Kate: The recent decline in numbers of the Tennessee : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Kate: The recent decline in numbers of the Tennessee

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Kate: The recent decline in numbers of the Tennessee [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2006, 18:04
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Kate: The recent decline in numbers of the Tennessee warbler, a North American songbird that migrates each fall to coffee plantations in South America, is due to the elimination of the dense tree cover that formerly was a feature of most South American coffee plantations.

Scott: The population of the spruce budworm, the warblerâ€™s favorite prey in North America, has been dropping. This is a more likely explanation of the warblerâ€™s decline.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously calls Scottâ€™s hypothesis into question?

A. The numbers of the Baltimore oriole, a songbird that dose not eat budworms but is as dependent on South American coffee plantations as is the Tennessee warbler, are declining.
B. The spruce-budworm population has dropped because of a disease that can infect budworms but not Tennessee warblers.
C. The drop in the population of the spruce budworm is expected to be only temporary.
D. Many Tennessee warbler have begun migrating in the fall to places other than traditional coffee plantations.
E. Although many North American songbirds have declined in numbers, no other species has experienced as great a decline as has the Tennessee warbler.

OA later.
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10 Jul 2006, 18:21
I think we need a choice that directly affects the Scott's argument.

So I go with C.

A can also be a good answer but IMO this is supporting Kate's argument instead of weakening Scott's argument.
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10 Jul 2006, 19:12
go with A.
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10 Jul 2006, 20:14
I go with C
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10 Jul 2006, 20:15
I go with C
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10 Jul 2006, 20:21
Picking A.
C does not lend a substantial argument IMO.
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10 Jul 2006, 20:34
I think the clear winner is A.

C does not really weaken Scott argument. It just states that indeed the budworms population declined but the decline is temporary. I fail to see any relation to this with Scotts argument.

A clearly mentions that other species having similar migratory patterns did also show a decline in population.
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10 Jul 2006, 20:43
I picked D.. which is wrong.
anyone can clarify why D is wrong?-"out of scope"??
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10 Jul 2006, 22:46
freetheking, free the OA now !
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10 Jul 2006, 22:47
OA is A
Thanks.
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Re: CR : Tennessee warbler [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2006, 09:50
D. Many Tennessee warbler have begun migrating in the fall to places other than traditional coffee plantations.

Is clearly out of scope, the concern is not about the migration flows but about the bird decline, narrow the scope then...
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Re: CR : Tennessee warbler [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2006, 10:21
Gauss wrote:
D. Many Tennessee warbler have begun migrating in the fall to places other than traditional coffee plantations.

Is clearly out of scope, the concern is not about the migration flows but about the bird decline, narrow the scope then...

but look at below example.
Is choice C out of scope also??

The average hourly wage of television assemblers in Vernland has long been significantly lower than that in neighboring Borodia. Since Borodia dropped all tariffs on Vernlandian televisions three years ago, the number of televisions sold annually in Borodia has not changed. However, recent statistics show a droip in the number of television assemblers in Borodia. Therefore, updated trade statistics will probably indicate that the number of televisions Borodia imports annually from Vernland has increased.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. The number of television assemblers in Vernland has increased by at least as much as the number of television assemblers in Borodia has decreased.
B. Televisions assembled in Vernland have features that televisions assembled in Borodia do not have.
C. The average number of hours it takes a Borodian television assembler to assemble a television has not decreased significantly during the past three years.
D. The number of televisions assembled annually in Vernland has increased significantly during the past three years.
E. The difference between the hourly wage of television assemblers in Vernland and the hourly wage of television assemblers in Borodia is likely to decrease in the next few years.
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Re: CR : Tennessee warbler [#permalink]

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25 Nov 2008, 11:44
This was on my GMAT prep test.

I can't believe the answer is A on this one. Such BS.

So we're to assume that just because orioles are declining, it has a correlation with the Tennesses warbler declining? That's a huge leap of assumption.
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Re: CR : Tennessee warbler [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2008, 09:34
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Re: CR : Tennessee warbler [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2008, 17:48
BFN,

I see your frustration. There is a subtle nuance here but GMAT offers a tip by keeping all others at a bay. This is weaken Q.

Hypothesis is decline in BW pop -> Decline in TW

Weaken H would be some thing that says Decline in TW is NOT caused by decline in BW pop.

A does that by offering commonality TW pop is decreasing, BO pop is decreasing. BO does not live on BW but TW does. If BO does not depend on BW, why is it decreasing? some other reason. The commonality GMAT induces here is both are song birds. So probably these song birds have another common reason why the pop is decreasing. I understand that you might now be asking how can we think of all song birds will feast on BW or not. Again, thats a GMAT'ism and thats the commonality GMAT wants us to look into given that rest of the answers except for C are not even close.

The bright side is that you are getting to the harder Q's. Hurray!
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Re: CR : Tennessee warbler [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2008, 21:21
A
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Re: CR : Tennessee warbler [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2008, 11:08
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Good explanation from icandy! The correct answer is A, and this one is not very difficult. The key is seeing that the conclusion is a "cause and effect" claim: He is not just saying that the bird's numbers are declining, but that the absence of spruce budworms is the cause.

Whenever we want to weaken a "cause and effect" conclusion, the first thing we look for is information which shows that something else may be the cause. A clearly does this: It indicates that some fact about coffee plantations is probably the cause. Yes, it does support Kate's argument, which also has a cause and effect conclusion -- but by supporting the claimed causation in her argument, it certainly weakens any other claimed causation, including Scott's.

C does not affect Scott's argument one way or the other. Scott is claiming that the drop in budworm population NOW is causing the decline in warbler population NOW. Whether the budworm population will recover in the FUTURE or not is irrelevant.

D is more attractive, because it does weaken Kate's argument. If enough of the warblers DON'T go to coffee plantations, then the tree cover in the plantations cannot account for the decline in numbers. But this does NOT strengthen Scott's argument, because the number of other possible causes is infinite. Eliminating or removing one possible cause does not strengthen any SPECIFIC other possible cause.

Re the television assemblers in Borodia: Although the argument is based on causes and effects, the CONCLUSION is not a cause and effect claim, so the analysis is somewhat different. The conclusion is simply that more TVs are being imported. The evidence is that the same number of TVs are being sold in Borodia, while fewer TV assemblers are employed in Borodia. This may mean that more TVs are being imported from Vernland, but that is not the only way that the level of sales could have been maintained. There are other possibilities: For instance, Borodian assemblers could be producing more TVs per person on average. In order to prove that more TVs are being imported, we must eliminate all other possibilities. Choice C eliminates one of them, and that makes it one of the necessary assumptions.

The question tries to confuse us a bit by providing additional evidence which makes it LIKELY that more TVs are being imported: Tariffs were removed, and Vernlandian assemblers are paid lower wages. But in the GMAT, "likely" never means "proven". So although this evidence indicates that an increase in imports is highly PROBABLE, it does not eliminate the possibility that Borodians simply became more efficient. To PROVE the conclusion that imports have gone up, we must (at a minimum) eliminate the other possible explanation which is implied by choice C.

Note that choice C is a necessary assumption, but not sufficient. (The question hints at this by asking for "an" assumption rather than "the" assumption.) Choice C eliminates ONE possible way in which the level of TV sales could have been maintained without imports from Vernland. But there are others. For instance, Borodia could have started importing from Buffoonia.
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Re: CR : Tennessee warbler [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2008, 15:36
thkx for the explanations guys.

I didn't make the connection of the songbirds.
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Re: CR : Tennessee warbler [#permalink]

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22 Dec 2008, 03:04
grumpyoldman wrote:
Good explanation from icandy! The correct answer is A, and this one is not very difficult. The key is seeing that the conclusion is a "cause and effect" claim: He is not just saying that the bird's numbers are declining, but that the absence of spruce budworms is the cause.

Whenever we want to weaken a "cause and effect" conclusion, the first thing we look for is information which shows that something else may be the cause. A clearly does this: It indicates that some fact about coffee plantations is probably the cause. Yes, it does support Kate's argument, which also has a cause and effect conclusion -- but by supporting the claimed causation in her argument, it certainly weakens any other claimed causation, including Scott's.

C does not affect Scott's argument one way or the other. Scott is claiming that the drop in budworm population NOW is causing the decline in warbler population NOW. Whether the budworm population will recover in the FUTURE or not is irrelevant.

D is more attractive, because it does weaken Kate's argument. If enough of the warblers DON'T go to coffee plantations, then the tree cover in the plantations cannot account for the decline in numbers. But this does NOT strengthen Scott's argument, because the number of other possible causes is infinite. Eliminating or removing one possible cause does not strengthen any SPECIFIC other possible cause.

Re the television assemblers in Borodia: Although the argument is based on causes and effects, the CONCLUSION is not a cause and effect claim, so the analysis is somewhat different. The conclusion is simply that more TVs are being imported. The evidence is that the same number of TVs are being sold in Borodia, while fewer TV assemblers are employed in Borodia. This may mean that more TVs are being imported from Vernland, but that is not the only way that the level of sales could have been maintained. There are other possibilities: For instance, Borodian assemblers could be producing more TVs per person on average. In order to prove that more TVs are being imported, we must eliminate all other possibilities. Choice C eliminates one of them, and that makes it one of the necessary assumptions.

The question tries to confuse us a bit by providing additional evidence which makes it LIKELY that more TVs are being imported: Tariffs were removed, and Vernlandian assemblers are paid lower wages. But in the GMAT, "likely" never means "proven". So although this evidence indicates that an increase in imports is highly PROBABLE, it does not eliminate the possibility that Borodians simply became more efficient. To PROVE the conclusion that imports have gone up, we must (at a minimum) eliminate the other possible explanation which is implied by choice C.

Note that choice C is a necessary assumption, but not sufficient. (The question hints at this by asking for "an" assumption rather than "the" assumption.) Choice C eliminates ONE possible way in which the level of TV sales could have been maintained without imports from Vernland. But there are others. For instance, Borodia could have started importing from Buffoonia.

Gr8 explanation. I have gone through this Causal Question approach. But could not figure it out in applications. Can someone give some more questions around this?
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Re: CR : Tennessee warbler [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2008, 06:24
C from my side
is OA A right?
Re: CR : Tennessee warbler   [#permalink] 28 Dec 2008, 06:24

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