QUESTION TEXT: The passage is primarily concerned with…
DISCUSSION: The author is critically evaluating Steele’s theory, and discussing what sort of evidence might prove Steele correct.
The right answer here is tricky because it doesn’t mention criticism directly. It uses the word “describe”. But describing something can include criticizing it, so B fits (technically).
Whereas D, the trap answer, uses the wrong term. Lamarckism was an evolutionary theory. But Steele’s theory is not an evolutionary theory. Steele is merely proposing the existence of a certain evolutionary mechanism in the human body. That’s a much more limited theory, and that’s why D is wrong. An “evolutionary theory” has to be something that describes evolution as a whole.
- The author isn’t giving the history of Steele’s theory. We have no idea when or why Steele proposed this theory.
- CORRECT. This is the best answer. It doesn’t mention that the author is skeptical of Steele, but that can be included under the word “describing”. Discussing the weaknesses of Steele’s theory fairly falls under describing it.
- Nonsense. The author only discusses the immune system in order to better evaluate Steele’s theory.
- The evolutionary theory that has been rejected by most biologists is Lamarckism. The author isn’t evaluating the overall merits of Lamarckism.
Steele’s theory is Lamarckian, but that doesn’t make it an evolutionary theory. Steele’s theory is much more limited in scope. Steele is merely suggesting that “a Lamarckian hereditary mechanism” exists. See line 15. An evolutionary theory is something that describes evolution as a whole. An evolutionary mechanism is something much more limited.
I’ll admit this is a tricky answer, but if you interpret “evolutionary theory” according to its normal meaning it’s pretty clear that Steele is not proposing such a theory. Don’t stretch words to make answers correct.
- The author doesn’t philosophize about science as a whole.
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