A letter submitted to the editor of a national newsmagazine was written and signed by a Dr. Shirley Martin who, in the text of the letter, mentions being a professor at a major North American medical school. Knowing that fewer than 5 percent of the professors at such schools are women, the editor reasons that the chances are better than 19 to 1 that the letter was written by a man.
Which one of the following involves flawed reasoning most like that used by the editor?
(A) Since 19 out of 20 home computers are purchased primarily for use with computer games, and the first computer sold today was purchased solely for word processing, the next 19 computers sold will almost certainly be used primarily for computer games.
(B) Fewer than 1 in 20 of the manuscripts submitted to Argon Publishing Co. are accepted for publication. Since only 15 manuscripts were submitted last week, there is almost no chance that any of them will be accepted for publication.
(C) Fewer that 5 percent of last yearâ€™s graduating class took Latin in secondary school. Howard took Latin in secondary school, so if he had graduated last year, it is likely that one or the other Latin scholars would not have graduated.
(D) More that 95 percent of the planes built by UBC last year met government standards for large airliners. Since small planes account for just under 5 percent of UBCâ€™s output last year, it is almost certain that all their large planes met government standards.
(E) Since more than 19 out of every 20 animals in the wildlife preserve are mammals and fewer than 1 out of 20 are birds, there is a greater than 95 percent chance that the animal Emily saw flying between two trees in the wildlife refuge yesterday morning was a mammal.
"To dream anything that you want to dream, that is the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do, that is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself, to test your limits, that is the courage to succeed."
- Bernard Edmonds