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A wave of unusual violence, from murder to suicide, plagued

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A wave of unusual violence, from murder to suicide, plagued [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2010, 04:01
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  95% (hard)

Question Stats:

39% (01:40) correct 61% (02:15) wrong based on 282 sessions

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A wave of unusual violence, from murder to suicide, plagued a medieval town for a period of five years. Concurrently, there was an unusual shift in the area's weather: rainfall was so heavy and continuous that the rye crop probably fell prey to the ergot fungus, which causes those who eat it to develop a psychosis-inducing disease called ergotism. In the end, we can conclude that the town's violence was the result of freakish weather conditions.

Which of the following is the most effective rebuttal to the conclusion made above?

-It is based on a series of plausible suppositions rather than upon contemporary evidence.
-No clear distinction is drawn between cause and effect.
-Explanations of historical events cannot be convincing when too great a role is assigned to chance or the irrational.
-The author relies too heavily on probable occurrences instead of actual occurrences.
-Such crucial terms as "unusual violence" are not adequately defined in regard to the specific historical event.

+1 Kudos if you like the question and if you want the OE :) . this is from Kaplan and the OA is indeed correct!
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: Ergotism [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2010, 05:34
hemanthp wrote:
A wave of unusual violence, from murder to suicide, plagued a medieval town for a period of five years. Concurrently, there was an unusual shift in the area's weather: rainfall was so heavy and continuous that the rye crop probably fell prey to the ergot fungus, which causes those who eat it to develop a psychosis-inducing disease called ergotism. In the end, we can conclude that the town's violence was the result of freakish weather conditions.

Which of the following is the most effective rebuttal to the conclusion made above?

-It is based on a series of plausible suppositions rather than upon contemporary evidence.
-No clear distinction is drawn between cause and effect.
-Explanations of historical events cannot be convincing when too great a role is assigned to chance or the irrational.
-The author relies too heavily on probable occurrences instead of actual occurrences.
-Such crucial terms as "unusual violence" are not adequately defined in regard to the specific historical event.

+1 Kudos if you like the question and if you want the OE :) . this is from Kaplan and the OA is indeed correct!

D, the person treats the probably occurance of the fungus as if it was the actual occurence for the violence.
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Re: Ergotism [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2010, 06:24
so, it's flawed because of PRPBABLY?
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Re: Ergotism [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2010, 14:02
Whatz wrong with A?
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Re: Ergotism [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2010, 17:19
It's D

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Re: Ergotism [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2010, 18:14
its D since the rye crop was "probably" infected -- too many suppositions.. not sure. Its a hard one for sure. OE please!
thanks!
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Re: Ergotism [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2010, 07:40
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A wave of unusual violence, from murder to suicide, plagued a medieval town for a period of five years. Concurrently, there was an unusual shift in the area's weather: rainfall was so heavy and continuous that the rye crop probably fell prey to the ergot fungus, which causes those who eat it to develop a psychosis-inducing disease called ergotism. In the end, we can conclude that the town's violence was the result of freakish weather conditions.

Which of the following is the most effective rebuttal to the conclusion made above?

-It is based on a series of plausible suppositions rather than upon contemporary evidence.
-No clear distinction is drawn between cause and effect.
-Explanations of historical events cannot be convincing when too great a role is assigned to chance or the irrational.
-The author relies too heavily on probable occurrences instead of actual occurrences.
-Such crucial terms as "unusual violence" are not adequately defined in regard to the specific historical event.

IMO A - the conclusion is using possible scenarios.
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Re: Ergotism [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2010, 10:28
I said A, and I'm having some trouble telling the distinction between A and D.
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Re: Ergotism [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2010, 13:52
D.

Relies upon "probable" exisitence of ergot fundus on rye + assumption that wheat with fungus would be consumed by townsfolk (says that consumed ergot fungus causes psychosis, but does not state that the wheat was eaten)
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Re: A wave of unusual violence, from murder to suicide, plagued [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2014, 09:37
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
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Re: A wave of unusual violence, from murder to suicide, plagued [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2014, 09:47
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Answer Choice (D) makes a strong rebuttal to the author's argument and is correct — there are just too many probable occurrences here rather than actual occurrences.

Choice (A) says that the author's argument is plausible but not based on contemporary evidence. This is only half right. The plausible suppositions are whether or not the crop was infected and whether the people ate contaminated rye. The contemporary evidence is that rainfall was heavy during the period under study.

Choice (B) is a 180 degree answer. Contrary to this answer, the author does make a clear distinction between cause and effect. It is the causal connection between the two that is open to rebuttal.

Choice (C) is tempting, but is only half right, as the given explanation is rational, just not likely.

Choice (E) is outside the scope of the argument. The nature of the violence or its frequency does not attack the basic flaw in the argument's logic, which is the tenuous connection between probable evidence and a definitive conclusion.
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Re: A wave of unusual violence, from murder to suicide, plagued [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2014, 09:16
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It says "probably fell prey to", so it means the author heavily relies on probable occurrences, thus I say it's D.
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Re: A wave of unusual violence, from murder to suicide, plagued [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2014, 02:20
Gary Ridgway also known as the green river killer is one of the most famous murderers in the history. He has killed at least 49 people in a brutal manner. I think no other American murderer comes close to him?
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Re: A wave of unusual violence, from murder to suicide, plagued [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2016, 07:23
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
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Re: A wave of unusual violence, from murder to suicide, plagued [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2018, 11:37
Undoubtedly, C and E are out.
A cannot be the right answer. "plausible suppositions" are fine here; "no contemporary evidence" is mentioned, and is not needed.
B is out b/c it is not about cause vs effect, but cause vs correlation -> D
Re: A wave of unusual violence, from murder to suicide, plagued   [#permalink] 08 Jan 2018, 11:37
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