PT 59/Section 2/Question 18

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PT 59/Section 2/Question 18

Postby ReadingNation » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:30 pm

For those of you who aced this question or felt confident in selecting the right answer choice, how did you get around 18 C) ?

I originally picked C) though when I was reviewing it I can see why D) was correct ... However, I still don't completley understand why C) is incorrect ...

For me, the statement about "human food-producing ... " either helped to support Malthus's position (or at least part of it) or as C) suggests, the author meant to suggest that the aforementioned statement helped to support Malthus's position because it seemed to intereact with the statement "Yet, agricultural ... " in a way that tiggered the author's conclusion ... this in spite of the fact taht the 1st sentence clearly states that "human food-producing ... " clashes with (parts of) Malthus's argument ...

Would C) have been correct if it had stated "It is an observation that the argument suggest actually supports part of Malthus's position" ?

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Re: PT 59/Section 2/Question 18

Postby alex_cryp » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:53 pm

I actually picked "c" too, and looking back I too had trouble. Here is what I think: We can infer from the passage based upon, "contrary to Malthus's arguments" that Malthus has argued that human food producing capacity has NOT increased more rapidly than human population. So that claim does not support Malthus' "position", but rather just his conclusion, based on the biodiversity link. I suppose it doesn't really support Malthus' position as a whole b/c that statement would directly negate a premise of Malthus' argument. Tricky. Tricky.

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Re: PT 59/Section 2/Question 18

Postby hellojd » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:32 pm

I missed this too. I actually think part of the reason it's not right is that this is a "what role does ___ play in the argument - the author doesn't care so much that it does or doesn't support Malthus, as much as it serves the purpose to show it won't be true forever.


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Re: PT 59/Section 2/Question 18

Postby zworykin » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:44 pm

C is incorrect because Malthus said "we will reproduce faster than we increase food production and that will lead to overpopulation and death on a massive scale." The statement that our food production has actually outpaced our population growth does not in any way support Malthus's position. The argument shows that it is compatible with the second half of his prediction, but his position is the entire argument, not just a portion of it.

To put it another way, Malthus's "position" is that "we will be doomed to war etc. etc. because we won't increase food production quickly enough." The argument presented is that "we are increasing food production quickly enough after all, but we will still be doomed to war etc. etc. because of a resultant lack of biodiversity." So, Malthus's position was wrong, even though the outcome he predicted will still happen anyway.

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