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# Archeologists have discovered three sites showing conclusive

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Manager
Joined: 10 Sep 2015
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Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Human Resources
GMAT 1: 640 Q47 V31
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Archeologists have discovered three sites showing conclusive  [#permalink]

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07 Oct 2017, 14:18
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95% (hard)

Question Stats:

38% (01:43) correct 62% (02:15) wrong based on 466 sessions

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Archeologists have discovered three sites showing conclusive evidence for the mastery of fire in Tanzania, from a period slightly after the time that Homo habilis was present in Africa. These sites clearly were founded by Homo erectus, the descendent species of Homo habilis that migrated north, out of Africa and into Asia. Homo erectus was known to have mastered fire, from ample evidence at sites in Asia. There is no reason to attribute mastery of fire to Homo ergaster, the descendent species of Homo habilis that remained in Africa.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

(A) Before their migration, Homo erectus occupied African territory as far south as Tanzania.
(B) The strain of migration provided the selective pressure motivating Homo erectus‘ mastery of fire.
(C) Homo ergaster would not have derived as much benefit from the mastery of fire as did Homo erectus.
(D) Homo ergaster inherited all cultural knowledge from Homo habilis, a species that did not have mastery of fire.
(E) Homo ergaster did not occupy regions as far south as Tanzania until well after the time of these three sites.

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Manager
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Re: Archeologists have discovered three sites showing conclusive  [#permalink]

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09 Oct 2017, 10:09
Can someone explain why E is wrong and A is right ?
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Joined: 01 Jun 2016
Posts: 29
Re: Archeologists have discovered three sites showing conclusive  [#permalink]

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09 Oct 2017, 16:47
4
pra1785 wrote:
Can someone explain why E is wrong and A is right ?

Even I chose E but it is indeed a wrong answer. Let's try negation on A and E.

E says: Homo ergaster did not occupy regions as far south as Tanzania until well after the time of these three sites.
After negation
Homo ergaster did occupy regions as far south as Tanzania until well after the time of these three sites.

the argument does not fall apart. Now, let's try A

Before their migration, Homo erectus occupied African territory as far south as Tanzania.
After negation
Before their migration, Homo erectus not occupied African territory as far south as Tanzania.
Argument false apart as if they are not there in that territory how can we attribute the mastery of fire to them.

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Archeologists have discovered three sites showing conclusive  [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2017, 13:51
1
Archeologists have discovered three sites showing conclusive evidence for the mastery of fire in Tanzania, from a period slightly after the time that Homo habilis was present in Africa. These sites clearly were founded by Homo erectus, the descendent species of Homo habilis that migrated north, out of Africa and into Asia. Homo erectus was known to have mastered fire, from ample evidence at sites in Asia. There is no reason to attribute mastery of fire to Homo ergaster, the descendent species of Homo habilis that remained in Africa.

First and foremost, there's a KEY item of reference that this question ASSUMES (I know, ironic) that people know: Tanzania is in Africa. I thought Tanzania was some sub-continent back when Pangaea was created and that IT WAS IN ASIA. Note the "from a period ..." describes the period NOT the location of Tanzania. After you get this..it's not that hard. Let's draw a treasure map.

------------------
ASIA
------------------
|
| Migration Path
|
-----------------
The Great Africa
[~~~~~~]
[ * * * ] - Tanzania (* * * = fire)
[~~~~~~]

-----------------

Now, let's boil down the argument!

*Evidence of fire found in Tanzania after Homo habilis was found there.
*Homo erectus (derived from Homo habilis) at some later time moved north and knew FIRE from evidence in ASIA (although we don't know when they learnt it)
*Homo egaster/eGANGSTAs (derived from Homo habilis) stayed in Africa.

Claim: The evidence of fire must be from Homo erectus and not the Homo eGangstas. Note this is a 2 part claim.

This claim sort of makes absolutely no sense. We'd need a lot of assumptions.

1) Homo erectus were in the area (before or after migration) AND Homo eGangstas were not in the area.

OR

2) Homo erectus were in the area (before or after migration) AND Homo eGangstas didn't know how to cook (Mastery of Fire)

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

(A) Before their migration, Homo erectus occupied African territory as far south as Tanzania.
Part of Assumption 1)
(B) The strain of migration provided the selective pressure motivating Homo erectus‘ mastery of fire.
-Out of scope, we don't care about the cause for Mastery of Fire.
(C) Homo ergaster would not have derived as much benefit from the mastery of fire as did Homo erectus.
-Out of scope, we don't care about the benefits of Mastery of Fire.
(D) Homo ergaster inherited all cultural knowledge from Homo habilis, a species that did not have mastery of fire.
-Homo ergaster can still discover fire on their own.
(E) Homo ergaster did not occupy regions as far south as Tanzania until well after the time of these three sites

Let's negate! The "until" statement is a bit tricky here, here's an analogy:

Statement: You can not buy the car until you have enough money.
NEGATION: You can buy the car even if you don't have enough money.

Now the actual NEGATION: Homo eGANGSTAs did occupy regions well before the time of these three sites.
This fits the second part of (1)

In my opinion, A and E are both correct and not COMPLETE.

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Re: Archeologists have discovered three sites showing conclusive  [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2018, 06:11
According to the official solution, B and E are strengtheners.

experts, Pls help me, what is the conclusion of the argument? It is because there is no key transition word.
"These sites clearly were founded by Homo erectus," -> how can A be the assumption if the information in A has been mentioned?
Furthermore, I am not sure how Homo erectus is related to the conclusion that "no reason to attribute mastery of fire to Homo ergaster". How?
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Posts: 160
Re: Archeologists have discovered three sites showing conclusive  [#permalink]

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16 Jan 2018, 12:47
1
Here is the OE from Magoosh.

Remains of prehistoric fire were found in Tanzania. The author says that Homo erectus made these fires, and that there’s no reason to assume Homo ergaster did. What is a necessary assumption?

The credited answer is choice (A). Homo erectus had to be as far south as Tanzania — if they were not, there would be no way they could have made those fires there, which would seem to indicate that Homo ergaster made them after all. Negating this statement devastates the argument, which is a confirmation that we have an assumption.

Whatever might have caused Homo erectus to master fire doesn’t clarify who made those fires in Tanzania: Homo erectus or Homo ergaster? Choice (B) is not correct.

Suppose Homo ergaster would have derived as much benefit from the master of fire as did the Homo erectus, or even more benefit. That fact, by itself, would imply nothing about which one of these species created those fires in Tanzania. Denying this doesn’t change the validity of the argument. Choice (C) is not correct.

Choice (D) is intriguing, because it may be true. Both Homo erectus and Homo ergaster evolved from Homo habilis, so it’s quite likely that the Homo habilis was the sole source of cultural knowledge for either of these species. BUT, we know that Homo erectus, presumably without the benefit of cultural knowledge about fire, was able to master fire. If Homo erectus did that, why couldn’t Homo ergaster? In other words, the limits of the cultural knowledge inherited does not necessarily set limits on what these human species could achieve. Therefore, we can draw no conclusion with respect to this argument. Choice (D) is not correct.

If Choice (E) were true, it would support the argument, but a supporting statement is not necessarily an assumption. We have to use the Negation Test. Suppose Homo ergaster was all over in Tanzania, before & during & after the time that those fires were created. Would that prove Homo ergaster started those fires? Not necessarily. It could still be true that both Homo ergaster and Homo erectus occupied that region, that only the latter had mastered fire, and therefore, that the later had to start those fires in Tanzania. Thus, we can deny choice and it doesn’t necessarily contradict the argument. Therefore, it is not an assumption. Choice (E) is not correct.
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Re: Archeologists have discovered three sites showing conclusive &nbs [#permalink] 16 Jan 2018, 12:47
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