Which of the following best describes the function of the highlighted sentence in the context of the passage as whole? A. It hypothesizes a phenomenon that might explain a point made in the preceding sentence. B. It provides evidence that undermines that assertion made in the first sentence. C. It offers a projection regarding the development of a trend mentioned earlier in the passage. D. It presents an interpretation of a discrepancy noted earlier in the passage. E. It proposed an implementation of a policy mentioned in the preceding sentence.