Professor Smith published a paper arguing that a chemical : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Professor Smith published a paper arguing that a chemical

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Professor Smith published a paper arguing that a chemical [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2012, 02:07
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69% (02:08) correct 31% (02:05) wrong based on 36 sessions

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Professor Smith published a paper arguing that a chemical found in minute quantities in most drinking water had an adverse effect on the human nervous system. Existing scientific theory held that no such effect was possible because there was no neural mechanism for bringing it about. Several papers by well-known scientists in the field followed, unanimously purporting to prove Professor Smith wrong. This clearly shows that the scientific establishment was threatened by Professor Smith's work and conspired to discredit it.
Which one of the following is the central flaw in the argument given by the author of the passage?
(A) The author passes over the possibility that Professor Smith had much to gain should Professor Smith's discovery have found general acceptance.
(B) The author fails to mention whether or not Professor Smith knew that the existence of the alleged new effect was incompatible with established scientific theory.
(C) The author fails to show why the other scientists could not have been presenting evidence in order to establish the truth of the matter.
(D) The author neglects to clarify what his or her relationship to Professor Smith is.
(E) The author fails to indicate what, if any, effect the publication of Professor Smith's paper had on the public's confidence in the safety of most drinking water

OA
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Re: Chemical in drinking water [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2012, 02:30
Should be C

I find A,B,D, and E to be simply irrelevant to the argument - was the scientific establishment threatened by Professor Smith's work and so did it work to conspire against him?
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Re: Chemical in drinking water [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2012, 02:37
No doubt you scored a 780 on the real thing.
But can you explain what does the answer choice A actually means by saying "..passes over the possibility".

"Professor Smith will gain huge advantage if his paper were published", then could this have been the correct answer? I guess it explains why the other researchers and scientists should conspire against him.
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Re: Chemical in drinking water [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2012, 04:38
Marcab,

The question stem asks for the flaw in the argument given by the author. How does establishing that Smith had much to gain show that the others were not in fact conspiring to discredit him?

On the other hand, (C) presents an alternative explanation to why the other scientists acted the way that they did, and therefore presents a flaw in the author's argument. C it should be.
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Re: Chemical in drinking water [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2012, 05:06
Hi Marcab
Its C
I zeroed it down to B and C......than little bit of re reading made clear that correct answer must be C.

This clearly shows that the scientific establishment was threatened by Professor Smith's work and conspired to discredit it.
The above mentioned is the conclusion drawn by the author of the argument. Now the questions asks to find the flaw in the argument.
No where in the argument its mentioned that "why other scientists are opposing the new finding.A straight fwd conclusion is drawn by the author that other scientists may have grouped against Smith but why have they grouped."

(D) The author neglects to clarify what his or her relationship to Professor Smith is.
"We are not interested in the relationship of author and the Smith. We are intrested in Smith and oother scientist.......So its out of scope.
(E) The author fails to indicate what, if any, effect the publication of Professor Smith's paper had on the public's confidence in the safety of most drinking water
"Its out of scope we are not interested in what is public's response"
(A) The author passes over the possibility that Professor Smith had much to gain should Professor Smith's discovery have found general acceptance.
"Again its out of scope we are keen to know about why other scientists behaved in such manner". The option says smith would have gained is totally out of scope.
(B) The author fails to mention whether or not Professor Smith knew that the existence of the alleged new effect was incompatible with established scientific theory.

The option is strong contender but takes us no where because the option says Smith knew whether the new effect was incompatible or not to other theories.........what after that is not mentioned in the argument.
Remem we have to find the flaw in the argument that too which deals with the main point of the argument.
Option C does that effectively.
(C) The author fails to show why the other scientists could not have been presenting evidence in order to establish the truth of the matter.

Hope that helps!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Chemical in drinking water [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2012, 05:21
What is the significance of the statement, "several papers by well known scientists in the field followed, unanimously purporting to prove Professor Smith wrong".
I thought that when one publishes a paper, he proves his research by providing some evidence.
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Re: Chemical in drinking water [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2012, 05:32
Marcab wrote:
What is the significance of the statement, "several papers by well known scientists in the field followed, unanimously purporting to prove Professor Smith wrong".
I thought that when one publishes a paper, he proves his research by providing some evidence.

Sometimes I feel like CR questions should be rather called "try to understand what we want to say with this weird statement" questions -.- Stating in simpler words, I think answer C sounds something like:

"The author fails to show why the other scientists could not have had any other choice but to agree with Smith [therefore their disagreement means they are just conspiring]", or in again other words, he fails to prove the absoluteness of the evidence provided by Smith, Or at least that's how I read it after a bit of reasoning...
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Re: Chemical in drinking water [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2012, 05:44
Marcab wrote:
No doubt you scored a 780 on the real thing.
But can you explain what does the answer choice A actually means by saying "..passes over the possibility".

"Professor Smith will gain huge advantage if his paper were published", then could this have been the correct answer? I guess it explains why the other researchers and scientists should conspire against him.

Hi Marcab
The question asks about the central flaw in other words flaw or weakeness in the main point of the argument.
Its not difficult to find the main point of the argument.
Main Point:- "Several other Scientists are publishing against Smith to discredit him"
I think A is a trap it has two implied meaning
2. we are not sure whether people will like his findings or not because the outcome of it is not discussed.
Have a look on A
(A) The author passes over the possibility that Professor Smith had much to gain should Professor Smith's discovery have found general acceptance.
We have to find flaw in the main point of the argument.......
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Re: Chemical in drinking water [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2012, 07:25
Archit143 wrote:
Marcab wrote:
No doubt you scored a 780 on the real thing.
But can you explain what does the answer choice A actually means by saying "..passes over the possibility".

"Professor Smith will gain huge advantage if his paper were published", then could this have been the correct answer? I guess it explains why the other researchers and scientists should conspire against him.

Hi Marcab
The question asks about the central flaw in other words flaw or weakeness in the main point of the argument.
Its not difficult to find the main point of the argument.
Main Point:- "Several other Scientists are publishing against Smith to discredit him"
I think A is a trap it has two implied meaning
2. we are not sure whether people will like his findings or not because the outcome of it is not discussed.
Have a look on A

(A) The author passes over the possibility that Professor Smith had much to gain should Professor Smith's discovery have found general acceptance.
We have to find flaw in the main point of the argument.......

Hey Archit basically for flaw in reasoning we need to find flaw in main point right..?
weakn is more of destryoing conclusion....
help me with above differences
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Re: Chemical in drinking water [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2012, 07:52
Aristocrat wrote:
Archit143 wrote:
Marcab wrote:
No doubt you scored a 780 on the real thing.
But can you explain what does the answer choice A actually means by saying "..passes over the possibility".

"Professor Smith will gain huge advantage if his paper were published", then could this have been the correct answer? I guess it explains why the other researchers and scientists should conspire against him.

Hi Marcab
The question asks about the central flaw in other words flaw or weakeness in the main point of the argument.
Its not difficult to find the main point of the argument.
Main Point:- "Several other Scientists are publishing against Smith to discredit him"
I think A is a trap it has two implied meaning
2. we are not sure whether people will like his findings or not because the outcome of it is not discussed.
Have a look on A

(A) The author passes over the possibility that Professor Smith had much to gain should Professor Smith's discovery have found general acceptance.
We have to find flaw in the main point of the argument.......

Hey Archit basically for flaw in reasoning we need to find flaw in main point right..?
weakn is more of destryoing conclusion....
help me with above differences

In specific weaken question we need to find an answer that negatively affects the conclusion or the premise of the statement.
when you say destroy the conclusion you may be foxed by selecting an opposite answer, the details of which you can find in the Powerscore cr bible...if you want i can try to explain.

But finding a flaw in main point is like finding a weak point or an error in the reasoning, which author makes in the main point of the argument.
Hope that helps!!

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Re: Chemical in drinking water [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2012, 08:01
hey thanks archit..

I try to find flaw in conclusion for flaw in reasoning.. like weaken..
Don't know has to find flaw in main point reasoning.
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Re: Chemical in drinking water   [#permalink] 11 Dec 2012, 08:01
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