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# A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not

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A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2012, 00:24
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A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not have been, as generally believed, the first to
bring chickens to South America. The group cites European accounts dating from the arrival of Europeans in
South America around five hundred years ago that suggest that the Inca had already incorporated chickens
into religious ceremonies. Further, a DNA comparison suggests a Polynesian origin for a chicken bone unearthed
at Chile’s El Arenal site, where other artifacts have been dated to over six hundred years ago.

Which of the following would, if true, most seriously weaken the anthropologists’ argument as reported above?

A. Preserved sweet potatoes up to one thousand years old from Polynesian archaeological sites most likely originated
in South America.
B. The ages of other chicken bones found in the vicinity of the El Arenal site have been established by an absolutely
irrefutable method.
C. Analyses of ancient Polynesian canoes suggest that they could have been used for voyages to places as far away
from Polynesia as South America.
D. The Europeans often mistook certain South American ducks for chickens.
E. Given ocean currents, it is just as likely that South Americans traveled to Polynesia centuries ago as it is that
Polynesians traveled to South America.
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Re: A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2012, 03:38
Weird question
What is the OA?
I d mark E and move on I guess!
Let me know what the OA is and I d be glad to share my thoughts.
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18 Nov 2012, 05:18
1.58
I would choose D.
Since the Europeans considered South American ducks as Chickens, they wrote about these "chickens" in their accounts, which is taken as proof by some archaelogists.
Whats the OA?
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Re: A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2012, 06:46
Hi Marcab,

I think it's likely to be E

Whilst the question is rightly noted as being very unclear. Answer D would not undermine the argument.

Argument is that chickens were brought by someone to S.America before the Europeans arrived.

D says that the Europeans thought Ducks already in S.America were Chickens.

This only tells us the OPINION of Early Europeans, it offers no FACTS regarding whether real chickens (not ones that were actually ducks!) were there before Europeans.
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18 Nov 2012, 07:07
plumber250 wrote:
Hi Marcab,

I think it's likely to be E

Whilst the question is rightly noted as being very unclear. Answer D would not undermine the argument.

Argument is that chickens were brought by someone to S.America before the Europeans arrived.

D says that the Europeans thought Ducks already in S.America were Chickens.

This only tells us the OPINION of Early Europeans, it offers no FACTS regarding whether real chickens (not ones that were actually ducks!) were there before Europeans.

Hii plumber.
Archaelogists argue that chickens may not have been the first to bring chickens to S America. For this, they cite the accounts written by Europeans mentioning chickens.
Now if had they thought S American ducks to be chickens, the European writers wrote about them only.
My reasoning is that conclusion (chickens may not have been the first to bring chickens to S America) is based on the accounts written by europeans. Since this conclusion is based on the opinion of those europeans, D weakens the conclusion.
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Re: A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2012, 07:22
Marcab wrote:
plumber250 wrote:
Hi Marcab,

I think it's likely to be E

Whilst the question is rightly noted as being very unclear. Answer D would not undermine the argument.

Argument is that chickens were brought by someone to S.America before the Europeans arrived.

D says that the Europeans thought Ducks already in S.America were Chickens.

This only tells us the OPINION of Early Europeans, it offers no FACTS regarding whether real chickens (not ones that were actually ducks!) were there before Europeans.

Hii plumber.
Archaelogists argue that chickens may not have been the first to bring chickens to S America. For this, they cite the accounts written by Europeans mentioning chickens.
Now if had they thought S American ducks to be chickens, the European writers wrote about them only.
My reasoning is that conclusion (chickens may not have been the first to bring chickens to S America) is based on the accounts written by europeans. Since this conclusion is based on the opinion of those europeans, D weakens the conclusion.

Well I am not a big fan of unofficial questions so take my words with a pinch of salt. But here is my explanation

A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not have been, as generally believed, the first to bring chickens to South America. The group cites European accounts dating from the arrival of Europeans in South America around five hundred years ago that suggest that the Inca had already incorporated chickens into religious ceremonies. Further, a DNA comparison suggests a Polynesian origin for a chicken bone unearthed at Chile’s El Arenal site, where other artifacts have been dated to over six hundred years ago.
Which of the following would, if true, most seriously weaken the anthropologists’ argument as reported above?
A. Preserved sweet potatoes up to one thousand years old from Polynesian archaeological sites most likely originated in South America.
B. The ages of other chicken bones found in the vicinity of the El Arenal site have been established by an absolutely irrefutable method.
C. Analyses of ancient Polynesian canoes suggest that they could have been used for voyages to places as far away from Polynesia as South America.
D. The Europeans often mistook certain South American ducks for chickens.
E. Given ocean currents, it is just as likely that South Americans traveled to Polynesia centuries ago as it is that Polynesians traveled to South America.

Europeans may not have been, as generally believed, the first to bring chickens to South America.
This is the apparent conclusion of the anthropologists. While D is clearly tempting and I could mark is as an initial guess but D is generally a very WEAK weakener. First it says the Europeans “OFTEN” mistook…. So that leaves us to think that may be sometime they did not which does nothing to the conclusion of the argument. Second, even all of them mistook ducks for chickens that does not mean that they did not see chickens in the ceremonies. I hope I make sense.
On the other hand E is an arguable winner. It says that there is an equal probability that south americans traveled to Polynesia as the reverse. So the Polynesian origin of the chicken remains might not mean at all that the Polynesians brought those chickens to south America. I agree its not a an awesome answer choice either and hence I DO NOT like the question at all.
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Re: A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2012, 07:33
But Souvik, don't you think that E is a weakener of the fact. We are supposed to weaken the conclusion, which is particularly based on the authors opinion.
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Re: A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2012, 08:02
Conclusion : A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not have been, as generally believed, the first to
bring chickens to South America.

P1:The group cites European accounts dating from the arrival of Europeans in
South America around five hundred years ago that suggest that the Inca had already incorporated chickens
into religious ceremonies.

P2:Further, a DNA comparison suggests a Polynesian origin for a chicken bone unearthed
at Chile’s El Arenal site, where other artifacts have been dated to over six hundred years ago.

Before looking at the answer thought about this: One weakener can be related to the finding of the Polynesian bone which connects europeans to this bones

Which of the following would, if true, most seriously weaken the anthropologists’ argument as reported above?

A. Preserved sweet potatoes up to one thousand years old from Polynesian archaeological sites most likely originated
in South America. ---- Out of scope

B. The ages of other chicken bones found in the vicinity of the El Arenal site have been established by an absolutely
irrefutable method. ------ Again OOS

C. Analyses of ancient Polynesian canoes suggest that they could have been used for voyages to places as far away
from Polynesia as South America. ------- Not a weakener as it cannot refute P1

D. The Europeans often mistook certain South American ducks for chickens. ----- Does not weaken the argument I think it does nothing to the conclusion neither strengthen/weaken the conclusion

E. Given ocean currents, it is just as likely that South Americans traveled to Polynesia centuries ago as it is that
Polynesians traveled to South America. ---- This one acts as weakener because this option takes into assumption that may be S Amer. acted as medium of bringing chicken from Polynesia to South america.

Pls let me know if i'm missing some point here.

Thanks
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Re: A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2012, 08:06
Marcab wrote:
But Souvik, don't you think that E is a weakener of the fact. We are supposed to weaken the conclusion, which is particularly based on the authors opinion.

Hey, what you are referring to is a VERY important concept in critical reasoning

There can be 2 conclusions in one argument
• The conclusion of the author of the argument.
• The conclusion of some character/group in the argument.

Here, we are asked to weaken the anthropologist's argument and so we need to weaken the anthropologist's conclusion which is based on 2 things.
• European accounts
• The new DNA analysis

D tries to hover around the first point but just doesn't do much. And trust me D is a VERY tempting answer choice. I think its there to distract you a for a reason. It just might be right as well, for we don't know the OA. But somehow I feel that D is too broad and generic and consistent with GMAT traps to be actually the correct answer choice.

Hope this helps.
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18 Nov 2012, 09:09
souvik101990 wrote:
Marcab wrote:
But Souvik, don't you think that E is a weakener of the fact. We are supposed to weaken the conclusion, which is particularly based on the authors opinion.

Hey, what you are referring to is a VERY important concept in critical reasoning

There can be 2 conclusions in one argument
• The conclusion of the author of the argument.
• The conclusion of some character/group in the argument.

Here, we are asked to weaken the anthropologist's argument and so we need to weaken the anthropologist's conclusion which is based on 2 things.
• European accounts
• The new DNA analysis

D tries to hover around the first point but just doesn't do much. And trust me D is a VERY tempting answer choice. I think its there to distract you a for a reason. It just might be right as well, for we don't know the OA. But somehow I feel that D is too broad and generic and consistent with GMAT traps to be actually the correct answer choice.

Hope this helps.

Hii Souvik.
I am just restating the stimulus.
A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not have been, as generally believed, the first to
bring chickens to South America. The group cites European accounts dating from the arrival of Europeans in
South America around five hundred years ago that suggest that the Inca had already incorporated chickens
into religious ceremonies.
Further, a DNA comparison suggests a Polynesian origin for a chicken bone unearthed
at Chile’s El Arenal site, where other artifacts have been dated to over six hundred years ago.

I just want to make sure whether Archaelogists use RED PORTION as their evidence or not.
If yes, then the answer is E but if no, then the answer must be D.
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Re: A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2012, 10:12
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The problem as I see it: Anthropologists conclude that the Europeans were not the first to introduce chickens in INCA, based on two premises, namely the polynesian and the European connections.

1. Why the Polynesian connection is untenable to weaken --- any proof that there was active commutation between SA and Poly prior to the European’s arrival will mean that the chickens could have been brought into SA, either when the SA went to Poly or when Poly went to SA. In fact, therefore, choices A, C and E strengthen the case of the scientists. So let us drop them.

The second premise is the European connection. Choice D states that the Europeans mistook only certain ducks for chickens.Unless the argument states that Europeans mistook all the ducks for chickens, this does not impact the belief of the scientists totally. Obviously you don’t expect the Europeans to be so dumb as to mistake all the ducks for chicken. So D doesn’t fully weaken the argument.

I would rather go with B; this states the dating procedure for all other chicks have been done by an irrefutable method. Can the scientist say that only the chickens brought by Europeans were tested by a dubious dating method? This is untenable and therefore this goes against the grain of the scientist’s averment.
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18 Nov 2012, 10:20
daagh wrote:
The problem as I see it: Anthropologists conclude that the Europeans were not the first to introduce chickens in INCA, based on two premises, namely the polynesian and the European connections.

1. Why the Polynesian connection is untenable to weaken --- any proof that there was active commutation between SA and Poly prior to the European’s arrival will mean that the chickens could have been brought into SA, either when the SA went to Poly or when Poly went to SA. In fact, therefore, choices A, C and E strengthen the case of the scientists. So let us drop them.

The second premise is the European connection. Choice D states that the Europeans mistook only certain ducks for chickens.Unless the argument states that Europeans mistook all the ducks for chickens, this does not impact the belief of the scientists totally. Obviously you don’t expect the Europeans to be so dumb as to mistake all the ducks for chicken. So D doesn’t fully weaken the argument.

I would rather go with B; this states the dating procedure for all other chicks have been done by an irrefutable method. Can the scientist say that only the chickens brought by Europeans were tested by a dubious dating method? This is untenable and therefore this goes against the grain of the scientist’s averment.

Hii daagh.
My question is do the archaelogists cite the polynesian connection. As per the stimulus, it seems that its a fact and not a opinion, which is cited as an evidence by the archaelogists.
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Re: A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2012, 10:39
Yes, the Polynesian connection is indeed a fact, not just an opinion. We cannot but accept it. Whether the scientist say that or not, their conclusion takes into account of that fact. If the Polynesian connection is not part of the argument, why will the stimulus include it? The
Stimulus never states these facts explicitly.
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18 Nov 2012, 12:20
B. The ages of other chicken bones found in the vicinity of the El Arenal site have been established by an absolutely
irrefutable method.
IMO B seems too extreme; "absolutely irrefutable"..." other chicken bones" do not seem to weaken the position that
chicken were not 1st brought to SA by Europeans.
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18 Nov 2012, 22:47
Hi souvik101990,
Its my opinion about B....I feel B is not correct as stated.
What do you think?
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19 Nov 2012, 01:14
I also think answer is D; i agree with souvik's point that D is tempting asnwer but E doesnt make any sense to me. May be it requires high level of understanding.
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19 Nov 2012, 01:21
E. Given ocean currents, it is just as likely that South Americans traveled to Polynesia centuries ago as it is that
Polynesians traveled to South America.

The aim of this option is to present an idea that the bones discovered in South Africa may have been originated not in South America rather transported to Polynesia........

We have to weaken the thought that chicken were not brought by Europeons>>>>> I dont think above option weakens the face
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Re: A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not  [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2012, 02:51
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gmatbull wrote:
A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not have been, as generally believed, the first to
bring chickens to South America. The group cites European accounts dating from the arrival of Europeans in
South America around five hundred years ago that suggest that the Inca had already incorporated chickens
into religious ceremonies. Further, a DNA comparison suggests a Polynesian origin for a chicken bone unearthed
at Chile’s El Arenal site, where other artifacts have been dated to over six hundred years ago.

Which of the following would, if true, most seriously weaken the anthropologists’ argument as reported above?

A. Preserved sweet potatoes up to one thousand years old from Polynesian archaeological sites most likely originated
in South America.
B. The ages of other chicken bones found in the vicinity of the El Arenal site have been established by an absolutely
irrefutable method.
C. Analyses of ancient Polynesian canoes suggest that they could have been used for voyages to places as far away
from Polynesia as South America.
D. The Europeans often mistook certain South American ducks for chickens.
E. Given ocean currents, it is just as likely that South Americans traveled to Polynesia centuries ago as it is that
Polynesians traveled to South America.

@gmatbull: When you put up a question, please specify the source.
As said earlier, the options are all weak. Still, in my opinion, D casts at least some doubt on the anthropologists’ argument. I don't see any other option having any effect.

Let's discuss only B, D and E

A group of anthropologists: We think Europeans were not the first to bring chickens to South America.
Opponents: How can you say that?
The group of anthropologists: The 500 yr old arrival accounts of European suggest that the Inca had already incorporated chickens
into religious ceremonies.
Opponents: Europeans often mistook certain South American ducks for chickens. How can you say that the 'chickens' seen by Europeans were not some ducks?
The group of anthropologists: Hmmm... (a reply is needed here)

The opponents have cast a doubt on the anthropologists' theory.

A group of anthropologists: We think Europeans were not the first to bring chickens to South America.
Opponents: How can you say that?
The group of anthropologists: At Chile’s El Arenal site, 600 yr old artifacts have been found. Also a chicken bone suggesting a Polynesian origin has been found there.
Opponents: The ages of other chicken bones found in the vicinity of the El Arenal site have been established by an absolutely
irrefutable method.
The group of anthropologists: What is the age of other chicken bones at these other sites? Are they older than 500? If yes, they strengthen our argument. Europeans did not first bring chickens to South America 500 yrs ago. If no, they do nothing to our argument. So you found 500 yr old/300 yr old/100 yr old chicken bones... So what?
I don't see how (B) weakens the anthropologists' argument.

Now consider (E)
A group of anthropologists: We think Europeans were not the first to bring chickens to South America.
Opponents: How can you say that?
The group of anthropologists: At Chile’s El Arenal site, 600 yr old artifacts have been found. Also a chicken bone suggesting a Polynesian origin has been found there.
Opponents: Given ocean currents, it is just as likely that South Americans traveled to Polynesia centuries ago as it is that
Polynesians traveled to South America
The group of anthropologists: So you are saying that it is equally likely that South Americans traveled to Polynesia as it is that Polynesians traveled to South America. Our argument is untouched. Europeans did not first bring chicken in South America.
(E) doesn't work either.
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Re: A group of anthropologists has argued that Europeans may not  [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2012, 05:33
Bull....since a significant discussion has been made, please post the OA now?
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19 Nov 2012, 23:39
Marcab wrote:
Bull....since a significant discussion has been made, please post the OA now?

Yes, we've had detailed contributions from members and experts alike.

OA is .
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