- First, find the conclusion and evidence, this will make it easier to find the argument
- Arguments are dependent on evidence to draw conclusions
- Identify the argument and generalize it
- Use the supporting evidence to help, examples should be proving a more generalized take-home message
- Prove your principle
- What is it trying to argue? If you can prove what the principle is arguing, it is likely a good principle
This text is very opinionated and contains some bias from the author. There is not much scientifical backup to what the author says and we are well aware of what side they are taking in this argument. An example of a principle we could take from here is that ‘just because we can, does not mean we should’. Just because we can do all these technological progressions and experiments does not mean we should, and the author argues as to why we should. Now that we have some of the author’s reasoning and ideology in mind, let’s look at the answers.
A Nature will have its own way in the long run.
This is a principle but it is a bit different from what the author is suggesting. The author says we need to stop this interference with natural processes because it will end up changing what is natural and what is not. It may have some benefit (more food or longer life) but we cannot know where it ends and this is where the repercussions come into play. So the fact that we can expect change from meddling with nature, means that nature does not always have its own way in the long run as it can be modified (for better and for worse). Therefore A is incorrect.
B Meddling with nature could only ever end in disaster.
The author does not necessarily say that it will always end with disaster. The author says that it may let us live a bit longer or grow more food, which is certainly not negative. The negative comes from other uses and the consequences of all of this unnatural meddling. Therefore B is wrong because it is too narrow, ‘too only’ suggests that nothing good could come from it but there are at least 2 examples in the text already.
C Science should not progress beyond what is natural.
The author gives examples in the text of different biotechnological advancements and goes on to argue that we should stop these. They said that the question should be ‘could this have happened naturally?’ as to say that if not, it should not be down as it would be a disruption in nature. The author then provides some of the positive advantages of biotechnologies but then refutes them by asking us something along the idea of ‘but it comes at what cost’. This ideology matches that science should not progress beyond what is natural because we cannot imagine the consequences. Therefore this is the correct answer as it provides a general and applicable principle not only applicable to this argument but also much more generally.
D It is time to call a halt on biotechnological advances.
This is more of a conclusion and not a principle. A principle is a more generalized statement than a conclusion, while a conclusion is more based on what is in the text and what the author says, a principle is a more generalized statement that can be applied to more than one scenario. A different text could have the same principle but not necessarily the same conclusion. Therefore D is incorrect.
E Cloning, genetic engineering and selective breeding are not ‘progress’.
This is incorrect and although the author may not enjoy this term for it, this is not the principle. This is a narrow example that introduces the problem which is then developed by the author. To make this more generalized, you could say that: ‘Not all biotechnology is progress’, and this just gives us more freedom and generalization. Therefore E is not the answer it is not a principle, but rather relates more to the conclusion and argument.