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The history of the evolution of life, incomplete as it yet is, already

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The history of the evolution of life, incomplete as it yet is, already  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 21 Oct 2019, 05:09
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 285, Date : 23-Aug-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


The history of the evolution of life, incomplete as it yet is, already reveals to us how the intellect has been formed, by an uninterrupted progress, along a line which ascends through the vertebrate series up to man. It shows us in the faculty of understanding an appendage of the faculty of acting, a more and more precise, more and more complex and supple adaptation of the consciousness of living beings to the conditions of existence that are made for them. Hence should result this consequence that our intellect, in the narrow sense of the word, is intended to secure the perfect fitting of our body to its environment, to represent the relations of external things among themselves—in short, to think matter.

But from this it must also follow that our thought, in its purely logical form, is incapable of presenting the true nature of life, the full meaning of the evolutionary movement. Created by life, in definite circumstances, to act on definite things, how can it embrace life, of which it is only an emanation or an aspect? Deposited by the evolutionary movement in the course of its way, how can it be applied to the evolutionary movement itself? As well contend that the part is equal to the whole, that the effect can reabsorb its cause, or that the pebble left on the beach displays the form of the wave that brought it there. In fact, we do indeed feel that not one of the categories of our thought—unity, multiplicity, mechanical causality, intelligent finality, etc.—applies exactly to the things of life: who can say where individuality begins and ends, whether the living being is one or many, whether it is the cells which associate themselves into the organism or the organism which dissociates itself into cells?

1. What is the main purpose of the author in writing the passage?

(A) To discuss a puzzling situation
(B) To clarify a confusion
(C) To raise doubts about a commonly held belief
(D) To discuss the history of a theory
(E) To define a term


2. Which of the following can be inferred from the information in the passage?

(A) There is no clarity at the moment on how intellect has been formed.
(B) Our thoughts are also a part of the evolutionary process.
(C) Certain categories of thoughts can be applied to specific aspects of life.
(D) Humans have most likely stopped evolving.
(E) Thoughts cannot explain evolution.


3.What is the function of the lines ‘As well contend...brought it there’?

(A) To further emphasize the confusion of thoughts explaining evolution while also being part of evolution
(B) To introduce multiple categories of thoughts
(C) To conclude that thoughts cannot be used to explain evolution
(D) To display how intellect has been formed
(E) To state that it may indeed be possible for our thoughts to explain evolution


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Originally posted by dcummins on 22 Aug 2019, 13:30.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 21 Oct 2019, 05:09, edited 2 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (1048).
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Re: The history of the evolution of life, incomplete as it yet is, already  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2019, 22:11
1
Really difficult passage to understand. Also, if one does not read carefully, answers are difficult to find.
Therefore, take required time to understand the passage and then move on to answers.

The passage is about evolution of intellect in humans and about confusion whether intellect can explain human evolution or not.
Passage 2 goes against the flow of passage 1 and tells us that human thought/intellect may not give us clear idea about human evolution as thoughts/intellect are also a part of human evolution. Author goes on explaining with few examples that the relation between thoughts/intellect and evolution is like a relation between part to whole, and author believes that "part" may not explain "whole".


Use POE to reach the correct answers :
Now let us jump to the questions :


1. What is the main purpose of the author in writing the passage?

(A) To discuss a puzzling situation
Passage 2 tells us clearly the intent of writing this passage. The whole second paragraph is filled non-clarity and confusion.
Passage 1 sets the tone. Passage 2 goes against with the help of few confusing statements.

(B) To clarify a confusion
Confusion is still there till the end of the passage. So, no clarity as author is still confused.

(C) To raise doubts about a commonly held belief
We may not say this is a commonly held belief, though it may be considered a belief.

(D) To discuss the history of a theory
Passage is not about discussing the history of a theory

(E) To define a term
No term is defined in the passage.


2. Which of the following can be inferred from the information in the passage?

(A) There is no clarity at the moment on how intellect has been formed.
Strongly worded choices are almost wrong in inference questions. We can not say there is no clarity, but we can say there is less clarity.

(B) Our thoughts are also a part of the evolutionary process.
Deposited by the evolutionary movement in the course of its way, how can it be applied to the evolutionary movement itself?
Above mentioned statement tells us that author believes that thoughts are part of evolutionary process.


(C) Certain categories of thoughts can be applied to specific aspects of life.
Opposite is true. No category of thoughts can be applied to any aspect of life.
Refer this line : In fact, we do indeed feel that not one of the categories of our thought—unity, multiplicity, mechanical causality, intelligent finality, etc.—applies exactly to the things of life

(D) Humans have most likely stopped evolving.
Too strong. We don't have any evidence in the passage to claim this.

(E) Thoughts cannot explain evolution.
Again too strong. We can not infer this.


3.What is the function of the lines ‘As well contend...brought it there’?

(A) To further emphasize the confusion of thoughts explaining evolution while also being part of evolution

Correct : Before this line, author has already told us that thoughts can not used to explain evolution. By adding this line author is just trying to emphasize the confusing situation.

(B) To introduce multiple categories of thoughts
Introduction of multiple categories of thoughts is not the function of this line.

(C) To conclude that thoughts cannot be used to explain evolution
Author never concluded anything in the passage. He is just presenting different point of views about relation between evolution and intellect.
Line mentioned in the question is not a conclusion.

(D) To display how intellect has been formed
Incorrect

(E) To state that it may indeed be possible for our thoughts to explain evolution
Incorrect. Actually opposite is true. Author is trying to tells us that thoughts can not explain evolution. This whole second paragraph is worded against the given answer choice E
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Re: The history of the evolution of life, incomplete as it yet is, already  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2019, 22:35
1
Para 1 Summary – Author introduces concept of evolution of life where intellect formation is a nonstop progress among all animals including man. Further every living being has taken its place in the environment according to the degree of understanding. Finally author, short of words, clams that thinking is important.

Para 2 Summary – Here the author brings a contrast from what he/she said previously by saying/asking confusingly that our thought is not capable of explaining logically about evolution. The reason behind so is that our thoughts itself are only a part of evolution and further weighs it with examples in the underlined statement.

Summary – Author takes note about an aspect(intellect) of evolution of life and explains the mystery about its existence and incompleteness. He/she raises questions about why it is so in a confused manner.
1. What is the main purpose of the author in writing the passage?

(A) To discuss a puzzling situation – CORRECT. First para is all about intellect being important however in second author raises puzzling questions.
(B) To clarify a confusion – WRONG. Author is not clarifying anything. For that he/she should have taken a position which is actually absent in the passage.
(C) To raise doubts about a commonly held belief – WRONG. Again to raise doubts the author must have had taken a position which he/she didn’t .
(D) To discuss the history of a theory – WRONG. Author didn’t mention any positives or negatives to discuss anything.
(E) To define a term – WRONG. Author is not defining a term.

2. Which of the following can be inferred from the information in the passage?
Got the answer WRONG. Confused between B and E and chose E thinking that that is what is all over the passage when instead inference–wise B is CORRECT. A misunderstanding of mine on inference part.
(A) There is no clarity at the moment on how intellect has been formed.
(B) Our thoughts are also a part of the evolutionary process.
(C) Certain categories of thoughts can be applied to specific aspects of life.
(D) Humans have most likely stopped evolving.
(E) Thoughts cannot explain evolution.

3.What is the function of the lines ‘As well contend...brought it there’?

(A) To further emphasize the confusion of thoughts explaining evolution while also being part of evolution – CORRECT. Author puts weight(through underlined statement) behind his/her thought of confusion which he/she brought in the beginning of the para 2 and by asking questions just before the underlined sentence.
(B) To introduce multiple categories of thoughts – WRONG. Author doesn’t introduce any categories o thoughts anywhere in the passage.
(C) To conclude that thoughts cannot be used to explain evolution – WRONG. Conclusion is missing in the whole passage so incorrect.
(D) To display how intellect has been formed – WRONG. Formation of intellect if any is a part in the first para not second one.
(E) To state that it may indeed be possible for our thoughts to explain evolution. – WRONG. Exactly the opposite of what passage is all about. Hence incorrect.

Took 9:18 minutes instead of 6:30 i targeted. :( :shocked
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Re: The history of the evolution of life, incomplete as it yet is, already  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2019, 08:21
Can someone explain the answer for question 2?
(E) says thoughts cannot explain evolution. Isn't it the whole point of para 2?

Quote: Deposited by the evolutionary movement in the course of its way, how can it be applied to the evolutionary movement itself?
By asking that question, isn't the author telling us that Thoughts can't be applied to evolution?

lnm87
You have rejected (E) for question 2 saying it is too strong. But haven't you given the same explanation for rejecting (E) for question 3?
Quote:
Incorrect. Actually opposite is true. Author is trying to tells us that thoughts can not explain evolution. This whole second paragraph is worded against the given answer choice E
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Re: The history of the evolution of life, incomplete as it yet is, already  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2019, 09:13
jkbk1732 wrote:
Can someone explain the answer for question 2?
(E) says thoughts cannot explain evolution. Isn't it the whole point of para 2?

Quote: Deposited by the evolutionary movement in the course of its way, how can it be applied to the evolutionary movement itself?
By asking that question, isn't the author telling us that Thoughts can't be applied to evolution?

lnm87
You have rejected (E) for question 2 saying it is too strong. But haven't you given the same explanation for rejecting (E) for question 3?
Quote:
Incorrect. Actually opposite is true. Author is trying to tells us that thoughts can not explain evolution. This whole second paragraph is worded against the given answer choice E


Thanks for asking the question that scratches the depth of the question.

Your understanding is correct in saying that author is telling us that thoughts can't explain evolution of life.

I would explain only question 2 since what you have asked about question 3 refers must be referring to AkshdeepS

Initially I also thought that author is saying thoughts can't explain evolution of life hence marked option E which is wrong. Later on i gave the passage another look and because Q2 is an inference question technically(personal opinion) E can't be the answer. But do see that in the para 2 the line 'that our thought, in its purely logical form, is incapable of presenting the true nature of life, the full meaning of the evolutionary movement' by author clearly means that our thoughts are result(understand it in cause and effect manner) of evolution of life so they can't explain evolution of life. This in a way suggest that thoughts are indeed part of evolution of life as meant by option B.

I hope this helps.
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Re: The history of the evolution of life, incomplete as it yet is, already   [#permalink] 31 Aug 2019, 09:13

The history of the evolution of life, incomplete as it yet is, already

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