GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: CHP

Some modern anthropologists hold that biological evolution has shaped not only human morphology but also human behavior. The role those anthropologists ascribe to evolution is not of dictating the details of human behavior but one of imposing constraints— ways of feeling, thinking, and acting that ―come naturally‖ in archetypal situations in any culture. Our frailties‖ –emotions and motives such as rage, fear, greed, gluttony, joy, lust, love—may be a very mixed assortment, but they share at least one immediate quality: we are, as we say, ―in the grip‖ of them. And thus they give us our sense of constraints.

Unhappily, some of those frailties—our need for ever-increasing security among them—are presently maladaptive. Yet beneath the overlay of cultural detail, they, too, are said to be biological in direction, and therefore as natural to us as are our appendixes. We would need to comprehend thoroughly their adaptive origins in order to understand how badly they guide us now. And we might then begin to resist their pressure.

Question List: 1 2

Which of the following most probably provides an appropriate analogy from human morphology for the "details" versus "constraints" distinction made in the passage in relation to human behavior?

  • A The ability of most people to see all the colors of the visible spectrum as against most people's inability to name any but the primary colors
  • B The ability of even the least fortunate people to show compassion as against people's inability to mask their feelings completely
  • C The ability of some people to dive to great depths as against most people's inability to swim long distances
  • D The psychological profile of those people who are able to delay gratification as against people's inability to control their lives completely
  • E The greater lung capacity of mountain peoples that helps them live in oxygen-poor air as against people's inability to fly without special apparatus

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