Scientists are sometimes said to assume that something is : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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Scientists are sometimes said to assume that something is

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Scientists are sometimes said to assume that something is [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2009, 23:58
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Scientists are sometimes said to assume that something is not the case until there is proof that it is the case. Now suppose the question arises whether a given food additive is safe. At that point, it would be neither known to be safe nor known not to be safe. By the characterization above, scientists would assume the additive not to be safe because it has not been proven safe. But they would also assume it to be safe because it has not been proven otherwise. But no scientist could assume without contradiction that a given substance is both safe and not safe: so this characterization of scientists is clearly wrong.

Which one of the following describes the technique of reasoning used above?

(A) A general statement is argued to be false by showing that it has deliberately been formulated to mislead.
(B) A statement is argued to be false by showing that taking it to be true leads to implausible consequences.
(C) A statement is shown to be false by showing that it directly contradicts a second statement that is taken to be true.
(D) A general statement is shown to be uninformative by showing that there are as many specific instances in which it is false as there are instances in which it is true.
(E) A statement is shown to be uninformative by showing that it supports no independently testable inferences.
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28 Oct 2009, 00:26
barakhaiev wrote:
Scientists are sometimes said to assume that something is not the case until there is proof that it is the case. Now suppose the question arises whether a given food additive is safe. At that point, it would be neither known to be safe nor known not to be safe. By the characterization above, scientists would assume the additive not to be safe because it has not been proven safe. But they would also assume it to be safe because it has not been proven otherwise. But no scientist could assume without contradiction that a given substance is both safe and not safe: so this characterization of scientists is clearly wrong.

Which one of the following describes the technique of reasoning used above?

(A) A general statement is argued to be false by showing that it has deliberately been formulated to mislead.
(B) A statement is argued to be false by showing that taking it to be true leads to implausible consequences.
(C) A statement is shown to be false by showing that it directly contradicts a second statement that is taken to be true.
(D) A general statement is shown to be uninformative by showing that there are as many specific instances in which it is false as there are instances in which it is true.
(E) A statement is shown to be uninformative by showing that it supports no independently testable inferences.

Tricky one.
I think statement is shown to be false, not to be uninformative, since the last sentence states "is clearly wrong".
So, D & E are out.
C is also out since we have only one statement.
Between A & B, I gravitate to A. I believe it "has deliberately been formulated to mislead", rather than "leads to implausible consequences"

So, my ans is A.
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28 Oct 2009, 00:51
No idea I Feel A&B are bit close
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28 Oct 2009, 05:36
A?
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28 Oct 2009, 06:07
This is a strange question. For a GMAT question, it comes across as very formal and strict, almost more like an LSAT question. We at Knewton believe that the answer to this question must be C. Here's our reasoning:

The statement at the beginning of the argument (1) is contradicted by the statement at the end (2), which is "taken to be true" based on the rest of the argument. The middle of the argument, which is more interesting and distracting, is only there to bolster the "truth" of (2), but the argument is designed to contradict (1):

1) Scientists are sometimes said to assume that something is not the case until there is proof that it is the case.
2) But no scientist could assume without contradiction that a given substance is both safe and not safe: so this characterization of scientists is clearly wrong.

Only choice C addresses this contradiction. The others all include "killer" words that overshoot the mark (capitalized below):

(A) A general statement is argued to be false by showing that it has DELIBERATELY been formulated to MISLEAD. (this argument does not claim that anyone is deliberately trying to mislead anyone else; this is far too extreme)
(B) A statement is argued to be false by showing that taking it to be true leads to IMPLAUSIBLE consequences. (implausible only means "difficult to believe," not "logically impossible." Everything else in this answer fits, but if this is the OA, then the question-writer must be unclear about the meaning of "implausible")
(C) A statement is shown to be false by showing that it directly contradicts a second statement that is taken to be true. (correct)
(D) A general statement is shown to be UNINFORMATIVE by showing that there are AS MANY specific instances in which it is false as there are instances in which it is true. (this choice does not address the conclusion of the argument, which is that a statement is "clearly wrong." Also, the relative number of cases in which the characterization is right or wrong is not mentioned.)
(E) A statement is shown to be UNINFORMATIVE by showing that it supports NO independently testable inferences. (again, not strong enough a word. We have no idea what is meant by "independently testable inferences" here, either, but the argument uses one example, so the word "no" is extreme as well.)

This is definitely a tricky question. An important factor to remember on such questions is that the argument does not have to be logically solid for the "method of reasoning" to be identified. This argument is pretty wacky, but the arguer still points out a direct contradiction to prove a statement "false," so C is the best answer. Watch for killer words!

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28 Oct 2009, 16:18
First I thought the OA is D.
But upon reading the Knewton's response, I realized the word uniformative does not make any sense.
But I am still hesitant to pick C, as the Knewton Developer argues for.
If I were to choose right now, I would go with B
It looks to me as the best available option.
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13 Nov 2009, 17:16
This is a strange question. I really wasn't sure what to make of it. The KnewtonAlex's post convinces me, I think.
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18 Jun 2010, 01:37
I go for B
Because: "is clearly wrong" shows the scientists' statement is false --> elimilate D & E.
C is elimilated because there're no second statement that is contradicted
Then, consider A & B:
- I found no midleading reasoning here --> elimilate B
- "a given substance is both safe and not safe" is an implausible consequence --> B is right
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02 Jul 2010, 09:45
I too second B (2:18). There is indeed no second statement here as C suggests. A certain characterization of scientists is held on the basis of a certain characteristic particular them. That characteristic is applied to a particular situation which is then shown to lead to an implausible conclusion. Using this the characterization of scientists is disputed.
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02 Jul 2010, 09:53
I recant my earlier position... C must be the right answer. Also agree on the point made by Knewton on the usage of implausible. I should have been more careful!
Re: scientists   [#permalink] 02 Jul 2010, 09:53
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