Historian: We can learn about the medical history of : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Historian: We can learn about the medical history of

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25 Mar 2006, 01:39
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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'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 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 .
If you have any questions
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25 Mar 2006, 02:50
I choose ^ A ^
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25 Mar 2006, 05:56
C is a trap answer because of it`s present tense phrasing.

Agree with (A)
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25 Mar 2006, 09:25
I think it is D.

If we negate A, that means some of the mercury can be eliminated, still the concluson is valid as it looks for traces of mercury.

BTW what is OA/OE?

laxieqv wrote:
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'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 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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25 Mar 2006, 10:18
I choose D tooo..

C -- trap.. A -- too extreme
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25 Mar 2006, 14:53
My choice is D too. Author suggests that -
some people hypothesized that Venereal desease caused Beethoven's deafness.
If murcury is the cure for Venereal desease, then Beethoven would have been treated with mercury.
So the assumption is mercury can cause deafness in people who are infected with Venereal desease.
The 'venereal desease' qualifier is necessary since there is no evidence of mercury causing deafness by itself. Einstein had psychological disorder but wasn't deaf, according to passage.

- Vipin
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25 Mar 2006, 18:34
D
Hypothesis is that veneral disease caused the deafness.
Mercury was ingested to treat veneral disease.
For hypothesis to be correct, mercury must have caused deafness when it was ingested to treat veneral disease.
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25 Mar 2006, 19:51
B. Some people in Beethoven's time did not ingest mercury.
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25 Mar 2006, 19:55
Professor wrote:
B. Some people in Beethoven's time did not ingest mercury.

a stunning pick! Buddy, can you expound why you choose this one?!!
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25 Mar 2006, 20:38
laxieqv wrote:
Professor wrote:
B. Some people in Beethoven's time did not ingest mercury.

a stunning pick! Buddy, can you expound why you choose this one?!!

if all people used mercury, then how the researchers prove that the mercury was used to treat the disease unless all had the disease. the researchers can prove the hypothesis only those who had the disease used the mercury to cure the disease. therefore all or some people didnot use mercury.

will explain if correct or unclear.
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25 Mar 2006, 21:11
vipin7um wrote:
My choice is D too. Author suggests that -
some people hypothesized that Venereal desease caused Beethoven's deafness.
If murcury is the cure for Venereal desease, then Beethoven would have been treated with mercury.
So the assumption is mercury can cause deafness in people who are infected with Venereal desease.
The 'venereal desease' qualifier is necessary since there is no evidence of mercury causing deafness by itself. Einstein had psychological disorder but wasn't deaf, according to passage.

- Vipin

Agree with vipin explanation. I'll also go for D
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27 Mar 2006, 02:47
I will go with A.
If we negate it, the statement falls apart.
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27 Mar 2006, 03:44
i back A.
D is not a generalised case that mercury causes deafness.Newtons hair had traces of mercury,but he did not suffer from venereal disaeses
Where as in A , It says that if at all mercury is injected in the body, it can be a cause of venereal disaese.

whats the OA
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27 Mar 2006, 03:44
'B' it is.
We must be sure that only people with VD ingested mercury.
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27 Mar 2006, 04:05
laxieqv wrote:
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'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 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 .

It's stunning that OA is B
Proff and M8 were correct

Yes, A can't be correct cause it's too extreme! ..what if some but not all of mercury ingested into the body can be eliminated?! ..There's still some left to be considered a "trace"!

But D is really appealing!

B, i'm confused: from B can we really be assured that mercury was only ingested for the treatment of VD in B's time?!!! What's if some of the people ingesting mercury did that for other reasons( other than for VD's treatment) and B was among those?!!
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27 Mar 2006, 04:08

Let's negate this answer choice, to test the assumption. If Mercury in the body can completely be eliminated, then there will be no mercury residue in the hair, and the argument will thus fall apart.

B says, that some people in Beethoven's time did not consume mercury. But, it does not impact the argument at all, because, it is too generic. It is possible that some of these people who did not take mercury had VD. Besides even negating B does not cause the argument to fall apart.

C is a slight modification of what's given in the passage, and is meant to confuse you

D is plainly wrong.

E might seem convincing, but the passage does not suggest that Beethoven suffered from psychological problems.

Thus I am going to stick with A.
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27 Mar 2006, 04:18

Let's negate this answer choice, to test the assumption. If Mercury in the body can completely be eliminated, then there will be no mercury residue in the hair, and the argument will thus fall apart.

IMO: If we negate A, it will read: Some of the mercury introduced into the body can be eliminated ---> still is there some left! That's enough to be considered a "trace" .

Can you explain why D is wrong?! Thank you
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27 Mar 2006, 04:33
Your bring up a good point. Is the opposite of none - Some, or All. If it is Some, then you are correct, if it is All, then my answer holds good.

Let negate D, we get - Mercury poisoning cannot cause deafness in people with venereal disease. Negating D does not cause the argument to fall apart. In fact the negation of D can be a valid assumption on its own. But, lets look at D as a whole, if mercury poisoning can cause deafness in people with VD, then it contradict's one of the argument's premises namely - "some people hypothesize that venereal disease caused his deafness".

In other words, the author is trying to state that, if deafness was caused by VD, and if mercury was used to treat VD, then a trace of mercury will be sufficient to prove that Beethoven had VD. Thus D cannot be a valid assumption.

laxieqv wrote:

Let's negate this answer choice, to test the assumption. If Mercury in the body can completely be eliminated, then there will be no mercury residue in the hair, and the argument will thus fall apart.

IMO: If we negate A, it will read: Some of the mercury introduced into the body can be eliminated ---> still is there some left! That's enough to be considered a "trace" .

Can you explain why D is wrong?! Thank you
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27 Mar 2006, 04:46
Your bring up a good point. Is the opposite of none - Some, or All. If it is Some, then you are correct, if it is All, then my answer holds good.

Let negate D, we get - Mercury poisoning cannot cause deafness in people with venereal disease. Negating D does not cause the argument to fall apart. In fact the negation of D can be a valid assumption on its own. But, lets look at D as a whole, if mercury poisoning can cause deafness in people with VD, then it contradict's one of the argument's premises namely - "some people hypothesize that venereal disease caused his deafness".

In other words, the author is trying to state that, if deafness was caused by VD, and if mercury was used to treat VD, then a trace of mercury will be sufficient to prove that Beethoven had VD. Thus D cannot be a valid assumption.

Thank you, I understand why D is incorrect now

But A is also incorrect coz we CAN'T divide it into two such cases . Mathematically speaking, negation of "none" is "a little" AND "some" AND "all"

Look like this CR has no "the best answer"
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27 Mar 2006, 04:52
I referred tp some CR books, and I can safely conclude that the opposite of None is All (in GMAT terms). None is an extreme position. The negation of an extreme position results in another extreme position, which in this case is All. Given that, it looks like A is the answer.

Is the OA A?

laxieqv wrote:
Your bring up a good point. Is the opposite of none - Some, or All. If it is Some, then you are correct, if it is All, then my answer holds good.

Let negate D, we get - Mercury poisoning cannot cause deafness in people with venereal disease. Negating D does not cause the argument to fall apart. In fact the negation of D can be a valid assumption on its own. But, lets look at D as a whole, if mercury poisoning can cause deafness in people with VD, then it contradict's one of the argument's premises namely - "some people hypothesize that venereal disease caused his deafness".

In other words, the author is trying to state that, if deafness was caused by VD, and if mercury was used to treat VD, then a trace of mercury will be sufficient to prove that Beethoven had VD. Thus D cannot be a valid assumption.

Thank you, I understand why D is incorrect now

But A is also incorrect coz we CAN'T divide it into two such cases . Mathematically speaking, negation of "none" is "a little" AND "some" AND "all"

Look like this CR has no "the best answer"
27 Mar 2006, 04:52

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