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It is a mistake to think, as ecologists once did

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Manager
Joined: 30 Apr 2016
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Location: India
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It is a mistake to think, as ecologists once did [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2017, 08:05
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Difficulty:

95% (hard)

Question Stats:

39% (01:34) correct 61% (01:39) wrong based on 296 sessions

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It is a mistake to think, as ecologists once did, that natural selection will eventually result in organisms that will be perfectly adapted to their environments. After all, perfect adaptation of an individual to its environment is impossible, for an individual’s environment can vary tremendously; no single set of attributes could possibly prepare an organism to cope with all the conditions that it could face. Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion of the argument?

(A) It is not possible for an individual to be perfectly adapted to its environment.
(B) Natural selection will never result in individuals that will be perfectly adapted to their environments.
(C) No single set of attributes could enable an individual organism to cope with all of the conditions that it might face.
(D) Because an individual’s environment can vary tremendously, no individual can be perfectly adapted to its environment.
(E) Ecologists once believed that natural selection would eventually result in individuals that will be perfectly adapted to their environments.
Director
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Joined: 03 Oct 2013
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Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V46
Re: It is a mistake to think, as ecologists once did [#permalink]

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06 Apr 2017, 09:14
Top Contributor
1
We have been asked to find the main conclusion of the argument.

Main conclusion of an argument is the author's final opinion and will be supported by surrounding evidence.

Let us read the paragraph provided to us --

"It is a mistake to think, as ecologists once did, that ..." -- seems to me that the author is trying to express an opinion. Let me read on. This is the author's opinion -- "mistake to think that natural selection will eventually result in organisms that will be perfectly adapted to their environments."

WHY does the author state that opinion? The reasoning is mentioned in the next sentence -- Individual's environment can vary tremendously; therefore, no single set of attributes could possibly prepare an organism to cope with all the conditions that it could face AND thus perfect adaptation of an individual to its environment is impossible.

Note that the second sentence CANNOT be the main conclusion of the argument because it gives a REASON for the author's rejection of ecologists' perception. (The reason being this -- environment can vary tremendously --> no single attribute can prepare an organism adequately --> perfect adaptation not possible. This leads to the main conclusion)

We have to look for an answer option that matches the first sentence of the paragraph -- Option B seems to be an exact match and hence the correct answer.

Option A - Incorrect
The conclusion states that "mistake to think that natural selection will eventually result in organisms that will be perfectly adapted to their environments".
It states that such a thing is not possible through natural selection. We DO NOT KNOW whether such a thing is entirely impossible.

Options C and D -- Incorrect
Are intermediate conclusions. Not the main conclusion.

Option E - Incorrect
Even though this might be correct, it is NOT the author's opinion BUT was once ecologists' opinion. Incorrect.
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Re: It is a mistake to think, as ecologists once did [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2018, 06:34
It is a mistake to think, as ecologists once did, that natural selection will eventually result in organisms that will be perfectly adapted to their environments. After all, perfect adaptation of an individual to its environment is impossible, for an individual’s environment can vary tremendously; no single set of attributes could possibly prepare an organism to cope with all the conditions that it could face. Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion of the argument?

(A) It is not possible for an individual to be perfectly adapted to its environment. --Argment states that "natural selection" can't be a reason for perfect adaption. This is an exaggerated choice.
(B) Natural selection will never result in individuals that will be perfectly adapted to their environments. --Correct
(C) No single set of attributes could enable an individual organism to cope with all of the conditions that it might face. --This is the premise
(D) Because an individual’s environment can vary tremendously, no individual can be perfectly adapted to its environment. --This is the intermediary conclusion
(E) Ecologists once believed that natural selection would eventually result in individuals that will be perfectly adapted to their environments. --This is inferrable from the argument; this is not the main conclusion
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Re: It is a mistake to think, as ecologists once did [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2018, 11:53
Narrowed down to B and D. Picked B.

(A) It is not possible for an individual to be perfectly adapted to its environment.
Does not mention anything about natural selection

(B) Natural selection will never result in individuals that will be perfectly adapted to their environments.
I finally picked B as the most appropriate conclusion.

(C) No single set of attributes could enable an individual organism to cope with all of the conditions that it might face.
Premise for the conclusion

(D) Because an individual’s environment can vary tremendously, no individual can be perfectly adapted to its environment.
Plausible. However, why do we talk about the variation of environment? This choice actually will lead us to the actual conclusion.

(E) Ecologists once believed that natural selection would eventually result in individuals that will be perfectly adapted to their environments.
The conclusion is not about what the ecologists believe
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It is a mistake to think, as ecologists once did [#permalink]

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06 May 2018, 21:57
All options except c talk of the individual,while only option C talks of individual organism as is mentioned in the argument Guys.
Sorry my bad , understood my misunderstanding

Posted from my mobile device
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It is a mistake to think, as ecologists once did   [#permalink] 06 May 2018, 21:57
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