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Astronomers have created a mathematical model for determining whether

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Astronomers have created a mathematical model for determining whether [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2017, 12:21
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Source: Nova GMAT

Astronomers have created a mathematical model for determining whether life exists outside our solar system. It is based on the assumption that life as we know it can exist only on a planet such as our own, and that our sun, which has nine planets circling it, is the kind of star commonly found throughout the universe. Hence it is projected that there are billions of planets with conditions similar to our own. So astronomers have concluded that it is highly probable, if not virtually certain, that life exists outside our solar system. Yet there has never been detected so much as one planet beyond our solar system. Hence life exists only on planet Earth.

Which one of the following would most weaken the above argument?

(A) Thousands of responsible people, people with reputations in the community to protect, have claimed to have seen UFOs. Statistically, it is virtually impossible for this many people to be mistaken or to be lying.
(B) Recently it has been discovered that Mars has water, and its equatorial region has temperatures in the same range as that of northern Europe. So there may be life on Mars.
(C) Only one percent of the stars in the universe are like our sun.
(D) The technology needed to detect planets outside our solar system has not yet been developed.
(E) Even if all the elements for life as we know it are present, the probability that life would spontaneously generate is infinitesimal.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Astronomers have created a mathematical model for determining whether [#permalink]

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SajjadAhmad wrote:
Source: Nova GMAT

Astronomers have created a mathematical model for determining whether life exists outside our solar system. It is based on the assumption that life as we know it can exist only on a planet such as our own, and that our sun, which has nine planets circling it, is the kind of star commonly found throughout the universe. Hence it is projected that there are billions of planets with conditions similar to our own. So astronomers have concluded that it is highly probable, if not virtually certain, that life exists outside our solar system. Yet there has never been detected so much as one planet beyond our solar system. Hence life exists only on planet Earth.

Which one of the following would most weaken the above argument?

(A) Thousands of responsible people, people with reputations in the community to protect, have claimed to have seen UFOs. Statistically, it is virtually impossible for this many people to be mistaken or to be lying.
(B) Recently it has been discovered that Mars has water, and its equatorial region has temperatures in the same range as that of northern Europe. So there may be life on Mars.
(C) Only one percent of the stars in the universe are like our sun.
(D) The technology needed to detect planets outside our solar system has not yet been developed.
(E) Even if all the elements for life as we know it are present, the probability that life would spontaneously generate is infinitesimal.


Between B and D...
Key point to notice :Argument is about finding a planet beyond our solar system ...So B is incorrect as mars is a part of our solar system ..
D correctly conveys that we don't have any technology to explore planets outside our solar system .
So D

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Re: Astronomers have created a mathematical model for determining whether [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2017, 23:44
SajjadAhmad wrote:
Source: Nova GMAT

Astronomers have created a mathematical model for determining whether life exists outside our solar system. It is based on the assumption that life as we know it can exist only on a planet such as our own, and that our sun, which has nine planets circling it, is the kind of star commonly found throughout the universe. Hence it is projected that there are billions of planets with conditions similar to our own. So astronomers have concluded that it is highly probable, if not virtually certain, that life exists outside our solar system. Yet there has never been detected so much as one planet beyond our solar system. Hence life exists only on planet Earth.

Which one of the following would most weaken the above argument?

(A) Thousands of responsible people, people with reputations in the community to protect, have claimed to have seen UFOs. Statistically, it is virtually impossible for this many people to be mistaken or to be lying.
(B) Recently it has been discovered that Mars has water, and its equatorial region has temperatures in the same range as that of northern Europe. So there may be life on Mars.
(C) Only one percent of the stars in the universe are like our sun.
(D) The technology needed to detect planets outside our solar system has not yet been developed.
(E) Even if all the elements for life as we know it are present, the probability that life would spontaneously generate is infinitesimal.


In the stimulus, it is already stated that we know that there must be some planets with habitable zones, but unless we detect life there, we can't be sure about it.
Based on this, B is ruled out as it says the same thing, possibility.

D clearly states that the conclusion is drawn without an investigation with proper technology.
So D IMO.

Can you please reveal OA :)


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Re: Astronomers have created a mathematical model for determining whether [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2017, 21:16
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The question is set up very easily to lead from one premise to the next, which allows for pretty quick conclusions to be drawn. The focus of the argument should be on the last two sentences that basically say: because life has yet to be detected, life does not exist outside of earth.

Here is the biggest gap in logic. Just because you can't detect something doesn't mean it's not there. It's a rather question begging argument (circular reasoning, tautological argument, whatever you want to call it). So to best weaken and undermine the argument we have to attack this conclusion directly, which answer choice D does, in addition to incorporating the first half of the argument, which says, "... astronomers have concluded that it is highly probable... that life exists outside our solar system."

While answer choice B says, "well, there could be life on Mars," answer choice D more firmly addresses the issue at hand.

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Re: Astronomers have created a mathematical model for determining whether   [#permalink] 30 Oct 2017, 21:16
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