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The earliest known records of wartime activities detail the

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The earliest known records of wartime activities detail the [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2004, 00:15
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A
B
C
D
E

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The earliest known records of wartime activities detail the history of the use of carrier pigeons to communicate classified military information. Many people are not aware that the birds were also used extensively in the world wars of the twentieth century. Even today, their uncanny ability to fly home over great distances makes them valuable even to modern military units that need a way to deliver messages without the use of portable electronic devices whose signals can be intercepted.

The statements above, if true, best support which of the following conclusions?


a. The use of carrier pigeons is usually preferable to the use of portable
electronic devices when a military unit needs a way to send classified
military information.
b. The messages that carrier pigeons carry cannot be intercepted.
c. The use of carrier pigeons decreased once portable electronic devices
became practical in warfare.
d. Carrier pigeons were used in warfare prior to the date of the earliest
known record of wartime activity.
e. Carrier pigeons are still used extensively by modern military units.
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2004, 04:11
D? Tight fight between A and D but would go with D as it is a possibility that they were used prior to the earliest known record.
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2004, 06:17
D is clearly stated in the opening sentence of the stimulus
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2004, 14:57
I cant help but say this.

This is a stupid question from Kaplan. I know the answer to this question as well. Once you know the answer you will realize that it cannot be a conclusion of the argument. It can only be "inference" or "which of the following is true" question.

This should give stoolfi enough clue to change his answer of justify the answer he has chosen. I am with stoolfi on this one.
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2004, 15:53
anand--

You lost me there. Are you saying that I should explain myself? Or that I should change my answer? Or that I provided the correct answer to a stupid question?

a. The use of carrier pigeons is usually preferable to the use of portable
electronic devices when a military unit needs a way to send classified
military information.


There's no reason to believe that this is true in the strong form in which it is stated.

From the argument: use of portable electronic devices whose signals can be intercepted.

It's a little nuanced, but the argument does not state:
use of portable electronic devices, whose signals can be intercepted.

In other words, the argument does not claim that all portable electronic device signals can be intercepted. It states that some can be intercepted.
And it sates that pigeons can be "valuable". Not that they're preferable.

b. The messages that carrier pigeons carry cannot be intercepted.

Too strong of an inference, though not a terribly bad choice, IMO.

c. The use of carrier pigeons decreased once portable electronic devices
became practical in warfare.

We know that pigeons showed up in the earliest records. We know that they were used "extensively" in WWI and WWII. Today, they're merely "valuable" as an alternative. That seems like declining use to me.

d. Carrier pigeons were used in warfare prior to the date of the earliest
known record of wartime activity.

The argument did not state this! No reason to assume this. They were used at the date of first record, but it could be (for example) that only when literacy began to become widely held that people recorded of wars, and that you can only send written messages if you know how to write...

e. Carrier pigeons are still used extensively by modern military units.
We all know that this is wrong.
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2004, 16:35
Your thinking is perfect. I just would like to say that your answer is wrong. IMO what you chose should be the correct answer.

Let mbamantra post the answer. I wanted to post my choice ( which is obviously wrong ). I dont want other people change thier answer after seeing my comment. That is the reason I didnt want to say anything crystal clear.
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2004, 16:52
My guess is that B is the book answer, then.
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2004, 18:40
the topic is extensively discussed here

http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=3686
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2004, 21:05
I know most of you will not buy this since you already have made up your mind against D.
But, frankly speaking, I found only D closest to the stimulus..

The opening sentence says,
The earliest known records of wartime activities detail the history of the use of carrier pigeons to communicate classified military information

Obviously, when the record was written, piegons were used before that date. How can you write about the use of piegons when they are not being used in that or prior to that era ?

You can argue that it could also be imaginary...but again that is an assumption which we are not supposed to assume. Similarly, the point stoolfi brought up about literacy is also an assumption which cannot be considered.

But I agree with anandnk that this cannot be termed as a conclusion, but given the question this is the best bet. No doubt about that...

Now, dont fire me for the explanation... :)
  [#permalink] 18 Jan 2004, 21:05
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