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# Historian: We can learn about the medical history of

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02 Nov 2004, 02:37
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Historian: We can learn about the medical history of individuals through chemical analysis of their hair. It is likely, for example, that Isaac Newton's psychological problems were due to mercury poisoning; traces of mercury were found in his hair. Analysis is now being done on a lock of Beethoven's hair. Although no convincing argument has shown that Beethoven ever had a venereal disease, some people hypothesize that venereal disease caused his deafness. Since mercury was commonly ingested in Beethoven?Â¡Â¥s time to treat venereal disease, if researchers find a trace of mercury in his hair, we can conclude that this hypothesis is correct.

Which one of the following is an assumption on which the historian's argument depends?

(A) None of the mercury introduced into the body can be eliminated.

(B) Some people in Beethoven's time did not ingest mercury.

(C) Mercury is an effective treatment for venereal disease.

(D) Mercury poisoning can cause deafness in people with venereal disease.

(E) Beethoven suffered from psychological problems of the same severity as Newton's.
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02 Nov 2004, 10:21
I think its D.. if mercury is found, then it causes deafness IN people with venereal diseases. Since he was deaf, and if a trace of mercury is discovered, it can be concluded that he had venereal disease.
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02 Nov 2004, 18:05
What I understand is that scientists are picking people with similar problems (psychological problems) to study the cause.
They studied Newton already, and now they are studying Beethoven.

If this is the case, then (E) is the one
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03 Nov 2004, 06:35
It is C.

Conclusion is venereal disease caused deafness and mercury was injected to treat this venereal disease.

Premise - Injected mercury caused Newton's pyschological problems and mercury trace was found in his hair.

C says that mercury is effective treatement for venereal disease. So this proves that Beethovan had venereal disease and that caused it.

D implies that mercury caused deafness and not the venereal disease.
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04 Nov 2004, 06:01
none of the answers are correct try again
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04 Nov 2004, 06:34
Oh, I had A as first choice. If mercury is eliminated by the body, then mercury trace might not be due to ingestion and argument falls apart
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04 Nov 2004, 11:14
B. If everyone in Beethoven's period ingested Mercury, finding Mercury in Beethoven cannot prove that Beethoven had a venereal disease.
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04 Nov 2004, 16:05
If D is wrong, then A.
But I do not know why D cannot be an answer.
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04 Nov 2004, 17:52
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05 Nov 2004, 17:30
Could it be possible that Mercury to cure VD in turn caused deafness? the assumption stated in D
05 Nov 2004, 17:30
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