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Re: A 20 percent decline in lobster catches in Maine waters since 1980 can [#permalink]
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Argument says

A ( legislation passed) --> B (decline in lobster catches)

option E says, C ( removed large numbers of mature lobsters from the reproductive stock )---> B (decline in lobster catches)

Option E give us another reason for decline in population.
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Re: A 20 percent decline in lobster catches in Maine waters since 1980 can [#permalink]
milind1979 wrote:
A 20 percent decline in lobster catches in Maine waters since 1980 can be justifiably blamed on legislation passed in 1972 to protect harbor seals. Maine’s population of harbor seals is now double the level existing before production was initiated, and these seals are known to eat both fish and lobsters.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the argument above?

(A) Harbor seals usually eat more fish than lobsters, but the seals are natural predators of both.

(B) Although harbor seals are skillful predators of lobsters, they rarely finish eating their catch.

(C) Harbor seals attract tourists to Maine’s coastal areas, thus revitalizing the local economy.

(D) Authors of the 1972 legislation protecting harbor seals were convinced that an increase in that animal’s numbers would not have a measurably negative impact on the lobster catch.

(E) The record lobster harvests of the late 1970’s removed large numbers of mature lobsters from the reproductive stock.



Please someone explain me why its not D.

I brought it down to D and E but went with D. This happens to me so many times that I am now considering not to mark what I think.
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Re: A 20 percent decline in lobster catches in Maine waters since 1980 can [#permalink]
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stunn3r wrote:
milind1979 wrote:
A 20 percent decline in lobster catches in Maine waters since 1980 can be justifiably blamed on legislation passed in 1972 to protect harbor seals. Maine’s population of harbor seals is now double the level existing before production was initiated, and these seals are known to eat both fish and lobsters.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the argument above?

(A) Harbor seals usually eat more fish than lobsters, but the seals are natural predators of both.

(B) Although harbor seals are skillful predators of lobsters, they rarely finish eating their catch.

(C) Harbor seals attract tourists to Maine’s coastal areas, thus revitalizing the local economy.

(D) Authors of the 1972 legislation protecting harbor seals were convinced that an increase in that animal’s numbers would not have a measurably negative impact on the lobster catch.

(E) The record lobster harvests of the late 1970’s removed large numbers of mature lobsters from the reproductive stock.



Please someone explain me why its not D.

I brought it down to D and E but went with D. This happens to me so many times that I am now considering not to mark what I think.


Well, I would say that D is a bit out of scope here.

We are trying to prove the point that seals are not responsable for the decline of the lobsters population, hence we are trying to find another explanation for this decline.

(D) Authors of the 1972 legislation protecting harbor seals were convinced that an increase in that animal’s numbers would not have a measurably negative impact on the lobster catch.

What the legislation thought is not an alternative explanation clearly, E on the other hand gives us a second explanation that weakens the conclusion:
the decline is not caused by the seals but by the fact that "The record lobster harvests of the late 1970’s removed large numbers of mature lobsters from the reproductive stock."

Hope it's clear
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Re: A 20 percent decline in lobster catches in Maine waters since 1980 can [#permalink]
argument sums up in the first line
why would the author mention the second line in the argument
Can someone elaborate please?

Also help me choose between D&E via the negation technique.
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Re: A 20 percent decline in lobster catches in Maine waters since 1980 can [#permalink]
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paidlukkha wrote:
argument sums up in the first line
why would the author mention the second line in the argument
Can someone elaborate please?

Also help me choose between D&E via the negation technique.


Negation technique does not work very well with weaken questions - I would suggest to use negation only for assumption questions. For weaken / strengthen, use the following:

Conclusion: X causes Z

Type A:
Strengthen: Y does not cause Z
Weaken: Y causes Z

Type B:
Strengthen: Z does not cause X
Weaken: Z causes X

This problem is of type A weaken.
X= Increase in population of harbour seals.
Z = reduction in number of lobster.
Y = taking out mature lobster from reproductive stock.

Conclusion: Increase in population of harbour seals caused reduction in number of lobster. (i.e.X caused Z).
Weakening statement: Something else, taking out mature lobster from reproductive stock, caused reduction in number of lobster. (i.e., Y caused Z)

Hence E is the correct answer.
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Re: A 20 percent decline in lobster catches in Maine waters since 1980 can [#permalink]
sayantanc2k wrote:
paidlukkha wrote:
argument sums up in the first line
why would the author mention the second line in the argument
Can someone elaborate please?

Also help me choose between D&E via the negation technique.


Negation technique does not work very well with weaken questions - I would suggest to use negation only for assumption questions. For weaken / strengthen, use the following:

Conclusion: X causes Z

Type A:
Strengthen: Y does not cause Z
Weaken: Y causes Z

Type B:
Strengthen: Z does not cause X
Weaken: Z causes X

This problem is of type A weaken.
X= Increase in population of harbour seals.
Z = reduction in number of lobster.
Y = taking out mature lobster from reproductive stock.

Conclusion: Increase in population of harbour seals caused reduction in number of lobster. (i.e.X caused Z).
Weakening statement: Something else, taking out mature lobster from reproductive stock, caused reduction in number of lobster. (i.e., Y caused Z)

Hence E is the correct answer.




In the parallel inference for D, it says that X would happen and Y will not. Hence another way to weaken the Cause and Effect. And for the same reason, I chose D over E. As E says mature lobsters were removed. Now mature lobsters may mean that they were no more useful for reproduction. Hence, not impacting the lobster number at all.

Any take on this?
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A 20 percent decline in lobster catches in Maine waters since 1980 can [#permalink]
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The argument is that a 20% reduction in the catch of lobsters can be attributed to a 1972 law passed to protect harbour seals.
This is based on the fact that the area's population of seals is now double the level existing before protection (the law) was initiated and the seals are known to eat fish and lobsters.


What weakens this?
A is what i stupidly selected. It actually explains the reduction caused by the abundance of seals - thinking about it this way.
B states that seals prey on lobsters. Whether they finish their catch or not.
C is besides the argument.
D this doesn't explain anything.
E - Well a reduction in reproductive stock would lead to a decrease in the population. If less animals are reproducing less offspring form. Thus, E states an alternative cause for the reduction. Correct.

Originally posted by dcummins on 03 Aug 2019, 01:43.
Last edited by dcummins on 03 Jan 2023, 15:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A 20 percent decline in lobster catches in Maine waters since 1980 can [#permalink]
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Re: A 20 percent decline in lobster catches in Maine waters since 1980 can [#permalink]
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