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# Agricultural economist: We can increase agricultural

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Director
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Agricultural economist: We can increase agricultural [#permalink]

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29 Jun 2005, 19:24
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Agricultural economist: We can increase agricultural production without reducing biodiversity, but only if we abandon conventional agriculture. Thus, if we choose to sustain economic growth, which requires increasing agricultural production, we should radically modify agricultural techniques.

Which one of the following principles, if valid, most helps to justify the agricultural economist's reasoning?

A) Agricultural production should be reduced if doing so would increase biodiveristy
B) Economic growth should not be pursued at the expense of a loss of biodiveristy
C) Economic growth should be sustained only as long as agricultural production continues to increase
D) Preserving biodiveristy is no more important than increasing agricultural production
E) Agricultural techniques should be radically modified only if doing so would further the extent to which we can increase agricultural production.

Are we looking to "strengthening" the author's conclusion? Or are we being asked to provide a premise that would better help us reach the conclusion? Is there a difference? I get confused when i see this type of question. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Senior Manager
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29 Jun 2005, 19:34
This to me is a hidden assumption question.

A = Agriculture production increase
B = Biodiversity reduction
C = Use of conventional agriculture

Argument: He is saying (A can happen without B happening) ONLY IF C does not happen.

Conclusion: Therefore if we need D, which requires A, we need C not to happen.

For the conclusion to be valid, B must not happen when A happens.

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Director
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29 Jun 2005, 22:20
Agriculture is the basis of good economy.

Agriculture shouldnt compormise on BD but for that you need to shun the conventional farming....

B tells it all

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Senior Manager
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30 Jun 2005, 08:39
I struggled with this one. My answer is B

I narrowed the choices to B and D. B seems to be the most plausible explanation. We are trying to further economic growth, but that it should not come at the expense of biodiversity. D is narrow in the sense, that it doesn't talk about economic growth. I may be wrong on this one.

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Director
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30 Jun 2005, 08:50
I agree it has to be B.

A is out because the passage says nothing about increasing biodiversity
C makes it sound that the primary objective of the Agric. economist is to increase agric produciton by all means
D is out becuase no where in the stem was the preservation of biodiversity mentioned
E doesn't hold becuase it implies if x then y, if y then x which is not logical.

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Director
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05 Jul 2005, 06:05
AJB77 wrote:
This to me is a hidden assumption question.

A = Agriculture production increase
B = Biodiversity reduction
C = Use of conventional agriculture

Argument: He is saying (A can happen without B happening) ONLY IF C does not happen.

Conclusion: Therefore if we need D, which requires A, we need C not to happen.

For the conclusion to be valid, B must not happen when A happens.

AJB77, You seem to really understand these types of question very well and you have a very efficient methodology that I'd like to understand further.

Questions:

#1) From the argument we just know that A can happen without B happening. Our conclusion says that if we need D to happen the following conditions must be met:
- A needs to happen
- C needs to not happen

With this information at hand, how can we leap to the conclusion that A and B are mutually exclusive in order for the conclusion to happen?

Also would you mind trying your logic with the following question:

http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=17664

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Senior Manager
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05 Jul 2005, 07:05
gmataquaguy,

The argument states that (A and ~B) => C and then says by the above logic and the fact that D => A (D = Economic growth) the conclusion is the D => C

Therefore we can see that this argument would be most strengthened if it changes into ( D and ~B) => C

---

I'm not saying that A and B are mutually exclusive. They may or may not be true. What we DO know is that A alone or ~B alone do not necessarily imply that C is true. But the one statement we are given is:

IF (A and ~B) THEN C

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Director
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05 Jul 2005, 10:37
Ah i see!!! Good Stuff.

We are also making a small implicit assumption that abandon conventional agriculture (from premise) = radically modify agricultural techniques (from conclusion).

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05 Jul 2005, 18:00
gmataquaguy wrote:
We are also making a small implicit assumption that abandon conventional agriculture (from premise) = radically modify agricultural techniques (from conclusion).
Yes, but that is a minor assumption IMO.

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Director
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05 Jul 2005, 18:50
ABJ,
Thanks a bunch for the conceptual clarification. I appreciate your help.

regards,
gmataquaguy

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05 Jul 2005, 18:50
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# Agricultural economist: We can increase agricultural

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