Friday, May 24, 2024
Banking QuizEnglish

English: Reading Comprehension Set 6

Direction(1-5): Read the following passage and answer the questions that follows.

Paragraph 1: In its early days, socialism was a revolutionary movement of which the object was the liberation of the wage-earning classes and the establishment of freedom and justice. The passage from capitalism to the new regime was to be sudden and violent: capitalists were to be expropriated without compensation, and their power was not to be replaced by any new authority. Gradually a change came over the spirit of socialism. In France, socialists became members of the government, and made and unmade parliamentary majorities. In Germany, social democracy grew so strong that it became impossible for it to resist the temptation to barter away some of its intransigeance in return for government recognition of its claims. In England, the Fabians taught the advantage of reform as against revolution, and of conciliatory bargaining as against irreconcilable antagonism.

Paragraph 2: The method of gradual reform has many merits as compared to the method of revolution, and I have no wish to preach revolution. But gradual reform has certain dangers, to wit, the ownership or control of businesses hitherto in private hands, and by encouraging legislative interference for the benefit of various sections of the wage-earning classes. I think it is at least doubtful whether such measures do anything at all to contribute toward the ideals which inspired the early socialists and still inspire the great majority of those who advocate some form of socialism.

Paragraph 3: Let us take as an illustration such a measure as state purchase of railways. This is a typical object of state socialism, thoroughly practicable, already achieved in many countries, and clearly the sort of step that must be taken in any piecemeal approach to complete collectivism. Yet I see no reason to believe that any real advance toward democracy, freedom, or economic justice is achieved when a state takes over the railways after full compensation to the shareholders.

Paragraph 4: Economic justice demands a diminution, if not a total abolition, of the proportion of the national income which goes to the recipients of rent and interest. But when the holders of railway shares are given government stock to replace their shares, they are given the prospect of an income in perpetuity equal to what they might reasonably expect to have derived from their shares. Unless there is reason to expect a great increase in the earnings of railways, the whole operation does nothing to alter the distribution of wealth. This could only be effected if the present owners were expropriated, or paid less than the market value, or given a mere life-interest as compensation. When full value is given, economic justice is not advanced in any degree.

Paragraph 5: There is equally little advance toward freedom. The men employed on the railway have no more voice than they had before in the management of the railway, or in the wages and conditions of work. Instead of having to fight the directors, with the possibility of an appeal to the government, they now have to fight the government directly; and experience does not lead to the view that a government department has any special tenderness toward the claims of labor. If they strike, they have to contend against the whole organized power of the state, which they can only do successfully if they happen to have a strong public opinion on their side. In view of the influence which the state can always exercise on the press, public opinion is likely to be biased against them, particularly when a nominally progressive government is in power. There will no longer be the possibility of divergences between the policies of different railways. Railway men in England derived advantages for many years from the comparatively liberal policy of the North Eastern Railway, which they were able to use as an argument for a similar policy elsewhere. Such possibilities are excluded by the dead uniformity of state administration.

  1. Which of the following is the best title for the passage?
    A) Pitfalls of socialism
    B) Pitfalls of Gradual Reform towards Socialism
    C) Socialism and Economic Justice
    D) Socialism and Democracy
    View Answer
    Option A
    Explanation
    :
    Option B) is slight distortion, though major part of the passage is discussing this, because the writer first states, the method of gradual reform has many merits as compared to the method of revolution, and I have no wish to preach revolution. Hence he deals with socialism in general rather than reform alone. Option C) is too broad- It would be a different essay if these ideas are discussed. Option D) also has the same problem.
  2. It can be inferred from the passage that the Fabians, in order to achieve socialism….
    A) preferred reform against revolution, and conciliatory bargaining against antagonism .
    B) preferred reform against revolution, and expropriation of property as against conciliatory bargaining.
    C) preferred revolution against reform, and conciliatory bargaining against expropriation
    D) preferred revolution against reform, and a sudden and violent change to socialism
    View Answer
    Option A
    Explanation
    : In England, the principal activities of the Fabian society consisted in the furtherance of its goal of socialism through the education of the public along socialist lines by means of meetings, lectures, discussion groups, conferences and summer schools; carrying out research into political, economic and social problems; and publishing books, pamphlets, and periodicals. This is in line with what is stated in Option A)
  3. Which of the following reasons is/are advanced by the writer as the demerits of gradual reform?
    (i) State ownership or control of business after full compensation to share holders
    (ii) Expropration of shares
    (iii) The government machinery becomes a formidable adversary for the workers.
    (iv) The uniformity of the state administration
    A) (i), (ii) and (iii)
    B) (i), (iii) and (iv)
    C) Only (ii)
    D) Only (iii)
    View Answer
    Option C
    Explanation
    : (ii) or expropriation is not an aspect of gradual reform, hence not a demerit either. The others are stated in the passage at different places.
  4. It is the writers belief that a piecemeal approach to collectivism does not…….
    A) ensure economic justice
    B) further the cause of democracy
    C) help realize the ideals of early socialists
    D) All of the above
    View Answer
    Option D
    Explanation
    : Economic justice demands a diminution… etc. justifies A). The workers situation justifies B). C) is clearly in I Think it is at least doubtful whether such measures do anything at all to contribute towards the ideals which inspired the early socialists and still inspire the great majority of those who advocates some form of socialism.
  5. But gradual reform has certain dangers, to wit, the ownership or control… to wit in the context means which of the following?
    A) to come to know
    B) with humour
    C) to reason
    D) namely
    View Answer
    Option D
    Explanation
    : to wit (adverb) is an idiom and it means namely or that is to say

Direction (6-10): Read the following passage and answer the questions that follows.

Paragraph 1: Many public-policy decisions are based on implicit assumptions about “human nature,” and it is currently popular to speculate about how evolution might have shaped human behavior and psychology. But this raises some important questions: are humans continuing to evolve – and, if so, is our basic biological nature changing – or has modern culture stopped evolution? For some traits, we do not have to speculate – we can measure and compare on the basis of studies covering thousands of individuals over several generations. Such studies have not yet been done on most of the traits where speculation is popular, but they have been done on some traits of medical interest. What have we learned?

Paragraph 2: Scientists are taking two approaches. In one, they sequence the DNA of particular genes in many individuals with or without some determined health condition and look for differences between the two groups. This genetic approach measures effects that have accumulated over hundreds to thousands of generations, and the message is clear: humans have evolved in these respects fairly recently, some in one direction, some in another, depending on their environment and other conditions encountered. From this approach, we have learned, for example, that the ability to digest milk as adults evolved within the last 10,000 years – and several times – in cultures that domesticated sheep, goats, or cattle. Similar studies have taught us that sensitivity to alcohol consumption and resistance to diseases like malaria and leprosy also evolved within the last several thousand years.

Paragraph 3: Some scientists, myself included, have taken a different approach. Instead of looking for changes in genes that take many generations to accumulate until they can be detected, we have measured natural selection directly. This method can reveal selection in action, working over periods of time as short as one generation – so that it can answer the question of whether modern culture has stopped evolution. The message of this approach is also clear: natural selection continues to operate in modern cultures. Whether it will operate consistently enough for a long enough time to produce significant genetic change can be answered only by future generations. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see in what direction natural selection is starting to shape us. Some of the answers are surprising. We measured natural selection operating on women in Framingham, Massachusetts, where a long-term medical study on heart disease produced the data that we used. The women were born between 1892 and 1956. We found significant selection and projected that if it continued for ten generations, the women would evolve to be about two centimeters shorter and have their first child about five months earlier. This is a surprising result, because women in developed countries have become taller thanks to better nutrition, and are having children later in life for many reasons, some of them cultural. So what is going on here? Three things:

Paragraph 4: First, we know that giving birth for the first time when younger carries a cost in increased infant mortality, but modern medicine and hygiene have strikingly reduced infant mortality, reducing the cost of younger age at first birth. We therefore expect a shift toward earlier reproduction, because the costs previously associated with doing so have disappeared – exactly what we found in Framingham. And we expect those younger women to be shorter simply because they have had less time to grow. In five other cases, scientists found women in developed countries maturing earlier, in two of them at smaller size (in the other three cases, size was not measured). It is too early to say that this is a general trend, but right now, all signs point that way. Second, we measured the effects of natural selection by noting that women who were shorter and first gave birth when younger had more children. But genes are only one of many factors that influence height and age at first birth. Personal decisions, nutrition, income level, education, and religious affiliation all enter the mix. When we estimated how much of the variation among individuals could be attributed to biology, the answer was less than 5%. That left 95% of the variation to be explained by the effects of culture and individual decisions. But, while the effects of biology on the traits that we measured are relatively small for humans living in complex modern cultures, even small effects, when repeated consistently, will accumulate. Third, traits like these are always the result of interactions between genes and environment. A woman could have genes that would tend to make her taller than average but end up shorter than average if she had been poorly nourished as a child. 

Paragraph 5: If evolution took its steady course and changed the genetic basis of height and age at first birth, we might not see women ten generations later who were shorter and matured earlier, for the effects of nutrition and culture could more than compensate for the genetic change. As a colleague of mine likes to put it, one good school-lunch program could be enough to obscure the biological effects. Even when we focus on a simple physical trait like height, natural selection in humans turns out to be a multifaceted and nuanced process. Similar studies on human behavior and psychology, where causation is more complex, remain beyond our grasp. In such cases, silence may be wiser than speculation.

  1. “One good school-lunch program could be enough to obscure the biological effects”. Which of the following best supports this arguments?
    A) Evolutionary biologists estimate the contribution of genes to variation in height among individuals is not more than 5%
    B) Evolutionary biologists estimate the contribution of culture and personal decision to variation in height among individuals to be about 5%
    C) Evolutionary scientists attribute the variations in height among individuals almost completely to the genes as opposed to cultural and psychological factors.
    D) The women who gave birth first at a young age were found to be taller than those who gave birth first when they were older
    View Answer
    Option A
    Explanation: First, the sentence means that cultural/environmental factors (example: good school-lunch or nutrition) can obscure biological effects. The option has to support this argument; on analysis Option A) states the same thing- that genes do not play any significant role (not more than 5%) in the variation of height. The other factors that impact the height- could be a good school lunch! Once this is understood, analysis of other options will show all of them, by implication, weaken the argument.
  2. The writer is most likely to agree with which of the following with respect to the “ the currently popular speculation about how evolution might have shaped human behavior and phychology”?
    A) Studies have more or less established the casual relationship between evolution and human behavior and phychology
    B) Studies have more or less accurately established the direct causal relationship between genes and evolution notwithstanding modern culture.
    C) It is beyond ourcapacity to comprehend how evolution might have influenced our behavior and psychology as the casual relationship between the two is extremely complex.
    D) Genetic studies established that ten generations later women will be shorter and will have their first child earlier.
    View Answer
    Option C
    Explanation: The first sentence and the last few sentences of the passage make option 3 completely correct. “Many public-policy decisions are based on implicit assumptions about “human nature” and it is currently popular to speculate about how evolution might have shaped human behavior and psycology.”And”…studies on human behavior and psychology, where causation is more complex, remain beyond our grasp. In such case, silence may be wiser than speculations. “ support Option C) . Option A) is contrary to Option C) Option B) is incorrect in “notwithstanding modern culture”. Option D) is incorrect because ‘genetic studies’ did not establish this (3rd paragraph)
  3. According to the passage, what was proved by the study undertaken on women in Framingham, Massachusetts?
    A) We are still eveoving
    B) Modern culture significantly alters the way we evolve.
    C) Modern culture neutralizes the operation of biological evolution.
    D) There is hardly any interaction between genes and environment.
    View Answer
    Option A
    Explanation: This almost clearly stated in the passage just prior to the writer citing study. “The message of this approach is also clear: natural selection continues to operate in modern cultures,”- it is then that the writer cites the study.
  4. The writer of this passage is most likely a scholar in
    A) Anthropology
    B) Anthropobiology
    C) Ecology
    D) Cosmology
    View Answer
    Option A
    Explanation: Anthropology means: the science that delas with the origins, physical and cultural development, biological characteristics and social customs and beliefs of humankind.
  5. Which of the following is an example for the interaction between genes and environment?
    A) A woman who has her first birth very young is shorter than average because she has genes that would make her short.
    B) A woman who has genes that would make her taller is shorter than average because of malnutrition.
    C) Women in developed countries are taller thanks to better nutrition, and are having chidren later in life.
    D) A female infant in a poor country lives longer because of modern medicine and hygiene specially provided to her.
    View Answer
    Option B
    Explanation: In this example, the environment has arrested development which would have the natural effect of genes. The oter options do not show this relationship.

 

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