Some anthropologists argue that the human species.. : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Some anthropologists argue that the human species..

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Some anthropologists argue that the human species.. [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2012, 05:53
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Difficulty:

(N/A)

Question Stats:

46% (01:59) correct 54% (02:29) wrong based on 42 sessions

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Some anthropologists argue that the human species could not have survived prehistoric times if the species had not evolved the ability to cope with diverse natural environments. However, there is considerable evidence that Australopithecus afarensis, a prehistoric species related to early humans, also thrived in a diverse array of environments, but became extinct. Hence, the anthropologists’ claim is false.

The reasoning in the argument is most vulnerable to
criticism on the grounds that the argument

(A) confuses a condition’s being required for a
given result to occur in one case with the
condition’s being sufficient for such a result to
occur in a similar case

(B) takes for granted that if one species had a
characteristic that happened to enable it to
survive certain conditions, at least one related
extinct species must have had the same
characteristic

(C) generalizes, from the fact that one species with
a certain characteristic survived certain
conditions, that all related species with the
same characteristic must have survived exactly
the same conditions

(D) fails to consider the possibility that
Australopithecus afarensis had one or more
characteristics that lessened its chances of
surviving prehistoric times

(E) fails to consider the possibility that, even if a
condition caused a result to occur in one case,
it was not necessary to cause the result to
occur in a similar case

OA, After some time..
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Re: Some anthropologists argue that the human species.. [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2012, 02:02
vomhorizon wrote:
Some anthropologists argue that the human species could not have survived prehistoric times if the species had not evolved the ability to cope with diverse natural environments. However, there is considerable evidence that Australopithecus afarensis, a prehistoric species related to early humans, also thrived in a diverse array of environments, but became extinct. Hence, the anthropologists’ claim is false.

The reasoning in the argument is most vulnerable to
criticism on the grounds that the argument

(A) confuses a condition’s being required for a
given result to occur in one case with the
condition’s being sufficient for such a result to
occur in a similar case

(B) takes for granted that if one species had a
characteristic that happened to enable it to
survive certain conditions, at least one related
extinct species must have had the same
characteristic

(C) generalizes, from the fact that one species with
a certain characteristic survived certain
conditions, that all related species with the
same characteristic must have survived exactly
the same conditions

(D) fails to consider the possibility that
Australopithecus afarensis had one or more
characteristics that lessened its chances of
surviving prehistoric times

(E) fails to consider the possibility that, even if a
condition caused a result to occur in one case,
it was not necessary to cause the result to
occur in a similar case

OA, After some time..

The correct answer here is A.

Counter Premise: Some anthropologists argue that the human species could not have survived prehistoric times if the species had not evolved the ability to cope with diverse natural environments.

Premise: There is considerable evidence that Australopithecus afarensis, a prehistoric species related to early humans, also thrived in a diverse array of environments, but became extinct.

Conclusion: The anthropologists’ claim is false.

(A) confuses a condition’s being required for a given result to occur in one case with the condition’s being sufficient for such a result to occur in a similar case

"a condition’s being required for a given result to occur in one case"

Condition:ability to cope with diverse natural environments
Result: Survival
Case: Humans

Similar case: Australopithecus afarensis

So, here the choice says that the argument treats the condition to be sufficient. That might not be the case.

(B) takes for granted that if one species had a characteristic that happened to enable it to survive certain conditions, at least one related
extinct species must have had the same characteristic

This makes no sense. The choice itself is contradictory. It is talking about the 'survival' of least one 'extinct' species.

(C) generalizes, from the fact that one species with a certain characteristic survived certain conditions, that all related species with the
same characteristic must have survived exactly the same conditions

This is untrue. The argument is not generalizing. It is holding up a specific case to disprove a claim.

(D) fails to consider the possibility that Australopithecus afarensis had one or more characteristics that lessened its chances of surviving prehistoric times

We don't have information to comment on characteristics that would 'lessen' chances of survival.

(E) fails to consider the possibility that, even if a condition caused a result to occur in one case, it was not necessary to cause the result to
occur in a similar case

The word 'sufficient' in place of necessary would have made it a better contender.

Regards,

Shouvik.
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Re: Some anthropologists argue that the human species.. [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2012, 21:22
(A) confuses a condition’s being required for a
given result to occur in one case with the
condition’s being sufficient for such a result to
occur in a similar case

Can be correct, as a condition which had a result in one case is deemed to be sufficient in other case.

(B) takes for granted that if one species had a
characteristic that happened to enable it to
survive certain conditions, at least one related
extinct species must have had the same
characteristic

out of scope

(C) generalizes, from the fact that one species with
a certain characteristic survived certain
conditions, that all related species with the
same characteristic must have survived exactly
the same conditions
out of scope

(D) fails to consider the possibility that
Australopithecus afarensis had one or more
characteristics that lessened its chances of
surviving prehistoric times

correct , had AA had one more characteristic => less survival => weak argument

(E) fails to consider the possibility that, even if a
condition caused a result to occur in one case,
it was not necessary to cause the result to
occur in a similar case

Close but not accurate enough to meet already fighting options (A) and (D).

Plz post the OA , (A) or (D). or some other option

My take (D).
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Re: Some anthropologists argue that the human species.. [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2012, 00:37
Experts Please pour in and justify the option (A). if it is OA

thanks
Saurabh
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Re: Some anthropologists argue that the human species.. [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2012, 04:33
1
KUDOS
Quote:
if it is OA

It is definitely the OA..
The stimulus has the following key points:

Some anthropologists argue :
Quote:
human species could not have survived prehistoric times if the species had not evolved the ability to cope with diverse natural environments.

Some evidence also suggests :
Quote:
Australopithecus afarensis, a prehistoric species related to early humans, also thrived in a diverse array of environments, but became extinct.

Based on the last evidence, the author concludes :
Quote:
Hence, the anthropologists’ claim is false.

So the author tries to logically conclude that because A. Afarensis, had the ability to adapt and thrive in diverse environments BUT COULD NOT SURVIVE pre historic times (and thus became extinct) the anthropologists are wrong.

The anthropological are trying to claim that the HUMANS could not have survived had they not possessed the ability to adapt. The anthropologists stop at that, and do not in any way STATE that the HUMANS would have SURVIVED had they had the ability to adapt ... Therefore the ability to adapt is considered by them as essential to surviving in pre historic times, however they do not claim that any species that has that ability is guaranteed of surviving those times ....

(A) confuses a condition’s being required for a
given result to occur in one case with the
condition’s being sufficient for such a result to
occur in a similar case

Questions that involve logical chinks or flaws are easy to predict (predict the answer ) .. and (A) is the right answer as explained ...

Quote:
(D) fails to consider the possibility that
Australopithecus afarensis had one or more
characteristics that lessened its chances of
surviving prehistoric times

This is clearly out of scope .. He is attacking the anthropologists based on their reasoning ( he is trying to draw an inference that is not correct), therefore the correct answer choice must reflect that....

Hope it helps..
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Re: Some anthropologists argue that the human species.. [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2012, 11:53
The error in logic here is that the paragraph assumes that satisfying a condition (ability to live in diverse environments) automatically confers a result (survival). In other words, just because humans could live in a prehistoric environment and survive does not apply to every species. Therefore the paragraph comes to a mistaken conclusion: because the ability to live in diverse environments did not prevent the Austral. Afar. from going extinct, this ability cannot account for the success of the human species.

Thus what works in one case doesn't apply to all cases is, I hope, an easy to understand paraphrase of the answer (A) .
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Re: Some anthropologists argue that the human species.. [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2012, 20:51
ChrisLele wrote:
The error in logic here is that the paragraph assumes that satisfying a condition (ability to live in diverse environments) automatically confers a result (survival). In other words, just because humans could live in a prehistoric environment and survive does not apply to every species. Therefore the paragraph comes to a mistaken conclusion: because the ability to live in diverse environments did not prevent the Austral. Afar. from going extinct, this ability cannot account for the success of the human species.

Thus what works in one case doesn't apply to all cases is, I hope, an easy to understand paraphrase of the answer (A) .

Hi Chris,

Can You plz explain what is wrong with option (D). as in many of the questions we would have opted for option (D). also .
Plz pour in.

Rgds,
Saurabh
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Re: Some anthropologists argue that the human species..   [#permalink] 14 Dec 2012, 20:51
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