The author would be most likely to agree with which one of the following statements?

Mireya on November 5 at 05:12PM

Explanation

I don’t understand why this is C. Can I get a breakdown?

1 Reply

Irina on November 5 at 06:04PM

@mluna,

The author tells us that Indus Valley civilization likely relocated due to catastrophic environmental reasons, such as severe drought or a major earthquake (lines 51-60). The question asks which of the following statements the author would most likely agree with. Since it is a type of a must be true question, we need to be careful to avoid any unwarranted inferences. Let's look at the answer choices:

(A) Because the region is prone to earthquakes, it is most likely that the earthquake destroyed the civilization.
Incorrect. Earthquake is simply cited as one of the possible environmental reasons for civilization decline, nowhere does the author suggest that the earthquake is the most likely reason.

(B) Only a disaster as catastrophic as an earthquake would cause the demise.
Incorrect. (B) sounds like an even stronger version of (A). The author hypothesizes that earthquake might have been the reason or a severe drought, of which there is archeological evidence. Nowhere does he say that only an earthquake could cause the demise.

(C) Archeologists' understanding of the decline of the civilization would benefit from searching for the signs of earthquake damage.
Correct. The author hypothesis that earthquake could have been one of the reasons for the decline, but we cannot speculate about the exact impact of the earthquake without more evidence. The evidence of an earthquake or lack thereof could shed more light on true causes of the decline and aid archeologists' understanding.

(D) The cities should have been better prepared for the possibility of an earthquake
Incorrect. This is entirely outside the scope of the passage, the author never discusses the level of cities' preparedness for any natural disasters.

(E) The demise was most likely caused by catastrophic alteration of the course of the major rivers.
Incorrect. (E) is similar to (A) - the author never indicates that he has a preference for one theory over the other, he simply argues that some sort of environmental catastrophe caused the demise.

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