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# A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of

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A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2007, 18:53
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A theory is either true or false. Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites showed that the Ptolemaic theory of the motion of celestial bodies is false. Therefore, since the Copernican theory of planetary motion is inconsistent with the Ptolemaic account,Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites proved the truth of the Copernican theory.The argument above is open to the objection that it makes the questionable assumption
that
A. whoever first observed something inconsistent with the truth of the Ptolemaic theory should be credited with having proved that theory false
B. there are some possible observations that would be inconsistent with the account given by the Copernican theory but consistent with the account given by the Ptolemaic theory
C. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be based on exactly the same evidence
D. numerous counterexamples were necessary in order to show the Ptolemaic theory to be false
E. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be false
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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07 May 2014, 09:18
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gregspirited wrote:
A theory is either true or false. Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites showed that the Ptolemaic theory of the motion of celestial bodies is false. Therefore, since the Copernican theory of planetary motion is inconsistent with the Ptolemaic account,Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites proved the truth of the Copernican theory.The argument above is open to the objection that it makes the questionable assumption
that
A. whoever first observed something inconsistent with the truth of the Ptolemaic theory should be credited with having proved that theory false
B. there are some possible observations that would be inconsistent with the account given by the Copernican theory but consistent with the account given by the Ptolemaic theory
C. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be based on exactly the same evidence
D. numerous counterexamples were necessary in order to show the Ptolemaic theory to be false
E. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be false

Hi,

Let me share my two cents here.

The question stem requires us to look for the questionable assumption made by the argument.

Let’s first try to deconstruct the argument:

What is the conclusion here?

Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites proved the truth of the Copernican theory.

What is the basis of this conclusion?

1) A theory is either true or false. Ptolemaic theory is shown to be false.

2) Copernican theory of planetary motion is inconsistent with the Ptolemaic account,

Thus, the argument concludes that Copernican theory is true because it is inconsistent with Ptolemaic theory which is false.
Let’s take an example:

If I say that XYZ flower is red and you say that XYZ flower is blue.

Now, we are inconsistent. Right? But if I am proven wrong i.e. the flower is not red, does that mean that you are correct i.e. the flower is blue? No. The flower could be pink or purple or any other color.

Thus, it is possible that though your answer is inconsistent with mine, it is also wrong.

Similarly, it’s possible that though Copernican theory is inconsistent with Ptolemaic theory, it is also false. However, the conclusion states that Copernican theory is true and thus the in-built assumption of the argument is that if two theories are inconsistent with each other, both of them cannot be false.

With this understanding, let’s look at the option statements:

A. whoever first observed something inconsistent with the truth of the Ptolemaic theory should be credited with having proved that theory is false

This statement discusses who should be given the credit to prove that Ptolemaic theory is false. We are given Ptolemaic is false. Who should be given credit is not the focus of the argument. Thus, this choice is incorrect.

B. there are some possible observations that would be inconsistent with the account given by the Copernican theory but consistent with the account given by the Ptolemaic theory

This statements talks about the observations that would be inconsistent with Copernican theory but consistent with Ptolemaic theory. However, we are only concerned with Galileo’s observations in this argument, not other observations. Thus, this choice is an irrelevant and incorrect choice.

C. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be based on exactly the same evidence

This statement is about the basis of both the theories; however, whether or not these theories are based on the same evidence, the conclusion of the argument is unaffected. In the argument, we are concerned about the impact of one set of observations on the truth of these theories; we don’t know the original basis of any of these theories. Therefore, basis of the theories is not relevant to the argument. Thus, this is an incorrect choice.

D. numerous counterexamples were necessary in order to show the Ptolemaic theory to be false

We know from the passage that Galileo’s observations showed that the Ptolemaic theory is false This option tells us that it required numerous counter examples to show this result; however, our task is to look for the assumption that the argument makes while drawing the conclusion about the truthness of Copernican theory. Thus, this choice is incorrect.

E. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be false

This option identifies with our pre-thinking. The argument fails to consider that despite being inconsistent, both the theories can be false. This choice states the built-in assumption of the argument.

If we negate this option we get,
the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, can both be false

It shows that Copernican can be false, even if it is inconsistent with Ptolemaic theory. As we can see this breaks down the conclusion, this is the correct choice.

Ans is E.

Hope this helps!
Dolly
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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2007, 22:52
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gregspirited wrote:
A theory is either true or false. Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites showed that the Ptolemaic theory of the motion of celestial bodies is false. Therefore, since the Copernican theory of planetary motion is inconsistent with the Ptolemaic account,Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites proved the truth of the Copernican theory.The argument above is open to the objection that it makes the questionable assumption
that
A. whoever first observed something inconsistent with the truth of the Ptolemaic theory should be credited with having proved that theory false
B. there are some possible observations that would be inconsistent with the account given by the Copernican theory but consistent with the account given by the Ptolemaic theory
C. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be based on exactly the same evidence
D. numerous counterexamples were necessary in order to show the Ptolemaic theory to be false
E. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be false

E. lets say the theories can both be false, then the argument falls apart.

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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2007, 19:43
1
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gregspirited wrote:
A theory is either true or false. Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites showed that the Ptolemaic theory of the motion of celestial bodies is false. Therefore, since the Copernican theory of planetary motion is inconsistent with the Ptolemaic account,Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites proved the truth of the Copernican theory.The argument above is open to the objection that it makes the questionable assumption
that
A. whoever first observed something inconsistent with the truth of the Ptolemaic theory should be credited with having proved that theory false
B. there are some possible observations that would be inconsistent with the account given by the Copernican theory but consistent with the account given by the Ptolemaic theory
C. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be based on exactly the same evidence
D. numerous counterexamples were necessary in order to show the Ptolemaic theory to be false
E. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be false

between 'C' & 'D'

As the quesiton looks at the argument I will go for 'D'

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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2007, 22:31
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E.

While making the argument, the author assumes that if a theory is wrong, then any other inconsistent theory is right. It is however possible that 2 inconsistent theories are both wrong.

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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2013, 04:09
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I want to know the meaning of this statement....
"The argument above is open to the objection that it makes the questionable assumption that "
Should we look up for a false assumption? How could we do that?
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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2013, 09:50
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when they say that argument is wrong because of questionable assumption then we have to make that faulty link exposed .and thats exactly what E is doing .in simple terms what is argument saying ? lets say argument makes a claim that X is wrong then it says Y is inconsistent with X then it concludes that Y is right .what is wrong in this argument .that fact that it assumes that two inconsistent things cannot be wrong at the same time .this is what E talks

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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2013, 13:34
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gregspirited wrote:
A theory is either true or false. Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites showed that the Ptolemaic theory of the motion of celestial bodies is false. Therefore, since the Copernican theory of planetary motion is inconsistent with the Ptolemaic account,Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites proved the truth of the Copernican theory.The argument above is open to the objection that it makes the questionable assumption
that
A. whoever first observed something inconsistent with the truth of the Ptolemaic theory should be credited with having proved that theory false
B. there are some possible observations that would be inconsistent with the account given by the Copernican theory but consistent with the account given by the Ptolemaic theory
C. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be based on exactly the same evidence
D. numerous counterexamples were necessary in order to show the Ptolemaic theory to be false
E. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be false

When Galileo's observation proved Ptolemic theory is false, why was the copernican theory automatically accepted? The passage is assuming that both theories cannot be false.

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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2017, 12:16
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Lucy Phuong,
Quote:
So this is an assumption/ strengthen question, right?

At first, I just thought this was a weaken type, then I was stuck...

Yes, we are looking for a questionable assumption that the argument makes. The author states that "the Ptolemaic theory of the motion of celestial bodies is false" and that "the Copernican theory of planetary motion is inconsistent with the Ptolemaic account". Since "a theory is either true or false", the author concludes that the Copernican theory must be true. According to the author, since the Ptolemaic theory is false and the Copernican theory is inconsistent with the false Ptolemaic theory, the Copernican theory must be true. But this reasoning fails to consider the possibility that the Ptolemaic theory and the Copernican theory are BOTH false, a scenario that satisfies the given condition that a theory is either true or false. In other words, just because the theories are different, does not mean that one is false and one is true; it is possible for both theories to be false, even if those theories are different from one another.
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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2007, 19:46
Neither is right according to OA. I went with C
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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2007, 20:03
gregspirited wrote:
Neither is right according to OA. I went with C

Then it should be 'B'

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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2007, 23:49
GMATBLACKBELT wrote:
gregspirited wrote:
A theory is either true or false. Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites showed that the Ptolemaic theory of the motion of celestial bodies is false. Therefore, since the Copernican theory of planetary motion is inconsistent with the Ptolemaic account,Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites proved the truth of the Copernican theory.The argument above is open to the objection that it makes the questionable assumption
that
A. whoever first observed something inconsistent with the truth of the Ptolemaic theory should be credited with having proved that theory false
B. there are some possible observations that would be inconsistent with the account given by the Copernican theory but consistent with the account given by the Ptolemaic theory
C. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be based on exactly the same evidence
D. numerous counterexamples were necessary in order to show the Ptolemaic theory to be false
E. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be false

E. lets say the theories can both be false, then the argument falls apart.

E. What's O/A?

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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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21 Dec 2007, 01:11
[quote="gregspirited"]A theory is either true or false. Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites showed that the Ptolemaic theory of the motion of celestial bodies is false. Therefore, since the Copernican theory of planetary motion is inconsistent with the Ptolemaic account,Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites proved the truth of the Copernican theory.The argument above is open to the objection that it makes the questionable assumption
that
A. whoever first observed something inconsistent with the truth of the Ptolemaic theory should be credited with having proved that theory false
B. there are some possible observations that would be inconsistent with the account given by the Copernican theory but consistent with the account given by the Ptolemaic theory
C. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be based on exactly the same evidence
D. numerous counterexamples were necessary in order to show the Ptolemaic theory to be false
E. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be false

Because Galileo's theory and Copernican theory prove that the Ptolemaic one is false, they are true. So, if the Ptolemaic theory is false, the Copernican one cannot be false as well. E is correct

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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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21 Dec 2007, 09:11
OA is E
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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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21 Mar 2013, 01:39
gregspirited wrote:
A theory is either true or false. Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites showed that the Ptolemaic theory of the motion of celestial bodies is false. Therefore, since the Copernican theory of planetary motion is inconsistent with the Ptolemaic account,Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s satellites proved the truth of the Copernican theory.The argument above is open to the objection that it makes the questionable assumption
that
A. whoever first observed something inconsistent with the truth of the Ptolemaic theory should be credited with having proved that theory false
B. there are some possible observations that would be inconsistent with the account given by the Copernican theory but consistent with the account given by the Ptolemaic theory
C. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be based on exactly the same evidence
D. numerous counterexamples were necessary in order to show the Ptolemaic theory to be false
E. the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories, being inconsistent, cannot both be false

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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2013, 08:34
Answer is E. Proving one theory wrong does not mean that every other theory incosistent with the first theory is true.

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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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03 May 2014, 10:12
Anyone want to elaborate on what's wrong with C here?

Thanks!
Cheers
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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2014, 08:29
Received a PM to chime in here:

Use linked chains to understand the logic and WEAKEN the argument. You WEAKEN the argument by identifying what the assumption is.

We have 3 things:
A) Galileo
B) Ptolemaic
C) Copernicus

B = False

Passage says: Since B is bad and we know that C is not the same as B, then it must be that C is true.

Why is this argument flawed?

Just because C is not the same as B -- does not mean that C cannot ALSO be False. What if BOTH (B) and (C) were false? <<--that's the assumption

Assumption = anything that says C is similar to B. Or anything that says B and C cannot both be false.

If the assumption is wrong -- if it's actually possible for both B and C to be wrong -- then the author's whole argument falls apart.

So we look through the answer choice that says something along the lines of what we mentioned above.

(E) says what we want.

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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2014, 04:41
P1 :- Galileo proved ptolemaic theory false.

P2 :- Copernican theory inconsistent with ptolemaic

C :- Galileo observation proved truth of Copernican Theory.
th OA is E. Both theories might be inconsistent but we have no proof about either one to be considered false.

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Re: A theory is either true or false. Galileo s observations of [#permalink]

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