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In 1798, economist Thomas Robert Malthus stated in his “Ess

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In 1798, economist Thomas Robert Malthus stated in his “Ess [#permalink] New post 29 May 2017, 06:35
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In 1798, economist Thomas Robert Malthus stated in his “Essay on the Principle of Population” that “population increases in a geometric ratio, while the means of subsistence increases in an arithmetic ratio.” However, Malthus’s dire prediction of a precipitous decline in the world’s population has not come to pass. The miscalculations in what has come to be known as the Malthus Doctrine are partly due to Malthus’s inability to foresee the innovations that allowed vast increases in worldwide wheat production.

In the late nineteenth century, the invention of the tractor staved off a Malthusian disaster. While the first tractors were not particularly powerful, the replacement of animals by machinery meant that land that had been devoted to hay and oats could now be reclaimed for growth of crops for human
consumption.Nevertheless, the Malthusian limit might still have been reached if crop yield had not been increased.

A natural way to increase crop yield is to supply the soil with additional nitrogen. In 1909, chemist Fritz Haber succeeded in combining nitrogen and hydrogen to make ammonia, the white powder version of which, when added to the soil, improves wheat production. Haber nitrogen, however, was not widely used until later in the twentieth century, largely due to farmers’ resistance to spreading an unnatural substance on their crops. Haber’s invention had a further drawback: If applied in incorrect quantities, the wheat crop would grow taller and thicker, eventually toppling over and rotting.

Interestingly, in the late twentieth century the discovery of genetic engineering, which provides a means of increasing rice and maize production, met with equal resistance, this time from the environmental movement. Even without direct genetic engineering, it is likely that science will discover new methods to
improve agricultural production.
According to the passage, which of the following is true about Haber nitrogen?

A) Haber nitrogen is more effective at increasing the yield of wheat crops than that of maize or oat crops.
B) Undesired effects can result from the application of surplus quantities of Haber nitrogen.
C) Haber nitrogen was the first non-naturally occurring substance to be applied to crops as fertilizer.
D) Haber nitrogen may not be effective if applied at an improper time in wheat’s growth cycle.
E) Farmers were quick to adopt Haber nitrogen because it made their

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
B


The passage implies all of the following EXCEPT

A) world food production has kept pace with world population growth
B) technological innovation is one factor that allowed for an increase in crop production
C) farmers are not the only group that has opposed artificial efforts to increase crop yield.
D) the Malthusian limit might well have been reached if new methods to increase crop production had not been found
E) a Malthusian disaster would have been ensured if it were not for the invention of genetic engineering

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
E


Which of the following, if true, would best represent
Malthus’ contention in the first paragraph?

A) By 2040 the world’s population increases marginally, and food production keeps pace with demand.
B) By 2040 the world’s population decreases marginally, and food production outstrips demand.
C) By 2040 the world’s population remains unchanged, and food production declines slightly.
D) By 2040 the world’s population has significantly increased, and food production has increased slightly.
E) By 2040 the world’s population has significantly decreased, and food production has decreased slightly.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
D


Which of the following most nearly means the word precipitous, as used in context?

A) anticipated
B) deliberate
C) gradual
D) risky
E) sharp

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
E


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Re: In 1798, economist Thomas Robert Malthus stated in his “Ess [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2017, 04:57
please explain all the options of 2nd question...
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Re: In 1798, economist Thomas Robert Malthus stated in his “Ess [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2018, 11:58
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malimah wrote:
please explain all the options of 2nd question...




The passage implies all of the following EXCEPT

A) world food production has kept pace with world population growth

...partly due to...innovations that allowed vast increases in worldwide wheat production.


B) technological innovation is one factor that allowed for an increase in crop production

In the late nineteenth century, the invention of the tractor staved off a Malthusian disaster


C) farmers are not the only group that has opposed artificial efforts to increase crop yield.

...largely due to farmers’ resistance...

...met with equal resistance, this time from the environmental movement.


D) the Malthusian limit might well have been reached if new methods to increase crop production had not been found

Nevertheless, the Malthusian limit might still have been reached if crop yield had not been increased.


E) a Malthusian disaster would have been ensured if it were not for the invention of genetic engineering

Even without direct genetic engineering, it is likely that science will discover new methods to
improve agricultural production.



The correct answer is E because the last sentence of the passage directly contradicts the answer choice.
The passage states generic engineering was not necessary to improve agricultural production.

As a hint, if the answer choice makes a strong claim or prediction, it must be supported by the passage.
Even without looking at the last sentence, you can infer from other paragraphs that a Malthusian disaster was already averted before the discovery of genetic engineering.
The second paragraph implies that invention of tractor prevented the Malthusian limit.
The third paragraph that nitrogen also contributed.
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Re: In 1798, economist Thomas Robert Malthus stated in his “Ess [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2018, 15:19
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1. C, D, and E are quickly able to be removed from contention due to being patently incorrect. Between A and B, maize and oats are never compared to the effect on wheat in the passage, so A is incorrect as well. By elimination, B must be correct, even if the passage doesn't specify it needing to be surplus (a fact that would make B possible to be incorrect via another answer being "more correct," something the GRE generally doesn't do).

2. EXCEPT means we are looking for an answer that is either too absolute or clearly false. "would have been ensured" is an absolute, so we will start with assuming its the correct answer and decide quickly if the other ones sound agreeable. A,B, and C we can see are fine pretty quickly just from having read the passage. A because the Malthus limit hasn't been reached, B being a weak comment that is supported by the passage, and C also being a weak comment supported by the passage. D, while similar to E, is effectively a weaker way of saying it while not specifying GE. Therefore, we agree with our initial assumption that that answer is E.

3. This requires either understanding the passage as a whole, which constantly talks about food vs population issues, or knowing what a geometric vs an arithmetic ratio means. Regardless, we come to the conclusion that Malthus believed that populations would increase faster than food supply would, leading to problems. The only answer that coincides with this idea is D.

4. Even if you don't know what the word precipitous means, or what a precipice is, you can still figure out from context that it is a modifier of the word "decline." Even without knowing the word, you should be able to narrow it down to being either a gradual decline or a sharp decline. While you would still effectively be guessing, you can further narrow the answer down to being "sharp" by the fact that the passage refers to it as a DIRE PREDICTION. Therefore, if you know the word precipice, precipitous, or even dire (with further context clues) you should be able to get to the answer of E, sharp.
Re: In 1798, economist Thomas Robert Malthus stated in his “Ess   [#permalink] 25 Sep 2018, 15:19
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