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# Dobson: Some historians claim that the people who built a ring of

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Dobson: Some historians claim that the people who built a ring of  [#permalink]

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10 Apr 2019, 08:13
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95% (hard)

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42% (02:15) correct 58% (02:27) wrong based on 198 sessions

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Dobson: Some historians claim that the people who built a ring of stones thousands of years ago in Britain were knowledgeable about celestial events. The ground for this claim is that two of the stones determine a line pointing directly to the position of the sun at sunrise at the spring equinox. There are many stones in the ring, however, so the chance that one pair will point in a celestially significant direction is large. Therefore, the people who built the ring were not knowledgeable about celestial events.

Which one of the following is an error of reasoning in Dobson’s argument?

(A) The failure of cited evidence to establish a statement is taken as evidence that that statement is false

(B) Dobson’s conclusion logically contradicts some of the evidence presented in support of it

(C) Statements that absolutely establish Dobson’s conclusion are treated as if they merely give some support to that conclusion

(D) Something that is merely a matter of opinion is treated as if it were subject to verification as a matter of fact

(E) Dobson’s drawing the conclusion relies on interpreting a key term in two different ways

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Dobson: Some historians claim that the people who built a ring of  [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2019, 05:26
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Dobson: Some historians claim that the people who built a ring of stones thousands of years ago in Britain were knowledgeable about celestial events. The ground for this claim is that two of the stones determine a line pointing directly to the position of the sun at sunrise at the spring equinox. There are many stones in the ring, however, so the chance that one pair will point in a celestially significant direction is large. Therefore, the people who built the ring were not knowledgeable about celestial events.

Context: Some historians claim that the people who built a ring of stones thousands of years ago in Britain were knowledgeable about celestial events. The ground for this claim is that two of the stones determine a line pointing directly to the position of the sun at sunrise at the spring equinox

Premise: There are many stones in the ring, however

Conclusion: so the chance that one pair will point in a celestially significant direction is large. Therefore, the people who built the ring were not knowledgeable about celestial events

OK, so we are told about a theory where certain objects helped people, potentially, a while ago spot items in the sky. But our argument is that there are a bunch of these items, so the fact that there are so many probably means it was an accident. Hmm. So we are saying that, in our opinion, that if you something could be a coincidence, not purposeful, that that destroys the argument. But this doesn't destroy our argument because it is simply our opinion. Let's hope something matches this.

Which one of the following is an error of reasoning in Dobson’s argument?

(A) The failure of cited evidence to establish a statement is taken as evidence that that statement is false -- Let's break this sentence down: The failure of cited evidence (the rings) to establish a statement (that they point to sky items on purpose) is taken as evidence that that statement is false (They are not experts). Hmm. Pretty good. We are told something is a fallacy because the evidence presented doesn't add up. But this is just one example. Can we conclude that there weren't other structures? Further, can we see how the structure matches well with what the actual argument did? We are told that the author doesn't believe it because of coincidence. No additional evidence is given. He is just restating his opinion. So looking at the answer choice, because we have no other evidence and we disagree with it, we assume that the statement is false. Perfect.

(B) Dobson’s conclusion logically contradicts some of the evidence presented in support of it -- Our premise matches our conclusion pretty well. This would be like saying I hate red items. And all apples are red. Therefore, I love apples. Wrong error.

(C) Statements that absolutely establish Dobson’s conclusion are treated as if they merely give some support to that conclusion -- This is the opposite, in a way. This is saying that the question doesn't believe the arguer's statement. But it is the other way around.

(D) Something that is merely a matter of opinion is treated as if it were subject to verification as a matter of fact -- Trap answer choice. This is saying that the view about the rings is being treated as a matter of fact when it is opinion. It is established that this is fact and we are arguing against it. The error is not giving too much credit to the claim we are disproving. The issue is in our argument, which is an opinion itself. This is why this is a tricky answer choice. You see the word "opinion" and you jump on it. But we need to break down what the statements are actually saying before we can make a judgement call about it being the correct answer. In this case, this is 100% wrong.

(E) Dobson’s drawing the conclusion relies on interpreting a key term in two different ways -- No terms conflict. If we used "knowledgeable" or "rings" in different ways this would be the case, but we do not do this.
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Re: Dobson: Some historians claim that the people who built a ring of  [#permalink]

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12 Apr 2019, 22:43
I marked D - Something that is merely a matter of opinion is treated as if it were subject to verification as a matter of fact, considering
There are many stones in the ring, however, so the chance that one pair will point in a celestially significant direction is large. this statement as Dobson's opinion.

Whats the explanation for choosing A?
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Re: Dobson: Some historians claim that the people who built a ring of  [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2019, 23:58
Dobson: Some historians claim that the people who built a ring of stones thousands of years ago in Britain were knowledgeable about celestial events. The ground for this claim is that two of the stones determine a line pointing directly to the position of the sun at sunrise at the spring equinox. There are many stones in the ring, however, so the chance that one pair will point in a celestially significant direction is large. Therefore, the people who built the ring were not knowledgeable about celestial events.

Which one of the following is an error of reasoning in Dobson’s argument?

(A) The failure of cited evidence to establish a statement is taken as evidence that that statement is false

(B) Dobson’s conclusion logically contradicts some of the evidence presented in support of it

(C) Statements that absolutely establish Dobson’s conclusion are treated as if they merely give some support to that conclusion

(D) Something that is merely a matter of opinion is treated as if it were subject to verification as a matter of fact

(E) Dobson’s drawing the conclusion relies on interpreting a key term in two different ways

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Re: Dobson: Some historians claim that the people who built a ring of  [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2019, 15:31
Quote:
(C) Statements that absolutely establish Dobson’s conclusion are treated as if they merely give some support to that conclusion -- This is the opposite, in a way. This is saying that the question doesn't believe the arguer's statement. But it is the other way around.

In Option C,
"the statement that establishes the conclusion" =?
and
treated as if "they merely support the conclusion" =?

What are these two phrases in your opinion wrt to the argument?

Is it referring to the probability of stones aligning a certain way to point at the sun? Just want to confirm.
CR & LSAT Forum Moderator
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Re: Dobson: Some historians claim that the people who built a ring of  [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2019, 07:14
sharathnair14 wrote:
Quote:
(C) Statements that absolutely establish Dobson’s conclusion are treated as if they merely give some support to that conclusion -- This is the opposite, in a way. This is saying that the question doesn't believe the arguer's statement. But it is the other way around.

In Option C,
"the statement that establishes the conclusion" =?
and
treated as if "they merely support the conclusion" =?

What are these two phrases in your opinion wrt to the argument?

Is it referring to the probability of stones aligning a certain way to point at the sun? Just want to confirm.

Yes, the first statement are the observations, and the second would be his overall conclusion.
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Re: Dobson: Some historians claim that the people who built a ring of   [#permalink] 24 Aug 2019, 07:14
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