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Homework Help: Biodiversity and Conservation

  1. Aug 24, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    It is sure that there is loss of species, is it possible for the vice-versa condition?

    a) yes, it is a must
    b) yes
    c) possible
    d) doubtful
    e) none of these

    2. The attempt at a solution
    I thought the answer was option (a) so as to maintain the balance in nature.

    But my teacher told the answer was option (d). He explained by giving an exampe of an imaginary family.

    He asked us to consider a family: parents and 2 children. One day, the parents will die and the 2 children will eventually have children continuing the family tree. But if the 2 children happened to be sterile, or if they met with an accident resulting in death, the family will come to an end.

    So he said there is no guarantee that a new species have to be formed. Thus, the answer is option (d): doubtful.

    But can't the answer be (c): possible. Aren't we looking at negative side when we say "doubtful" and the positive side when we say "possible". Is there any further explanation that supports my teacher's answer?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I suspect he means you to understand that a speciation event is not only "not certain" but very rare.

    But you'd think that out of all of nature, that some new species appears somewhere would be certain wouldn't you?

    "It is sure there is loss of species..." eg. Extinction can happen - it happened before. By the same token - we can be sure that there has been the reverse. But is it happening now?

    I think it is a poor question.
    I don't think the example illustrates the intended point: just because there is a chance for a family to die out does not mean that there is little chance of a new species.
  4. Aug 24, 2012 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Not only question is poor, answers are not better.
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