Reading Comprehension – And that has to do with the question of uncertainty
XAT 2021 Exam Paper – Reading Comprehension – And that has to do with the question of uncertainty
Read the following passage and answer the two questions that follow.
And that has to do with the question of uncertainty and doubt. A scientist is never certain. We
all know that. We know that all our statements are approximate statements with different
degrees of certainty; that when a statement is made, the question is not whether it is true or
false but rather how likely it is to be true or false. We must discuss each question within the
uncertainties that are allowed. And as evidence grows it increases the probability perhaps that
some idea is right or decreases it. But it never makes absolutely certain one way or the other.
Now, we have found that this is of paramount importance in order to progress. We absolutely
must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and there is no learning. There is no
learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. People search for
certainty. But there is no certainty. People are terrified- how can you live and not know? It is
not odd at all. You only think you know as a matter of fact. And most of your actions are based
on incomplete knowledge and you really don’t know what it is all about or what the purpose of
the world is or know a great deal of other things. It is possible to live and not know.
Q.1 What does the author BEST mean when he says, “We must discuss each question
within the uncertainties that are allowed?”
A. The uncertainties are limited by the nature of the answers sought.
B. There is a finite set of uncertainties for any question.
C. The question decides the amount of uncertainties that are allowed.
D. The uncertainties should be relevant to the question.
E. We must be prepared to accept errors in the answers we seek.
Q.2 Which of the following BEST describes the essence of the passage?
A. Reasonable scepticism is the characteristic of a scientific mind.
B. Doubting the established world order is the purpose of science.
C. Science can never give a conclusive answer to a question.
D. Progress involves questioning accepted truths.
E. Reasonable discomfort with certainty is the path for progress.