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Quiz Begins Here

Q #1
:

Verbal Question

Read carefully the passages given below and answer the questions.
How should reasonable people react to the hype and controversy over global warming? Judging by recent headlines, you might think we are already doomed. Newspapers have been quick to link extreme weather events, ranging from floods in Britain and Mozambique to hurricanes in Central America, directly to global warming. Greens say that worse will ensue if governments do not act. Many politicians have duly jumped on the bandwagon, citing recent disasters as a reason for speeding up action on the Kyoto treaty on climate change that commits rich countries to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. Yet, hotheaded attempts to link specific weather disasters to the greenhouse effect are scientific bunk. The correct approach is to coolly assess the science of climate change before taking action. Unfortunately, climate modeling is still in its infancy, and for most of the past decade it has raised as many questions as it has answered. Now, however, the picture is getting clearer. There will never be consensus, but the balance of the evidence suggests that global warming is indeed happening; that much of it has recently been man-made; and that there is a risk of potentially disastrous consequences. Even the normally stolid insurance industry is getting excited. Insurers reckon that weather disasters have cost roughly $400 billion over the past decade and that the damage is likely only to increase. The time has come to accept that global warming is a credible enough threat to require a public-policy response. But what, exactly? At first blush, the Kyoto treaty seems to offer a good way forward. It is a global treaty: it would be foolish to deal with this most global of problems in any other way. It sets a long-term framework that requires frequent updating and revision, rather like the post-war process of trade liberalization. That is sensible because climate change will be at least a 100-year problem, and so will require a treaty with institutions and mechanisms that endure. The big question over Kyoto remains its cost. How much insurance is worth buying now against an uncertain, but possibly devastating, future threat? And the answer lies in a clear-headed assessment of benefits and costs. The case for doing something has increased during the three years since Kyoto was signed. Yet it also remains true that all answers will be easier if economic growth is meanwhile sustained: stopping the world while the problem is dealt with is not a sensible option, given that resources to deal with it would then become steadily scarcer. That points to two general conclusions about how to implement Kyoto. The simplest is that countries should search out no regrets measures that are beneficial in their own right as well as reducing emissions -- such as scrapping coal subsidies, liberalizing energy markets and cutting farm support. The second is that implementation should use market-friendly measures that minimize the costs and risks of slowing economic growth.

The arguments center on this second point, and in particular on the use of emissions trading and carbon sinks (such as forests) that could lower the cost of reaching the Kyoto targets. The Americans want unrestricted trading and generous definitions of what constitutes a sink, despite scientific uncertainties about this point. The Europeans want strict curbs on both. The common thread to these issues is that the Europeans are taking a moralistic stance that the lions share of reductions should come from real emissions cuts at home. The implication is that cuts made via market mechanisms such as trading, or the clever use of carbon sinks, are somehow unworthy. Yet the planet is impervious to where or how cuts are made, so long as the stock of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is reduced. Not that the American stance is beyond reproach. Though negotiators try to paint themselves as principled, market minded folk, the real explanation for their position is pragmatic. They know there is no chance that America will meet its target through cuts in domestic emissions. That is why they see sinks and trading as saviors. And, though they are on firm ground in insisting on unrestricted trading, they should agree to conservative definitions of sinks until scientists understand them better. The proper aim of the negotiations should thus be to turn Kyoto into a treaty that bites, but with full flexibility over how countries should reach the targets that they have signed up to. And the guiding principle must be to err on the side of flexibility. A rigid deal that imposes heavy costs on economies would not only be undesirable in its own right; it would risk scuppering the Kyoto process altogether, leaving the atmosphere far worse off. Onerous short-term targets that force expensive adaptation will come at the expense of jobs, wages and other public goods, including measures to improve the environment. The pain could be particularly acute in the developing world. The best Kyoto deal would harness the engine of economic growth and the ingenuity of entrepreneurs, not bet against them. Not only would that ensure that the treaty was implemented at minimum cost. It would also help to create new markets and provide incentives for businesses to innovate.

Why does the author say that attempts to link specific weather disasters to the greenhouse effect are scientific junk?

  1. because they could be happening due to unrelated causes
  2. because there is no scientific evidence to suggest that global warming is actually happening
  3. because it is mainly media hype
  4. cannot say

+

Explanation: The author says that we should coolly assess the science of global warming. This implies that scientific evidence may not link the weather disturbances in different parts of the world, so that they could be happening due to unrelated causes.

Q #2
:

Verbal Question

Read carefully the passages given below and answer the questions. How should reasonable people react to the hype and controversy over global warming? Judging by recent headlines, you might think we are already doomed. Newspapers have been quick to link extreme weather events, ranging from floods in Britain and Mozambique to hurricanes in Central America, directly to global warming. Greens say that worse will ensue if governments do not act. Many politicians have duly jumped on the bandwagon, citing recent disasters as a reason for speeding up action on the Kyoto treaty on climate change that commits rich countries to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. Yet, hotheaded attempts to link specific weather disasters to the greenhouse effect are scientific bunk. The correct approach is to coolly assess the science of climate change before taking action. Unfortunately, climate modeling is still in its infancy, and for most of the past decade it has raised as many questions as it has answered. Now, however, the picture is getting clearer. There will never be consensus, but the balance of the evidence suggests that global warming is indeed happening; that much of it has recently been man-made; and that there is a risk of potentially disastrous consequences. Even the normally stolid insurance industry is getting excited. Insurers reckon that weather disasters have cost roughly $400 billion over the past decade and that the damage is likely only to increase. The time has come to accept that global warming is a credible enough threat to require a public-policy response. But what, exactly? At first blush, the Kyoto treaty seems to offer a good way forward. It is a global treaty: it would be foolish to deal with this most global of problems in any other way. It sets a long-term framework that requires frequent updating and revision, rather like the post-war process of trade liberalization. That is sensible because climate change will be at least a 100-year problem, and so will require a treaty with institutions and mechanisms that endure. The big question over Kyoto remains its cost. How much insurance is worth buying now against an uncertain, but possibly devastating, future threat? And the answer lies in a clear-headed assessment of benefits and costs. The case for doing something has increased during the three years since Kyoto was signed. Yet it also remains true that all answers will be easier if economic growth is meanwhile sustained: stopping the world while the problem is dealt with is not a sensible option, given that resources to deal with it would then become steadily scarcer. That points to two general conclusions about how to implement Kyoto. The simplest is that countries should search out no regrets measures that are beneficial in their own right as well as reducing emissions -- such as scrapping coal subsidies, liberalizing energy markets and cutting farm support. The second is that implementation should use market-friendly measures that minimize the costs and risks of slowing economic growth.

The arguments center on this second point, and in particular on the use of emissions trading and carbon sinks (such as forests) that could lower the cost of reaching the Kyoto targets. The Americans want unrestricted trading and generous definitions of what constitutes a sink, despite scientific uncertainties about this point. The Europeans want strict curbs on both. The common thread to these issues is that the Europeans are taking a moralistic stance that the lions share of reductions should come from real emissions cuts at home. The implication is that cuts made via market mechanisms such as trading, or the clever use of carbon sinks, are somehow unworthy. Yet the planet is impervious to where or how cuts are made, so long as the stock of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is reduced. Not that the American stance is beyond reproach. Though negotiators try to paint themselves as principled, market minded folk, the real explanation for their position is pragmatic. They know there is no chance that America will meet its target through cuts in domestic emissions. That is why they see sinks and trading as saviors. And, though they are on firm ground in insisting on unrestricted trading, they should agree to conservative definitions of sinks until scientists understand them better. The proper aim of the negotiations should thus be to turn Kyoto into a treaty that bites, but with full flexibility over how countries should reach the targets that they have signed up to. And the guiding principle must be to err on the side of flexibility. A rigid deal that imposes heavy costs on economies would not only be undesirable in its own right; it would risk scuppering the Kyoto process altogether, leaving the atmosphere far worse off. Onerous short-term targets that force expensive adaptation will come at the expense of jobs, wages and other public goods, including measures to improve the environment. The pain could be particularly acute in the developing world. The best Kyoto deal would harness the engine of economic growth and the ingenuity of entrepreneurs, not bet against them. Not only would that ensure that the treaty was implemented at minimum cost. It would also help to create new markets and provide incentives for businesses to innovate.

What is the point about carbon “sinks” that the Americans are insisting on?

  1. that countries be allowed to trade their “sinks” instead of cutting down emissions
  2. that market forces be used to minimize the costs and risks of slowing economic growth
  3. that scientists still do not understand what constitutes a sink
  4. none of the above

+

Explanation: Can be inferred from this line, They know there is no chance that America will meet its target through cuts in domestic emissions. That is why they see sinks and trading as saviors

Q #3
:

Verbal Question

Read carefully the passages given below and answer the questions.
The Union governments position vis-a-vis the United Nations conference on racial and related discrimination world-wide seems to be the following: discuss race please, not caste; caste is our very own and not at all as bad as you think. The gross hypocrisy of that position has been lucidly underscored by Kancha Ilaiah. Explicitly, the world community is to be cheated out of considering the matter on the technicality that caste is not, as a concept, tantamount to a racial category. Internally, however, allowing the issue to be put on agenda at the said conference would, we are particularly admonished, damage the countrys image. Somehow, Indias spiritual beliefs elbow out concrete actualities. Inverted representations, as we know, have often been deployed in human histories as balm for the forsakenreligion being most persistent of such inversions. Yet, we would humbly submit that if globalising our markets are thought good for the national pocket, globalising our social inequities might not be so bad for the mass of our people. After all, racism was as uniquely institutionalised in South Africa as caste discrimination has been within our society; why then cant we permit the world community to express itself on the latter with a fraction of the zeal with which, through the years, we pronounced on the former? As to the technicality about whether or not caste is admissible into an agenda about race (that the conference is also about related discriminations tends to be forgotten), a reputed sociologist has recently argued that where race is a biological category caste is a social one. Having earlier fiercely opposed implementation of the Mandal Commission Report, the said sociologist is at least to be complemented now for admitting, however tangentially, that caste discrimination is a reality, although in his view, incompatible with racial discrimination. One would like quickly to offer the hypothesis that biology, in important ways that affect the lives of many millions, is in itself perhaps a social construction. But let us look at the matter in another way.

If it is agreedas per the position today at which anthropological and allied scientific determinations restthat the entire race of homo-sapiens derived from an originally black African female (called Eve) then one is hard put to understand how, on some subsequent ground, ontological distinctions are to be drawn either between races or castes. Let us also underline the distinction between the supposition that we are all Gods children and the rather more substantiated argument about our descent from Eve, lest both positions are thought to be equally diversionary. It then stands to reason that all subsequent distinctions are, in modern parlance, constructed ones, and, like all ideological constructions, attributable to changing equations between knowledge and power among human communities through contested histories here, there, and elsewhere. This line of thought receives, thankfully, extremely consequential buttress from the findings of the Human Genome Project. Contrary to earlier (chiefly 19th Century colonial) persuasions on the subject of race, as well as, one might add, the somewhat infamous Jensen offering in the 20th century from America, those findings deny genetic difference between races. If anything, they suggest that environmental factors impinge on gene-function, as a dialectic seems to unfold between nature and culture. It would thus seem that biology as the constitution of pigmentation enters the picture first only as a part of that dialectic. Taken together, the originally mother stipulation and the Genome findings ought indeed to furnish ground for human equality across the board, as well as yield policy initiatives towards equitable material dispensations aimed at building a global order where, in Hegels stirring formulation, only the rational constitutes the right. Such, sadly, is not the case as everyday fresh arbitrary grounds for discrimination are constructed in the interests of sectional dominance.

According to the author, inverted representations as balm for the forsaken:
+

Explanation: Inverted representations have often been employed as balm for the forsaken (directly stated).

Q #4
:

Verbal Question

Read carefully the passages given below and answer the questions. The Union governments position vis-a-vis the United Nations conference on racial and related discrimination world-wide seems to be the following: discuss race please, not caste; caste is our very own and not at all as bad as you think. The gross hypocrisy of that position has been lucidly underscored by Kancha Ilaiah. Explicitly, the world community is to be cheated out of considering the matter on the technicality that caste is not, as a concept, tantamount to a racial category. Internally, however, allowing the issue to be put on agenda at the said conference would, we are particularly admonished, damage the countrys image. Somehow, Indias spiritual beliefs elbow out concrete actualities. Inverted representations, as we know, have often been deployed in human histories as balm for the forsakenreligion being most persistent of such inversions. Yet, we would humbly submit that if globalising our markets are thought good for the national pocket, globalising our social inequities might not be so bad for the mass of our people. After all, racism was as uniquely institutionalised in South Africa as caste discrimination has been within our society; why then cant we permit the world community to express itself on the latter with a fraction of the zeal with which, through the years, we pronounced on the former? As to the technicality about whether or not caste is admissible into an agenda about race (that the conference is also about related discriminations tends to be forgotten), a reputed sociologist has recently argued that where race is a biological category caste is a social one. Having earlier fiercely opposed implementation of the Mandal Commission Report, the said sociologist is at least to be complemented now for admitting, however tangentially, that caste discrimination is a reality, although in his view, incompatible with racial discrimination. One would like quickly to offer the hypothesis that biology, in important ways that affect the lives of many millions, is in itself perhaps a social construction. But let us look at the matter in another way.

If it is agreedas per the position today at which anthropological and allied scientific determinations restthat the entire race of homo-sapiens derived from an originally black African female (called Eve) then one is hard put to understand how, on some subsequent ground, ontological distinctions are to be drawn either between races or castes. Let us also underline the distinction between the supposition that we are all Gods children and the rather more substantiated argument about our descent from Eve, lest both positions are thought to be equally diversionary. It then stands to reason that all subsequent distinctions are, in modern parlance, constructed ones, and, like all ideological constructions, attributable to changing equations between knowledge and power among human communities through contested histories here, there, and elsewhere. This line of thought receives, thankfully, extremely consequential buttress from the findings of the Human Genome Project. Contrary to earlier (chiefly 19th Century colonial) persuasions on the subject of race, as well as, one might add, the somewhat infamous Jensen offering in the 20th century from America, those findings deny genetic difference between races. If anything, they suggest that environmental factors impinge on gene-function, as a dialectic seems to unfold between nature and culture. It would thus seem that biology as the constitution of pigmentation enters the picture first only as a part of that dialectic. Taken together, the originally mother stipulation and the Genome findings ought indeed to furnish ground for human equality across the board, as well as yield policy initiatives towards equitable material dispensations aimed at building a global order where, in Hegels stirring formulation, only the rational constitutes the right. Such, sadly, is not the case as everyday fresh arbitrary grounds for discrimination are constructed in the interests of sectional dominance.

An important message in the passage, if one accepts a dialectic between nature and culture, is that:
+

Explanation: Second paragraphall subsequent distinctions are constructed ones.

Q #5
:

Verbal Question

Read carefully the passages given below and answer the questions. It was one of their medical observations: that human bone is one of the few tissues that can re-grow after injury. Hippocrates knew that and hoped that power could be harnessed for healing. Now, 2400 years later, reports from commercial and university laboratories suggest that scientists have begun to do just that: to grow bones and cartilage virtually at will. This is exciting because we are mimicking the natural process of development, said Dr. A. HariReddi, a professor of biology and orthopedics at the John Hopkins medical center in Baltimore, who has worked on bone growth for more than thirty years. We are following the same steps that occur in the first week after conception. The success is one of several in the new field of tissue engineering, the growing of spare parts for the body. The new power to grow human tissues and organs is a result of years of basic research followed by rapid progress in molecular biology and genetic engineering. Among the tissues now grown successfully, at least in the laboratory, are skins, bone cartilage, liver, kidney and teeth. The new work on bones is among the most advanced, and researchers say that the new treatment will soon be available for a variety of conditions in which the body needs to grow new bones but cannot. The key to the recent success is the family of molecules known as BMPs, for bone morphogenic proteins. They are made when an injury occurs and set off the formation of new bone and cartilage by homing in on certain immature or unspecialized cells, and inducing them to proliferate and become one of several specialized tissues, like bone and cartilage. All this was learned over the last few decades, as scientists labored to find the magical molecules that would produce natural bone growth. They pulverized bones and removed the calcium from the resulting powder, working with the remaining material to isolate the factor that was causing bone growth.

But the work for many years went like a snail, Reddi said. Then in recent years, with the new techniques of molecular biology, scientists were able to isolate both the proteins responsible for bone growth and the genes responsible for producing them. Roughly, 20 protein molecules have been identified that could induce bone growth. Each of the molecules also seems to have the power to stimulate other to begin growing. Reddi says that he and other scientists had found that the genes that made the BMPs were both ancient and general. Even fruit flies, which have no bones, use them to set off growth of specialized tissues like wings. These are not just bone signals but are general signals to initiate differentiation in many tissues, he said, referring to a wide variety of tissues ranging from kidneys to brain to gonads. What we are working with, is the bodys own signaling molecules that cells tell to go ahead, you be bone or you be muscle, said Dr. Charles Cohen, chief scientist at Creative Biomolecules, one of the companies working on making products from bone proteins. There are two steps, he said. The BMP signal to the cells says, Go! he said. Then information the cells get from the neighborhood where they live tells them to be bone or cartilage. Over the last five or six years, dozens of papers have shown that researchers can reliably stimulate natural bone growth in mice, rabbits, dogs and monkeys. Now the first tests from human experiments are coming in, and they show success as well, researchers say. Two small studies in humans were presented at scientific meetings last month by representatives of the Genetic Institute Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts. One was a study at four universities in which twelve dental patients with bone loss in their upper jaws underwent oral surgery in which BMP-2 and a sponge made of artificially produced collagen, a central component of skin and bone, were implanted in the area where was none, and all went on to get implants. The standard treatment for all these cases would have involved surgery of the mouth and also surgery of the harvest bone from the hip for implantation in the mouth. Such procedures are frequently successful, but they are expensive and lengthy and simply cutting down on surgery reduces risk. We are talking about an outpatient procedure versus the current treatment which involves hospital stay and surgery, said Dr. Gerald Riedel, at the bone protein project.

What does Dr Cohen mean when he uses the terms ‘you be bone’ or ‘you be muscle’?

  1. the molecules actually tell the cells that they have a choice of being either 
  2. the cells can either become bone or muscle 
  3. there is a wide variety of tissues in the human body 
  4. none of the above.

+

Explanation: Evident from the quote itself.