Within Passage 1, the main purpose of the first two paragraphs (lines 1–7) is to
Choice B is the best answer. Passage 1 opens with an explanation of Morgan’s canon and continues with a discussion of people’s expectations regarding animal intelligence. Taken together, the first two paragraphs indicate that despite cautions to the contrary, people still tend to look for humanlike levels of intelligence in many animals, including birds. These two paragraphs provide a framework in which to assess the work of Gray and Hunt, presented in the rest of the passage. The passage’s characterization of the experiment Gray and Hunt conduct, in which they observe a crow’s tool-making ability and to which Gray responds by trying and failing to mimic the bird’s behavior (“I had a go, and I couldn’t do it,” Passage 1, line 25), suggests that Shettleworth, quoted in the second paragraph, is at least partially correct in her assessment that “We somehow want to prove [birds] are as ‘smart’ as people” (Passage 1, lines 5–5).
Choice A is not the best answer because while the reference to Morgan’s canon in the first paragraph offers a sort of historical background (given that the canon was published in 1894), the second paragraph describes people’s continuing expectations regarding animal intelligence. Furthermore, the fact that Gray and Hunt may share with other people the tendency to look for humanlike intelligence in many animals does not by itself establish that the main purpose of the first two paragraphs is to question the uniqueness of Gray and Hunt’s findings.
Choice C is not the best answer because while the reference to Morgan’s canon in the first paragraph does introduce a scientific principle, the discussion in the second paragraph of people’s expectations regarding animal intelligence, as well as the passage’s characterization of Gray and Hunt’s experiment and how the researchers interpret the results, primarily suggest that people tend to violate the canon by attributing humanlike levels of intelligence to many animals.
Choice D is not the best answer because although the first two paragraphs do present different perspectives, they are not seemingly or genuinely contradictory. The second paragraph, particularly the quotation from Shettleworth, serves mainly to qualify (not contradict) the position staked out in the first paragraph by suggesting that while Morgan’s canon is probably a sound principle, people still tend to project humanlike levels of intelligence onto many animals. Moreover, the experiment depicted in the rest of the passage primarily bears out Shettleworth’s claim that “We somehow want to prove [birds] are as ‘smart’ as people” (Passage 1, lines 5–5) and thus does not reconcile the perspectives found in the opening paragraphs.