57 LR Two Question 7
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But even if they died (which (E) does not say), it still doesn't explain why the growth rate slowed down. To do as you've suggested, the answer would have to say:
1. The infected plankton died.
2. There were more dying plankton than new plankton.
3. Why there were fewer new plankton.
(C) tells us why—if they use the resources and you take those resources away, then you'd have less growth than you would otherwise. That's an explanation!
I initially read the discrepancy as -- how can it be that they 'expected the population to increase when viruses were removed' + 'but the population decreased when viruses were removed'. I am still confused why C is correct.
Based on my thoughts, C doesn't answer the first part of the disparity. It doesn't explain why 'plankton were expected to increase when the viruses were removed.'
In C - Wouldn't they EXPECT the population to decrease if the virus' were removed based on this info? I can see why the second part is explained in this answer choice (why the population decreased).
1. This particular question has only asked us to explain the result, not to reconcile that result with the scientists' expectations. That makes this question a little weird (though it's important to note that, even phrased the way it is, I'd normally expect an answer that does in fact exactly what you want it to do here).
2. I agree that this answer is not completely satisfying. Still, it's a pretty convincing explanation for the question "Why did the population get smaller instead of larger?". Which is in its way pretty standard. I mean to say that the only way there's any paradox here is if you assume that viruses are bad for plankton. In that way, this passage is very, very much like most other Resolution passages. And the answer operates in predictible fashion when viewed through this lens: it explains the "paradox" by pointing out that the assumption is false. Viruses are (indirectly) good for plankton.