In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve : GMAT Reading Comprehension (RC)
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# In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve

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In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve [#permalink]

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30 May 2005, 22:07
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In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe
attempts to solve the mystery of the collapse of the
Classic Mayan civilization. Lowe bases his study on a
detailed examination of the known archaeological
(5) record. Like previous investigators, Lowe relies on
dated monuments to construct a step-by-step account
of the actual collapse. Using the erection of new
monuments as a means to determine a siteâ€™s occupation
span, Lowe assumes that once new monuments ceased
(10) to be built, a site had been abandoned. Loweâ€™s analysis
of the evidence suggests that construction of new
monuments continued to increase between A.D. 672
and 751, but that the civilization stopped expanding
geographically; new construction took place almost
(15) exclusively in established settlements. The first signs
of trouble followed. Monument inscriptions indicate
that between 751 and 790, long-standing alliances
started to break down. Evidence also indicates that
between 790 and 830, the death rate in Classic Mayan
(20) cities outstripped the birthrate. After approximately
830, construction stopped throughout the area, and
within a hundred years, the Classic Mayan civilization
all but vanished.
Having established this chronology, Lowe sets
(25) forth a plausible explanation of the collapse that
accommodates the available archaeological evidence.
He theorizes that Classic Mayan civilization was
brought down by the interaction of several factors, set
in motion by population growth. An increase in
(30) population, particularly within the elite segment of
society, necessitated ever more intense farming.
Agricultural intensification exerted stress on the soil
and led to a decline in productivity (the amount of food
produced through each unit of labor invested). At the
(35) same time, the growth of the elite class created
increasing demands for ceremonial monuments and
luxuries, diverting needed labor from the fields. The
theory holds that these stresses were communicatedâ€”
and amplifiedâ€”throughout the area as Mayan states
(40) engaged in warfare to acquire laborers and food, and
refugees fled impoverished areas. The most vulnerable
states thus began to break down, and each downfall
triggered others, until the entire civilization collapsed.
If there is a central flaw in Loweâ€™s explanation, it is
(45) that the entire edifice rests on the assumption that the
available evidence paints a true picture of how the
collapse proceeded. However, it is difficult to know
how accurately the archaeological record reflects
historic activity, especially of a complex civilization
(50) such as the Mayansâ€™, and a hypothesis can be tested
only against the best available data. It is quite possible
that our understanding of the collapse might be
radically altered by better data. For example, Loweâ€™s
assumption about monument construction and the
(55) occupation span of a site might well be disproved if
further investigations of Classic Mayan sites
established that some remained heavily settled long
after the custom of carving dynastic monuments had
ceased.

1. Which one of the following best describes the organization of the passage?

(A) Amethod used to analyze evidence is described, an explanation of the evidence is suggested, and then a conclusion is drawn from the evidence.
(B) A hypothesis is presented, evidence supporting the hypothesis is provided, and then the hypothesis is affirmed.
(C) An analysis of a study is presented, contradictory evidence is examined, and then a direction for future studies is suggested.
(D) The basis of a study is described, a theory that explains the available evidence is presented, and a possible flaw in the study is pointed out.
(E) An observation is made, evidence supporting the observation is presented, and then contradictions in the evidence are discussed.

2. Which one of the following best expresses the main idea of the passage?

(A) In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe successfully proves that the collapse of Classic Mayan civilization was set in motion by
increasing population and decreasing productivity.
(B) In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe breaks new ground in solving the mystery of the collapse of Classic Mayan civilization through
his use of dated monuments to create a step-bystep account of the collapse.
(C) In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe successfully uses existing data to document the reduction and then cessation of new construction
throughout Classic Mayan civilization.
(D) Although John Loweâ€™s study is based on a careful examination of the historical record, it does not accurately reflect the circumstances surrounding the collapse of Classic Mayan civilization.
(E) While John Loweâ€™s theory about the collapse of Classic Mayan civilization appears credible, it is based on an assumption that cannot be verified using the archaeological record.

3. Which one of the following is most closely analogous to the assumption Lowe makes about the relationship between monument construction and Classic Mayan cities?

(A) A person assumes that the shortage of fresh produce on the shelves of a grocery store is due to the effects of poor weather conditions
during the growing season.
(B) A person assumes that a movie theater only shows foreign films because the titles of the films shown there are not familiar to the person.
(C) Aperson assumes that a restaurant is under new ownership because the restaurantâ€™s menu has changed drastically since the last time the person ate there.
(D) A person assumes that a corporation has been sold because there is a new name for the corporation on the sign outside the building where the company is located.
(E) A person assumes a friend has sold her stamp collection because the friend has stopped purchasing new stamps.

4. It can be inferred from the passage that the author would describe the method Lowe used to construct a step-bystep chronology of the actual collapse of Classic Mayan civilization as

(A) daringly innovative but flawed
(B) generally accepted but questionable
(C) very reliable but outdated
(D) unscientific but effective
(E) unconventional but brilliant

5. The author of the passage would most likely agree with which one of the following statements about the use of the archaeological record
to reconstruct historic activity?

(A) With careful analysis, archaeological evidence can be used to reconstruct accurately the historic activity of a past civilization.
(B) Archaeological evidence is more useful for reconstructing the day-to-day activities of a culture than its long-term trends.
(C) The accuracy of the archaeological record for reconstructing historic activity is dependent on the duration of the particular civilization.
(D) The archaeological record is not an appropriate source of data for reconstructing historic activity.
(E) Historic activity can be reconstructed from archaeological evidence, but it is ultimately impossible to confirm the accuracy of the reconstruction.
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31 May 2005, 18:29
None?????????????
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14 Jun 2005, 11:47
here are my answers:

1.d
2.d
3.e
4.b
5.e

What are OAs?
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15 Jun 2005, 11:40
1 - D
2- E
3 - C
4- B
5 -E

OA please?
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19 Jun 2005, 19:30
C
E
E
B
E

OA Please.
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21 Jun 2005, 09:48
My Answers:

D
E
E
B
E

What are the correct answers ????
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Re: RC: Mayan Civilization [#permalink]

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04 Aug 2010, 02:56
D
E
E
B
E
OA?
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Re: RC: Mayan Civilization [#permalink]

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04 Aug 2010, 07:01
My answer is
1 D, 2 D, 3 E, 4 B, 5 E
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Re: RC: Mayan Civilization [#permalink]

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05 Aug 2010, 10:00
D, E, D, B, A.... Do we have OA's?
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Re: RC: Mayan Civilization [#permalink]

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07 Aug 2010, 22:22
My Take,

D E D B E
will be good if someone has OA for this ques.!
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Re: RC: Mayan Civilization [#permalink]

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25 Sep 2011, 07:12
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The OA is
D E E B E
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Re: RC: Mayan Civilization [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2011, 10:48
i got

D,B,A.B,E

Revisited and got
D,E,E,B,E
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Re: In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2011, 19:59
I got D E E B D.

Don't understand how is E answer for last question. It says "but it is ultimately impossible to confirm the accuracy of the reconstruction", however the passage clearly states " However, it is difficult to know how accurately the archaeological record reflects historic activity".

There's a stark difference between impossible and difficult which makes choice E too extreme for me. Maybe I got it wrong altogether. Anybody has any inputs on this?
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Re: In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2011, 13:33
prakhag wrote:
I got D E E B D.

Don't understand how is E answer for last question. It says "but it is ultimately impossible to confirm the accuracy of the reconstruction", however the passage clearly states " However, it is difficult to know how accurately the archaeological record reflects historic activity".

There's a stark difference between impossible and difficult which makes choice E too extreme for me. Maybe I got it wrong altogether. Anybody has any inputs on this?

Hi Prakhag,

It is stated...."However, it is difficult to know how accurately the archaeological record reflects historic activity, ......especially of a complex civilization (50) such as the Mayansâ€™......, and a hypothesis can be tested only against the best available data. It is quite possible that our understanding of the collapse might be radically altered by better data".

Here, we are talking about a specific condition (Mayan Civilization). "Difficult" is true for general scenario but in the last sentence author posits question against the credibility of hypothesis in regard to Maya Civilization. Moreover, this is the only suitable answer.

I think (d) is not a right choice because this is an inference question and we can not rather should not add any external information/assumption. No where it's stated that the archaeological record is not an appropriate source of data for reconstructing historic activity.

Hope it helps
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Re: In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2011, 20:02
garimatyagi26 wrote:
prakhag wrote:
I got D E E B D.

Don't understand how is E answer for last question. It says "but it is ultimately impossible to confirm the accuracy of the reconstruction", however the passage clearly states " However, it is difficult to know how accurately the archaeological record reflects historic activity".

There's a stark difference between impossible and difficult which makes choice E too extreme for me. Maybe I got it wrong altogether. Anybody has any inputs on this?

Hi Prakhag,

It is stated...."However, it is difficult to know how accurately the archaeological record reflects historic activity, ......especially of a complex civilization (50) such as the Mayansâ€™......, and a hypothesis can be tested only against the best available data. It is quite possible that our understanding of the collapse might be radically altered by better data".

Here, we are talking about a specific condition (Mayan Civilization). "Difficult" is true for general scenario but in the last sentence author posits question against the credibility of hypothesis in regard to Maya Civilization. Moreover, this is the only suitable answer.

I think (d) is not a right choice because this is an inference question and we can not rather should not add any external information/assumption. No where it's stated that the archaeological record is not an appropriate source of data for reconstructing historic activity.

Hope it helps

Thanks Garimatyagi.

As a practice I tend to stay away from extreme answer choices, maybe that's why I was not able to comprehend option E more realistically.
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Re: In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2011, 09:35
1) D
2) D
3) C
4) B
5) E

OA please.
It would help clear the air of doubt.
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Re: In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve [#permalink]

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08 Nov 2011, 12:44
DEABE
_________________

Kaustubh

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Re: In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve [#permalink]

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10 Nov 2011, 16:42
D
A
E
B
A
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Re: In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2011, 04:35
D
E
E
B
E

Crick
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Re: In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2011, 21:47
Got DEEBE in 8:40.

Request other members to post your time for RCs.
Re: In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve   [#permalink] 18 Nov 2011, 21:47
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# In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve

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