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Complete Question Explanation

The correct answer choice is (D).

Answer choice (A):

Answer choice (B):

Answer choice (C):

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice.

Answer choice (E):

This explanation is still in progress. Please post any questions below!
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I just want to make sure that my approach and analysis of this question is correct.

When I read the question I eliminated A, C, E. I was left with choices B and D.

I think B is incorrect because the theory described by the investigators is not really considered "radical." The investigator's theory is not extremely different from the new theory of self organized criticality.

I was hesitant to choose D because I didn't think the passage expressed that the self-organized criticality is superior. Then I became more convinced when on the third paragraph I saw the lines "During the past few decades, however, it has become increasingly apparent..." Also the author doesn't offer any criticism of either theory but I think the author is more accepting of the self organized criticality by dedicating paragraphs 4 and 5 to providing examples explaining the theory.

Is this analysis correct? Am I missing anything? Please let me know. Thank you!

For my reference PT 16 1995 RC q21
 Robert Carroll
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I like the analysis. Answer choice (B) fails because the passage is doing more than describing a theory, it's showing how it's superior to the analysis of the second paragraph. "Radical" is apparently unsupported as well.

Answer choice (D) is definitely right, and the passage is much more supportive of the new theory and much more critical of the old theory than you give it credit for. The language you quoted shows that the author thinks the old approach misunderstands some systems, so that the new theory is decidedly better.

Your analysis was good and you proved the right answer with it, so way to go!

Robert Carroll
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Hi, I could use some help with why D is a better answer than E. I was between these two. While I understand the logic behind why D is a good answer, I don't understand why E is not equally as good.

In the first paragraph, the author says "These explanations may well be correct. But systems as large and complicated as the Earth’s crust or the stock market can break down not only under the force of a mighty blow but also at the drop of a pin. In a large interactive system, a minor event can start a chain reaction that leads to a catastrophe."

I think this gives evidence to say that the author (by outlining the new approach later in the passage) is advocating for the reconsideration of that original explanation he/she mentioned in the first paragraph.

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Hi Chris!

The author is advocating for a new approach over the traditional approach but that's not exactly what answer choice (E) is describing. Answer choice (E) states: "advocating the reconsideration of an unfashionable explanation." The traditional approach is not "unfashionable"--in fact it is still the more mainstream approach which is why the author is arguing for a new approach. Reconsidering an unfashionable explanation would be describing a situation in which an explanation was deemed unfashionable and the author said, "no wait, look at this explanation again, it's better than you initially thought!" But that doesn't describe what the author is doing in this passage. The author is not asking people to reconsider an explanation that they previously dismissed. The author is asking people to consider a new approach over the traditional one.

Hope this helps!


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