In archaeology, as in the physical sciences

This topic has expert replies
Legendary Member
Posts: 784
Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Thanked: 114 times
Followed by:12 members
In archaeology, as in the physical sciences,new discoveries frequently undermine accepted findings and give rise to new theories. This trend can be seen in the reaction to the recent discovery of a set of 3.3-million-year-old fossils in Ethiopia, the remains of the earliest well-preserved child ever found. The fossilized child was estimated to be about 3 years old at death, female, and a member of the Australopithecus afarensis species. The afarensis species, a major human ancestor, lived in Africa from earlier than 3.7 million to 3 million years ago. "Her completeness, antiquity and age at death make this find of unprecedented importance in the history of paleo-anthropology," said Zeresenay Alemseged, a noted paleo-anthropologist. Other scientists said that the discovery could reconfigure conceptions about the lives and capacities of these early humans.

Prior to this discovery, it had been thought that the afarensis species had abandoned the arboreal habitat of their ape cousins. However, while the lower limbs of this fossil supported findings that afarensis walked upright, its gorilla-like arms and shoulders suggested that it retained the ability to swing through trees. This has initiated a reexamination of many accepted theories of early human development. Also, the presence of a hyoid bone, a rarely preserved bone in the larynx that supports muscles of the throat, has had a tremendous impact on theories about the origins of speech. The fossil bone is primitive and more similar to that of apes than to that of humans, but it is the first hyoid found in such an early human-related species.

The passage quotes Zeresenay Alemseged in order to
(A) provide evidence to qualify the main idea of the first paragraph
(B) question the claims of other scientists
(C) provide evidence to support the linguistic abilities of the afarensis species
(D) provide evidence that supports the significance of the find
(E) provide a subjective opinion that is refuted in the second paragraph

Pls explain your pick - esp why not A

Source: MGMAT; OA-D

User avatar
Community Manager
Posts: 991
Joined: 23 Sep 2010
Location: Bangalore, India
Thanked: 146 times
Followed by:24 members

by shovan85 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:19 pm
patanjali.purpose wrote:In archaeology, as in the physical sciences,new discoveries frequently undermine accepted findings and give rise to new theories. This trend can be seen in the reaction to the recent discovery of a set of 3.3-million-year-old fossils in Ethiopia, the remains of the earliest well-preserved child ever found. The fossilized child was estimated to be about 3 years old at death, female, and a member of the Australopithecus afarensis species. The afarensis species, a major human ancestor, lived in Africa from earlier than 3.7 million to 3 million years ago. "Her completeness, antiquity and age at death make this find of unprecedented importance in the history of paleo-anthropology," said Zeresenay Alemseged, a noted paleo-anthropologist. Other scientists said that the discovery could reconfigure conceptions about the lives and capacities of these early humans.

Prior to this discovery, it had been thought that the afarensis species had abandoned the arboreal habitat of their ape cousins. However, while the lower limbs of this fossil supported findings that afarensis walked upright, its gorilla-like arms and shoulders suggested that it retained the ability to swing through trees. This has initiated a reexamination of many accepted theories of early human development. Also, the presence of a hyoid bone, a rarely preserved bone in the larynx that supports muscles of the throat, has had a tremendous impact on theories about the origins of speech. The fossil bone is primitive and more similar to that of apes than to that of humans, but it is the first hyoid found in such an early human-related species.

The passage quotes Zeresenay Alemseged in order to
(A) provide evidence to qualify the main idea of the first paragraph
(B) question the claims of other scientists
(C) provide evidence to support the linguistic abilities of the afarensis species
(D) provide evidence that supports the significance of the find
(E) provide a subjective opinion that is refuted in the second paragraph

Pls explain your pick - esp why not A

Source: MGMAT; OA-D
Easily discard B,C, and E.

IMO the main idea is in Green - it says about UNDERMINING the existing theories.
See the red highlight part in passage and Zeresenay Alemseged says about a finding in the history with some evidence. Honestly, I was confused between A and D, but marking each word of D makes it an obvious answer. Also the quoted text of Zeresenay Alemseged does not qualify the main point here - as the statement is more to support a finding than to undermine an existing theory.
If the problem is Easy Respect it, if the problem is tough Attack it

User avatar
Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 33
Joined: 07 Feb 2012
Thanked: 4 times

by RyanJW » Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:44 am
I had it down to A and D and eventually chose the former.

After getting frustrated with feeling that I had the correct answer (from what I read it didn't look like she supplied any evidence, but what she said DID support the significance of the find). However, looking into the concept of qualifying a bit further- it appears that something has to be added in order for it to be considered "qualifying" and Zeresenay did not add anything, she just supported items that were already discussed before her quote. So I think the content of the passage and the content of her quote are important to compare. If what she says adds something completely different, it would likely be considered qualifying.

Does anyone else have input into this? I'm only going off of what I learned from looking up the concept and would love further clarification if at all possible.