It is often thought that our own modern age is unique in having a large number of people who live into old age. It has frequently been assumed that plagues, wars, and harsh working conditions killed off most people in previous ages before they could reach old age. However, recent research shows that in 17th century Europe, for example, people over sixty comprised 10 percent of the population. The studies also revealed that although infant mortality remained high until the 20th century in Europe, people who survived to adulthood could expect to live to be old.
The portions in boldface play which of the following roles in the argument above?
A. The first is a conclusion that the author supports. The second is data that contradicts that conclusion.
B. The first is a finding that the author contests. The second is a finding that the author accepts.
C. The first is an assumption that the author thinks is invalid. The second is data that validates that assumption.
D. The first is a position that the author opposes. The second is a finding that supports the author’s position.
E. The first is a position that the author opposes. The second is an assumption which, if valid, negates the author’s view.
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"our own modern age is unique in having a large number of people who live into old age" is an assumption/position. The last two sentences of the argument provide information counter to this position so you know the author opposes it (use of "However"). A can be eliminated
since it states "author supports" the first bold.
The argument also did not present the first bold as a "finding", but presents it as a thought and counters it. B can be eliminated
" in 17th century Europe, for example, people over sixty comprised 10 percent of the population" is counter to the first bold. The first says the "modern age" would be the only ("it is unique") age to have people live into old age. If 10% of the population in 17th Century Europe lives into their 60's, then living into old age is not unique to the modern age. Therefore, the second bold counters the first bold and supports the author's position. C can be eliminated
- The second bold does not validate the first bold; it does the opposite.E can be eliminated
- The second assumption does not counter the author's view; it supports the author's views.D Correct