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Digging in sediments in northern China, evidence has been

This topic has 7 expert replies and 6 member replies
RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member Default Avatar
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Digging in sediments in northern China, evidence has been

Post Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:28 am
Digging in sediments in northern China, evidence has been gathered by scientists suggesting that complex life-forms emerged much earlier than they had previously thought.

(A) evidence has been gathered by scientists suggesting that complex life-forms emerged much earlier than they had
(B) evidence gathered by scientists suggests a much earlier emergence of complex life-forms than had been
(C) scientists have gathered evidence suggesting that complex life-forms emerged much earlier than
(D) scientists have gathered evidence that suggests a much earlier emergence of complex life-forms than that which was
(E) scientists have gathered evidence which suggests a much earlier emergence of complex life-forms than that


OA: C

P.S: It's an official question and I'm stuck between C & E (albeit more inclined to C but need some solid reasons to eliminate E).
@Experts - could you please share your detail analysis.Much thanks in advance.

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RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member Default Avatar
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Post Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:06 pm
GMATGuruNY wrote:
Another reason to eliminate E:
a much earlier emergence of complex-life forms than that previously thought.
Here, the usage of that implies that ONE emergence (the emergence of complex life-forms) is being compared to a DIFFERENT emergence (the emergence previously thought).
Not the intended meaning.
In each case, the intent is discuss the SAME emergence (the emergence of complex-life forms).
The question at hand is WHEN this emergence took place.
Hi GMATGuruNY - Can you please give a quick clarification on why that (in the RED phrase) can't indicate the emergence of complex-life forms as a whole instead of indicating ONLY the emergence ? (because does it make sense to say ONLY the emergence previously thought - there must be emergence of SOMETHING , I guess!)

Regardless E is wrong althoguh! However, curious to hear from you on the above.

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Post Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:46 am
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
BTw, doesn't thought OF mean expected/hoped ?
Better definitions of to think of X would be to conceive of X/to envision X/to imagine X.

Quote:
I just wanted to know how the sentence would look like with ELLIPSIS removed(re along with the dropped parts in the second clause after THAN ) ? Could you please share it ?
The OA conveys the following meaning:
Scientists have gathered evidence suggesting that complex life-forms emerged much earlier than complex-life forms were previously thought to have emerged.
It is probably best to consider than previously thought an idiom -- one that serves to compare what was previously thought to what is now known to be true.

Another reason to eliminate E:
a much earlier emergence of complex-life forms than that previously thought.
Here, the usage of that implies that ONE emergence (the emergence of complex life-forms) is being compared to a DIFFERENT emergence (the emergence previously thought).
Not the intended meaning.
In each case, the intent is discuss the SAME emergence (the emergence of complex-life forms).
The question at hand is WHEN this emergence took place.

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Post Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:47 am
Here are some problems with E: first, 'evidence which suggests' is incorrect. "Which' is considered a non-restrictive modifier, so in this case, it should follow a comma. For example, I can write "My birch tree, which I planted in the front yard two years ago, is now six feet tall."

If I use 'that' I would not insert a comma, because 'that' is a restrictive modifier. So I could also write, "The birch tree that I planted in the front yard two years ago is now six feet tall."

The two sentences are both correct, but mean different things - in the first, I'm saying I only have one birch tree, and this tree happens to be in my front yard. In the second case, I'm suggesting that I have multiple birch trees, but I'm only writing about the one in my front yard. As far as the GMAT is concerned, we just need to know that 'which' follows a comma in this case, and 'that' does not. E has no comma preceding 'which.'

The other problem with E is the 'that' in "a much earlier emergence of complex life-forms than that" What is "that" referring to? Emergence? It isn't clear.

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RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member Default Avatar
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Post Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:39 am
Hi Dave - few clarifications required on your reply.

1. In GMAT, whenever "which" modifies a noun (as in this case), there should be a comma before "which". Right ? Is this always TRUE in GMAT - I mean, is this construction strictly followed in GMAT ?

2. As for option E, could you please clarify why do you say that "What is "that" referring to? Emergence? It isn't clear" ? Isn't 'that' here actually referring to 'Emergence' ?

Look forward to your reply.

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Post Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:42 pm
Quote:
1. In GMAT, whenever "which" modifies a noun (as in this case), there should be a comma before "which". Right ? Is this always TRUE in GMAT - I mean, is this construction strictly followed in GMAT?
To date, NO PUBLISHED OA has ever included NOUN + no comma + which.

Quote:
2. As for option E, could you please clarify why do you say that "What is "that" referring to? Emergence? It isn't clear" ? Isn't 'that' here actually referring to 'Emergence' ?

Look forward to your reply.
E: a much earlier emergence than that previously thought.
Here, that seems to be standing in for the emergence.
If we replace that with the emergence, we get:
a much earlier emergence than the emergence previously thought.
The portion in red seems to suggest that THE EMERGENCE previously THOUGHT something.
Not the intended meaning.
Eliminate E.

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Post Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:08 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
a much earlier emergence than the emergence previously thought.
The portion in red seems to suggest that THE EMERGENCE previously THOUGHT something.
Hi Mitch - I don't have any issue to understand why E is wrong, but I'd like to clarify the following a bit...

How we can even deduce this meaning - EMERGENCE previously THOUGHT something ? How EMERGENCE (an ABSTRACT NOUN) can think about something ?

Please shed light on this.Much thanks in advance!

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Post Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:37 am
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
GMATGuruNY wrote:
a much earlier emergence than the emergence previously thought.
The portion in red seems to suggest that THE EMERGENCE previously THOUGHT something.
Hi Mitch - I don't have any issue to understand why E is wrong, but I'd like to clarify the following a bit...

How we can even deduce this meaning - EMERGENCE previously THOUGHT something ? How EMERGENCE (an ABSTRACT NOUN) can think about something ?

Please shed light on this.Much thanks in advance!
One other interpretation is possible:
a much earlier emergence than the emergence [that was] previously thought [by someone].
This meaning too is nonsensical: it is not possible for someone to think an emergence.
Regardless of how E is interpreted, the meaning is nonsensical.
Eliminate E.

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Post Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:05 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
One other interpretation is possible:
a much earlier emergence than the emergence [that was] previously thought [by someone].
This meaning too is nonsensical: it is not possible for someone to think an emergence.
GMATGuruNY - STILL not getting it clear Sad Why do we say that it is not possible for someone to think [OF] an emergence ? Scientists could think about an emergence, I guess! How that is wrong ?

Also, for the C, scientists have gathered evidence suggesting that complex life-forms emerged much earlier than [complex life-forms] previously thought [to have been emerged] -- this is what the SC intends to convey, I think. Correct me please if wrong!

Looking forward to know your feedback.

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Post Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:56 am
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
GMATGuruNY wrote:
One other interpretation is possible:
a much earlier emergence than the emergence [that was] previously thought [by someone].
This meaning too is nonsensical: it is not possible for someone to think an emergence.
GMATGuruNY - not getting it clear STILL Sad Why do we say that it is not possible for someone to think [OF] an emergence ? Scientists could think about an emergence, I guess! How that is wrong ?
To think X and to think OF X convey different meanings.
If the latter construction is intended, the preposition of cannot be omitted.
Regardless, someone thought OF the emergence would imply that someone CONCEIVED of the emergence.
Not the intended meaning.

Quote:
Also, for the C, scientists have gathered evidence suggesting that complex life-forms emerged much earlier than [complex life-forms] previously thought [to have been emerged] -- this is what the SC intends to convey, I think. Correct me please if wrong!

Looking forward to know your feedback.
C implies the following meaning:
It was previously thought that complex life-forms emerged at a certain time in the past, but new evidence indicates that they emerged even earlier.

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Last edited by GMATGuruNY on Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:19 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:03 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
To think X and to think OF X convey different meanings.
If the latter construction is intended, the preposition of cannot be omitted.
Great. Got it.
GMATGuruNY wrote:
Regardless, someone thought OF the emergence would imply that someone INVENTED the emergence.
Not the intended meaning.
BTw, doesn't thought OF mean expected/hoped ?

GMATGuruNY wrote:
Quote:
Also, for the C, scientists have gathered evidence suggesting that complex life-forms emerged much earlier than [complex life-forms] previously thought [to have been emerged] -- this is what the SC intends to convey, I think. Correct me please if wrong!

Looking forward to know your feedback.
C implies the following meaning:
It was previously thought that complex life-forms emerged at a certain time in the past, but new evidence indicates that they emerged even earlier.
Yes, exactly so.I just wanted to know how the sentence would look like with ELLIPSIS removed(re along with the dropped parts in the second clause after THAN ) ? Could you please share it ?

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Post Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:13 am
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
Hi GMATGuruNY - Can you please give a quick clarification on why that (in the RED phrase) can't indicate the emergence of complex-life forms as a whole instead of indicating ONLY the emergence ? (because does it make sense to say ONLY the emergence previously thought - there must be emergence of SOMETHING , I guess!)
When used in a comparison, that is a COPY PRONOUN.
Its purpose is to represent a DIFFERENT COPY of the antecedent noun.
If we interpret E as you are suggesting, the usage of that still implies that there were two DIFFERENT emergences of complex life-forms:
a much earlier emergence of complex-life forms than the emergence of complex life forms previously thought.
Not the intended meaning.
There were not two different emergences of complex life forms.
There was only ONE emergence of complex life-forms.
The question at hand is WHEN this emergence of complex life-forms occurred.
Since there were not two different emergences of complex life-forms, the usage of that is inappropriate.

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Post Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:00 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
Hi GMATGuruNY - Can you please give a quick clarification on why that (in the RED phrase) can't indicate the emergence of complex-life forms as a whole instead of indicating ONLY the emergence ? (because does it make sense to say ONLY the emergence previously thought - there must be emergence of SOMETHING , I guess!)
When used in a comparison, that is a COPY PRONOUN.
Its purpose is to represent a DIFFERENT COPY of the antecedent noun.
If we interpret E as you are suggesting, the usage of that still implies that there were two DIFFERENT emergences of complex life-forms:
a much earlier emergence of complex-life forms than the emergence of complex life forms previously thought.
Not the intended meaning.
There were not two different emergences of complex life forms.
There was only ONE emergence of complex life-forms.
The question at hand is WHEN this emergence of complex life-forms occurred.
Since there were not two different emergences of complex life-forms, the usage of that is inappropriate.
Dear Mitch,
In the OA, is there any kind of ellipses? is the red part below correct?

scientists have gathered evidence suggesting that complex life-forms emerged much earlier than complex life-forms were previously thought.

Thanks

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Post Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:51 am
Mo2men wrote:
Dear Mitch,
In the OA, is there any kind of ellipses? is the red part below correct?

scientists have gathered evidence suggesting that complex life-forms emerged much earlier than complex life-forms were previously thought.

Thanks
As mentioned in my post above, the OA conveys the following meaning:
Scientists have gathered evidence suggesting that complex life-forms emerged much earlier than complex-life forms were previously thought to have emerged.
It is probably best to consider than previously thought an idiom -- one that serves to compare what was previously thought to what is now known to be true.

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