Geologist: The element tantalum, which originates as a mineral ore known as coltan, is used as a capacitor in computers and cell phones. Most tantalum is exported by Canada, China, South America, and Australia. However, a small percentage of the world supply comes from poorly governed or conflict-torn regions of Africa and is mined using objectionable practices such as child labor. A group of scientists has begun working on a method that I believe will be able to detect chemical signatures that can distinguish tantalum samples according to their location of origin
. Their technique needs to be further developed into a standardized and widely reproducible method of testing. If such testing becomes standard use among manufacturers and suppliers, it would allow companies and consumers a way to sanction human rights abuses through the marketplace
In the geologist's argument, the two portions in boldface
play which of the following roles?
(A) The first presents a circumstance for which the geologist offers an explanation; the second is part of that explanation.
(B) The first acknowledges a consideration that weighs against the conclusion of the argument; the second is that conclusion.
(C) The first acknowledges a consideration that weighs against the conclusion of the argument; the second provides evidence in support of that conclusion.
(D) The first provides evidence in support of the conclusion of the argument; the second acknowledges a consideration that weighs against that conclusion.
(E) The first is a judgment advanced in support of the conclusion of the argument; the second is that conclusion.
Read carefully for the structure of the argument. The first bolded statement is a claim made by the geologist. The second is the conclusion of the argument, which relies on that claim in the first bolded statement. You'll rarely be able to predict the exact words used in the answer choices, but once you've figured out how the bold statements function, you should be able to identify a choice that matches reasonably well. In this case, choice (E) is correct. Only (B) and (E) refer to the second statement as a conclusion; (B) mistakenly refers to the first statement as something weighing against the conclusion.
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