LSAT Reading Comprehension 2
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Please answer the following question about passage 2:


Which of the following most accurately describes the main purpose of this passage?

Since Charles Darwin first introduced the concept of evolution in his 1859 book, The Origin of Species, Christian fundamentalists have rejected this scientific theory, contending that it conflicts with a literal reading of the Bible. This Biblical-based tenet regarding the earth's origin is commonly known as "creationism," and its followers, "creationists," have developed various strategies that endeavor to remove the teaching of evolution from public schools and incorporate creationism into science curricula.

This debate between evolution and creationism began in the nineteenth century, and gained national attention when the religious movement known as fundamentalism clashed with the rising acceptance of Darwinism. Since the central premises of fundamentalism are a literal interpretation of the Bible and an inerrancy of Scripture, fundamentalists viewed these scientific developments as direct attacks on the Bible and its teachings regarding the origin of humans. Fundamentalists further feared that acceptance of Darwinism would cause a decline in traditional values, and this concern had a pervasive effect on the teaching of biology in public schools. Three states went so far as to enact laws prohibiting the teaching of evolution in public schools, and local school boards and teachers across the nation used textbooks that avoided the topic entirely. For at the time, this practice was largely accepted, and it almost appeared that the evolution/creationism debate had been quieted.

In 1925, John Scopes was arrested for teaching evolution in a public high school in Dayton, Tennessee, in violation of a Tennessee statute making the teaching of evolution in schools a criminal offense. More specifically, the statute prohibited public school teachers from presenting any theory that denied the story of the divine creation of humans as taught in the Bible and, instead, maintained that humans have descended from a lower order of animals. The Tennessee Supreme Court held that Tennessee had the power as an employer, speaking through legislation, to determine the action of its teacher employees. Thus, the Tennessee Supreme Court found that because Tennessee has the power to authorize and enforce contracts for public services, it may require that those services be rendered in a manner consistent with the public policy of the state (i.e., certain curricula in schools).

Although Scopes appeared to be a victory for the fundamentalists, it seems to have been the last clear ruling in favor of the religious movement. Enactment of anti-evolution legislation ceased in 1928; however, creationists shifted their concentration to local communities and successfully exerted pressure on school boards, publishers, and teachers alike to omit evolution from the curriculum for over thirty years. As fundamentalists began to place less emphasis on the battle against evolution and became preoccupied with combating new evils that arose after World War II, the federal government began clamoring for increased emphasis on evolutionary theory in schools. Advancements in technology, new scientific discoveries in the 1960s, such as the launching of Sputnik, and greater government interest in improving the United States's strength and achievement in scientific fields created a new demand for the development of biology texts that incorporated the theory of evolution. This new emphasis on science produced a resurgence of fundamentalist concern that the teaching of evolution would create a loss of traditional societal values.

Now, over seventy-five years after the infamous “Scopes Monkey Trial,” the controversial confrontation over science, religion, law, and education can still be heard in legislative halls, courtrooms, schools, and homes across the nation. Whether the incorporation of certain religiously motivated theories of the earth's origin into public schools violates the fundamental separation between church and state is a question that continues to plague this country today.

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Use our LSAT Practice Tests (updated for 2020) to achieve your best score. The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a standardized test used in the admissions process for most law schools in the United States and Canada. While some law schools do accept scores from tests other than the LSAT, the LSAT is the only test accepted by all ABA-accredited law schools in the United States, as well as all Canadian common-law law schools.

The LSAT was developed in order to assess the necessary skills needed in order to be successful in law school, including:

    • Reading Comprehension
    • Analytical Reasoning
    • Logical Reasoning

Performance on The LSAT Test is vital for any student wishing to attend an ABA-accredited law school in the United States, or any common-law law school in Canada. To prepare for the LSAT, try our free LSAT practice tests. For more serious preparation, see our review of the best LSAT prep courses

LSAT TEST CONTENT DESCRIPTION

The LSAT includes four seperate scored multiple-choice sections, and one unscored writing sample. Each scored section is comprised entirely of multiple-choice questions, and candidates are given 35 minutes to complete each section. The included sections are as follows:

  • Logical Reasoning Section 1
  • Logical Reasoning Section 2
  • Analytical Reasoning
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing Sample

Be sure you are utilizing all available LSAT practice tests in order to ensure you are familiar with each different section of the LSAT. The LSAT test is comprised of the following subtests:

LOGICAL REASONING SECTION 1 (24-26 ITEMS, 35 MINUTES)

The Logical Reasoning Section 1 portion of the LSAT is designed to assess the candidates ability to analyze and evaluate arguments and assess validity. Candidates will be required to determine an argument’s strength or weakness, as well as what causes the argument to be strong or weak.

This section includes 24-26 argument-based multiple choice questions, and candidates are given 35 minutes to complete it.

LOGICAL REASONING SECTION 2 (24-26 ITEMS, 35 MINUTES)

The Logical Reasoning Section 2 portion of the LSAT is identical to the Logical Reasoning Section 1 portion, just with different questions. Like its predecessor, it is designed to assess the candidates ability to analyze and evaluate arguments and assess validity. Candidates will be required to determine an argument’s strength or weakness, as well as what causes the argument to be strong or weak.

This section includes 24-26 argument-based multiple choice questions, and candidates are given 35 minutes to complete it.

ANALYTICAL REASONING SECTION (23-24 ITEMS, 35 MINUTES)

The Analytical Reasoning Section of the LSAT is often referred to as the “Logic Games” portion of the test. Candidates must use deductive reasoning and find structure within a set of organized data in order to demonstrate their skills in basic logic. Some skills required in order to be successful on this section of the test may include:

  • Matching Skills
  • Sequencing Skills
  • Both Matching and Sequencing Skills

This section includes 23-24 multiple choice questions which are based on the included “Logic Games” passages. Candidates are given 35 minutes to complete it.

READING COMPREHENSION SECTION (26-28 ITEMS, 35 MINUTES)

The Reading Comprehension Section of the LSAT assesses a candidate’s ability to read and comprehend a given scholarly passage. Some skills required in order to be successful on this section of the test may include:

  • Identifying Main Idea and Details
  • Drawing Inferences
  • Making Extrapolations

This section includes 26-28 multiple choice questions which are based on the included scholarly passages. Candidates are given 35 minutes to complete it.

WRITING SAMPLE (1 ESSAY, 35 MINUTES)

The Writing Sample Section of the LSAT is not graded, but is sent to law schools and may be used in their admission process. On this section, candidates are asked to argue one particular position over another. Candidates will be expected to not only support their own position, but also to knock down the opposing position.

This section includes 1 essay question in which the writer will support one position while knocking down the other. Candidates are given 35 minutes to complete it.

It is important to use the appropriate LSAT practice tests and study materials in order to be prepared for each section of the LSAT.