If you look out from an empty field into a dark sky, you will get the impression that you are standing on a flat plate, enclosed by a giant dome. Depth perception fails us for the distant objects we see in the sky. This creates the appearance that all of the stars have the same distance. The stars all appear to move together across the sky during the night, rising in the east and setting in the west, as if they are affixed to the inside of the dome.
Because of this phenomenon, many ancient civilizations believed that a dome really did enclose the Earth. Only a few centuries ago astronomers realized that the stars are actually very far away, scattered throughout the Milky Way Galaxy, rather than attached to the inside of a vast sphere. The old idea remains useful, however. The concept of the celestial sphere provides a simple way of thinking about the appearance of the stars from Earth without the complication of a realistic model of the universe.
|Which of the following are consistent with a principle elucidated upon in the passage above?|
|The American colonists were less interested in maple syrup than in granular sugar. The pure, white, crystallized product of sugar cane was still an expensive luxury, imported from plantations in the West Indies. Maple sugar offered an accessible and affordable substitute.?These colonists, out on the imperial periphery, wanted to demonstrate that their fledgling society was just as sophisticated and elegant as that of England. They took the concentrated maple sap and poured it into conical molds, refining it into white sugar-loaves like those produced in Britain from cane syrup.?Maple sugar, a distinctively American product, was touted as the equal of the sugar served in the most elegant Old World salons. The clearest syrups and whitest sugars, which betrayed the least hint of their rustic origins, commanded premium prices.|
|Which of the following is best supported by the passage?|
Demotic Greek (language of the people) is the modern vernacular form of the Greek language, and refers particularly to the form of the language that evolved naturally from ancient Greek, in opposition to the artificially archaic Katharevousa, which was the official standard until 1976. The two complemented each other in a typical example of diglossia, or the existence of two forms of a language (usually a "high" and a "low") employed by the same speaker depending on the social context, until the resolution of the Greek language question in favor of Demotic.
Demotic is often thought to be the same as the modern Greek language, but these two terms are not completely synonymous. While Demotic is a term applied to the naturally evolved colloquial language of the Greeks, the modern Greek language of today is more like a fusion of Demotic and Katharevousa; it can be viewed as a variety of Demotic which has been enriched by educated elements. Therefore, it is not wrong to call the spoken language of today Demotic, though such a terminology ignores the fact that modern Greek contains - especially in a written or official form - numerous words, grammatical forms and phonetical features that did not exist in colloquial speech and only entered the language through its archaic variety. Additionally, even the most archaic forms of Katharevousa were never thought of as ancient Greek, but were always called modern Greek, so that the phrase modern Greek applies to Demotic, Standard Modern Greek and even Katharevousa.
|Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?|
More capacious than ponderous, the most recent incarnation in a line of Melville biographies, Philbrick`s"Moby Dick"(a barefaced titular homage to Melville`s iconic novel on a white whale) has the wild and unpredictable energy of the great white whale itself, more than enough to heave its significance out of what Melville called "the universal cannibalism of the sea"and into the light.
According to Philbrick, Melville, in his rightly lionized novel,"Moby Dick",challenged the form of the novel decades before James Joyce, and a century before Thomas Pynchon or David Foster Wallace. Calling for tools befitting the ambition of his task - "Give me a condor`s quill! Give me Vesuvius`s crater for an ink stand!"- Melville substituted dialogue and stage direction for a chapter`s worth of prose. He halted the action to include a parody of the scientific classification of whales, a treatise on the whale as represented in art, a meditation on the complexity of rope, whatever snagged his attention.
Reporting the exact day and time of his writing in a parenthetical aside, he"pulled back the fictive curtain and inserted a seemingly irrelevant glimpse of himself in the act of composition,"the moment Philbrick identifies as his favorite in the novel. Melville may not have called this playfulness metafiction, but he defied strictures that shaped the work of his contemporaries.
|Which of the following does the passage NOT suggest?|
Researchers, investigating the link between daily coffee consumption and learning, claim that subjects who consumed one cup of coffee a day for one week (the equivalent of 50 mg per day) exhibited improvements in declarative memory. Furthermore, the study revealed that such improvements were longer-lasting than those witnessed in a control group served decaffeinated coffee (decaffeinated contains negligible amounts of caffeine). After a week of learning a list of facts, the subjects who consumed one cup of coffee were able to recall these facts with significantly more accuracy.
While daily coffee consumption may aid in the process of forming a greater number of short-term memories, and increase the likelihood that these memories will be stored in long-term memory, the study glosses over an important fact. Many exhibit sensitivities to caffeine, including headaches (both migraine and non-migraine), sleeplessness, heightened anxiety and any number of factors that, when working either alone or in tandem, may actually lead to a decrease in the observed link between caffeine and learning. Nonetheless, despite the fact that the study represents a random sampling-and thus any number of subjects can exhibit any number of reactions to caffeine-if enough subjects continue to display signs of improvements in learning, then this result would not be inconsistent with the study`s findings. Still, until the researchers either release more details of this study, or subsequent studies are conducted, the extent to which those with caffeine sensitivity influenced the observed link between coffee consumption and memory will not be fully known.
|Regarding coffee`s effectiveness on memory amongst those who do not display "sensitivities to caffeine,"the author assumes that|
That some dinosaurs could fly has long been established. That these very same species may have been able to walk--using their wings no less--has been far more controversial. However, the latest computer simulations suggest that the Pteranodon, a pterosaur with a wingspan of up to 25-feet long, while no rapid runner, was able to walk by retracting its wrists so as to walk on its palms. As to why the Pteranodon did so still remains unanswered.
One theory is that walking allowed it to forage for food on the ground. While this idea is enticing, proponents of this theory have yet to propose a reasonable answer as to what led to such a dramatic change in both physiology and locomotion. Another explanation is that flying was the evolutionary advantage conferred upon these creatures: in times of scarcity, a flying creature has access to a far greater abundance of fauna than does one limited to terrestrial movement.
|Which of the following can be substantiated based on information found in the passage?|
The idea that all mental functions are derived from the brain originated with Hippocrates, but it was largely neglected until the late 18th century, when Franz Gall attempted to link psychology and brain science. Gall took advantage of what was already known about the cerebral cortex. He was aware that it was bilaterally symmetrical and subdivided into four lobes. However, he found that these four lobes were, by themselves, inadequate to account for the forty-odd distinct psychological functions that psychologists had characterized by 1790. As a result he began to analyze the heads of hundreds of musicians, actors, etc., relating certain bony elevations or depressions under the scalp to the predominant talent or defects of their owners. Based on his skull palpitation, Gall subdivided the cortex into roughly forty regions, each of which served as an organ for a specific mental function.
While Gall`s theory that all mental processes derive from the brain proved to be correct, his methods for localizing specific functions were deeply flawed because they were not based on what we would now consider valid evidence. Gall did not test his ideas empirically by performing autopsies on the brains of patients and correlating damage to specific regions with defects in mental attributes; he distrusted the diseased brain and did not think it could reveal anything about normal behavior. Instead, he developed the notion that as each mental function is used, the particular area of the brain responsible for that function becomes enlarged. Eventually, a given area may become so bulky that it pushes out against the skull and produces a bump on the head.
|The author considers Gall`s methodology to be unscientific for which of the following reasons?|
|The ponerines are the most diverse of all the ant groups and are global in distribution. They cannot really be thought of as sophisticated superorganisms, though, for they tend to live in small colonies of a few tens to a few thousand individuals, with one Australian species living in colonies of just a dozen. Like Stone Age human hunters who specialized in killing woolly mammoths, the ponerines tend to specialize in hunting one or a few kinds of prey. That the great success of the ponerines is achieved despite their primitive social organization presents entomologists with what is known as the ponerine paradox. It lacks a widely accepted solution, but researchers suspect that the ponerines` predilection to seek specialized types of prey limits their colony size (for such specialized hunters cannot gather enough food to develop large and sophisticated colonies). If this is the case, then the very characteristic that helps the ponerines to diversify and survive in a wide variety of environments also prevents them from attaining superorganism status|
|According to the passage, ponerines` tendency to seek specialized prey helps to account for which of the following?|
As to when the first people populated the American subcontinent is hotly debated. Until recently, the Clovis people, based on evidence found in New Mexico, were thought to have been the first to have arrived, some 13,000 years ago. Yet evidence gathered from other sites suggest the Americas had been settled at least 1,000 years prior to the Clovis. The"Clovis first" idea, nonetheless, was treated as gospel, backed by supporters who, at least initially, outright discounted any claims that suggested precedence by non-Clovis people. While such a stance smacked of fanaticism, proponents did have a solid claim: if the Clovis peoples crossed the Bering Strait 13,000 years ago, only after it had become ice-free, how would a people have been able to make a similar trip but over ice?
A recent school of thought, backed by Weber, provides the following answer: pre-Clovis people reached the Americas by relying on a sophisticated maritime culture, which allowed them to take advantage of refugia, or small areas in which aquatic life flourished. Thus they were able to make the long journey by hugging the coast as far south as to what is today British Columbia. Additionally, they were believed to have fashioned a primitive form of crampon so that they would be able to dock in these refugia and avail themselves of the microfauna. Still, such a theory begs the question as to how such a culture developed.
The Solutrean theory has been influential in answering this question, a fact that may seem paradoxical--and startling--to those familiar with its line of reasoning: the Clovis people were actually Solutreans, an ancient seafaring culture along the Iberian peninsula, who had--astoundingly given the time period--crossed into the Americas via the Atlantic ocean. Could not a similar Siberian culture, if not the pre-Clovis themselves, have displayed equal nautical sophistication?
Even if one subscribes to this line of reasoning, the"Clovis first" school still have an objection: proponents of a pre-Clovis people rely solely on the Monte Verde site in Chile, a site so far south that its location begs yet another question: What of the 6,000 miles of coastline between the ice corridor and Monte Verde? Besides remains found in network of caves in Oregon, there has been scant evidence of a pre-Clovis peoples. Nonetheless, Meade and Pizinsky claim that a propitious geologic accident could account for this discrepancy: Monte Verde was located near a peat bog that essentially fossilized the village. Archaeologists uncovered two wooden stakes, which, at one time, were used in twelve huts. Furthermore plant species associated with areas 150 miles away were found, suggesting a trade network. These findings indicate that the Clovis may not have been the first to people the Americas, yet more excavation, both in Monte Verde and along the coast, must be conducted in order to determine the extent of pre-Clovis settlements in the Americas.
|It can be most reasonably inferred from the passage that in regard to the manner in which the Monte Verde village was preserved that|
In Don Giovanni, what is perhaps Mozart`s best-known opera, there exist two distinct endings, a phenomenon not entirely unknown during the composer`s time, but one that invites the obvious question: Why did Mozart decide to include alternate endings for Don Giovanni, when he did not do the same with his other famous operas, Die Zauberfl?te and Le Nozze di Figaro. Another question, and one not so obvious, is: Why was Mozart himself uncertain as to which of the two endings to choose, as is evidenced in his correspondence with Lorenzo Da Ponte, the opera`s librettist?
A common answer is to treat both these questions as one: Mozart was uncertain as to which ending to provide, so he wrote both endings. Such a reply ignores an important consideration: Why did Mozart decide to provide these specific endings? Libard provides a reasonable answer: The traditional ending-in the sense that it is the one that was popular during the composer`s day, and continues to be so today-is clearly more palatable for audiences. The hero, Don Giovanni, is chided for his libertine ways and then the cast appears in tutti, bellowing a merry chorus as the curtain falls. The audience is left having a light dose of entertainment, which, after all, was the aim of many of the operas of Mozart`s time. Fine, but then what of the tragic ending? Libard-trading the sensible for the pat-offers little more than that such an ending reflects the political climate of the day.
This alternate ending-Don Giovanni is suddenly cast down to Hell, and instead of being redeemed, the hero emerges from the underworld chastened, and the curtain falls-was interpreted by the critics of the day as heavy-handed didacticism. While such a view is not entirely without merit-Mozart ultimately aimed to impart some lesson for his incorrigible Lothario-it still leaves the questioned unanswered as to why two endings, and what exactly did Mozart aim to communicate that could not be housed in a traditional ending.
One answer offered recently by musicologist Gustavo Lucien is that Mozart balked at including a traditional ending, feeling that it was incongruous with the serious tone of most of the opera. Indeed, Don Giovanni falls more under the rubric of opera serie than opera buffo, the latter typically featuring light endings in which the entire cast sings in an upbeat, major key. Da Ponte, however, insisted that forthwith casting Don Giovanni to Hell, and offering him scant opportunity for redemption, would likely leave the audience feeling ambivalent. Such an ending would also suggest that the librettist had been unable to think of a tidy resolution. Da Ponte, then, was not so much against a tragic ending as he was an abrupt tragic ending. Perhaps, even Mozart was unsure of what to do with Don Giovanni once he was in Hell, and may have even been working out a different ending, using the light ending as a stopgap till he achieved such an aim. In that case the fate of Don Giovanni can best be answered by the fact that Mozart-through debts, ill-health, and the composer`s obligation to compose works for his patrons –was unable to return to a work he had tabled.
|The author of the passage would take exception to all of the following statements regarding Libard`s response to the existence of dual endings to Don Giovanni EXCEPT?|