Creating a database of all the plant species in the scientific record has proved to be no easy task. For centuries, b...

megmcdermott on October 19, 2019


Can someone please explain why D is the correct answer? Thank you!

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Irina on October 19, 2019


Let's look at the stimulus and see what inferences can we make.

The stimulus tells us that for centuries botanists have been collecting and naming plants without realizing that many were in fact already named. Using DNA analysis, botanists have shown that varieties of plants long thought to belong to the same species actually belong to different species.

These facts demonstrate that creating a database of all plant species in the scientific record is no easy task, i.e. because separate names exact for the same species and because a single name exists for two separate species prior to DNA analysis.

Let's look at the answer choices:

(A) Most of the duplicates and omissions among plant names have yet to be cleared up.

Incorrect. We cannot conclude that this is false based on the information in the passage. We are told the reasons for duplicates and omissions but we have no additional information about the current status of the database.

(B) An accurate database of all plant species in the scientific record can serve as an aid to botanists in their work.

Incorrect. This statement is out of scope of the stimulus. We have no information about whether botanists use this database in their work.

(C) Duplicates and omissions in the scientific record also occur in other fields.

Incorrect. This statement is also out of scope of the stimulus, we are only given information about botany. We cannot infer anything about other fields.

(D) Botanists have no techniques for determining whether distinct plant species have been given distinct names.

Correct. The stimulus tells us that by using DNA analysis, botanists can determine whether they are dealing with two distinct plant species and can determine whether distinct plant species have been erroneously given the same name. We can thus conclude that this statement is false.

i(E) A person who consults the record looking only one of a plant's names may miss available information.

Incorrect. We have no information about how the database is organized. It is possible that a complete record is available under any known plant name or it is possible that this statement is true. Since we cannot make either inference, (E) is incorrect.

Let me know if this makes sense and if you have any further questions.