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One method of dating the emergence of species is to compare

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One method of dating the emergence of species is to compare [#permalink]

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One method of dating the emergence of species is to compare the genetic material of related species. Scientists theorize that the more genetically similar two species are to each other, the more recently they diverged from a common ancestor. After comparing genetic material from giant pandas, red pandas, raccoons, coatis, and all seven bear species, scientists concluded that bears and raccoons diverged 30 to 50 million years ago. They further concluded that red pandas separated from the ancestor of today’s raccoons and coatis a few million years later, some 10 million years before giant pandas diverged from the other bears.

Which one of the following can be properly inferred from the passage?

(A) Giant pandas and red pandas are more closely related than scientists originally thought they were.
(B) Scientists now count the giant panda as the eighth species of bear.
(C) It is possible to determine, within a margin of just a few years, the timing of divergence of various species.
(D) Scientists have found that giant pandas are more similar genetically to bears than to raccoons.
(E) There is substantial consensus among scientists that giant pandas and red pandas are equally related to raccoons.

Source: LSAT
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: One method of dating the emergence of species is to compare [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2017, 19:06
broall wrote:
One method of dating the emergence of species is to compare the genetic material of related species. Scientists theorize that the more genetically similar two species are to each other, the more recently they diverged from a common ancestor. After comparing genetic material from giant pandas, red pandas, raccoons, coatis, and all seven bear species, scientists concluded that bears and raccoons diverged 30 to 50 million years ago. They further concluded that red pandas separated from the ancestor of today’s raccoons and coatis a few million years later, some 10 million years before giant pandas diverged from the other bears.

Which one of the following can be properly inferred from the passage?

(A) Giant pandas and red pandas are more closely related than scientists originally thought they were.
(B) Scientists now count the giant panda as the eighth species of bear.
(C) It is possible to determine, within a margin of just a few years, the timing of divergence of various species.
(D) Scientists have found that giant pandas are more similar genetically to bears than to raccoons.
(E) There is substantial consensus among scientists that giant pandas and red pandas are equally related to raccoons.

Source: LSAT



I chose option E, even though there is no consensus but giant pandas and red pandas equally related to raccoons or more closely.
But if you look at option D (OA) , it states that scientists found giant pandas are similar to bears than to raccoons even though passage begs to differ
They further concluded that red pandas separated from the ancestor of today’s raccoons and coatis a few million years later,

Any thoughts broall
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One method of dating the emergence of species is to compare [#permalink]

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mbsingh wrote:
broall wrote:
One method of dating the emergence of species is to compare the genetic material of related species. Scientists theorize that the more genetically similar two species are to each other, the more recently they diverged from a common ancestor. After comparing genetic material from giant pandas, red pandas, raccoons, coatis, and all seven bear species, scientists concluded that bears and raccoons diverged 30 to 50 million years ago. They further concluded that red pandas separated from the ancestor of today’s raccoons and coatis a few million years later, some 10 million years before giant pandas diverged from the other bears.

Which one of the following can be properly inferred from the passage?

(A) Giant pandas and red pandas are more closely related than scientists originally thought they were.
(B) Scientists now count the giant panda as the eighth species of bear.
(C) It is possible to determine, within a margin of just a few years, the timing of divergence of various species.
(D) Scientists have found that giant pandas are more similar genetically to bears than to raccoons.
(E) There is substantial consensus among scientists that giant pandas and red pandas are equally related to raccoons.

Source: LSAT



I chose option E, even though there is no consensus but giant pandas and red pandas equally related to raccoons or more closely.
But if you look at option D (OA) , it states that scientists found giant pandas are similar to bears than to raccoons even though passage begs to differ
They further concluded that red pandas separated from the ancestor of today’s raccoons and coatis a few million years later,

Any thoughts broall



First, look at scientists' theory: the more genetically similar two species are to each other, the more recently they diverged from a common ancestor

Now, the passage gives some facts:
bears vs raccoons: 30-50 million years ago
red pandas vs the ancestor of today’s raccoons and coatis: at leats 20 million years ago
giant pandas vs the other bears: at max 10 million year ago

Hence, it's clear that the event that giant pandas diverged from the other bears is the most recent. Thus D.

In E, the problem is "are equally related to". The theory tries to compare genetic between 2 species, not among 3 species.
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Re: One method of dating the emergence of species is to compare [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2017, 04:05
broall wrote:
One method of dating the emergence of species is to compare the genetic material of related species. Scientists theorize that the more genetically similar two species are to each other, the more recently they diverged from a common ancestor. After comparing genetic material from giant pandas, red pandas, raccoons, coatis, and all seven bear species, scientists concluded that bears and raccoons diverged 30 to 50 million years ago. They further concluded that red pandas separated from the ancestor of today’s raccoons and coatis a few million years later, some 10 million years before giant pandas diverged from the other bears.

Which one of the following can be properly inferred from the passage?

(A) Giant pandas and red pandas are more closely related than scientists originally thought they were.
(B) Scientists now count the giant panda as the eighth species of bear.
(C) It is possible to determine, within a margin of just a few years, the timing of divergence of various species.
(D) Scientists have found that giant pandas are more similar genetically to bears than to raccoons.
(E) There is substantial consensus among scientists that giant pandas and red pandas are equally related to raccoons.

Source: LSAT


When bears separated from raccoons, there were no pandas, because they had not yet diverged and become their own species.

See what I mean?

In the beginning, there were some things. 30-50 million years ago, they split into "bears" and "raccoons." Some time after that, red pandas separated from raccoons and coatis. Some time after that, "bears" split into "giant panda" and "other bears."

Don't make this harder than it needs to be! No other answer comes anywhere close, so simply playing the game of elimination should be enough to get you the answer. What do you know? Something about the relative closeness of bears, pandas, red pandas, and raccoons.

(A) "originally thought?" No evidence for this.
(B) "eight species?" Nope.
(C) "margin of just a few years?" Nope.
(E) "substantial consensus?" Not even close.

Just by ballparking, we can see that (D) is the only reasonable answer.
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Re: One method of dating the emergence of species is to compare   [#permalink] 13 Dec 2017, 04:05
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