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# Environmentalist: Since the new mall was built in St. Thomas

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Environmentalist: Since the new mall was built in St. Thomas [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2005, 04:00
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Environmentalist: Since the new mall was built in St. Thomas in August of 2003, the mongoose population has increased tenfold. The presence of a large amount of edible trash is responsible for this as it provides a source of food to support the larger population of mongoose and eliminated the competition over food, which caused many mongoose deaths.

Each of the following, if true, weakens the argument EXCEPT:

(A) During construction of the mall a specialized insecticide that only affects mice and rats, the mongooses primary competition was placed in and around the mall.
(B) All mall trash is kept in sealed containers in an indoor storage area until picked up by the sanitation department.
(C) The mongoose is known to experience extreme fluctuations in population due to irregular breeding cycles.
(D) Mall goers have complained to both the health department and the mall management about the mongooses since the malls construction.
(E) There are no longer any snakes, the mongooses natural prey, on St. Thomas since the last breeding ground in St. Thomas was destroyed by the construction of the mall.
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Re: CR- Mongoose population explosion [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2005, 04:27
"Weakens except" means the statement that supports the statement that Mongoose was benefited by the mall.

A is the only statement that talkes about mongoose benifited (by eliminating competition),
B says mongoose don't get food. Opposes the assertion above.
C is irrelvent to creation of the mall.
D is irrelevent.
E opposes the assertion that mongoose are benefited (if snakes decrease, the mongooses' natural pray reduces).

Hence A.
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29 Apr 2005, 05:54
D)...

(A) During construction of the mall a specialized insecticide that only affects mice and rats, the mongooses primary competition was placed in and around the mall. => weakens the arg because it says that a other factor led to the increase. => wrong
(B) All mall trash is kept in sealed containers in an indoor storage area until picked up by the sanitation department. => weakens the argument cause the trash served as food is not availible => wrong
(C) The mongoose is known to experience extreme fluctuations in population due to irregular breeding cycles. => another reason for the increase instead of the construction of the mall => wrong
(D) Mall goers have complained to both the health department and the mall management about the mongooses since the malls construction. => no weakening and no strengthening of the arg => neutral => right
(E) There are no longer any snakes, the mongooses natural prey, on St. Thomas since the last breeding ground in St. Thomas was destroyed by the construction of the mall. => same as in C)
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29 Apr 2005, 06:10
Hands down, "A"

Environmentalist: Since the new mall was built in St. Thomas in August of 2003, the mongoose population has increased tenfold. The presence of a large amount of edible trash is responsible for this as it provides a source of food to support the larger population of mongoose and eliminated the competition over food, which caused many mongoose deaths.

Each of the following, if true, weakens the argument EXCEPT:

(A) During construction of the mall a specialized insecticide that only affects mice and rats, the mongooses primary competition was placed in and around the mall.

That means competition was reduced =due to insectiside which strengthen's the arg. tat shows that more food and less competition was the reason for mongoose population.

Rest all (below) weakens by stating different reasons for possibility of mongoose population rise.

(B) All mall trash is kept in sealed containers in an indoor storage area until picked up by the sanitation department.
(C) The mongoose is known to experience extreme fluctuations in population due to irregular breeding cycles.
(D) Mall goers have complained to both the health department and the mall management about the mongooses since the malls construction.
(E) There are no longer any snakes, the mongooses natural prey, on St. Thomas since the last breeding ground in St. Thomas was destroyed by the construction of the mall.
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29 Apr 2005, 06:52
choice A is wrong, because it said the primary competion became decreased, implying another reason to cause the increase in mongoose population.

I go for D, Mall goers' complaints have no effect.
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Re: CR- Mongoose population explosion [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2005, 11:41
We need to pick the statement that "Weakens the argument EXCEPT...".

The argument is this:

Mongoose population has increased because
1. Greater food availability
2. Decreased competition over food.

B weakens the argument 1.
E weakens the argument 1.

Of the remaining A, C and D, C and D are IRRELEVANT. Mongoose breeding cycle has nothing to do with the arguments of food and competition. Similarly D is irrelevant. In fact, D might weaken the argument because complaint about mongooses by mall goers might spur the health dept and mall mgmt into action to exterminate them. So it might actually weaken the argument's assertion.

A doesn't weaken the argument - in fact supports it.

Can you please explain your reasons why an irrelevant statement be chosen over a supporting statement for "statement that weakens the argument except"?
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29 Apr 2005, 11:49
chunjuwu wrote:
choice A is wrong, because it said the primary competion became decreased, implying another reason to cause the increase in mongoose population.

I go for D, Mall goers' complaints have no effect.

Isn't the question asking the same. Choice A gives reason for increase in mongoose population & thus doesnot weaken the argument.
All other choices weaken the argument.
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Re: CR- Mongoose population explosion [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2005, 12:00
kapslock wrote:
We need to pick the statement that "Weakens the argument EXCEPT...".

The argument is this:

Mongoose population has increased because
1. Greater food availability
2. Decreased competition over food.

B weakens the argument 1.
E weakens the argument 1.

Of the remaining A, C and D, C and D are IRRELEVANT. Mongoose breeding cycle has nothing to do with the arguments of food and competition. Similarly D is irrelevant. In fact, D might weaken the argument because complaint about mongooses by mall goers might spur the health dept and mall mgmt into action to exterminate them. So it might actually weaken the argument's assertion.

A doesn't weaken the argument - in fact supports it.

Can you please explain your reasons why an irrelevant statement be chosen over a supporting statement for "statement that weakens the argument except"?

what is it that we have to weaken ? its that the construction of the mall AND the resulting trash is responsible for the increase. these are the two factors.

A) says that the competition stopped because the primary food of the mongoose is eliminated. so this is a different factor that explains the increase. this factor has nothing do to with the factor mentioned in the argument. so it shows an alternative factor that could lead to the increase. so what is responsible for the increase. the factor of A) or the two factors of the argument. we dont know ? but the impact of the factors of the argument is not so strong anymore. it is weakened...
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Re: CR- Mongoose population explosion [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2005, 12:38
christoph wrote:
kapslock wrote:
We need to pick the statement that "Weakens the argument EXCEPT...".

The argument is this:

Mongoose population has increased because
1. Greater food availability
2. Decreased competition over food.

B weakens the argument 1.
E weakens the argument 1.

Of the remaining A, C and D, C and D are IRRELEVANT. Mongoose breeding cycle has nothing to do with the arguments of food and competition. Similarly D is irrelevant. In fact, D might weaken the argument because complaint about mongooses by mall goers might spur the health dept and mall mgmt into action to exterminate them. So it might actually weaken the argument's assertion.

A doesn't weaken the argument - in fact supports it.

Can you please explain your reasons why an irrelevant statement be chosen over a supporting statement for "statement that weakens the argument except"?

what is it that we have to weaken ? its that the construction of the mall AND the resulting trash is responsible for the increase. these are the two factors.

A) says that the competition stopped because the primary food of the mongoose is eliminated. so this is a different factor that explains the increase. this factor has nothing do to with the factor mentioned in the argument. so it shows an alternative factor that could lead to the increase. so what is responsible for the increase. the factor of A) or the two factors of the argument. we dont know ? but the impact of the factors of the argument is not so strong anymore. it is weakened...

Hmmm Christoph, look at it this way ...

A says insecticide that kills mice that's mongoose primary competitor is placed. Not the primary food of the mongoose. So it mentions removal of competition. Thus strengthens.

What say?
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Re: CR- Mongoose population explosion [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2005, 12:52
kapslock wrote:
christoph wrote:
kapslock wrote:
We need to pick the statement that "Weakens the argument EXCEPT...".

The argument is this:

Mongoose population has increased because
1. Greater food availability
2. Decreased competition over food.

B weakens the argument 1.
E weakens the argument 1.

Of the remaining A, C and D, C and D are IRRELEVANT. Mongoose breeding cycle has nothing to do with the arguments of food and competition. Similarly D is irrelevant. In fact, D might weaken the argument because complaint about mongooses by mall goers might spur the health dept and mall mgmt into action to exterminate them. So it might actually weaken the argument's assertion.

A doesn't weaken the argument - in fact supports it.

Can you please explain your reasons why an irrelevant statement be chosen over a supporting statement for "statement that weakens the argument except"?

what is it that we have to weaken ? its that the construction of the mall AND the resulting trash is responsible for the increase. these are the two factors.

A) says that the competition stopped because the primary food of the mongoose is eliminated. so this is a different factor that explains the increase. this factor has nothing do to with the factor mentioned in the argument. so it shows an alternative factor that could lead to the increase. so what is responsible for the increase. the factor of A) or the two factors of the argument. we dont know ? but the impact of the factors of the argument is not so strong anymore. it is weakened...

Hmmm Christoph, look at it this way ...

A says insecticide that kills mice that's mongoose primary competitor is placed. Not the primary food of the mongoose. So it mentions removal of competition. Thus strengthens.

What say?

oh i mistyped.

right competition is removed ! how ? not because of the new mall AND the resulting trash ! but because of something different. thats it...not the new mall AND the trash migh be responsible for the increase, but someone who eliminated the rats and mice with insecticide.
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29 Apr 2005, 19:15
Will choose D

A weakens the argument by saying that "reduction in competition for food" rather than "more availability of food" as the reason for increase in population.
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30 Apr 2005, 04:18
I go with E

A sites another reason for the increasethan the existence of mall and the consequent food trash.

B weakens the argument. the said trash is not available for the mongoose.

C also sites another reason

D says that the mall goers have complained to the authorities "since the mall construction". So if the food trash were the only reason, the authorities might have taken action to eliminate that. D weakens the argument.

E says that the only natural prey for mangooses are no more available (yet their population has increased ten fold.) So the mongooses had to look for other options and the food trash from mall, available in plenty, is one of those options. It supports the argument.

Correct me if I am wrong.
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30 Apr 2005, 04:46
OA is D.

Step 1: ID Question Type and Task

A question that asks you to which weakens EXCEPT means you are seeking the answer choice that DOES NOT WEAKEN, this means it must either strengthen or be irrelevant.

To weaken an argument find the assumptions and attack/undermine one of them.

Step 2: Read the Argument and Extract Necessary Information:
Assumptions:
By attributing the population increase to a specific cause the argument can be identified as one of the most common GMAT argument types, the causal argument. As with all causal arguments, this argument assumes there is no other cause or factor other than the stated one (increase in available food).

Step 3: Formulate an Answer to the Question
To weaken this argument introduce other factors that could have cause the result mentioned (increase in mongoose population).

(A) Weakens. Introduces that it was killing of mice and rats that led to the mongoose increase.

(B) Weakens. This removes food as a possible cause for the increase by suggesting that the mongooses could not reach the food (sealed containers and indoor).

(C) Weakens. This introduces another cause for the increase (normal population fluctuation).

(D) Irrelevant. The fact that there are complaints does not affect the assumptions in the argument nor does it address the cause for the population increase. This does not weaken.

(E) Weakens. Introduces an alternate cause for the population increase (the lack of a predator) thus attacking the assumption that the increase in available food was the cause.

Tip of the day: When the GMAT asks a ....EXCEPT question, 90% of the time the correct answer choice is NOT A. If you dont believe me, then go through your OG and hunt down all such similar questions and compare the results.
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