Which one of the following statements about cells is most compatible with the views of late nineteenth–century bioche...

Julie on August 26, 2019

(B) & (E)

Hi LSAT Max, I was wondering if someone could explain these answer choices for me, thanks!

Replies

Irina on August 26, 2019

@Julie,

The passage tells us that biochemists were skeptical of an intricate sell structure/ architecture, arguing that chemical reactions that occur in cytological preparations might create the appearance of such structures. They were also disinterested in the debate over the properties of protoplasm and were interested instead in the more fundamental issues of the chemical nature of protoplasm, especially the newly formulated enzyme theory of life (lines 22-32)

Let's look at the answer choices:

(A) The secret of cell function resides in the structure of the cell.

Incorrect. Biochemists were skeptical of an intricate sell structure.

(B) Only by discovering the chemical composition of protoplasm can the processes of the cell be understood.

Correct. The passage tells us that biochemists were interested in the chemical nature of protoplasm and considered biochemists too ignorant to grasp the basic processes (lines 33-35), hence we can infer that biochemists considered it to be central to understanding the processes of the cell.

(C) Scientific knowledge about the chemical composition of the cell can help to explain behavioral patterns in organisms.

Incorrect. This is out of scope, the passage never talks about behavioral patterns, thus we cannot infer the biochemists' perspective on this issue.

(D) The most important issue to be resolved with regard to the sell is determining the physical characteristics of protoplasm.

Incorrect. The passage tells us biochemists were interested in the chemical nature of protoplasm, not physical characteristics.

(E) The methods of chemistry must be supplemented before a full account of the cell's structures can be made.

Incorrect. Biochemists were skeptical of the whole idea that an intricate cell structure even existed.

Does this help?

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Aaron on March 12, 2021

What is the question asking?

Mazen on February 25 at 08:27PM

Hi Tutor Irena,

You stated that:

"(B) Only by discovering the chemical composition of protoplasm can the processes of the cell be understood.

Correct. The passage tells us that biochemists were interested in the chemical nature of protoplasm and considered biochemists too ignorant to grasp the basic processes (lines 33-35), hence we can infer that biochemists considered it to be central to understanding the processes of the cell."

I do not see how the part that discusses the "ignorance" of the biochemists yields the inference or answer-choice B: "too ignorant to grasp the basic processes (lines 33-35), hence..."

The question refers to a view that is compatible with the biochemists' views as described in the passage. I think it is a stretch to interpret aforementioned portion as the biochemists thinking of themselves as "too ignorant."

They were perceived as such "in general." But using a perception of them described in the passage as evidence supporting answer-choice B as compatible with their own (meaning the biochemists') views?

I read the question as inference from biochemists's views, not an inference from the passage take about the perception of the biochemists views in general.

Adding the part about the "too ignorant to grasp..." confused my understanding of your explanation. I feel that lines 29 through 31 were sufficient to yield answer-choice B.

Could you please explain your answer further? How do biochemists "in general, judged to be too ignorant of chemistry to grasp the basic processes" be a premise to help establish that it would be compatible with their views answer-choice B?

Mazen on February 25 at 08:48PM

Hi Tutor Irina (forgive me I misspelled your name):

Also, I rewrote my post above because its phraseology is awkward:

Could you please explain in your answer specifically how do biochemists "in general, judged to be too ignorant of chemistry to grasp the basic processes" be a premise to help establish answer-choice B as an inference compatible with their views?

You stated that:

"(B) Only by discovering the chemical composition of protoplasm can the processes of the cell be understood.

Correct. The passage tells us that biochemists were interested in the chemical nature of protoplasm and considered biochemists too ignorant to grasp the basic processes (lines 33-35), hence we can infer that biochemists considered it to be central to understanding the processes of the cell."

I do not see how the part that discusses the "ignorance" yields the inference that is answer-choice B.

I understood the question to be asking for an inference from the biochemists' views, not an inference from the author's view of the biochemists.

Furthermore, the author states that the biochemists "in general, were too ignorant of chemistry to grasp the basic processes." I find it discongruous that the chemists would concede that perception of them and then use it to establish the condition of "discovering the composition of protoplasm" as being necessary for the probability of understanding the processes of the cell."

In retrospect, how does the quoted part of the biochemists being too ignorant be used as textual support for inferring answer-choice B? And aren't lines 29 through 31 sufficient for such an inference?