May 15, 2010

Verbal Ability - Question Of The Day

The remarkable remains of two ancient human-like creatures (hominids) have been found in South Africa. The fossils of a female adult and a juvenile male - perhaps mother and son - are just under two million years old. They were uncovered in cave deposits at Malapa not far from Johannesburg. Researchers tell the journal Science that the creatures fill an important gap between older hominids and the group of more modern species known as Homo, which includes our own kind. "It's at the point where we transition from an ape that walks on two legs to, effectively, us," lead scientist Professor Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand told BBC News.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the conclusion of the study that the new specimens are at the point of transition from ‘an ape to us’?


1)The period just under two million years ago is the most poorly represented period in the entire early hominid fossil record.
2)Some scientists believe that the Malapa fossils are of Homos themselves.
3)The Malapa fossils were unearthed in one of the remotest sites which had never yielded any important fossils.
4)No fossil of the Homo so far discovered is dated to be two (or more) million years old.
5)There are some fossils of Homo from East Africa which are much older than two million years.


The fossils are under two million years old. This is said to be at the point of transition from hominids to Homo. If there are fossils of Homo “much older” than these specimens – they cannot fill any gap – Homos already existed when these ‘creatures’ lived. Therefore the specimens cannot fill the gap.  The conclusion becomes almost false or the specimens have no significance. This makes option 5 the correct option.
  • Option 1 strengthens the conclusion rather than weakening it.
  • Option 2 is eliminated because of ‘some scientists’ – cannot impact the validity.
  • Option 3 may strengthen the argument – on the surface it is irrelevant.
  • Option 4 also strengthens the argument.
  • Hence, the correct answer is option 5.


1 comment:

  1. MBEnformer, thanks for the Vocab SMS.
    Nice & tough questions here.
    thanks a load.
    Aparna kansal.


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