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The report released by the interior ministry states that [#permalink]
11 Jan 2004, 21:16
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The report released by the interior ministry states that within the past 5 years the national landreclamation program has resulted in a 19 percent increase in the amount of arable land within the country. If these figures are accurate, the program has been a resounding success. Senator Armand, a distinguished mathematician and a woman of indisputable brilliance, maintains, however, that the reclamation program could not possibly have been successful. Clearly, therefore, the figures cited in the report cannot be accurate. The argument above exhibits an erroneous pattern of reasoning most similar to that exhibited by which one of the following? (A) AlbertтАЩs father claims that Albert does not know where the spare car keys are hidden. Yesterday, however, Albert reported that he had discovered the spare car keys in the garage toolbox, so his fatherтАЩs claim cannot be true. (B) GloriaтАЩs drama teacher claims that her policy is to give each student the opportunity to act in at least one play during the year but, since Gloria, who attended every class, reports that she was not given such an opportunity, the teacherтАЩs claim cannot be true. (C) Amos claims that he can hold his breath under water for a full hour. Dr. Treviso, a cardiopulmonary specialist, has stated that humans are physiologically incapable of holding their breath for even half that long; so AmosтАЩ claim cannot be true. (D) Evelyn reports that she got home before midnight. Robert, who always knows the time, insists that she did not. If Robert is right, Evelyn could not possibly have listened to the late news; since she admits not having listened to the late news, her report cannot be true. (E) Moira, after observing the finish of the 60-kilometer bicycle race, reports that Lee won with Adams a distant third. Lomas, a bicycle engineering expert, insists, however, that Lee could not have won a race in which Adams competed; so MoiraтАЩs report cannot be true.
I believe C. The argument is trying to appeal to a figure of authority to establish the truth. Even without any evidence and verification, the authority, senator Armand, claims that the government statistics cannot possibly be true. Her words are taken as evidence to refute the argument.
C has the same approach in that the cardiopulmonary specialist's claim, without any verification of the evidence, incorrectly refute the possibility of the exploit happening. Besides the verbiage, I think this is average difficulty.