Commercially available chemical fertilizers contain the same : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Commercially available chemical fertilizers contain the same

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Commercially available chemical fertilizers contain the same [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2013, 10:35
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Commercially available chemical fertilizers contain the same nutrients and micronutrients as organic fertilizers such as manure and composted garden clippings. Plants have tiny root hairs that absorb nutrients, and whether the source of the nutrients is organic or chemical is irrelevant to the plant’s ability to take in the nutrients. Nevertheless, organic fertilizers are better for the health of the plant than are chemical fertilizers alone.

Which of the following, if true, would most strongly support the position above?

(A)The nutrients in organic fertilizers are slowly released to the plant over time, rather than being absorbed by the plant immediately.
(B)In organic fertilizers, the natural combination of nutrients with other natural materials makes the nutrients more usable by the plant than nutrients found in chemical fertilizers.
(C)Plants often must be provided with nutrients because naturally occurring nutrients in the surrounding soil are depleted or washed away over time.
(D)The typical gardener can't easily know the exact amount and type of nutrients in an organic fertilizer such as manure.
(E)Chemical fertilizers produced by the leading manufacturer contain nutrients that are no harder for the plants to absorb than those provided by the competitor’s chemical fertilizer.

[size=150]Need explanation.............[/size]
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: Commercially available chemical fertilizers contain the same [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2013, 14:49
Hello Mun23,

Let me try clearing this one for you.

The passage talks about chemical fertilizers and organic fertilizers. It mentions that both of these fertilizers contain the same nutrients and micro nutrients. It goes further to say that these nutrients are absorbed by the root hairs of the plants and the source of the nutrients is irrelevant to the plant's ability to absorb them. This implies that plants do not differentiate between the nutrients present in the chemical fertilizers and organic fertilizers . However, the argument then makes a huge leap by stating that organic fertilizers are better for the health of plants when compared to chemical fertilizers. We need to find a reason or an assumption that could validate it.

Any assumption that should strengthen this argument should highlight that chemical fertilizers either lack some property or benefit that organic fertilizer have or that they are harmful in some way. Now let us analyze the answer options.

(A)The nutrients in organic fertilizers are slowly released to the plant over time, rather than being absorbed by the plant immediately.

The nutrients in organic fertilizers may be released slowly over time. However, nothing in the passage suggests that slow release of nutrients is better for plants than fast release of nutrients. It could be possible that the plants use the nutrients to the maximum possible extent during a particular time and if the organic fertilizers are applied during that time of the day, they might release nutrients very slowly and thus hamper the absorption by the plants. Thus, this cannot be accepted to be beneficial due to lack of further information.

(B)In organic fertilizers, the natural combination of nutrients with other natural materials makes the nutrients more usable by the plant than nutrients found in chemical fertilizers.

Now this suggests that the natural combination of nutrients with other natural materials makes the nutrients more usable by the plant when compared to the combination of nutrients in chemical fertilizers. This is good from the health perspective of the plant as it gets more nutrients to absorb and would grow to be more healthy. On the other hand, the nutrient combination in the same quantity of chemical fertilizers might cause poor absorption when compared to the absorption that would have resulted if organic fertilizers were applied. Hence, this might be the right answer.

(C)Plants often must be provided with nutrients because naturally occurring nutrients in the surrounding soil are depleted or washed away over time.

This just provides us a reason for application of fertilizers. These fertilizers could be organic or chemical. As this provides no particular distinction between either, this is irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

(D)The typical gardener can't easily know the exact amount and type of nutrients in an organic fertilizer such as manure.

If anything, this argument provides a way in which organic fertilizers might harm plants. Since gardeners do not have an idea about the amount of nutrients in the organic fertilizer, it might be overused or underused and thus might damage the plant. Hence, if anything this might weaken the argument. Hence, Insufficient.

(E)Chemical fertilizers produced by the leading manufacturer contain nutrients that are no harder for the plants to absorb than those provided by the competitor’s chemical fertilizer.
This does not give us any way in which the organic fertilizers might benefit the plants more than chemical fertilizers and hence is not the answer.

Hope this helps! Let me know in case of any further questions/queries.

mun23 wrote:
Commercially available chemical fertilizers contain the same nutrients and micronutrients as organic fertilizers such as manure and composted garden clippings. Plants have tiny root hairs that absorb nutrients, and whether the source of the nutrients is organic or chemical is irrelevant to the plant’s ability to take in the nutrients. Nevertheless, organic fertilizers are better for the health of the plant than are chemical fertilizers alone.

Which of the following, if true, would most strongly support the position above?

(A)The nutrients in organic fertilizers are slowly released to the plant over time, rather than being absorbed by the plant immediately.
(B)In organic fertilizers, the natural combination of nutrients with other natural materials makes the nutrients more usable by the plant than nutrients found in chemical fertilizers.
(C)Plants often must be provided with nutrients because naturally occurring nutrients in the surrounding soil are depleted or washed away over time.
(D)The typical gardener can't easily know the exact amount and type of nutrients in an organic fertilizer such as manure.
(E)Chemical fertilizers produced by the leading manufacturer contain nutrients that are no harder for the plants to absorb than those provided by the competitor’s chemical fertilizer.

[size=150]Need explanation.............[/size]
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Re: Commercially available chemical fertilizers contain the same [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2013, 19:01
mun23 wrote:
Commercially available chemical fertilizers contain the same nutrients and micronutrients as organic fertilizers such as manure and composted garden clippings. Plants have tiny root hairs that absorb nutrients, and whether the source of the nutrients is organic or chemical is irrelevant to the plant’s ability to take in the nutrients. Nevertheless, organic fertilizers are better for the health of the plant than are chemical fertilizers alone.

Which of the following, if true, would most strongly support the position above?

(A)The nutrients in organic fertilizers are slowly released to the plant over time, rather than being absorbed by the plant immediately.
(B)In organic fertilizers, the natural combination of nutrients with other natural materials makes the nutrients more usable by the plant than nutrients found in chemical fertilizers.
(C)Plants often must be provided with nutrients because naturally occurring nutrients in the surrounding soil are depleted or washed away over time.
(D)The typical gardener can't easily know the exact amount and type of nutrients in an organic fertilizer such as manure.
(E)Chemical fertilizers produced by the leading manufacturer contain nutrients that are no harder for the plants to absorb than those provided by the competitor’s chemical fertilizer.

[size=150]Need explanation.............[/size]

Hi,

This question, in structure and answer choice, is quite similar to the below OG question:

many-breakfast-cereals-are-fortified-with-vitamin-137749.html

The argument basically provides two reasons that support that chemical fertilizers should be similar in function to organic fertilizers. However, the conclusion states that organic fertilizers are better than chemicals fertilizers.

How do we support this? Obviously, the only way is by providing an advantage of organic fertilizers over chemical fertilizers (This can also be done by stating one disadvantage of chemical fertilizers over organic fertilizers).

Let's look at the answer choices now.

Options C, D and E don't even try to compare chemical fertilizers with organic fertilizers and thus, they can be simply ignored.

Option A does provide some info about organic fertilizers but no information about chemical fertilizers. Therefore, we can't say which one is better.

Option B does the job. It provides a specific benefit of organic fertilizers over chemical fertilizers.

Therefore, option B is correct.

Hope this helps

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Commercially available chemical fertilizers contain the same [#permalink]

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31 Mar 2013, 03:48
Yes the correct answer is B for this question.

Option A:- Does not affect the argument

Option C:- Does not affect the argument

Option D:- Does not affect the argument or weakens the argument

Option E:- Does not affect the argument.
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Re: Commercially available chemical fertilizers contain the same   [#permalink] 31 Mar 2013, 03:48
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