Question 25

The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.

Brown et al. (2001) suggest that ‘metabolic theory may provide a conceptual foundation for much of ecology just as genetic theory provides a foundation for much of evolutionary biology’. One of the successes of genetic theory is the diversity of theoretical approaches and models that have been developed and applied. A Web of Science (v. 5.9. Thomson Reuters) search on genetic* + theor* + evol* identifies more than 12000 publications between 2005 and 2012. Considering only the 10 most-cited papers within this 12000 publication set, genetic theory can be seen to focus on genome dynamics, phylogenetic inference, game theory and the regulation of gene expression. There is no one fundamental genetic equation, but rather a wide array of genetic models, ranging from simple to complex, with differing inputs and outputs, and divergent areas of application, loosely connected to each other through the shared conceptual foundation of heritable variation.


There are two key points discussed in the passage:

1. The prospect of "metabolic theory" being foundational to the field of ecology; the same as is the case in (2)

2. Genetic theory being the conceptual basis of evolutionary biology {given the diverse and extensive theoretical approaches and models available}. 

Thus, the summary needs to capture both these points. Option B fulfils this requirement.

Option A: is a distorted claim since it is not implied in the passage; the author does not assert that "metabolic theory need not evolve in a similar manner".  

Option C: is again a misinterpretation because the author does not claim that metabolic theory "must" contribute in a similar fashion. Instead, the focus is on the "potential" of this theory.

Option D: is divergent since the author does not discuss the "success" of a theory.

Hence, Option B is the correct answer.

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