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Millions of irreplaceable exhibits in natural history [#permalink]
12 Apr 2004, 13:22
50% (01:09) correct
50% (01:20) wrong based on 3 sessions
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Millions of irreplaceable exhibits in natural history museums are currently allowed to decay. Yet without analyses of eggs from museums, the studies linking pesticides with the decline of Birds of prey would have been impossible Therefore, funds must be raised to preserve at least Those exhibits that will be most valuable to science in the future.
The argument presupposes that:
(A) If a museum exhibit is irreplaceable, its preservation is of an importance that overrides economic considerations.
(B) The scientific analysis of museum exhibits can be performed in nondestructive way
(C) Eggs of extinct species should be analyzed to increase knowledge of genetic relationships among species
(D) It can be known at this time what data will be of most use to scientific investigators in the future
(E) The decay of organic material in natural history exhibits is natural and cannot be prevented
If B is negated, then what is the use of analyzing those eggs? Knowing that pesticides is the cause of the decay will be futile since the analysis itself will destroy the eggs. D shifts the scope of the subject from the "exhibits" to be preserved to the "data" from the analysis and this is not a required assumption
I don't think anything warrants the preservation of exhibits over economic considerations. The conclusion only says that funds must be raised in order to protect the exhibits.
Two scenarios are possible:
1- Exhibits cost too much to preserve; Funds will still have to be raised to preserve the exhibit
2- Preservation costs are reasonable; fundraising may or may not be required
In either cases, the issue is not about whether costs are too high so as to prevent preservation. It is about the necessity of raising funds to preserve those exhibits. Hence, A cannot be an assumption.
I don't D think can be the answer. Let me try to refute. All we know from stem is that funds need to be raised to protect the exhibits for future generations.
1- We may or may not know what data will be useful for future generations.
2- Yet, we have to preserve the exhibits themselves for future generations.
Even if we do not know what data will be useful for future generations, we still have to protect the exhibits. See the nuance?
Now, B is necessary because without B, as I previously mentioned, the argument will fall apart. If the analysis itself is performed in a destructive way, can we blame pesticides for the destruction of those eggs?
I don't see support for your statement "If the analysis itself is performed in a destructive way, can we blame pesticides for the destruction of those eggs?"
1. Nothing in the argument mentions that pesticides destroyed eggs ... it merely mentioned that pesticides destroyed the birds ( it could be because they ate food which contained pesticides).
2.Because the eggs were saved experiments could be done to see if pesticides destroyed birds ( perhaps the eggs were unfertilized or whatever). Wether this was done destructively or not is besides the point. In order to do the experiment ..at the minimum you *require* the eggs.
The argument wants to present a case for "at least preserving those items which are going to be scientifically valuable" ....... and hence *presupposes* that such items can be identified - answer (D)
Version2, thank you for your input. This is the kind of discussion I like. I mixed up the destructions of eggs with destruction of birds. You are right about correcting me on that. However, say the evidence, the eggs, are destroyed after analysis, then what is the whole point of raising fund to "preserve" those exhibits which in the first place cannot be preserved?
I agree with the OA in that yes, what item will be useful for future generations would have to be identified in order for people to know what to perserve. Yet, there is still a case for B in that if those items cannot be preserved, how can we even preserve them? This question has 2 possible twists to it IMO. Hence, B can also be an assumption.
I'm wondering why you still like (B). Perhaps we should try to nail down the points we disagree on.
You state there is still a case for (B) because
"if those items(exhibits) cannot be preserved, how can we even preserve them? "
I think the primary difference in our positions is the meaning of *preserve*.
For you in the context of the argument 'preserve' seems to mean 'indefinitely save' ; for me 'preserve' means 'save it for some *more* time'.
The case being made is that some exhibits could be valuable for future studies so we should not allow it to decay *today* . (At the least save it for more time) . Nowhere does the argument say that we should *preserve it for all time*.
Perhaps this is clearer ??. Feel free to disagree.
In general it appears that in this forum there is more emphasis on getting an answer rather than debating the merits of the choices. Its refreshing to have to this dialogue with you.