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In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve the mystery

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

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New post 06 Oct 2019, 09:26
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 373, Date : 06-Oct-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


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 site's occupation
span, Lowe assumes that once new monuments ceased
(10) to be built, a site had been abandoned. Lowe'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 communicated”
and amplified”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 Lowe'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 Mayans, 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, Lowe'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.

Spoiler: :: OA
D

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.


Spoiler: :: OA
E

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 Lowe'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 Lowe'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.


Spoiler: :: OA
E

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 restaurants 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.


Spoiler: :: OA
B

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


Spoiler: :: OA
E

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.



  • Source: LSAT Official PrepTest 20 (October 1996)
  • Difficulty Level: 600

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

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New post 08 Oct 2019, 00:10
SajjadAhmad Please explain 3rd question
I have doubt on solving these type of questions
Thank you
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Re: In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve the mystery  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2019, 02:24
Midhilesh489 wrote:
SajjadAhmad Please explain 3rd question
I have doubt on solving these type of questions
Thank you


Official Explanation


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?

Explanation

According to lines 9-10, Lowe assumes that the Mayans left a place soon after they stopped building new monuments there. In other words, he assumes no additions indicates abandonment. Similarly, the person in choice (E) assumes no additions to the stamp collection indicates abandonment of the stamp collection.

(A)-(D) None of these choices reflects the “no additions=abandonment” relationship.

You should approach Analogy questions in the following way: identify the relevant relationship in the passage, frame this relationship in general terms, and then find the answer choice that reflects the same general relationship.


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

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New post 08 Oct 2019, 08:03
Hi SajjadAhmad..


Please post explanation of Question 2 and question 5
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Re: In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve the mystery  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2019, 09:52
saurabh9gupta wrote:
Hi SajjadAhmad..


Please post explanation of Question 2 and question 5


Explanation


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

Difficulty Level: Hard

Explanation

In line 25, the author refers to Lowe’s theory as “plausible,” or credible. But, in lines 44-53, she notes that his evidence isn’t definitive and that his theory, therefore, could be overturned by the discovery of better evidence.

(A) and (D) mistakenly suggest that the author takes a stand on the correctness of Lowe’s theory. Her opinion is actually more circumspect. She notes that, while the theory is plausible based on what is currently known about Mayan civilization, it could be undermined if better evidence about the Mayans eventually comes to light. In other words, she believes that the theory has yet to be proven right or wrong.

(B) The author never claims that Lowe’s theory “breaks new ground.” Indeed, in lines 5-7, she notes that previous investigators also examined the collapse of Mayan civilization by looking at Mayan monuments. Furthermore, she doesn’t claim that Lowe has come up with a definitive explanation of this civilization’s collapse.

(C) misrepresents the focus of the author’s comments. She’s interested in Lowe’s theory about the collapse of Mayan civilization, which does involve the examination of Mayan construction. However, she’s not interested in Lowe’s discussion of Mayan construction per se.

Answer: E


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

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New post 08 Oct 2019, 09:58
saurabh9gupta wrote:
Hi SajjadAhmad..

Please post explanation of Question 2 and question 5


Explanation


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?

Difficulty: Easy

Explanation

Since the author says that Lowe’s theory—which is based on archaeological evidence—is “plausible,” she would probably agree with the generalization that archaeological evidence can be used to reconstruct history. However, in lines 47-49, she also makes the point that it’s impossible to know the extent to which archaeological evidence reflects historical reality.

(A) Lines 47-49 indicate that the author is considerably more skeptical of the value of archaeological evidence than this choice would suggest.

(B) is outside the scope of the passage. The author never brings up any comparison between the “day-to-day activities” of a culture and “its long-term trends.”

(C) In line 49, the author suggests that archaeological evidence is particularly problematic when it’s used to mine the history of a “complex” civilization. In any case, the complexity of a civilization has nothing to do with its duration.

(D) While the author is skeptical about whether archaeological evidence actually reflects historical reality, she’s not against using it to reconstruct the past. If she felt that the use of archaeological evidence was bogus, she wouldn’t have called Lowe’s theory “plausible.”

Answer: E


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

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New post 18 Oct 2019, 08:12
All correct in 10 mins, including 4 mins 45 seconds to read.

Para 1- John Lowe attempts to solve the mystery of the collapse of the Classic Mayan civilization; chronology
Para 2- plausible explanation- population growth within the elite lead to series of events
Para 3- A potential flaw- how accurately the archaeological record reflects historic activity

1. Which one of the following best describes the organization of the passage?
(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.- Correct, John Lowe's The Dynamics of Apocalypse is described and evidence used is presented and a possible flaw is listed

2. Which one of the following best expresses the main idea of the passage?
(E) While John Lowe'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.- Correct
If there is a central flaw in Lowe's explanation, it is 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 such as the Mayans, and a hypothesis can be tested only against the best available data.

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?
(E) A person assumes a friend has sold her stamp collection because the friend has stopped purchasing new stamps.- Correct, the logic here analogous to underlined logic below-
Using the erection of new monuments as a means to determine a site's occupation span, Lowe assumes that once new monuments ceased to be built, a site had been abandoned.


4. It can be inferred from the passage that the author would describe the method Lowe used to construct a step-by step chronology of the actual collapse of Classic Mayan civilization as
(A) daringly innovative but flawed- incorrect, Like previous investigators, Lowe relies on dated monuments to construct a step-by-step account of the actual collapse. - So, it does not seem daringly innovative and the author did not say for certain that the model was flawed
(B) generally accepted but questionable- Correct, the author agrees with the model but lists a potential flaw
(C) very reliable but outdated- incorrect, the author never states that it is very reliable but is now outdated
(D) unscientific but effective- incorrect
(E) unconventional but brilliant- incorrect, nothing to suggest that it is unconventional


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?
(E) Historic activity can be reconstructed from archaeological evidence, but it is ultimately impossible to confirm the accuracy of the reconstruction.

However, it is difficult to know how accurately the archaeological record reflects historic activity, especially of a complex civilization such as the Mayans, 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.
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Re: In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve the mystery  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2019, 01:38
Hi everyone,

All correct in 9:50 minutes including 5:10 minutes to read, write down paragraphs summaries and main point.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

P1
Paragraph 1 tells us the intention of Lowe in writing his book. He wants to solve a mystery about the collapse of the maya.
Throughout the paragraph we are given the logic used by the author: the main logic is that if the building of constructions is stopped then there will be a collapse.
The rest of the paragraph talks about the historical timeline, which starts with the expansion and ends with the collapse


Brief summary: Lowe's logic and reconstruction of historical events

P2
Paragraph 2 explains Lowe's reasons for the collapse: the collapse started because the population, especially the elite, started growing and this led to numerous consequences: more stress on agricultural fields, low soil productivity....
Another reason is that many people during the war escaped impoverished areas.

Brief summary: the reasons for the collapse are explained.

P3

Paragraph 3 talks about a flaw in Lowe's theory. The flaw is that what lowe's says us based on the available data but if other data is introduced it might completely change the outcome of the theory.

Brief summary: A flaw of Lowe's theory is presented

Main point

To discuss Lowe's study about Maya's collapse.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



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

Pre-thinking

Structure question

Refer to the following: 1 Lowe's reconstruction of events is presented along with the logic used. 2 Causes behind the collapse of mayas are presented. 3 A flaw in the logic used by Lowe is presented


(A) A method used to analyze evidence is described, an explanation of the evidence is suggested, and then a conclusion is drawn from the evidence.
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

(B) A hypothesis is presented, evidence supporting the hypothesis is provided, and then the hypothesis is affirmed.
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

(C) An analysis of a study is presented, contradictory evidence is examined, and then a direction for future studies is suggested.
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

(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.
In line with pre-thinking

(E) An observation is made, evidence supporting the observation is presented, and then contradictions in the evidence are discussed.
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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

Pre-thinking

Main point question

Refer to main point above


(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.
Considering the flaw in last paragraph, incorrect

(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.
No new ground

(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.
Same reasoning as for option A

(D) Although John Lowe'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.
The circumstances are out of scope

(E) While John Lowe'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.
In line with pre-thinking

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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?

Pre-thinking

Analogous scenario question

The reasoning used by Lowe is that when a population ceases to build buildings then there will be a decline


(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.
Not in line with pre-thinking

(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.
Not in line with pre-thinking

(C) Aperson assumes that a restaurant is under new ownership because the restaurants menu has changed drastically since the last time the person ate there.
Not in line with pre-thinking

(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.
Not in line with pre-thinking

(E) A person assumes a friend has sold her stamp collection because the friend has stopped purchasing new stamps.
in line with pre-thinking

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

Pre-thinking

Inference question

According to the last paragraph the author thinks that this method is biased because it only uses the best available evidence


(A) daringly innovative but flawed
Not in line with pre-thinking

(B) generally accepted but questionable
in line with pre-thinking

(C) very reliable but outdated
Not in line with pre-thinking

(D) unscientific but effective
Not in line with pre-thinking

(E) unconventional but brilliant
Not in line with pre-thinking

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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?

Pre-thinking

Inference question

According to the last paragraph the author thinks that the use of archeological record has some limits and that the introduction of new evidence could completely change a study or a theory elaborated on such record


(A) With careful analysis, archaeological evidence can be used to reconstruct accurately the historic activity of a past civilization.
Not in line with pre-thinking

(B) Archaeological evidence is more useful for reconstructing the day-to-day activities of a culture than its long-term trends.
Out of scope

(C) The accuracy of the archaeological record for reconstructing historic activity is dependent on the duration of the particular civilization.
Not in line with pre-thinking

(D) The archaeological record is not an appropriate source of data for reconstructing historic activity.
Not in line with pre-thinking

(E) Historic activity can be reconstructed from archaeological evidence, but it is ultimately impossible to confirm the accuracy of the reconstruction.
Selected this one thanks to POE but too me it seems too extreme the usage of "it is ultimately impossible"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Re: In The Dynamics of Apocalypse, John Lowe attempts to solve the mystery   [#permalink] 20 Oct 2019, 01:38
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