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# Columnist: Contrary to what many people believe, the nu1nber

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Re: Columnist: Contrary to what many people believe, the nu1nber [#permalink]
broall wrote:
Masshole wrote:
Columnist: Contrary to what many people believe, the number of species on Earth is probably not dwindling. Extinction is a natural process, and about as many species are likely to go extinct this year as went extinct in 1970. But the emergence of new species is also a natural process; there is no reason to doubt that new species are emerging at about the same rate as they have been for the last several centuries.

Which one of the following, if true, most weakens the columnist's argument?

Premise 1: The rate of extinction at present is the same as in 1970
Premise 2: The rate of the emergence of new species at present is the same as in the last several centuries.
Conclusion: the number of species on Earth is probably not dwindling

(A) In 1970 fewer new species emerged than went extinct.
Correct. This choice points out the flaw in the argument. If the rate of new species emerged is less than the rate of extinction, the number of species on Earth is dwindling

(B) The regions of the world where new species tend to emerge at the highest rate are also where species tend to go extinct at the highest rate.
This choice provides information that is too general. We can't conclude anything from this one.

The rate of emergence of new species has been averaged over a century. A fluctuation in one or two years should not make a strong argument.

(C) The vast majority of the species that have ever existed are now extinct.
We still can't conclude that whether the number of species on Earth is dwindling

(D) There is no more concern now about extinction of species than there was in 1970.
Concern about extinction of species is irrelevant.

(E) Scientists are now better able to identify species facing serious risk of extinction than they were in 1970.
This choice is irrelevant to the argument.

Hi

I have a doubt.

The rate of emergence of new species is averaged over a century. I am not able to relate the impact of a mere fluctuation during a year or two. Could you please help.
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Columnist: Contrary to what many people believe, the nu1nber [#permalink]
there is no reason to doubt that new species are emerging at about the same rate as they have been for the last several centuries.

it just says that the rate of emergence is the same since last many hundred years. It doesn't say it is greater than rate of extinction, even A doesn't weaken it.
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Re: Columnist: Contrary to what many people believe, the nu1nber [#permalink]
Columnist: Contrary to what many people believe, the number of species on Earth is probably not dwindling. Extinction is a natural process, and about as many species are likely to go extinct this year as went extinct in 1970. But the emergence of new species is also a natural process; there is no reason to doubt that new species are emerging at about the same rate as they have been for the last several centuries.

Which one of the following, if true, most weakens the columnist's argument?

As per the passage the rate of emergence of new species is almost same as it had been for several centuries. So, we this can't be disputed unless we have something concrete that defines the rates and signify something seriously flawed in that.
The key to passage is then the blue text because the argument of columnist is based on 1970's fact. Hence, a choice that touches upon this aspect elaborating key flaw then it must be our answer.

(A) In 1970 fewer new species emerged than went extinct. - CORRECT. If it had already been so that new species were less than extinct ones in 1970 then in present also such a situation must be there.
(B) The regions of the world where new species tend to emerge at the highest rate are also where species tend to go extinct at the highest rate. - WRONG. Scope is reduced because of which this loses. Otherwise it makes a well attempt.
(C) The vast majority of the species that have ever existed are now extinct. - WRONG. True and weakens but in real world. For this argument it's too generic.
(D) There is no more concern now about extinction of species than there was in 1970. - WRONG. Irrelevant.
(E) Scientists are now better able to identify species facing serious risk of extinction than they were in 1970. - WRONG. Strengthens actually.

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Re: Columnist: Contrary to what many people believe, the nu1nber [#permalink]
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Re: Columnist: Contrary to what many people believe, the nu1nber [#permalink]
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