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The myth of the noble savage has long dominated the social sciences. A

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The myth of the noble savage has long dominated the social sciences. A  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 26 Sep 2019, 23:35
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The myth of the noble savage has long dominated the social sciences. According to this myth, man in his natural state lived in perfect harmony with both his fellow men and with nature. It is only the corrupting specter of modernity, with its capitalistic rat-race and exploitative mindset, that leads to war and destruction. While somewhat reassuring as a theory of human nature, the fact of the matter is that the noble savage has not ever existed.

Consider the extinction of the moa bird, an ostrich-like species indigenous to New Zealand ranging in size from 3 to 10 feet tall and weighing from 40 to 500 pounds. The last moa bird died roughly 800 hundred years ago, after inhabiting New Zealand for hundreds of thousands of years. It was not a climatic calamity that wiped the birds out. Nor was it a new disease or a catastrophic event such as a volcanic eruption. The moa went extinct a mere 200 years after the arrival of the Polynesian Maoris.

Defenders of the noble savage myth may argue that the Maoris were not responsible for hunting the moa to extinction, but the evidence suggests otherwise. Carbon dating of moa birds shows conclusively that all known species of moa were present when the Maori arrived in New Zealand. And most striking, archeologists have uncovered Maori sites containing between 100 to 500 thousand moa skeletons, roughly 10 times the number of moa living at any one time. The Maori did not live in peaceful harmony with the environment; instead, they engaged in full-scale genocide of the moa.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. argue for the conservation of endangered species
B. debunk a misconception
C. describe Maori hunting practices
D. criticize the imposition of modernity on other cultures
E. question the impact of man on animal extinctions

2. The discovery of the moa skeletons suggests that

A. the Maori not only ate the moa but used their bones in certain rituals
B. the moa were the primary staple of the Maori diet
C. the moa had no other predators besides the Maori
E. the Maori had been hunting the moa for many generations

3 The author most likely mentions “climatic calamity...volcanic eruption,” in order to

A. rule out possible natural causes of the moa extinction
B. cite common explanations for animal extinctions
C. suggest that extinctions are an inevitable part of biological history
D. argue that the moa was resistant to most diseases and natural disasters
E. mock those who hold to the belief of the noble savage

Source: McGraw-Hill's GMAT

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Originally posted by Asad on 24 Mar 2017, 18:44.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 26 Sep 2019, 23:35, edited 2 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (684).
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Re: The myth of the noble savage has long dominated the social sciences. A  [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2018, 02:42

+1 kudos to the posts containing answer explanations of all questions

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Re: The myth of the noble savage has long dominated the social sciences. A  [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2018, 03:07
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1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. argue for the conservation of endangered species- The author talks about a bird which is already extinct and there
is no mention of the conservation of endangered species

B. debunk a misconception- The author starts the 2nd para to debunk the misconception he introduces in 1st para.This is
the correct choice.
C. describe Maori hunting practices- The author does not describe this.
D. criticize the imposition of modernity on other cultures - Irrelevant
E. question the impact of man on animal extinctions - Although the author speaks about animal getting extinct because
of human actions this is not the primary purpose.

2. The discovery of the moa skeletons suggests that

A. the Maori not only ate the moa but used their bones in certain rituals - No such mention made.
B. the moa were the primary staple of the Maori diet- The author does not mention purpose of killing of the birds.
C. the moa had no other predators besides the Maori- Cannot be concluded
E. the Maori had been hunting the moa for many generations- The lines "And most striking, archeologists have
uncovered Maori sites containing between 100 to 500 thousand moa skeletons, roughly 10 times the number of moa
living at any one time" suggest that the killing continued for generations. Correct choice.

3 The author most likely mentions “climatic calamity...volcanic eruption,” in order to

A. rule out possible natural causes of the moa extinction - The author gives examples of possible causes and rules
“climatic calamity...volcanic eruption,” out. This is the correct choice.
B. cite common explanations for animal extinctions-This is not the reason.
C. suggest that extinctions are an inevitable part of biological history- This is not the reason because the author talks
about “climatic calamity...volcanic eruption,” in context of possible causes of extinction of the bird.
D. argue that the moa was resistant to most diseases and natural disasters - Too far a conclusion
E. mock those who hold to the belief of the noble savage - Irrelevant
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Re: The myth of the noble savage has long dominated the social sciences. A  [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2018, 07:43
1
Para 1: Describes a myth and discredits it.
Para 2: Illustrates an example to support the claim, disproving the above misconception.
Para 3: Gives evidence to strengthen the claim made through the example.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. argue for the conservation of endangered species ---Incorrect, extinction of a species is only used only as an example.
B. debunk a misconception ---Correct, as per our summary of the passage.
C. describe Maori hunting practices ---Incorrect, again only an example, a minor detail.
D. criticize the imposition of modernity on other cultures ---Incorrect, out of scope, not discussed in the passage.
E. question the impact of man on animal extinctions ---Incorrect, same as A.

2. The discovery of the moa skeletons suggests that

A. the Maori not only ate the moa but used their bones in certain rituals ---Incorrect, usage of moa is not mentioned in the passage.
B. the moa were the primary staple of the Maori diet ---Incorrect, no mention of diet.
C. the moa had no other predators besides the Maori ---Incorrect, Hold it, after option E this option can be eliminated.
D. Maori society had advanced burial rituals ---Incorrect, burial rituals are not mentioned in the passage.
E. the Maori had been hunting the moa for many generations ---Correct, 'The Maori did not live in peaceful harmony with the environment; instead, they engaged in full-scale genocide of the moa.' this last sentence from the passage along with the previous lines suggests that the Maori were hunting moa for a long time.

3 The author most likely mentions “climatic calamity...volcanic eruption,” in order to

A. rule out possible natural causes of the moa extinction ---Correct, because the author wants to highlight people as the cause of moa extinction.
B. cite common explanations for animal extinctions ---Incorrect, too generic
C. suggest that extinctions are an inevitable part of biological history ---Incorrect, same as B.
D. argue that the moa was resistant to most diseases and natural disasters ---Incorrect, no comparison between these two.
E. mock those who hold to the belief of the noble savage ---Incorrect
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Re: The myth of the noble savage has long dominated the social sciences. A  [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2018, 08:16
1
The myth of the noble savage has long dominated the social sciences. According to this myth, man in his natural state lived in perfect harmony with both his fellow men and with nature. It is only the corrupting specter of modernity, with its capitalistic rat-race and exploitative mindset, that leads to war and destruction. While somewhat reassuring as a theory of human nature, the fact of the matter is that the noble savage has not ever existed.

Consider the extinction of the moa bird, an ostrich-like species indigenous to New Zealand ranging in size from 3 to 10 feet tall and weighing from 40 to 500 pounds. The last moa bird died roughly 800 hundred years ago, after inhabiting New Zealand for hundreds of thousands of years. It was not a climatic calamity that wiped the birds out. Nor was it a new disease or a catastrophic event such as a volcanic eruption. The moa went extinct a mere 200 years after the arrival of the Polynesian Maoris.

Defenders of the noble savage myth may argue that the Maoris were not responsible for hunting the moa to extinction, but the evidence suggests otherwise. Carbon dating of moa birds shows conclusively that all known species of moa were present when the Maori arrived in New Zealand. And most striking, archeologists have uncovered Maori sites containing between 100 to 500 thousand moa skeletons, roughly 10 times the number of moa living at any one time. The Maori did not live in peaceful harmony with the environment; instead, they engaged in full-scale genocide of the moa.
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. argue for the conservation of endangered species
B. debunk a misconception
C. describe Maori hunting practices
D. criticize the imposition of modernity on other cultures
E. question the impact of man on animal extinctions

2. The discovery of the moa skeletons suggests that

A. the Maori not only ate the moa but used their bones in certain rituals
B. the moa were the primary staple of the Maori diet
C. the moa had no other predators besides the Maori
E. the Maori had been hunting the moa for many generations

3 The author most likely mentions “climatic calamity...volcanic eruption,” in order to

A. rule out possible natural causes of the moa extinction
B. cite common explanations for animal extinctions
C. suggest that extinctions are an inevitable part of biological history
D. argue that the moa was resistant to most diseases and natural disasters
E. mock those who hold to the belief of the noble savage

Source: McGraw-Hill's GMAT

Fairly easy one.

Took 3:22 minutes and got all correct!

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to[/b]

A. argue for the conservation of endangered species-Nopes, conservation is nowhere mentioned.
B. debunk a misconception-Correct, refer "fact of the matter is that the noble savage has not ever existed". The entire passage revolves around debunking the myth of noble savage by examples of Moa bird and evidences of culling of Moa bird by Maori.
C. describe Maori hunting practices-Partial Scope
D. criticize the imposition of modernity on other cultures-OFS
E. question the impact of man on animal extinctions-Partial scope probably third para at max.

2. The discovery of the moa skeletons suggests that

A. the Maori not only ate the moa but used their bones in certain rituals-Could be true but refer the text which says skeletons more than 10 times the population of Moa bird were found but not solid enough!
B. the moa were the primary staple of the Maori diet-Can be true! but not properly substantiated by argument. Reject!
C. the moa had no other predators besides the Maori-OFS
E. the Maori had been hunting the moa for many generations-Bingo! that is what we can infer from this excerpt" archeologists have uncovered Maori sites containing between 100 to 500 thousand moa skeletons, roughly 10 times the number of moa living at any one time".

3 The author most likely mentions “climatic calamity...volcanic eruption,” in order to

A. rule out possible natural causes of the moa extinction-True! correct answer! To prove that noble savage is a myth and despite living in harmony population of Moa birds got extinct!
B. cite common explanations for animal extinctions-OFS, MOA bird is only mentioned! cant be generalized!
C. suggest that extinctions are an inevitable part of biological history-OFS
D. argue that the moa was resistant to most diseases and natural disaster-OFS
E. mock those who hold to the belief of the noble savage-Too strong! Author doesn't mock them but carefully lays down the postulates to prove that the noble savage is a myth.
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Re: The myth of the noble savage has long dominated the social sciences. A   [#permalink] 30 Sep 2018, 08:16
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