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# When a planetary system forms, the chances that a planet

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Director
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When a planetary system forms, the chances that a planet [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2008, 07:42
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When a planetary system forms, the chances that a planet capable of supporting life will be formed are high. The chances that a large planet the size of Jupiter or Saturn will be formed, however, are low. Without Jupiter and Saturn, whose gravitational forces have prevented Earth from being frequently struck by large comets, intelligent life would never have arisen on Earth. Since planetary systems are unlikely to contain any large planets, the chances that intelligent life will emerge on a planet are, therefore, low.

Knowing which one of the following would be most useful in evaluating the argument?

(A) whether all planetary systems are formed from similar amounts of matter
(B) whether intelligent species would be likely to survive if a comet struck their planet
(C) whether large comets could be deflected by only one large planet rather than by two
(D) how high the chances are that planetary systems will contain many large comets
(E) how likely it is that planetary systems containing large planets will also contain planets the size of Earth
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2008, 07:53
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I get D.

Premise: the chances that a planet capable of supporting life will be formed are high.

Premise: The chances that a large planet the size of Jupiter or Saturn will be formed, however, are low.

Premise: Without Jupiter and Saturn, whose gravitational forces have prevented Earth from being frequently struck by large comets, intelligent life would never have arisen on Earth.

Conclusion: Since planetary systems are unlikely to contain any large planets, the chances that intelligent life will emerge on a planet are, therefore, low.

The conclusion of the argument is based on the facts that large planets are needed to pull large comets away from the smaller planets that can support life. If there are no comets to pull away then the conclusion fails.
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2008, 12:06
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Here is my method.

Whenever you see the word argument think conclusion.

There are only 3 parts any argument.

1) Premise: This is something that is presented as fact. It may or may not be true in the real world but in the argument it is presented as though it is true and should be treated so.

ex. All dogs run faster than cats.

You may be able to find a cat that can run faster than a dog in the real world but for the sake of the argument this is a fact because it is presented as such. There are no words in the sentence that lead to ambiguity.

2) Assumption: This is something that is not directly stated in the passage but MUST be inferred in order to reach the conclusion.

ex. All girls over 5 ft tall are good at basketball, therefore Stacy is good at basketball.

The assumption is that Stacy is over 5 ft tall. Without that assumption the conclusion that Stacy is good at basketball makes no sense.

3) Conclusion: The conclusion is something that is stated in the the passage but is not presented as fact. It is the opinion derived from the facts. It is all a matter of wording.

ex. Therefore, all dogs are faster than cats.

This is similar to the first sentence but in this case it is not presented as fact. The word 'therefore' signals that this is something that is trying to be proven.

For example you would not say I have lived for 30 years, therefore I'm 30. If your 30 years old that is a fact and you present it as such. I am 30 years old. But if you don't know for sure how old you are you could say something like: "I have a picture showing that I was born in 1978 therefore I must be 30."

So the first thing I do is figure out what the question is asking me.

Knowing which one of the following would be most useful in evaluating the argument?

So whenever I see argument I think conclusion. The conclusion IS the argument. You don't argue facts, you argue your conclusion based on facts.

So we are looking for information that will be helpful in evaluating the conclusion.

So I break out the conclusion from the premises.

Premise: the chances that a planet capable of supporting life will be formed are high.

Premise: The chances that a large planet the size of Jupiter or Saturn will be formed, however, are low.

Premise: Without Jupiter and Saturn, whose gravitational forces have prevented Earth from being frequently struck by large comets, intelligent life would never have arisen on Earth.

Conclusion: Since planetary systems are unlikely to contain any large planets, the chances that intelligent life will emerge on a planet are, therefore, low.

So now it clearer what information I'm looking for. I'm looking for information that will help me evaluated if the CHANCES that intelligent life will emerge on a planet are low.

The only things that affect these chances are.

1) Chances of a planet capable of supporting life
2) Chances of a large planet to deflect large comets
3) Chances life could survive a large comet strike
4) Chances that there are comets capable striking the planet

1, 2, 3, are already given and stated as fact. The only chance that we don't already know is the chance that a comet will strike the planet.

That is given in D.
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2010, 01:20
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Well, B and D clearly are the choices which are worthy of further evaluation on a test day. I chose B but I understand that it is not the perfect choice considering the argument talks of the "emergence" of intelligent life whereas option B talks about survival. Technically, emergence (birth, beginning) is different from survival.

But here's my problem with D: the option says "how high the chances are that planetary systems will contain many large comets". In my view, while the existence of large comets is critical for the conclusion to hold true, nowhere in the argument is there an evidence that "many" large coments are required for a planet to be "frequently struck by large comets". It may well be the case that one or two large comets are responsible for frequent strikes to the Earth. If that is the case, the presence / absence of "many" large coments does not have a bearing on the conclusion. What will make more sense is an aswer choice which states that "how high the chances are that planetary systems will contain any large comets"

Makes sense?
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2008, 19:03
1
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gixxer1000 wrote:
Here is my method.

Whenever you see the word argument think conclusion.

There are only 3 parts any argument.

1) Premise: This is something that is presented as fact. It may or may not be true in the real world but in the argument it is presented as though it is true and should be treated so.

ex. All dogs run faster than cats.

You may be able to find a cat that can run faster than a dog in the real world but for the sake of the argument this is a fact because it is presented as such. There are no words in the sentence that lead to ambiguity.

2) Assumption: This is something that is not directly stated in the passage but MUST be inferred in order to reach the conclusion.

ex. All girls over 5 ft tall are good at basketball, therefore Stacy is good at basketball.

The assumption is that Stacy is over 5 ft tall. Without that assumption the conclusion that Stacy is good at basketball makes no sense.

3) Conclusion: The conclusion is something that is stated in the the passage but is not presented as fact. It is the opinion derived from the facts. It is all a matter of wording.

ex. Therefore, all dogs are faster than cats.

This is similar to the first sentence but in this case it is not presented as fact. The word 'therefore' signals that this is something that is trying to be proven.

For example you would not say I have lived for 30 years, therefore I'm 30. If your 30 years old that is a fact and you present it as such. I am 30 years old. But if you don't know for sure how old you are you could say something like: "I have a picture showing that I was born in 1978 therefore I must be 30."

So the first thing I do is figure out what the question is asking me.

Knowing which one of the following would be most useful in evaluating the argument?

So whenever I see argument I think conclusion. The conclusion IS the argument. You don't argue facts, you argue your conclusion based on facts.

So we are looking for information that will be helpful in evaluating the conclusion.

So I break out the conclusion from the premises.

Premise: the chances that a planet capable of supporting life will be formed are high.

Premise: The chances that a large planet the size of Jupiter or Saturn will be formed, however, are low.

Premise: Without Jupiter and Saturn, whose gravitational forces have prevented Earth from being frequently struck by large comets, intelligent life would never have arisen on Earth.

Conclusion: Since planetary systems are unlikely to contain any large planets, the chances that intelligent life will emerge on a planet are, therefore, low.

So now it clearer what information I'm looking for. I'm looking for information that will help me evaluated if the CHANCES that intelligent life will emerge on a planet are low.

The only things that affect these chances are.

1) Chances of a planet capable of supporting life
2) Chances of a large planet to deflect large comets
3) Chances life could survive a large comet strike
4) Chances that there are comets capable striking the planet

1, 2, 3, are already given and stated as fact. The only chance that we don't already know is the chance that a comet will strike the planet.

That is given in D.

I picked B. I was ble to see the mistake in my analysis.
Thanks for the nice explanation.Kudos!
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2008, 08:00
IMO its B
Director
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2008, 08:06
another D

gixxer1000 has explained it very well already!

gixxer1000 wrote:
I get D.

Premise: the chances that a planet capable of supporting life will be formed are high.

Premise: The chances that a large planet the size of Jupiter or Saturn will be formed, however, are low.

Premise: Without Jupiter and Saturn, whose gravitational forces have prevented Earth from being frequently struck by large comets, intelligent life would never have arisen on Earth.

Conclusion: Since planetary systems are unlikely to contain any large planets, the chances that intelligent life will emerge on a planet are, therefore, low.

The conclusion of the argument is based on the facts that large planets are needed to pull large comets away from the smaller planets that can support life. If there are no comets to pull away then the conclusion fails.
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2008, 08:07
neeshpal wrote:
IMO its B

I originally was between B and D.

But looking at the argument we see that it states as a premise that:

Without Jupiter and Saturn, whose gravitational forces have prevented Earth from being frequently struck by large comets, intelligent life would never have arisen on Earth.

So we already know that intelligent life would not likely survive.
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2008, 08:08
neeshpal wrote:
IMO its B

I don't think it will be the right answer
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2008, 08:44
I will go with D.Put two extreme cases (many large comets / No large comets ),the argument will produce two different responses (Possibilty low /possibility High).
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2008, 08:45
@ gixxer and alpha

I understand this from the question. please let me know if i am making any mistake in understading the question itself so that it'll be helpful for me in future problems.

with what choice we can make already stated information (on which the coclusion is based) more convincing which inturn makes argument more convincing.

whats the OA for this?

thanks!
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2008, 10:05
Awesome explanation gixxer+1 for it...

I was perplexed when I read this question as all answers seemed to be obscure, but your explanation makes a lot of sense
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2008, 11:19
Nice explanation gixxer1000; I gave you (+1).

After going through Premises and answer choices, I overlooked the term 'large comet' and hence ignored choice D as well. Is there any quick mechanical process to get the answer correct while somebody wades through question and still does not get answer?

OA is D.
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2008, 11:28
priyankur_saha@ml.com wrote:
When a planetary system forms, the chances that a planet capable of supporting life will be formed are high. The chances that a large planet the size of Jupiter or Saturn will be formed, however, are low. Without Jupiter and Saturn, whose gravitational forces have prevented Earth from being frequently struck by large comets, intelligent life would never have arisen on Earth. Since planetary systems are unlikely to contain any large planets, the chances that intelligent life will emerge on a planet are, therefore, low.

Knowing which one of the following would be most useful in evaluating the argument?

(A) whether all planetary system are formed from similar amounts of matter
(B) whether intelligent species would be likely to survive if a comet struck their planet
(C) whether large comets could be deflected by only one large planet rather than be two
(D) how high the chances are that planetary systems will contain many large comets
(E) how likely it is that planetary systems containing large planets will also contain planets the size of Earth

I will go with D
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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27 Jul 2010, 07:49
Nice explanation gixxer1000..Kudos
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2010, 05:52
deepakdewani wrote:
Well, B and D clearly are the choices which are worthy of further evaluation on a test day. I chose B but I understand that it is not the perfect choice considering the argument talks of the "emergence" of intelligent life whereas option B talks about survival. Technically, emergence (birth, beginning) is different from survival.

But here's my problem with D: the option says "how high the chances are that planetary systems will contain many large comets". In my view, while the existence of large comets is critical for the conclusion to hold true, nowhere in the argument is there an evidence that "many" large coments are required for a planet to be "frequently struck by large comets". It may well be the case that one or two large comets are responsible for frequent strikes to the Earth. If that is the case, the presence / absence of "many" large coments does not have a bearing on the conclusion. What will make more sense is an aswer choice which states that "how high the chances are that planetary systems will contain any large comets"

Makes sense?

Sorry mate, but I think you contradicted yourself there

If the strikes are to be FREQUENT, then you will need MANYcomets (if you have 1 or 2 or a couple which hit earth in a thousand years, it does definitely not account for frequent comet strikes preventing the development of intelligent life)
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2010, 07:50
Quote:
If the strikes are to be FREQUENT, then you will need MANYcomets (if you have 1 or 2 or a couple which hit earth in a thousand years, it does definitely not account for frequent comet strikes preventing the development of intelligent life)

Classic case of outside assumptions influencing the way you look at an answer choice. Where is the evidence in the argument to suggest that a comet will strike the earth in nothing less than a thousand years? Simply looking at the answer choice and the information given in the argument, I don't think I am being unfair in assuming that one or two large comets may be responsible for the frequent strikes referred to in the argument.
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2010, 08:53
It makes sense to have Saturn or Jupiter for life to exist on Earth if they can deflect the comets. - You don't want Bruce Willis to save us just like in Armageddon

But D is talking about number of LARGE comets than LARGE planets. So higher is the number of comets the less the probability of saving Earth where intelligent life exists. D is essential to the argument.

E talks about large planets but then also about Earth. If the conclusion rests on this then its essential to evaluate whether the size of Earth (gravitational pull) is massive to deflect the large comets NOT the coexistence of large planets w/ Earth. The larger the size of Earth the larger the probability of attracting the comet - the faster the extinction.
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2010, 10:38
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Re: CR - planetary system [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2011, 06:07
Quote:
The only things that affect these chances are.

1) Chances of a planet capable of supporting life
2) Chances of a large planet to deflect large comets
3) Chances life could survive a large comet strike
4) Chances that there are comets capable striking the planet

1, 2, 3, are already given and stated as fact. The only chance that we don't already know is the chance that a comet will strike the planet.

gizzer1000 where is point 3 mentioned in the stimulus ?
The stimulus already says that "Since planetary systems are unlikely to contain any large planets" then why do we need an answer to the question raised in D to evaluate the question
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Re: CR - planetary system   [#permalink] 29 Jul 2011, 06:07

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