English Quiz

Directions (1-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words are given bold to help you to locate them while answering some of the questions.

Until now, discovery was often considered the main goal of medical science. But nowadays discovery is almost too easy.
Anyone with a little funding and a few biological specimens in a refrigerator can make thousands of postulated "discoveries."

Indeed, the number of research questions that we can pose is increasing exponentially.

Medical kits the size of a thumbnail can measure a million different biological factors on an individual with an infinitesimal amount of blood. A million research questions can be asked on the spot. But even with proper statistical testing, many tens of thousands of these biological factors may seem to be important due to mere chance. Only a handful of them really will be. The vast majority of these initial research claims would yield only spurious findings.

So the main issue nowadays is to validate "discoveries" by replicating them under different settings. Several different teams of researchers need to see them "work" again and again using common rules. Moreover, all the teams should agree not to select and report only the data that seem most impressive. With selective reporting we would end up with a long list of all the false discoveries made across all research teams, with only a few true findings buried among this pile of non-replicated waste.
In fact, empirical data suggest the significance of this danger. In a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association published in July 2005, I showed that refutation is very common, even for the most prestigious research findings. I examined the 45 clinical research findings that had received the greatest recognition in the scientific world, as documented by the number of times other scientists had cited them over the last 15 years.

Even with the most robust types of research—for example, randomized clinical trials—one of four of these results had already been found to be wrong or potentially exaggerated within a few years after publication. For epidemiology (e.g., studies on vitamins, diet, or hormones in terms of their association with health outcomes in the general population), four-fifths of the most prestigious findings were rapidly contradicted. For molecular research, in the absence of extensive replication, the refutation rate may occasionally exceed 99%.
But we should not panic. It is to be expected that the majority of research findings are rapidly contradicted and refuted; indeed, it is part of how progress of science occurs. However, we need to adapt to this situation. Instead of taking scientific evidence as dogma, we should consider it as tentative information that should be ascribed a level of credibility.
There is nothing wrong with disseminating scientific information that has a credibility of 10%, or even 1%. Sometimes, this will be the best evidence we have. But we should get used to understanding that some research findings have very low credibility, while others may be more likely to stand the test of time. Scientists themselves may be able to ascribe these levels of credibility to their own work in fairness, if they describe in detail what they set out to do, and how they did it.
Science is a noble pursuit, but genuine progress in scientific research is not easy to achieve. It requires a lot of time, continuous effort, uncompromising integrity, appropriate funding and material support, and unwavering commitment. Proposed scientific advances require careful validation and replication by independent scientists. Scientific knowledge is never final, but it evolves continuously. This is part of the great fascination of science, and it fosters liberty of thought.
While these principles are probably well known to serious scientists, they are often forgotten when scientific information is disseminated. Our society is awash with inflated information, which is inherent to efforts in many human activities—entertainment, law courts, stock markets, politics, and sports, to name but a few—to gain greater public attention in the framework of mass civilization.
But it would be a damaging to expect science to "show off' in this way. Exaggeration contradicts the key hallmarks of scientific' reasoning: critical thinking and careful appraisal of the evidence. 

Q1. According to the writer, which of the following are the problems in medical research today?
A. Tens of thousands of important biological factors are dismissed as unimportant.
B. The majority of initial research claims yield spurious results.
C. There is too much replication of scientific discoveries.
D. True findings are highlighted through selective reporting.
(a) All of the above 
(b) A and B
(c) C and D 
(d) A, C, and D
(e) B and D
S1. Ans.(b) 
Sol. A and B are true. The last part of the second paragraph supports A and B. Even with proper statistical testing many tens of thousands of biological factor seem unimportant. But very few are actually so. Also vast majority of the claims yield spurious results. C is contrary to the passage. C is incorrect because, the writer is lamenting about the lack of replication to make a finding credible. D is incorrect because the writer states that true findings are not highlighted and lost because of selective reporting.
Q2. The writer quotes the refutation rates of various research findings most probably in order to...
(a) Point out the lack of replication of clinical research findings.
(b) Show that most of the research taking place today is meant to misguide.
(c) Highlight the dangers of selective reporting.
(d) Highlight how easy scientific 'discovery' is today.
(e) a and b.
S2. Ans.(e) 
Sol. (a) and (b). The writer first mentions that the main "issue nowadays is to validate "discoveries" by replicating ..." and then states that most of the research highlighted through selective reporting were quickly refuted wrong at times. The result is that the few true findings are lost in the clutter. Hence (a) and (b) are highlighted by the writer.
Q3. It can be inferred from the passage that the credibility of scientific evidence can be ascertained by...
(a) Realizing the fact that all scientific evidence is tentative.
(b) Trying to understand the purpose and methods used to get the evidence.
(c) Ascertaining how well they can stand the test of time.
(d) Finding out how rapidly such evidence is contradicted and refuted.
(e) Trying to find out the refutation rate.
S3. Ans.(b) 
Sol. The last sentence of the relevant paragraph beginning, "There is nothing wrong ..." states that scientists themselves can ascertain the credibility if they describe their purpose and methodology. If the scientists are able to ascribe credibility that way, we can safely assume that generally it is possible to ascertain the credibility by relating the evidence to its purpose and methodology.
Q4. The main purpose of the passage is to...
(a) Describe how the vast majority of research today has become spurious and how science has moved 
away from its primary objectives of analysis and appraisal of evidence.
(b) Argue the need for better awareness on the part of the scientists the tendency to invite attention to 
themselves rather than to objectively disseminate scientific information.
(c) Describe the functions of scientific enquiry as critical thinking and appraisal of evidence and to exhort 
the scientists to not forget the noble pursuit of science.
(d) To point out the contemporary problems plaguing medical research and to explain the evolving nature 
of knowledge in the field of medical science.
(e) Describe the pitfalls in medical research and to exhort scientists to understand the spirit of science as enquiry and not renown.
S4. Ans.(e) 
Sol. Most of the part of the passage is about the ills prevalent in the field of medical research. Then the writer discusses the primary objectives of scientific enquiry in order that scientists (medical researchers included) understand the basic nature and purpose of scientific enquiry and how they have to be different from entertainment, law courts, stock markets etc. Option (e) corresponds to this idea without distortion. Option (a) is wrong because it talks about "research" in general which is too general for the answer. This passage is largely devoted to medical science and medical research. Options (b) and (c) are also similarly flawed in being too general without the mention of medical science or research—they do not capture the main purpose of this passage. Option (d) is closes to the answer option, but loses out because of the second part " evolving nature of knowledge in the field of medical science." This is said about all sciences and particularly about medical science. Hence the best option is (e).
Q5. The writer is most likely to treat which of the following as true and new scientific evidence?
(a) Findings that are tentative but are convincingly true because of lack of evidence to the contrary.
(b) Findings that are uncertain but not merely chance; independents scientists have been unable refute it.
(c) Findings that have become final after careful validation and replication by several independent scientists.
(d) Findings that are tentative but credible because the purpose for which the evidence is gathered and the methodology of gathering evidence are spelt out.
(e) Findings that are tentative but have a very high credibility and have not been reported selectively.
S5. Ans.(b) 
Sol. The writer's views about true scientific enquiry and knowledge are spread through the passage. He considers science as a true enquiry and the evidence can be even 1% credible but needs to be constantly replicated, refuted or validated by independent scientists. Scientific knowledge is never final; it has to be constantly evolving. The evidence though uncertain is important and not merely a chance occurrence. Option (b) best supports this description of what the writer would consider new evidence. Option (b) is close but lacks precision about ' convincingly true' and rather than highlighting the available evidence talks of lack of evidence to the contrary. Option (c) is eliminated and science can never be final. Option (d) lacks the depth of scientific enquiry because it stresses the methodology alone. Option (e) stresses on the reporting and is inconsequential to scientific enquiry.
Q6. Which of the following is most nearly similar in meaning of the word postulated as used in the passage?
(a) postpone
(b) deny
(c) hypothesize
(d) belie
(e) disavow
S6. Ans.(c)
Sol. postulated -suggest or assume the existence, fact, or truth of (something) as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or belief,(in ecclesiastical law) nominate or elect (someone) to an ecclesiastical office subject to the sanction of a higher authority.
Q7. Which of the following is most nearly similar in meaning of the word spurious as used in the passage?
(a) supports 
(b) authentic
(c) start
(d) genuine
(e) fake
S7. Ans.(e)
Sol. spurious-not being what it purports to be; false or fake,(of a line of reasoning) apparently but not actually valid.
Q8. Which of the following is most nearly opposite in meaning of the word dogma as used in the passage?
(a) unbelief
(b) doctrine
(c) rule
(d) tenet
(e) gospel
S8. Ans.(a)
Sol. dogma-a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.
synonyms-teaching, belief, conviction, tenet, principle, ethic, precept, maxim, article of faith, canon, law, rule;
Q9. Which of the following is most nearly similar in meaning of the word ascribe as used in the passage?
(a) describe
(b) attribute
(c) arrive
(d) fortune
(e) crucial
S9. Ans.(b)
Sol. ascribe- regard something as being due to (a cause),regard a text, quotation, or work of art as being produced by or belonging to (a particular person or period),regard a quality as belonging to
Q10. Which of the following is most nearly opposite in meaning of the word disseminated as used in the passage?
(a) disagree
(b) angle
(c) conceal
(d) publish
(e) annunciate

S10. Ans.(c)
Sol. disseminated-spread (something, especially information) widely.
Synonyms- spread, circulate, distribute, disperse, diffuse, proclaim, promulgate, propagate, publicize, communicate.
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