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# Biologists have noted reproductive abnormalities in fish

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Manager
Joined: 16 Feb 2011
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Biologists have noted reproductive abnormalities in fish [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2011, 05:17
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95% (hard)

Question Stats:

27% (02:25) correct 73% (01:41) wrong based on 79 sessions

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Biologists have noted reproductive abnormalities in fish
that are immediately downstream of paper mills. One
possible cause is dioxin, which paper mills release
daily and which can alter the concentration of
hormones in fish. However, dioxin is unlikely to be the
cause, since the fish recover normal hormone
concentrations relatively quickly during occasional mill
shutdowns and dioxin decomposes very slowly in the
environment.
Which one of the following statements, if true, most
seriously weakens the argument?
(A) Some of the studies that show that fish recover
quickly during shutdowns were funded by
paper manufacturers.
(B) The rate at which dioxin decomposes varies
depending on the conditions to which it is
exposed.
(C) Normal river currents carry the dioxin present in
the river far downstream in a few hours.
(D) Some of the fish did not recover rapidly from
the physiological changes that were induced by
the changes in hormone concentrations.
(E) The connection between hormone concentrations
and reproductive abnormalities is not
thoroughly understood.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Joined: 19 Oct 2011
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Re: <Tough CR :( > [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2011, 22:24
voodoochild wrote:
Biologists have noted reproductive abnormalities in fish
that are immediately downstream of paper mills. One
possible cause is dioxin, which paper mills release
daily and which can alter the concentration of
hormones in fish. However, dioxin is unlikely to be the
cause, since the fish recover normal hormone
concentrations relatively quickly during occasional mill
shutdowns and dioxin decomposes very slowly in the
environment.
Which one of the following statements, if true, most
seriously weakens the argument?
(A) Some of the studies that show that fish recover
quickly during shutdowns were funded by
paper manufacturers.
(B) The rate at which dioxin decomposes varies
depending on the conditions to which it is
exposed.
(C) Normal river currents carry the dioxin present in
the river far downstream in a few hours.
(D) Some of the fish did not recover rapidly from
the physiological changes that were induced by
the changes in hormone concentrations.
(E) The connection between hormone concentrations
and reproductive abnormalities is not
thoroughly understood.

OA - C Please explain why. This one completely blew me off.

The argument given against dioxin is as follows:

Fact - Dioxin decomposes very slowly in the environment
Fact - Fish recover normal hormone concentrations quickly during mill shutdowns (presumably while dioxin is not being released into the environment)
Conclusion - Dioxin is unlikely to be the cause (of hormone imbalance in fish)

However, if normal river currents carry the dioxin present in the river far downstream in a few hours, then it doesn't matter that that dioxin decomposes slowly - it has all been carried away downstream, which means that the fish are now in dioxin-free conditions. Therefore, the fact that the fish recover quickly can't be used to rule out dioxin as the original cause of altered hormone concentrations.
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Re: <Tough CR :( > [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2011, 19:04
Argument: Dioxin decomps slowly, fish recover normal [hormones] quickly

The answer is C. If the river carries the dioxin far downstream in a few hours, then it doesn't matter if dioxin decomps slowly, there won't be any dioxin in the water anyway. So you can't rule out dioxin as an unlikely cause as a result of the fish altered concentrations.
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Location: US
Re: <Tough CR :( > [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2011, 20:25
Mindreko wrote:
Argument: Dioxin decomps slowly, fish recover normal [hormones] quickly

The answer is C. If the river carries the dioxin far downstream in a few hours, then it doesn't matter if dioxin decomps slowly, there won't be any dioxin in the water anyway. So you can't rule out dioxin as an unlikely cause as a result of the fish altered concentrations.

I didnt get that...If river carries the dioxin far downstream in a few hours..than there won't be any dioxin in the water anyway. This explanation support the claim that dioxin is unlikely to be the cause.
How does this weakens the argument?

Cheers!
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Manager
Status: livin on a prayer!!
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Re: Biologists have noted reproductive abnormalities in fish [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2011, 20:52
You can't rule out dioxin as a contributor to the fish recovering quickly if there isn't any dioxin in the water. The question is trying to rule out dioxin as the cause of fish recovering quickly.
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Re: Biologists have noted reproductive abnormalities in fish [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2011, 16:14
IMO-B
C seems to strenghten the conclusion that Dioxin is not the cause.
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Re: Biologists have noted reproductive abnormalities in fish [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2011, 17:06
Babzsn84 wrote:
IMO-B
C seems to strenghten the conclusion that Dioxin is not the cause.

See my explanation above. Does that make sense?
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Re: Biologists have noted reproductive abnormalities in fish [#permalink]

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01 Nov 2011, 00:06
+1 for C.

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Re: Biologists have noted reproductive abnormalities in fish [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2011, 02:41
I got D. However, I found problem with D is that D talks about "some of the fish" not all. So, not strong as C. Am I correct? Can anyone elaborate for D?
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Manager
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Re: Biologists have noted reproductive abnormalities in fish [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2011, 12:10
C
Manager
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Re: Biologists have noted reproductive abnormalities in fish [#permalink]

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31 Dec 2011, 22:44
C it is,using POE D which is a close contender can be removed, according to argument most fish recover well from hormonal imbalance but according to D only few fish cannot so overall it does not hamper the argument.
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Re: Biologists have noted reproductive abnormalities in fish [#permalink]

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03 Jan 2012, 02:55
+1 for C
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Re: Biologists have noted reproductive abnormalities in fish [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2017, 22:27
B,D,E are out of scope. A is highly doubtful because of "some". C is truly the answer if ones are fluent in English.
The first sentence tells the fact that fishes which swim at the downstream are affected by something -> C offers an explanation that weakens the argument.
My problem in this question is I am not good at English enough to go for C.
Re: Biologists have noted reproductive abnormalities in fish   [#permalink] 19 Jun 2017, 22:27
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