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Reading Comprehension: Main Idea Questions

Which of the following best summarizes the contents of the passage?



This answer choice reverses the logic of the passage. The second paragraph suggests that the genetic inheritance of humans (=the genes they share with neanderthals) may provide a clue to social relations - not the other way around.



This answer choice is too narrow. Only the second paragraph mentions the extinction of the Neanderthals.

Furthermore, the passage does not present absolutely certain conclusions, so the words "proves beyond doubt" and "inevitable" make this answer choice too extreme. 

Well done!


This passage discusses how the findings from the comparison will contribute to debates about interbreeding (=reproductive history) and social relations (=social history) between the two groups.



The passage does not make any definite claims regarding which type of influence - cultural or biological - was stronger, or if there was such influence at all.



The passage does not state that genetic research alone can settle the ongoing debates about difference in general - just that genetic research in this case claims to settle this debate. 

Note that Morphological and anatomical differences between the species are mentioned in the third sentence of the first paragraph, and does not even need to be part of your Initial Reading. If you had left that part unread, this answer choice would not trap you by using words mentioned in the passage. 

The social relations between Neanderthals and early humans may provide a clue to the genetic inheritance of contemporary humans
Analysis of the Neanderthal genome proves beyond doubt that the extinction of the species was an inevitable outcome of social intercourse with humans
A comparison between the DNA of modern humans and Neanderthals may shed light on the social and reproductive history of these species

The biological influence of Neanderthals on Homo Sapiens Sapiens far exceeds the impact of cultural contact between these species in the evolutionary past

Genetic research alone can settle the ongoing debates about the morphological differences among various hominid species