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The central controversy surrounding human stem cell research is the so

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The central controversy surrounding human stem cell research is the so  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 19 Oct 2019, 08:43
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 399, Date: 19-Oct-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


The central controversy surrounding human stem cell research is the source of the cells. The debate primarily arises from differences in deeply held religious and philosophic views.

For most who believe that the embryo is a human being from the moment of fertilization, the derivation of stem cells from either very early or preimplantation embryos created by IVF or from the tissues of aborted fetuses is ethically unacceptable. From this viewpoint, even though the current administration's decision on stem cell research does not support activities which directly destroy embryos, support of research on components of the embryo is deeply disturbing.

Supporters of this view argue that the possible benefits of stem cell research cannot and should not justify the actions necessary to obtain the cells. Opponents of stem cell research propose that research on adult stem cells, which they claim could provide similar therapeutic benefits without the need for embryonic or fetal cells, be supported instead. Not all scientists agree, however, that adult stem cells hold as much potential as embryonic stem cells.

Those who support embryonic stem cell research believe that pre-implantation embryos do not have the same moral and legal status as persons. They acknowledge that embryos are genetically human, but hold that they do not have the same moral relevance because they lack specific capacities, including consciousness, reasoning and sentience. Supporters argue that the potential human health and scientific benefits the research holds should be an ethical argument for its support. Patient groups have also asserted that, because of the potential of human stem cells for the treatment of disease, it is immoral to discourage such research because it could save many lives.

In addition, supporters believe that the oversight which would come with federal grant support would result in better and more ethically controlled research in the field than if funding was from private sources alone. Supporters also argue that the efforts of both federally supported and privately supported researchers are necessary to keep the United States at the forefront of what they believe is a very important, cutting edge area of science.


1. The author implies that some supporters of embryonic stem cell research would agree with all of the following EXCEPT:

(A) genetically there is no difference between an embryo and an adult human-being
(B) preventing research that may help treat human diseases is immoral
(C) the potential benefits of embryonic stem cell research represent an ethical good
(D) adult stem cell research is less productive due to the constraints imposed by federal funding
(E) work with embryonic stem cells is an important area of research that holds tremendous potential



2. For what purpose does the author mention the opposing view of some scientists in the last sentence of the third paragraph?

(A) to underscore the fact that the alternative proposed by some opponents of embryonic stem cell research is itself a contentious issue
(B) to offer scientific proof that adult stem cell research is an equally acceptable area of research
(C) to explain a possible profit motive behind the scientific community's decision to support embryonic stem cell research
(D) to contradict the research methods used in determining the utility of adult stem cells
(E) to supply the opinion of a recognized authority in the area of fetal stem cells



3. The author implies which of the following about most opponents of embryonic stem cell research?

(A) They argue that the potential scientific benefits of the research are unethical.
(B) They are opposed to federally funded harvests of stem cells from very early embryos.
(C) They believe that human souls have a significant moral relevance.
(D) They lack specific adult capacities like ethical reasoning.
(E) They do not believe that embryonic stem cell research may lead to the cure of some human diseases.


4. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) challenge the validity of the viewpoints of opponents of stem cell research
(B) present two explanations of a philosophic phenomenon and discuss the differences between them
(C) summarize opposing stances with regard to a political issue
(D) describe an alternative to a divisive issue and provide evidence and arguments that support the alternative
(E) acknowledge the role of federal grants in scientific research and discovery



Spoiler: :: OE
QUESTION-1. The passage implies that supporters of embryonic stem cell research may view adult stem cell research as less promising due to the characteristics of adult stem cells. There is no relationship mentioned between this area of research and any constraints imposed by federal funding.

QUESTION-2. The keyword "however" indicates that the sentence refers to the preceding statement concerning the benefits of adult stem cell research. The sentence is used to lead into the views of supporters of embryonic stem cell research and indicates that these supporters may disagree with the benefits attributed to adult stem cell research by opponents of embryonic stem cell research.
Thus, choice A is the best choice.

QUESTION-3. The first sentence of the second paragraph explains that most opponents of embryonic stem cell research believe that deriving stem cells from very early embryos is ethically unacceptable. Therefore, it is implied that these opponents oppose the federal funding of such efforts. Thus, choice B is implied by the passage.
The passage does NOT imply that these opponents do not see potential benefits in embryonic stem cell research or that they believe the ultimate benefits are unethical. It implies that the opponents simply believe the methods used to achieve those benefits and results are unethical.

QUESTION-4. There are several places where the passage indicates that the opposing views are being analyzed with respect to their political implications. In the second paragraph, "the current administration's decision" is mentioned. In the final paragraph, the role of federal grant support is discussed. Even without these political references, choice C is the best choice because it indicates that two opposing stances are being summarized.

Originally posted by shridhar786 on 18 Oct 2019, 02:11.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 19 Oct 2019, 08:43, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (1040).
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Re: The central controversy surrounding human stem cell research is the so  [#permalink]

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Re: The central controversy surrounding human stem cell research is the so  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Oct 2019, 10:00
Could someone provide official answer explainations
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Re: The central controversy surrounding human stem cell research is the so  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Oct 2019, 12:38
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All correct except Q4 in almost 9 mins, including 4 mins 30 seconds to read.

Para 1- controversy surrounding human stem cell(SC) research
Para 2- Opponents of Embryonic Stem Cell research -- viewpoint
Para 3- Opponents- benefits of SC research CANNOT justify actions necessary to obtain the cells; Use adult SC instead of embryonic
Para 4- Supporters of ESC, basis of support
Para 5- federal grant support --> better and more ethically controlled research

1. The author implies that some supporters of embryonic stem cell research would agree with all of the following EXCEPT:
(A) genetically there is no difference between an embryo and an adult human-being- Incorrect, They acknowledge that embryos are genetically human
(B) preventing research that may help treat human diseases is immoral- incorrect, it is immoral to discourage such research because it could save many lives
(C) the potential benefits of embryonic stem cell research represent an ethical good- incorrect, Supporters argue that the potential human health and scientific benefits the research holds should be an ethical argument for its support
(D) adult stem cell research is less productive due to the constraints imposed by federal funding- Correct
(E) work with embryonic stem cells is an important area of research that holds tremendous potential - incorrect,
Supporters also argue that the efforts of both federally supported and privately supported researchers are necessary to keep the United States at the forefront of what they believe is a very important, cutting edge area of science


2. For what purpose does the author mention the opposing view of some scientists in the last sentence of the third paragraph?
(A) to underscore the fact that the alternative proposed by some opponents of embryonic stem cell research is itself a contentious issue
Opponents of stem cell research propose that research on adult stem cells, which they claim could provide similar therapeutic benefits without the need for embryonic or fetal cells, be supported instead. Not all scientists agree, however, that adult stem cells hold as much potential as embryonic stem cells.

3. The author implies which of the following about most opponents of embryonic stem cell research?

(A) They argue that the potential scientific benefits of the research are unethical.- incorrect, the derivation of stem cells from either very early or preimplantation embryos created by IVF or from the tissues of aborted fetuses is ethically unacceptable
(B) They are opposed to federally funded harvests of stem cells from very early embryos.- Correct
Opponents of stem cell research propose that research on adult stem cells, which they claim could provide similar therapeutic benefits without the need for embryonic or fetal cells, be supported instead.
(C) They believe that human souls have a significant moral relevance.- incorrect, supporters talk about moral relevance in a different context
(D) They lack specific adult capacities like ethical reasoning.- incorrect, supporters talk about moral relevance in a different context
(E) They do not believe that embryonic stem cell research may lead to the cure of some human diseases. - incorrect


4. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) challenge the validity of the viewpoints of opponents of stem cell research- incorrect, both opponents and supporters viewpoints are put forward and primary purpose is not to challenge opponents viewpoint
(B) present two explanations of a philosophic phenomenon and discuss the differences between them
(C) summarize opposing stances with regard to a political issue
(D) describe an alternative to a divisive issue and provide evidence and arguments that support the alternative- incorrect, no alternative to a divisive issue is discussed
(E) acknowledge the role of federal grants in scientific research and discovery - too narrow as federal grants are only talked in last para

I was down to options B and C but rejected C on the basis of political issue. It this a political issue? In my opinion, it felt more like a difference in philosophies of two groups.

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , GMATGuruNY , VeritasPrepBrian , MartyTargetTestPrep , DmitryFarber , VeritasKarishma , generis , other experts - please enlighten
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The central controversy surrounding human stem cell research is the so  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Oct 2019, 19:16
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Skywalker18 wrote:
All correct except Q4 in almost 9 mins, including 4 mins 30 seconds to read.


4. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) challenge the validity of the viewpoints of opponents of stem cell research- incorrect, both opponents and supporters viewpoints are put forward and primary purpose is not to challenge opponents viewpoint
(B) present two explanations of a philosophic phenomenon and discuss the differences between them
(C) summarize opposing stances with regard to a political issue
(D) describe an alternative to a divisive issue and provide evidence and arguments that support the alternative- incorrect, no alternative to a divisive issue is discussed
(E) acknowledge the role of federal grants in scientific research and discovery - too narrow as federal grants are only talked in last para

I was down to options B and C but rejected C on the basis of political issue. It this a political issue? In my opinion, it felt more like a difference in philosophies of two groups.

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , GMATGuruNY , VeritasPrepBrian , MartyTargetTestPrep , DmitryFarber , VeritasKarishma , generis , other experts - please enlighten

Skywalker18 , the analysis of the other three questions is excellent.

• Options B and C present a classic trap

Question 4 contains a classic trap: the incorrect answer contains a word that is in the passage whereas the correct answer uses a word that is not mentioned in the passage.

The next layer of the trap is vague language whose fuzziness can go unnoticed.
But that vague and malleable language is part of what disqualifies (B).

• option B is tempting but wrong.

According to B, the primary purpose of the author is to
present two explanations of a philosophic phenomenon and discuss the differences between them
Not accurate.

• a philosophic phenomenon does not accurately describe what the author presents.
What on earth is a philosophic phenomenon?

-- A phenomenon is just a thing (an observable event, thing, or person) without connotations of conflict or struggle.

-- Although one of my degrees is in philosophy, I have no idea what, exactly, a "philosophical phenomenon" is or might be.

Natural phenomena include hot springs and glaciers.
Psychological phenomena include deja vu and the placebo effect.
But philosophic phenomena? I have no idea what those words mean.

• the author presents "explanations"? Maybe. I am suspicious.
The rhetoric in the passage sounds more argumentative than explanatory.

The attractiveness of B as an option is seemingly deepened by text in the passage:
The debate primarily arises from differences in deeply held religious and philosophic views.

Notice that (B) contains the words "differences" and "philosophic." I was on guard immediately.

Option B does not quite fit.
It does not suggest enough conflict and does not capture what ignites or animates this passage: opposing positions on government policy about stem cell research.

• (C) better captures the author's primary purpose.

Option (C) states that the author's primary purpose is to: summarize opposing stances with regard to a political issue
That language is accurate. The subject matter in this passage is deeply political, although the word "political" is never used.

In addition, the stances are not simply "different" (B). They are radically opposed to each other.
Opposing stances includes "different views" but more accurately captures the division.

We first learn about the larger context in the last sentence of P2:
[E]ven though the current administration's decision on stem cell research does not support activities which directly destroy embryos, [government] support of research on components of the embryo is deeply disturbing [to opponents of stem cell research].

All of last paragraph P5 is about politics:
[S]upporters believe that the oversight which would come with federal grant support would result in better and more ethically controlled research . . . Supporters also argue that the efforts of federally supported and privately supported researchers are necessary . . .[to keep the U.S. "at the forefront."

-- Supporters believe that the federal government ought to provide grants. Federal oversight is good. Federal funds are crucial.

The debate is political.
-- True, the debate is partly grounded in radically different philosophical and religious views.
-- True, the subject matter of the debate includes those views.
-- But the ultimate or overarching issue in this passage is whether a government should fund stem cell research.

Takeaways:
In primary purpose questions
• the almost-correct answer can present a tempting trap if it:
-- contains words from the passage that tempt the reader because they are familiar
-- contains a noun, adjective, or verb that is too vague
-- captures most of, or a compelling part of, the subject matter (but neglects to mention the larger context or overarching subject).

In this case, that subject is not just philosophical positions on stem cell research, but also radically opposed views of government funding of such research.

• the correct answer fairly often
-- contains a word that is not mentioned in the passage but that encapsulates the overarching subject
-- contains words that are more precise than the words in the next best option

a political issue is more accurate than a philosophic phenomenon
opposing stances is more accurate than different views

Hope that helps.
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The central controversy surrounding human stem cell research is the so  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Oct 2019, 20:14
saishivapriya wrote:
Could someone provide official answer explainations

saishivapriya ,

official explanations are beneath a spoiler in the original post, here:



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The central controversy surrounding human stem cell research is the so   [#permalink] 19 Oct 2019, 20:14
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