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# 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with

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Manager
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95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with [#permalink]  26 Aug 2012, 15:38
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95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi-vitamins gave birth to babies that were diagnosed with Tay sachs disease, a disease of the nervous system. Hence, if a mother's diet lacks proper diet with multi-vitamins, there is a greater chance that the baby will suffer from Tay Sachs disease than if the mother's diet doesn't lack proper diet with multi-vitamins.

How can we weaken this argument ? Any thoughts? I came across this argument in my friend's medical journal. The argument sounds reasonable to me. Thoughts?
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Re: 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi- [#permalink]  27 Aug 2012, 09:24
95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi-vitamins gave birth to babies that were diagnosed with Tay sachs disease, a disease of the nervous system. Hence, if a mother's diet lacks proper diet with multi-vitamins, there is a greater chance that the baby will suffer from Tay Sachs disease than if the mother's diet doesn't lack proper diet with multi-vitamins.

To Weaken the argument the approach I follow is if the answer choice were true or is true then the concluion or the assumption will fail - False

to weaken

1() mother's diet lacks calcium A it also leads to the Tay sachs disease
2) multi-vitamins is NOT the only reason for the Tay sachs disease
3) mothers who did not receive proper diet with multi-vitamins but good diet of Calcium their babies were born defect free

Basically it is quoting another reason other than multivitamins

All teh above stated above if true - then the argument fails
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Re: 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi- [#permalink]  27 Aug 2012, 12:40
Expert's post
Well in the real world this is probably a solid argument, but that's because we know that (a) most mothers do receive a proper diet with multi-vitamins, (b) Tay Sachs is rare, and (c) there's no reasonable explanation why carrying a baby with Tay-Sachs would cause a mother to not eat properly.

In GMATland, however, these assumptions are necessary: attacking any one of them would weaken the conclusion.
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Re: 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi- [#permalink]  27 Aug 2012, 14:45
Reasons I can think of might be gmat type:)

moms of TS diseased kids all live in village A and drink water from pond B. Reasearch has conclusive evidence that pond B causes the TS disease.

All moms of TS kids also had TS disease.(TS disease is found only in tribe A and is genetically transmitted from parents to kids)
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Re: 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi- [#permalink]  27 Aug 2012, 14:47
missed the classic one:

After the kid developed TS disease, mom was unable to eat all foods and had to avoid some essential vitamins
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Re: 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi- [#permalink]  27 Aug 2012, 21:13
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Expert's post
voodoochild wrote:
95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi-vitamins gave birth to babies that were diagnosed with Tay sachs disease, a disease of the nervous system. Hence, if a mother's diet lacks proper diet with multi-vitamins, there is a greater chance that the baby will suffer from Tay Sachs disease than if the mother's diet doesn't lack proper diet with multi-vitamins.

How can we weaken this argument ? Any thoughts? I came across this argument in my friend's medical journal. The argument sounds reasonable to me. Thoughts?

Responding to a pm:

The argument is not airtight which means it can be weakened. The argument does not give the incidence of Tay Sachs cases among babies of mothers who get proper diet. In the real world, the medical journal would assume that you know that Tay Sachs cases are rare so the argument isn't very far fetched. Also, the readers of the medical journal assume that everything else was kept constant in the study - the only difference between the mothers was the multi-vitamins diet. We cannot assume this in the argument until and unless it is specifically given.

A smarter version of this argument is the following:

95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi-vitamins gave birth to babies that were diagnosed with Tay sachs disease, a disease of the nervous system. Hence, if a baby is born with Tay Sachs, it is more likely than not that his/her mother did not take proper diet with multi-vitamins.

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Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for $199 Veritas Prep Reviews Manager Joined: 16 Feb 2011 Posts: 197 Schools: ABCD Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 89 [0], given: 78 Re: 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi- [#permalink] 28 Aug 2012, 05:33 rjacobsMGMAT wrote: there's no reasonable explanation why carrying a baby with Tay-Sachs would cause a mother to not eat properly. Rjacobs - can you please explain why you wrote the above sentence? I believe that it should be the other way round - If mothers don't eat properly, there is a good chance that the baby will be born with TS Disease. Correct? Also, the argument is not about causal reasoning. It's about statistical evidence. The argument doesn't say that doing X will lead to Y. It just says that there is a greater chance. Am I correct ? Appreciate your thoughts. Manager Joined: 16 Feb 2011 Posts: 197 Schools: ABCD Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 89 [0], given: 78 Re: 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi- [#permalink] 28 Aug 2012, 05:37 VeritasPrepKarishma wrote: A smarter version of this argument is the following: 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi-vitamins gave birth to babies that were diagnosed with Tay sachs disease, a disease of the nervous system. Hence, if a baby is born with Tay Sachs, it is more likely than not that his/her mother did not take proper diet with multi-vitamins. What can you say about this conclusion? (Check out this article to arrive at the answer: http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2012/08 ... armstrong/) Karishma - thanks for your reply. However, in my opinion, the above argument can be easily weakened. The fact that not eating vitamins increases the chances of delivering babies with TSD, cannot mean that if the baby is born iwth TSD, their mothers didn't eat vitamins. For instance, People who drive Ferrari have a greater chance of getting a speeding ticket. How can one conclude that if one gets a speeding ticket, then there are greater chances of his driving a Ferrari? In fact, I have got many speeding tickets, but I don't drive Ferrari! Thoughts? Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor Joined: 16 Oct 2010 Posts: 5853 Location: Pune, India Followers: 1480 Kudos [?]: 7954 [0], given: 190 Re: 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi- [#permalink] 28 Aug 2012, 20:16 Expert's post voodoochild wrote: Karishma - thanks for your reply. However, in my opinion, the above argument can be easily weakened. The fact that not eating vitamins increases the chances of delivering babies with TSD, cannot mean that if the baby is born iwth TSD, their mothers didn't eat vitamins. For instance, People who drive Ferrari have a greater chance of getting a speeding ticket. How can one conclude that if one gets a speeding ticket, then there are greater chances of his driving a Ferrari? In fact, I have got many speeding tickets, but I don't drive Ferrari! Thoughts? Yes, the logic is not correct in this argument and instead of going out of the argument to look for a weakness, you will find the weakness within the argument. That's what makes it good. If you check the link of the post I gave you above, you will see the weakness discussed in detail. In our haste to arrive at the right answer, we often overlook the small things which actually are most important to arrive at the answer. Check out that post. _________________ Karishma Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor My Blog Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for$199

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Re: 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi- [#permalink]  29 Aug 2012, 06:00
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
voodoochild wrote:

Karishma - thanks for your reply. However, in my opinion, the above argument can be easily weakened. The fact that not eating vitamins increases the chances of delivering babies with TSD, cannot mean that if the baby is born iwth TSD, their mothers didn't eat vitamins.

For instance, People who drive Ferrari have a greater chance of getting a speeding ticket. How can one conclude that if one gets a speeding ticket, then there are greater chances of his driving a Ferrari? In fact, I have got many speeding tickets, but I don't drive Ferrari!

Thoughts?

Yes, the logic is not correct in this argument and instead of going out of the argument to look for a weakness, you will find the weakness within the argument. That's what makes it good. If you check the link of the post I gave you above, you will see the weakness discussed in detail. In our haste to arrive at the right answer, we often overlook the small things which actually are most important to arrive at the answer. Check out that post.

Karishma,
Thanks for your reply. However, just last thing before we end this conversation. I just want to confirm - you deliberately changed the conclusion from "if a mother's diet lacks proper diet with multi-vitamins, there is a greater chance that the baby will suffer from Tay Sachs disease than if the mother's diet doesn't lack proper diet with multi-vitamins." to "Hence, if a baby is born with Tay Sachs, it is more likely than not that his/her mother did not take proper diet with multi-vitamins." so that the argument becomes worse? Am I correct? Both the statements are two poles apart. It will be great if you can confirm that for me.

Thanks
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Re: 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi- [#permalink]  29 Aug 2012, 07:30
Expert's post
voodoochild wrote:
Rjacobs - can you please explain why you wrote the above sentence? I believe that it should be the other way round - If mothers don't eat properly, there is a good chance that the baby will be born with TS Disease. Correct? Also, the argument is not about causal reasoning. It's about statistical evidence. The argument doesn't say that doing X will lead to Y. It just says that there is a greater chance.

Am I correct ? Appreciate your thoughts.

The argument is ENTIRELY about causal reasoning. The premise is a simple statistical correlation, while the conclusion creates an if/then statement based on the evidence. To weaken this kind of argument, all we need to do is open up the possibility that the causation flows in the other direction.
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Manager
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Re: 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi- [#permalink]  29 Aug 2012, 10:40
this can be categorised into a causal problem by introducing some other cause for the disease
or the disease doesnot occur even when mother is malnourished
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Re: 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi- [#permalink]  29 Aug 2012, 20:38
Expert's post
voodoochild wrote:
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
voodoochild wrote:

Karishma,
Thanks for your reply. However, just last thing before we end this conversation. I just want to confirm - you deliberately changed the conclusion from "if a mother's diet lacks proper diet with multi-vitamins, there is a greater chance that the baby will suffer from Tay Sachs disease than if the mother's diet doesn't lack proper diet with multi-vitamins." to "Hence, if a baby is born with Tay Sachs, it is more likely than not that his/her mother did not take proper diet with multi-vitamins." so that the argument becomes worse? Am I correct? Both the statements are two poles apart. It will be great if you can confirm that for me.

Thanks

Yes, I deliberately changed it because it makes the question more confusing from the point of view of a critical reasoning question. Hence it is more likely to be tested, in my opinion. (Though, if you ask from the perspective of a stand alone argument, you cannot derive your original conclusion and you can derive the changed conclusion even less so yeah, it does worsen it)

The original conclusion is pretty straight forward and when you read the options, you will know an alternative cause e.g. 'women who do not take multi vitamin rich diet, do not take a protein rich diet either' etc or some other weakening agent.

With the changed conclusion, something like 'The proportion of women who do not get a multivitamin rich diet is very low" will weaken it even though you may not feel that it does.
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Re: 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with [#permalink]  29 Aug 2012, 21:39
voodoochild wrote:
95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with multi-vitamins gave birth to babies that were diagnosed with Tay sachs disease, a disease of the nervous system. Hence, if a mother's diet lacks proper diet with multi-vitamins, there is a greater chance that the baby will suffer from Tay Sachs disease than if the mother's diet doesn't lack proper diet with multi-vitamins.

How can we weaken this argument ? Any thoughts? I came across this argument in my friend's medical journal. The argument sounds reasonable to me. Thoughts?

Hi,
I believe this will work to weaken a argument.

" Mother's with proper diet also have baby with little chance of TS Disease".
Re: 95% of mothers who didn't receive proper diet with   [#permalink] 29 Aug 2012, 21:39
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