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No one knows what purposes, if any, dreams serve, although

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Senior Manager
Joined: 25 Jul 2009
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No one knows what purposes, if any, dreams serve, although [#permalink]  30 Dec 2009, 09:55
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5% (low)

Question Stats:

25% (03:57) correct 75% (02:26) wrong based on 4 sessions
No one knows what purposes, if any, dreams serve, although there are a number of hypotheses. According to one hypothesis, dreams are produced when the brain is erasing “parasitic connections” (meaningless, accidental associations between ideas), which accumulate during the day and which would otherwise clog up our memories. Interestingly, the only mammal that does not have rapid eye movement sleep, in which we humans typically have our most vivid dreams, is the spiny anteater, which has been seen as anomalous in that it has a very large brain relative to the animal’s size. This fact provides some confirmation for the parasitic-connection hypothesis, since the hypothesis predicts that for an animal that did not dream to have an effective memory that animal would need extra memory space for the parasitic connections.

The reasoning in the argument most closely conforms to which one of the following principles?
(A) Facts about one species of animal can provide confirmation for hypothesis about all species that are similar in all relevant respects to the particular species in question.
(B) A hypothesis from which several predictions can be drawn as logical conclusions is confirmed only when the majority of these predictions turn out to be true.
(C) A hypothesis about the purpose of an action or object is confirmed when it is shown that the hypothesized purpose is achieved with the help of the action or object and could not be achieved without that action or object.
(D) A hypothesis is partially confirmed whenever a prediction derived from that hypothesis provides an explanation for an otherwise unexplained set of facts.
(E) When several competing hypotheses exist, one of them is confirmed only when it makes a correct prediction that its rivals fail to make.
Senior Manager
Status: Yeah well whatever.
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Re: parasitic connections [#permalink]  30 Dec 2009, 10:38
My guess is A. It may be D also. I choose A because if we hold A true then it becomes possible to apply a principle that’s true for the anteater’s sleep to human sleep. That’s my guess though. If A is wrong then it’s probably because it’s too broad. This is a tough question.
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Re: parasitic connections [#permalink]  30 Dec 2009, 19:00
I would go with D. I see many flaws in A
Manager
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Re: parasitic connections [#permalink]  31 Dec 2009, 05:06
The passage mentions, "This fact provides some confirmation...", which is consistent with the "A hypothesis is partially confirmed.." mentioned in D. Moreover "for an otherwise unexplained set of facts" mentioned in D also points out to the anomaly of large brain size in spiny anteater.
Hope this helps.
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Re: parasitic connections [#permalink]  02 Jan 2010, 22:00
OA is D... but can anyone explains the flaws in A?
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Re: parasitic connections [#permalink]  03 Jan 2010, 00:24
IMO A is wrong because
(A) Facts about one species of animal can provide confirmation for hypothesis about all species that are similar in all relevant respects to the particular species in question

which is not in line with the conclusion ,

This fact provides some confirmation for the parasitic-connection hypothesis, since the hypothesis predicts that for an animal that did .....

Moreover , spiny anteater is not similar in all relevent respects as it has very large brain .
Re: parasitic connections   [#permalink] 03 Jan 2010, 00:24
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