Critical Reasoning- Darwin's Theory of Evolution

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Critical Reasoning- Darwin's Theory of Evolution

Contrary to popular belief, the idea of evolution didn’t originate with Darwin, but was around for decades before he came along. His accomplishment was to come up with a workable scheme by which it likely occurred. Darwin, it must be said, had unusual exposure to the enormous diversity of life on earth for a man living in his time, through his voyage on the Beagle. However, his eureka moment came not through studying biology, but by reading the paper of an economist, Thomas Malthus, which showed that populations grow faster than the resources to sustain them. It was then that Darwin realized that only those best adapted to their environment would survive and pass on their traits to offspring.

What is the main idea of this paragraph?

  1. It is impossible to come up with big insights without crossing domains.
  2. The idea of evolution did not originate with Darwin.
  3. It is Malthus, not Darwin, who should be given credit for the theory of evolution.
  4. It was the connections that Darwin uncovered more than the facts themselves that made his work important.
  5.  

    • Correct Answer
      Choice D

    Detailed Solution

    The paragraph given starts by stating that Darwin was not the first to come up with the idea of evolution, but the first to come up with a theory of how it possibly occurred. Though he had a good knowledge of biology and exposure to the huge biodiversity on Earth through his voyage of the Beagle, his eureka moment came not when he was immersed in the subject, but as he read the paper of an economist, Malthus and applied it to evolution.

    Option A - The given paragraph does argue that Darwin’s eureka moment came when he crossed domains. However, option A rules that it is impossible to come up with big insights without crossing domains. The word “impossible” is too strong; nothing in the paragraph given justifies the use of this word. Option A can hence be ruled out.

    Option B- That the idea of evolution did not originate with Darwin is already mentioned in the paragraph. However, it is not the main idea of the paragraph. Hence option B is ruled out as the answer.

    Option C- We are told that Darwin was inspired by Malthus’ paper. However, the paragraph does not suggest that Malthus should be given credit for the theory of evolution.

    Option D- The paragraph’s main idea is that Darwin’s brilliance was in the connections that he was able to make between Malthus’ theory and the idea of evolution. Option D summarizes the main idea of the paragraph best.

    Correct Answer: Choice (d)



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