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# Since the early 1920s, most petroleum geologists have favored a biogen

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Since the early 1920s, most petroleum geologists have favored a biogen  [#permalink]

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01 Dec 2019, 09:16
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 477, Date: 27-Nov-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

Since the early 1920s, most petroleum geologists
have favored a biogenic theory for the formation of oil.
According to this theory, organic matter became buried
in sediments, and subsequent conditions of temperature
(5) and pressure over time transformed it into oil.

Since 1979 an opposing abiogenic theory about the
origin of oil has been promulgated. According to this
theory, what is now oil began as hydrocarbon
compounds within the earth’s mantle (the region
(10) between the core and the crust) during the formation of
the earth. Oil was created when gases rich in methane,
the lightest of the hydrocarbons, rose from the mantle
through fractures and faults in the crust, carrying a
significant amount of heavier hydrocarbons with them.
(15) As the gases encountered intermittent drops in pressure,
the heavier hydrocarbons condensed, forming oil, and
were deposited in reservoirs throughout the crust. Rock
regions deformed by motions of the crustal plates
provided the conduits and fractures necessary for the
(20) gases to rise through the crust.

Opponents of the abiogenic theory charge that
hydrocarbons could not exist in the mantle, because
high temperatures would destroy or break them down.
Advocates of the theory, however, point out that other
(25) types of carbon exist in the mantle: unoxidized carbon
must exist there, because diamonds are formed within
the mantle before being brought to the surface by
eruptive processes. Proponents of the abiogenic theory
also point to recent experimental work that suggests
(30) that the higher pressures within the mantle tend to
offset the higher temperatures, allowing hydrocarbons,
like unoxidized carbon, to continue to exist in the
mantle.

If the abiogenic theory is correct, vast undiscovered
(35) reservoirs of oil and gas—undiscovered because the
biogenic model precludes their existence—may in
actuality exist. One company owned by the Swedish
government has found the abiogenic theory so
persuasive that it has started exploratory drilling for gas
(40) or oil in a granite formation call the Siljan Ring—not
the best place to look for gas or oil if one believes they
are derived from organic compounds, because granite
forms from magma (molten rock) and contains no
organic sediments. The ring was formed about 360
(45) million years ago when a large meteorite hit the 600-
million-year-old granite that forms the base of the
continental crust. The impact fractured the granite, and
the Swedes believe that if oil comes from the mantle, it
could have risen with methane gas through this now
(50) permeable rock. Fueling their optimism further is the
fact that prior to the start of drilling, methane gas had
been detected rising through the granite.

Spoiler: :: OA
D

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

(A) Although the new abiogenic theory about the origin of oil is derived from the conventional biogenic theory, it suggests new types of locations for oil drilling.
(B) The small number of drilling companies that have responded to the new abiogenic theory about the origin of oil reflects the minimal level of acceptance the theory has met with in the scientific community.
(C) Although the new abiogenic theory about the origin of oil fails to explain several enigmas about oil reservoirs, it is superior to the conventional biogenic theory.
(D) Although it has yet to receive either support or refutation by data gathered from a drilling project, the new abiogenic theory about the origin of oil offers a plausible alternative to the conventional biogenic theory.
(E) Having answered objections about higher pressures in the earth’s core, proponents of the new abiogenic theory have gained broad acceptance for their theory in the scientific community.

Spoiler: :: OA
B

2. Which one of the following best describes the function of the third paragraph?

(A) It presents a view opposed to a theory and points out an internal contradiction in that opposing view.
(B) It describes a criticism of a theory and provides countervailing evidence to the criticism.
(C) It identifies a conflict between two views of a theory and revises both views.
(D) It explains an argument against a theory and shows it to be a valid criticism.
(E) It points out the correspondence between an argument against one theory and arguments against similar theories.

Spoiler: :: OA
A

3. The passage suggests that the opponents of the abiogenic theory mentioned in the third paragraph would most probably agree with which one of the following statements?

(A) The formation of oil does not involve the condensation of hydrocarbons released from the earth’s mantle.
(B) Large oil reserves are often found in locations that contain small amounts of organic matter.
(C) The eruptive processes by which diamonds are brought to the earth’s surface are similar to those that aid in the formation of oil.
(D) Motions of the crustal plates often create the pressure necessary to transform organic matter into oil.
(E) The largest known oil reserves may have resulted from organic matter combining with heavier hydrocarbons carried by methane gas.

Spoiler: :: OA
B

4. Which one of the following is most analogous to the situation described in the final paragraph?

(A) A new theory about the annual cycles of breeding and migration of the monarch butterfly has led scientists to look for similar patterns in other butterfly species.
(B) A new theory about the stage at which a star collapses into a black hole has led astronomers to search for evidence of black holes in parts of the universe where they had not previously searched.
(C) A new theory about how the emission of sulfur dioxide during coal-burning can be reduced has led several companies to develop desulfurization systems.
(D) A new theory about photosynthesis has convinced a research team to explore in new ways the various functions of the cell membrane in plant cells.
(E) A new theory about the distribution of metals in rock formations has convinced a silver mining company to keep different types of records of its operations.

Spoiler: :: OA
C

5. According to the passage, all of the following are true of the Siljan Ring EXCEPT:

(A) It was formed from magma.
(B) It does not contain organic sediments.
(C) Its ring shape existed 500 million years ago.
(D) Methane gas has been detected rising through it.
(E) It was shaped from the granite that makes up the base of the continental crust.

• Source: LSAT Official PrepTest 21 (December 1996)
• Difficulty Level: 600

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Re: Since the early 1920s, most petroleum geologists have favored a biogen  [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2019, 00:45
Can someone please explain the flaw in option D for question 4?
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Re: Since the early 1920s, most petroleum geologists have favored a biogen  [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2019, 01:31
somesh86 wrote:
Can someone please explain the flaw in option D for question 4?

Official Explanation

4. Which one of the following is most analogous to the situation described in the final paragraph?

Difficulty Level: Hard

Explanation

In Para 4, the Swedish company is searching for oil in a location where oil had not previously been sought (the Siljan Ring) because a new theory (the abiogenic theory) predicts that oil might be located there.

Choice (B) outlines a similar scenario: astronomers are searching for black holes in places where black holes had not previously been sought because a new theory predicts that black holes might be found in these places.

(A), (C), (D), (E) None of these choices reflects the relationship between a new theory and a changed search for a previously sought after item.

In (A), new items (other butterfly species) are introduced into the scenario. In (C), (D), and (E), no search for an item is even undertaken.

• The key to answering Reading Comp. “Analogy” questions lies in figuring out which answer choice accurately mimics the relevant relationship in the passage.

Hope it helps
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Since the early 1920s, most petroleum geologists have favored a biogen  [#permalink]

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23 Dec 2019, 00:47
1
Hi everyone,
Got 5/5 correct in 14 minutes.

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

P1

In paragraph one we are given that the biogenic theory has explained the formation of oil since the 1920's. According to this theory the organic compounds preset in the earth's sediments were converted in oil thanks to changes in temperature and pressure.

Brief summary: The biogenic theory

P2

In paragraph 2 we are given that from 1979 a new theory was formulated: the biogenic theory. The supporters of this theory claim that il was formed by hydrocarbons present in the earth's mantle. Such hydrocarbons were subjected to drops in pressure and were subsequently converted in oil.

Brief summary: The Abiogenic theory

P3

Opponents of the Abiogenic theory claim that hydrocarbons cannot prosper in the mantle because of the high temperature. However, proponents of the Abiogenic theory point out that some sort of hydrocarbons can survive the higher temperatures because the high pressures in the mantle tend to offset the effect of the higher temperature.

Brief summary: Proponents of the Abiogenic theory answer an objection of the opponents

P4

Paragraph 4 explores the implications related to the Abiogenic theory. In fact, if the theory were true, many oil reservoirs could exist in places where proponents of the biogenic theory would not look for. Supporting this view, a Swedish team is investigating the S Ring. The S ring is made of granite, which originated from magma(no organic compounds are present in magma). We also know that such ring was created after the impact of an asteroid. Supporting the Swedish team's view, the presence of methane was detected before the experiment started.

Brief summary: If the abiogenic theory were right.....

Main point

The main point is to analyze two opposing theories concerning the formation of oil, exploring the implications of one theory in particular

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

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

Pre-thinking

Main point question

Refer to main point above

(A) Although the new abiogenic theory about the origin of oil is derived from the conventional biogenic theory, it suggests new types of locations for oil drilling.
the abiogenic is not derived from the biogenic theory

(B) The small number of drilling companies that have responded to the new abiogenic theory about the origin of oil reflects the minimal level of acceptance the theory has met with in the scientific community.
the level of acceptance is not discussed

(C) Although the new abiogenic theory about the origin of oil fails to explain several enigmas about oil reservoirs, it is superior to the conventional biogenic theory.
in the passage it is not said whether one there is superior to the other

(D) Although it has yet to receive either support or refutation by data gathered from a drilling project, the new abiogenic theory about the origin of oil offers a plausible alternative to the conventional biogenic theory.
[b]Correct[/b]

(E) Having answered objections about higher pressures in the earth’s core, proponents of the new abiogenic theory have gained broad acceptance for their theory in the scientific community.
Again, acceptance is not discussed

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

2. Which one of the following best describes the function of the third paragraph?

Pre-thinking

Function/purpose question

The third paragraph presents an objection to the Abiogenic theory, objection which is promptly answered by the supporters of the theory

(A) It presents a view opposed to a theory and points out an internal contradiction in that opposing view.

(B) It describes a criticism of a theory and provides countervailing evidence to the criticism.
In line with pre-thinking

(C) It identifies a conflict between two views of a theory and revises both views.
no revision

(D) It explains an argument against a theory and shows it to be a valid criticism.
in the end we cannot say that the opponents claim was valid criticism since the supporter of the AB theory answered the objection

(E) It points out the correspondence between an argument against one theory and arguments against similar theories.
no correspondance

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

3. The passage suggests that the opponents of the abiogenic theory mentioned in the third paragraph would most probably agree with which one of the following statements?

Pre-thinking

Inference question

The opponents of the AB theory of course think that oil cannot be formed from the hydrocarbons present in the mantle because the high temperatures don't allow such carbons to exist

(A) The formation of oil does not involve the condensation of hydrocarbons released from the earth’s mantle.
In line with pre-thinking

(B) Large oil reserves are often found in locations that contain small amounts of organic matter.
Cannot be inferred

(C) The eruptive processes by which diamonds are brought to the earth’s surface are similar to those that aid in the formation of oil.
Cannot be inferred

(D) Motions of the crustal plates often create the pressure necessary to transform organic matter into oil.
Cannot be inferred

(E) The largest known oil reserves may have resulted from organic matter combining with heavier hydrocarbons carried by methane gas.
Cannot be inferred

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

4. Which one of the following is most analogous to the situation described in the final paragraph?

Pre-thinking

Analogous scenario question

In the last paragraph we are given that:
-If the AB theory is right a lot of oil reservoirs might be found in unexpected places
-an experiment supporting the Ab theory is in process

(A) A new theory about the annual cycles of breeding and migration of the monarch butterfly has led scientists to look for similar patterns in other butterfly species.
irrelevant

(B) A new theory about the stage at which a star collapses into a black hole has led astronomers to search for evidence of black holes in parts of the universe where they had not previously searched.
In line with our first pre-though bullet point

(C) A new theory about how the emission of sulfur dioxide during coal-burning can be reduced has led several companies to develop desulfurization systems.
irrelevant

(D) A new theory about photosynthesis has convinced a research team to explore in new ways the various functions of the cell membrane in plant cells.
irrelevant
irrelevant

(E) A new theory about the distribution of metals in rock formations has convinced a silver mining company to keep different types of records of its operations.
irrelevant

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

5. According to the passage, all of the following are true of the Siljan Ring EXCEPT:

Pre-thinking

Detail question

(A) It was formed from magma.
" because granite
forms from magma (molten rock)
"

(B) It does not contain organic sediments.
" and contains no
organic sediments.
"

(C) Its ring shape existed 500 million years ago.
Not mentioned

(D) Methane gas has been detected rising through it.
been detected rising through the granite.
"

(E) It was shaped from the granite that makes up the base of the continental crust.
" oil in a granite formation call the Siljan Ring— "

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

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Since the early 1920s, most petroleum geologists have favored a biogen   [#permalink] 23 Dec 2019, 00:47