Which one of the following best states the main idea of the passage?

Torre on August 11, 2021

Why not E?

To me, E is similar to the correct answer, just seems a little more specific to the topic at hand. Was that my mistake? Having my answer choice be too specific and not general enough?

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on September 4, 2021

Hey, not a tutor so please take with a grain of salt.

E) says: "Evolutionary game theory, adapted from classical game theory, is currently used by scientists to predict the behavior of spiders in site selection."

I think E wrong for a number of reasons: first, it's not supported by the texts, and second, it's missing a core concept of the argument made by the passage.

1st Reason:
First, as far as we know, only Susan Riechert is arguing that it can be used, which would make "scientists" singular.
Second, saying the theory is "being used to predict" is a stretch. Only one prediction has been made and there's no mention of other predictions having been made. The linguistic analogy would be kind of like saying "I'm a regular goer to the gym" just after having only worked out once.

2nd Reason:
I think taking a step back and looking at what each paragraph is doing makes it pretty clear too that the point isn't about the prediction on spiders because like you said, "it's too specific."

P1) Introduce traditional species-specific model and example.
P2, pt.1) Counter-example to species-specific model and introduction for Susan's argument for Evolutionary Game Theory as a viable alternative explanation.
P2, pt.2) Background of Evolutionary Game Theory by way of contrast to Classical Game Theory.
P3) Prediction on spider behavior that can be used to test validity of Evolutionary Game Theory.

So the main idea of the passage is to say "Maybe Evolutionary Game Theory can be a good alternative to the traditional model" rather than "Evolutionary Game Theory is being used to predict spider behavior". The latter is missing the point that Evolutionary Game Theory is meant to make up for the deficiencies in the traditional model in explaining contest-behavior.

Hope this helps!

on September 4, 2021

By the way, just noting that the 1st reasons are my way of identifying the question itself is kind of fishy. Then the second reason is really the main point of why this answer choice is wrong.