It can be inferred from the passage that in the late nineteenth century the debate over the structural nature of prot...

DanielDePasquale on October 14, 2018


can you please show where the answer can be found in the passage?

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Kanyin on July 4, 2019

Yes, can you please explain where this can be traced to in the passage. I've reread the entire paragraph and still can't pin point this

I'm assuming because the correct answer is that the debate was between biochemists that they are a select group of biochemists. However, there is no precedence for this in the passage. The use of many here confuses rather than clears this up

Victoria on July 4, 2019

Hi @DanielDePasquale and @Kanyin,

The passage starts out by presenting a general overview of how scientific disciplines are often related to one another.

The "thesis discipline" focuses on "discovery and classification of phenomena" with the goals of "offering holistic explanations emphasizing pattern and form" and "using existing theory to explain the widest possible range of phenomena."

The antidiscipline focuses on the "units of construction" and believes that "the discipline can be reformulated in terms of the issues and explanations of the antidiscipline."

The passage then applies this concept of the thesis discipline and antidiscipline to biochemistry and cytology, respectively. This is part of what makes this question tricky as we have to compare the first and second paragraphs and apply an abstract explanation to two concrete fields of study.

Cytology focuses on the cells, or "units of construction," and is, therefore, the antidiscipline.

Biochemistry is the thesis discipline as it focuses on "chemical reactions that...might create the appearance of such structures" (a focus on pattern and form) and is interested in "the more 'fundamental' issues of the chemical nature of protoplasm, especially the newly formulated enzyme theory of life" (focusing on using existing theory to explain phenomena).

The question stem reads: "it can be inferred from the passage that in the late nineteenth century the debate over the structural nature of protoplasm (lines 25-29) was most likely carried on..."

The debate in question is over "whether protoplasm, the complex of living material within a cell, is homogeneous, networklike, granular, or foamlike" (lines 26-29).

As this debate is surrounding the cell and the units of its construction and we know from lines 17 to 19 that "researchers in cell biology found mounting evidence of an intricate cell architecture," we can infer that this debate was most likely carried on among cytologists. This is also supported by lines 21 to 26 which tell us that "many biochemists...stood apart from [this] debate." Therefore, A is the correct answer choice.

Hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any further questions.