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One scientific discipline, during its early stages of development, is

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One scientific discipline, during its early stages of development, is  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2019, 06:33
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 103, Date : 24-MAR-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


One scientific discipline, during its early stages of development, is often related to another as an antithesis to its thesis. The thesis discipline tend to concern itself with discovery and classification of phenomena, to offer holistic explanations emphasizing pattern and form, and to use existing theory to explain the widest possible range of phenomena. The paired or antidiscipline, on the other hand, can be characterized by a more focused approach, concentrating on the units of construction, and by a belief that the discipline can be reformulated in terms of the issues and explanations of the antidiscipline.

The relationship of cytology (cell biology) to biochemistry in the late nineteenth century, when both disciplines were growing at a rapid pace, exemplifies such a pattern. Researchers in cell biology found mounting evidence of an intricate cell architecture. They also deduced the mysterious choreography of the chromosomes during cell division. Many biochemists, on the other hand, remained skeptical of the idea that so much structure existed, arguing that the chemical reactions that occur in cytological preparations might create the appearance of such structures. Also, they stood apart from the debate then raging over whether protoplasm, the complex of living material within a cell, is homogeneous, networklike, granular, or foamlike. Their interest lay in the core “fundamental” issues of the chemical nature of protoplasm, especially the newly formulated enzyme theory of life.

In general, biochemists judged cytologists to be too ignorant of chemistry to grasp the basic processes, whereas cytologists considered the methods of biochemists inadequate to characterize the structures of the living cell. The renewal of Mendelian genetics and, later, progress in chromosome mapping did little at first to effect a synthesis.

Both sides were essentially correct. Biochemistry has more than justified its extravagant early claims by explaining so much of the cellular machinery. But in achieving this feat (mostly since 1950) it has been partially transformed into the new discipline of molecular biology—biochemistry that deals with spatial arrangements and movements of large molecules. At the same time cytology has metamorphosed into modern cellular biology. Aided by electron microscopy, it has become more similar in language and outlook to molecular biology. The interaction of a discipline and its antidiscipline has moved both sciences toward a synthesis, namely molecular genetics.

This interaction between paired disciplines can have important results. In the case of late nineteenth-century cell research, progress was fueled by competition among the various attitudes and issues derived from cell biology and biochemistry. Joseph Fruton, a biochemist, has suggested that such competition and the resulting tensions among researchers are a principal source of vitality and “are likely to lead to unexpected and exciting novelties in the future, as they have in the past.”
1. Which one of the following best states the central idea of the passage?

(A) Antithetical scientific disciplines can both stimulate and hinder one another’s research in complex ways.
(B) Antithetical scientific disciplines often interact with one another in ways that can be highly useful.
(C) As disciplines such as cytology and biochemistry advance, their interaction necessarily leads to a synthesis of their approaches.
(D) Cell research in the late nineteenth century was plagued by disagreements between cytologists and biochemists.
(E) In the late nineteenth century, cytologists and biochemists made many valuable discoveries that advanced scientific understanding of the cell.



2. The passage states that in the late nineteenth century cytologists deduced the

(A) maps of chromosomes
(B) chemical nature of protoplasm
(C) spatial relationship of molecules within the cell
(D) role of enzymes in biological processes
(E) sequence of the movement of chromosomes during cell division



3. It can be inferred from the passage that in the late nineteenth century the debate over the structural nature of protoplasm (Highlighted) was most likely carried on

(A) among cytologists
(B) among biochemists
(C) between cytologists and biochemists
(D) between cytologists and geneticists
(E) between biochemists and geneticists



4. According to the passage, cytologists in the late nineteenth century were critical of the cell research of biochemists because cytologists believed that

(A) the methods of biochemistry were inadequate to account for all of the chemical reactions that occurred in cytological preparations
(B) the methods of biochemistry could not adequately discover and explain the structures of living cells
(C) biochemists were not interested in the nature of protoplasm
(D) biochemists were not interested in cell division
(E) biochemists were too ignorant of cytology to understand the basic processes of the cell



5. The author quotes Fruton (Highlighted) primarily in order to

(A) restate the author’s own conclusions
(B) provide new evidence about the relationship of cytology to biochemistry
(C) summarize the position of the biochemists described in the passage
(D) illustrate the difficulties encountered in the synthesis of disciplines
(E) emphasize the ascendancy of the theories of biochemists over those of cytologists



6. Which one of the following inferences about when the enzyme theory of life was formulated can be drawn from the passage?

(A) The theory was formulated before the appearance of molecular biology.
(B) The theory was formulated before the initial discovery of cell architecture.
(C) The theory was formulated after the completion of chromosome mapping.
(D) The theory was formulated after a synthesis of the ideas of cytologists and biochemists had occurred.
(E) The theory was formulated at the same time as the beginning of the debate over the nature of protoplasm.



7. Which one of the following statements about cells is most compatible with the views of late nineteenth-century biochemists as those views are described in the passage?

(A) The secret of cell function resides in the structure of the cell.
(B) Only by discovering the chemical composition of protoplasm can the processes of the cell be understood.
(C) Scientific knowledge about the chemical composition of the cell can help to explain behavioral patterns in organisms.
(D) The most important issue to be resolved with regard to the cell is determining the physical characteristics of protoplasm.
(E) The methods of chemistry must be supplemented before a full account of the cell’s structures can be made.



8. Which one of the following best describes the organization of the material presented in the passage?

(A) An account of a process is given, and then the reason for its occurrence is stated.
(B) A set of examples is provided and then a conclusion is drawn from them.
(C) A general proposition is stated, and then an example is given.
(D) A statement of principles is made, and then a rationale for them is debated.
(E) A problem is analyzed, and then a possible solution is discussed.




  • Source: LSAT Official PrepTest 1 (June 1991)
  • Difficulty Level: (Will be available after 30+ Timers attempt)

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One scientific discipline, during its early stages of development, is  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2019, 11:41
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Bunuel - I hope my explanations are right, feel free to correct me. Apologize in advance if I have made any error in understanding.
rhyme - I am following your advice, let me know if the mapping is proper and where I should improve.

Mapping the Passage:

P1: Antithesis to Thesis
Thesis - discovery, classification, etc
Anti/Paired - focussed approach(unit of construction)

P2: Late 19th cent
cytology v/s biochem
C: cell arch, chromosome
B: chem reactions for cell structure, protoplasm

P3: C v/s B judgement
Mendelin genetics, chromosome mapping

P4: B: expl cell machinery
1950 - molecular biology
C: modern biology
elec microscopy
mol genetics,synthesis

P5: competiton
Fruton " ..."

This took me 5 minutes, by the way
Most of my answers were wrong. But I'll try to reason out, how I might have gone wrong.


1. Which one of the following best states the central idea of the passage?

(A) Antithetical scientific disciplines can both stimulate and hinder one another’s research in complex ways.- Incorrect, No hindering in one another's research
(B) Antithetical scientific disciplines often interact with one another in ways that can be highly useful. - Okay, hold Not so sure about highly useful
(C) As disciplines such as cytology and biochemistry advance, their interaction necessarily leads to a synthesis of their approaches. - Incorrect, I picked up this answer choice but as it's wrong. I assume it is because of the extreme language, necessarily lead to.
(D) Cell research in the late nineteenth century was plagued by disagreements between cytologists and biochemists.- Incorrect, Okay, that happened along with the synthesis of their work, progress through time.
(E) In the late nineteenth century, cytologists and biochemists made many valuable discoveries that advanced scientific understanding of the cell.- Incorrect, This looks like a sub-topic to me. This is discussed only in the last para. What about the previous 4?

Answer - B

2. The passage states that in the late nineteenth century cytologists deduced the
Looking for the word cytologists and jotting down their actions, as deduced means what did cytologists arrive at:
(a) cell arch
(b) chromosome choreography
Note: mapping of chromosomes, protoplasms all were already existing thought process.

(A) maps of chromosomes - Incorrect, they didn't discover that.
(B) chemical nature of protoplasm- Incorrect, they didn't discover that.
(C) spatial relationship of molecules within the cell. Incorrect, they didn't discover that. No one talked about relationships
(D) role of enzymes in biological processes- Incorrect, I don't think so. the passage doesn't state specifically
(E) sequence of the movement of chromosomes during cell division- Yes, Correct, they did discover that.

Answer- E

3. It can be inferred from the passage that in the late nineteenth century the debate over the structural nature of protoplasm (Highlighted) was most likely carried on

(A) among cytologists - Yes
(B) among biochemists - No
(C) between cytologists and biochemists - No
(D) between cytologists and geneticists - Eliminate D, E as there is no geneticists.
(E) between biochemists and geneticists

Also, they stood apart from the debate then raging over whether protoplasm, the complex of living material within a cell, is homogeneous, network like, granular, or foam-like.
They refer to biochemists. So, the debate has to be initiated by the Cytologists.
Stood apart from the debate. There was no between scenario. B did not get involved in the first place.
Answer - A

4. According to the passage, cytologists in the late nineteenth century were critical of the cell research of biochemists because cytologists believed that

(A) the methods of biochemistry were inadequate to account for all of the chemical reactions that occurred in cytological preparations - Incorrect, all: Extreme. Not sure, that is true
(B) the methods of biochemistry could not adequately discover and explain the structures of living cells- Okay, hold
(C) biochemists were not interested in the nature of protoplasm - Incorrect, Reversal Their interest lay in the core “fundamental” issues of the chemical nature of protoplasm, especially the newly formulated enzyme theory of life., Their refers to biochemists
(D) biochemists were not interested in cell division- Incorrect, Nothing as such is stated.
(E) biochemists were too ignorant of cytology to understand the basic processes of the cell - Incorrect, Reversal biochemists judged cytologists to be too ignorant of chemistry to grasp the basic processes,

Answer- B

5. The author quotes Fruton (Highlighted) primarily in order to

(A) restate the author’s own conclusions- Hold: As, the author stated The interaction of a discipline and its antidiscipline has moved both sciences toward a synthesis, namely molecular genetics. that means, the author is for the fusion of the two areas creating something new. Exactly what Joseph stated “are likely to lead to unexpected and exciting novelties in the future, as they have in the past.”
(B) provide new evidence about the relationship of cytology to biochemistry - Incorrect
(C) summarize the position of the biochemists described in the passage- Maybe
(D) illustrate the difficulties encountered in the synthesis of disciplines - No difficulties mentioned by him
(E) emphasize the ascendancy of the theories of biochemists over those of cytologists - Incorrect. Did not say that.

Why option C is wrong, because though he was a biologist he did not summarise a position based on passage, he gave his thought process.

Answer- A

6. Which one of the following inferences about when the enzyme theory of life was formulated can be drawn from the passage?

The time-consuming aspect was trying to search the word enzyme theory in the passage.

(A) The theory was formulated before the appearance of molecular biology. - Okay.
(B) The theory was formulated before the initial discovery of cell architecture.- Incorrect, Cell architecture was the first thing mentioned
(C) The theory was formulated after the completion of chromosome mapping. - Incorrect, later
(D) The theory was formulated after synthesis of the ideas of cytologists and biochemists had occurred. - Incorrect, later
(E) The theory was formulated at the same time as the beginning of the debate over the nature of protoplasm. - Incorrect, There was no debate on protoplasm. Cytologists were solely interested in that topic.

Mapping out the terms before and after enzyme theory:
cell architecture + chromosome choreography
Their interest lay in the core “fundamental” issues of the chemical nature of protoplasm, especially the newly formulated enzyme theory of life.
molecular biology—biochemistry that deals with spatial arrangements and movements of large molecules.
renewal of Mendelian genetics and, later, progress in chromosome mapping did little at first to effect a synthesis.
justified its extravagant early claims by explaining so much of the cellular machinery

Answer- A

7. Which one of the following statements about cells is most compatible with the views of late nineteenth-century biochemists as those views are described in the passage?


(A) The secret of cell function resides in the structure of the cell. Incorrect, no such explanation
(B) Only by discovering the chemical composition of protoplasm can the processes of the cell be understood. - Yes, biologists did say that
(C) Scientific knowledge about the chemical composition of the cell can help to explain behavioral patterns in organisms. - Incorrect, no such explanation
(D) The most important issue to be resolved with regard to the cell is determining the physical characteristics of protoplasm.- Incorrect, no such explanation
(E) The methods of chemistry must be supplemented before a full account of the cell’s structures can be made.- Incorrect, Incorrect, no such explanation


8. Which one of the following best describes the organization of the material presented in the passage?

(A) An account of a process is given, and then the reason for its occurrence is stated. - Incorrect, no reasons are stated.
(B) A set of examples is provided and then a conclusion is drawn from them. Incorrect, no set of examples, only one cell structure example is taken.
(C) A general proposition is stated, and then an example is given.
(D) A statement of principles is made, and then a rationale for them is debated.
(E) A problem is analyzed, and then a possible solution is discussed. - Incorrect, no possible solutions were discussed.

I chose D, The answer is C.
Let me know the reasoning behind it.


I am struggling with RC, right now and I hope to improve. I am open to all suggestions.
1. I am trying to improve my mapping
2. I need help as I miss out terms in the passage and thus, I choose wrong answers. Let me know what I should do to improve it.

I want to score above 700+. I don't have people around me to advise me on GMAT. I would be grateful for any sort of help.
Thank you in advance.
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One scientific discipline, during its early stages of development, is   [#permalink] 05 Apr 2019, 11:41
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