emmorensemmorens Core Member
edited January 2022 in Reading Comprehension 1470 karma

This is the only question in passage set that I can't seem to resolve on my own. I was caught between AC C and E, ended up picking E timed and C in BR.

C) I thought it seemed likely that Sibley would think a good goal is to simply the classification systems by reducing the total number, because in paragraph 3 he talks about how there are too many criteria's complicating the species classification.
ie: "We must limit the number of degrees we choose to 'recognize' by names"

E) This seemed likely to me because of the arguments going on in paragraph 3, it just didn't seem like an easy issue to resolve so it seemed likely that disagreements would continue; especially given the fact that the critics seemed more concerned with the interpretation of Sibley's data rather than the procedure of it. ie: if more techniques like Sibely's are refined, they would still take issue with the arbitrary interpretation.

I just couldn't find a reason to eliminate C and direct support for E!


  • 5Fennel LSAT5Fennel LSAT Member
    192 karma

    Good morning,

    I found it useful to take a "must be true/could be false" approach to the problem and consider the specific wording and context of the answer choices to reveal why E is more supported than C.

    When considering answer C, whether Sibley would agree that the goal is to reduce the number of species, recall that the author considers Sibley a "splitter", and that splitters would tend to divide populations into full species, contrary to the answer choice's stated goal to reduce the number of species.

    In addition, though Sibley writes that "we must limit the number of degrees", it does not necessarily follow that Sibley would want to reduce the number of species. Rather, it can be inferred that Sibley could still want the number of species to grow, albeit not grow out of control, or even hold the number of species the same. The answer choice C could be false.

    Answer E is the most strongly supported. The author supports the point that interpreting differences is arbitrary and that Sibley would not disagree, citing Sibley's writing that "species concept is slippery". This suggests that critics and Sibley would both agree that because the differences are arbitrary, there will be disagreements about species classification. No matter the extent to which DNA techniques are refined, the very act of species classification will still be arbitrary, so it must be true that there will be disagreement.

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