) Impartial
(C) Cynical
(D) Disbelieving
(E) Exuberant

Originally posted by srij13 on 12 Oct 2019, 06:40.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 13 Oct 2019, 07:41, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (958).
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In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that a  [#permalink]

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13 Oct 2019, 21:51
1
Kanvi wrote:
please provide explanation of question 2

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.

Hope it helps
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Re: In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that a  [#permalink]

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13 Oct 2019, 21:46
please provide explanation of question 2
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Re: In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that a  [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2019, 12:52
1
Hi group.
Question 4: The author seems to be a) critical or d) disbelieving by the words he uses in the passage. Please explain. Thanks
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Re: In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that a  [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2019, 19:43
coreyshiff wrote:
Hi group.
Question 4: The author seems to be a) critical or d) disbelieving by the words he uses in the passage. Please explain. Thanks

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

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05 Nov 2019, 07:35
coreyshiff wrote:
Hi group.
Question 4: The author seems to be a) critical or d) disbelieving by the words he uses in the passage. Please explain. Thanks

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

I have a hard time accepting that he is impartial in his writing. He states that "Nevertheless, such a conclusion, even if well founded, would be unsatisfactory, until it could be shown how the innumerable species inhabiting this world have been modified, so as to acquire that perfection of structure and co adaptation which most justly excites our admiration." and also "In one very limited sense, this may be true; but it is preposterous to attribute to mere external conditions..." This kind of language is not impartial, and would suggest he is disbelieving of the naturalists.

Can anyone help explain this in more detail?
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Re: In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that a  [#permalink]

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03 Feb 2020, 21:30
Can we have an explanation on Q1? I picked B.
Much thanks.
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04 Feb 2020, 08:28
sofronie wrote:
Can we have an explanation on Q1? I picked B.
Much thanks.

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.

Hope it helps
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Re: In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that a  [#permalink]

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02 Apr 2020, 20:48
sofronie wrote:
Can we have an explanation on Q1? I picked B.
Much thanks.

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.

Hope it helps

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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In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that a  [#permalink]

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02 Apr 2020, 23:43
rvarora wrote:

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 excellent but you probably didn't notice the tone of the author. Author didn't make any conclusive point against naturalists rather he/she softly saying 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. Author is saying naturalist could be wrong but he didn't said they must be wrong so that is why author is not disproving rather giving more ideas to explore the true conclusion.

Hope it helps
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In considering the origin of species, it is quite conceivable that a   [#permalink] 02 Apr 2020, 23:43