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Fire ants from Brazil now infest the southern united States.

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Fire ants from Brazil now infest the southern united States. [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2010, 22:18
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  5% (low)

Question Stats:

61% (02:34) correct 38% (00:54) wrong based on 21 sessions
Fire ants from Brazil now infest the southern united States. Unlike queen fire ants in Brazil, two queens in the United States share a nest. Ants from these nests are more aggressive than those from single-queen nests. By destroying virtually all insects in the nest area, these aggressive ants gain sole access to food sources, and the ant population skyrockets. Since certain predator insects in Brazil limit the fire-ant population there, importing such predator insects into the United States would be of overall benefit to the environment by stopping the increase of the fire-ant population in the United States.

Each of the following is an assumption made in the argument EXCEPT:
(A) The imported insects would not prove more damaging to the environment in the United States than are the fire ants themselves.
(B) The predator insects from Brazil could survive in the ecological environment found in the United States.
(C) The especially aggressive fire ants from the two-queen nests would not be able to destroy the Brazilian predator insects.
(D) The predator insects would stop the increase of the ant population before the ants spread to states that are farther north.
(E) The rate of increase of the fire-ant population would not exceed the rate at which the predator insects could kill the ants.

Not convinced with the OA. Help please :shock:
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: Fire ants from Brazil [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2010, 23:04
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Answer is the choice that will either cause no effect on the argument or will weaken the argument.

Assumptions -
1) The imported insects are not more damaging. Make sense to assume A
2) Predator insects which are imported should be able to survive in new environment. B makes sense
3) The imported insects have to fight fire ants. So it makes sense to assume C - insects are more fierce cannot be destroyed by fire ants.
4) The last assumption is very important. If the fire ants start multiplying at a rate faster than at which they are killed - the argument is destroyed. Hence it makes sense to assume E

The only odd one is D. Even if I negate D there is no effect on the argument. There are two ways to look at D -
1) No effect on the argument. The work location of the predator insects is not the force of the argument. The effect is the force of the argument.
2) D is a scope shift. We need a confirmed method that strengthens the claim that fire ants population can be controlled. Does D affects the method? Absolutely not!
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Re: Fire ants from Brazil [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2010, 23:51
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IMO D.

Moreover argument states that Ants are spreading Northwards. You would have to go beyond the scope of the passage to validate that United States is north of Brazil.
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Re: Fire ants from Brazil [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2010, 00:40
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D should ne ans ... e cannot assume about location... coz no specific time frame is given
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Re: Fire ants from Brazil [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2010, 01:13
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Thanks nusmavrik
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Re: Fire ants from Brazil [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2010, 17:02
(A) The imported insects would not prove more damaging to the environment in the United States than are the fire ants themselves.
(B) The predator insects from Brazil could survive in the ecological environment found in the United States.
(C) The especially aggressive fire ants from the two-queen nests would not be able to destroy the Brazilian predator insects.
these all strengthen
(D) The predator insects would stop the increase of the ant population before the ants spread to states that are farther north. <is the only one left>
(E) The rate of increase of the fire-ant population would not exceed the rate at which the predator insects could kill the ants. Again strengthen
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Re: Fire ants from Brazil [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 08:18
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D it is
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Re: Fire ants from Brazil [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 09:04
It's actually very good question and I always find it difficult to do EXCEPT questions although I did get the correct answer

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Re: Fire ants from Brazil [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 11:08
D for me. It is the odd one here.
Re: Fire ants from Brazil   [#permalink] 13 Aug 2010, 11:08
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