The seventeenth-century physicist Sir Isaac Newton is : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# The seventeenth-century physicist Sir Isaac Newton is

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The seventeenth-century physicist Sir Isaac Newton is [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2006, 02:27
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The seventeenth-century physicist Sir Isaac Newton is remembered chiefly for his treaties on motion and gravity. But Newton also conducted experiments secretly for many years based on the arcane theories of alchemy, trying unsuccessfully to transmute common metals into gold and produce rejuvenating elixirs. If the alchemists of the seventeenth century had published the results of their experiments, chemistry in the eighteenth century would have been more advanced than it actually was.

Which one of the following assumptions would allow the conclusion concerning eighteenth-century chemistry to be properly drawn?
(A) Scientific progress is retarded by the reluctance of historians to acknowledge the failures of some of the great scientists.
(B) Advances in science are hastened when reports of experiments, whether successful or not, are available for review by other scientists.
(C) Newton's work on motion and gravity would not have gained wide acceptance if the results of his work in alchemy had also been make public.
(D) Increasing specialization within the sciences makes it difficult for scientists in one field to understand the principles of other fields.
(E) The seventeenth-century alchemists could have achieved their goals only if their experiments had been subjected to public scrutiny.

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07 Dec 2006, 03:13
Between B and E

I choose B
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07 Dec 2006, 04:49
I will also go with B. The conclusion of science would have been more advanced is only true if B is true.
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07 Dec 2006, 06:37
I'm for B
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07 Dec 2006, 08:36
B is the only possible answer.
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07 Dec 2006, 09:43
B...........
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07 Dec 2006, 15:08
Yep. B. It's just the missing link btw the conclusion and the premises.
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10 May 2011, 01:01
B clearly by negating it.
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15 Jun 2011, 20:08
I narrow down to A and B. Why A is wrong, plz kindly help me to explain
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20 Jun 2011, 04:03
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MICKEYXITIN wrote:
I narrow down to A and B. Why A is wrong, plz kindly help me to explain

Choice A: The "reluctance of historians" is irrelevant to whether Chemistry in the 18th century would have been more advanced...

Choice A would be correct if the stimulus states something along these lines:

"If the historians of the eighteenth century had exposed the failures of the scientists, chemistry in the eighteenth century would have been more advanced than it actually was".
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20 Jun 2011, 04:13
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MICKEYXITIN wrote:
I narrow down to A and B. Why A is wrong, plz kindly help me to explain

Yes, even I spent good 20 secs to analyze that.

(A) Scientific progress is retarded by the reluctance of historians to acknowledge the failures of some of the great scientists.

"Retarded by" seems like saying the progress is neutralized. Pretty strong. Author says that advancement or the progress was indeed present(not neutral) but it'd have been more intense if historians had revealed the failures. Subtle difference.
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20 Jun 2011, 22:40
thank you for your time helping me both your sayings are valuable for me. it is more clear now bw A and B
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21 Jun 2011, 00:43
B
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29 Jun 2011, 07:21
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vineetgupta wrote:
The seventeenth-century physicist Sir Isaac Newton is remembered chiefly for his treaties on motion and gravity. But Newton also conducted experiments secretly for many years based on the arcane theories of alchemy, trying unsuccessfully to transmute common metals into gold and produce rejuvenating elixirs. If the alchemists of the seventeenth century had published the results of their experiments, chemistry in the eighteenth century would have been more advanced than it actually was.

Premise:
Newton is remembered for his theories about motion and general physics.
Newton also conducted some experiments in alchemy, a field in chemistry that deals with metals.

Conclusion:
If Newton had published the results of alchemy related experiments, the chemistry would have been advanced at a later time.

Possible Assumption:
The results of experiment that Newton conducted must have been of some use for the advancements of chemistry later.

Which one of the following assumptions would allow the conclusion concerning eighteenth-century chemistry to be properly drawn?

(A) Scientific progress is retarded by the reluctance of historians to acknowledge the failures of some of the great scientists.

This is a fact that's somewhat related to the argument, but doesn't help the argument.

As I earlier explained, "retarded by" tells us that the reluctance causes negative impact on the progress.
We don't really know whether Newton's experiments were failures or success.

If absence of something results into something doesn't mean that presence of it would have an exactly opposite consequence.

In simple terms,
Historians not acknowledging the failures retards the progress DOES NOT NECESSARILY mean that acknowledging it would cause progress OR advancement.

(B) Advances in science are hastened when reports of experiments, whether successful or not, are available for review by other scientists.

This is precisely what we wanted. The results from Newton's experiments would have been either successful or unsuccessful. Either way, the process of REPORTING does have a positive impact on the advancement of science.

Really helps the argument.

Correct.

(C) Newton's work on motion and gravity would not have gained wide acceptance if the results of his work in alchemy had also been make public.
This is tangential to the argument. We are not concerned with whether Newton's work or which of his works gains popularity. We are just concerned about the non-reporting of experiments AND advancements in science, none of which is mentioned here.

(D) Increasing specialization within the sciences makes it difficult for scientists in one field to understand the principles of other fields.
Doesn't talk about the argument. Moreover, it is more like a fact about present days sciences. No mention of Newton's work and reporting.

(E) The seventeenth-century alchemists could have achieved their goals only if their experiments had been subjected to public scrutiny.
This is another drawback of not reporting the results, but doesn't tell us anything how the non-reporting caused the sluggishness in a later century.

A causes B.
Yeah; A also causes Z.
I am not interested in know whether A causes Z. I am more interested in knowing how A causes B, that's it.

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02 Jul 2011, 01:32
B!
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13 Jul 2011, 04:46
B clearly stands out
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Re: The seventeenth-century physicist Sir Isaac Newton is [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2012, 06:13
IMO A is wrong because it mentions historians, who are not there anywhere in the stimulus.

reluctance of historians to acknowledge the failures of some of the great scientists is Irrelevant.
The passage says that if alchemists published those findings, unsuccessful or not, chemistry in the 18th century would have been more advanced than it actually was.
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Re: The seventeenth-century physicist Sir Isaac Newton is [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2012, 09:02
There is close contention only between B and E .
E can be eliminated based on the simple logic that we do not know what are the goals of the scientists .Are their goals really to make a breakthorugh in inventing something new ? We dont know for sure .Hence eliminate E.
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Re: The seventeenth-century physicist Sir Isaac Newton is [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2012, 09:30
B it is.
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Re: The seventeenth-century physicist Sir Isaac Newton is [#permalink]

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03 Feb 2012, 03:20
+1 B
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Re: The seventeenth-century physicist Sir Isaac Newton is   [#permalink] 03 Feb 2012, 03:20

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