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Feathers recently taken from seabirds stuffed and

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Feathers recently taken from seabirds stuffed and [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2013, 03:11
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  15% (low)

Question Stats:

78% (01:28) correct 22% (01:32) wrong based on 207 sessions

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Feathers recently taken from seabirds stuffed and preserved in the 1880s have been found to contain only half as much mercury as feathers recently taken from living birds of the same species. Since mercury that accumulates in a seabird’s feathers as the feathers grow is derived from fish eaten by the bird, these results indicate that mercury levels in saltwater fish are higher now than they were 100 years ago.

The argument depends on assuming that

(A) the proportion of a seabird’s diet consisting of fish was not as high, on average, in the 1880s as it is today

(B) the amount of mercury in a saltwater fish depends on the amount of pollution in the ocean habitat of the fish

(C) mercury derived from fish is essential for the normal growth of a seabird’s feathers

(D) the stuffed seabirds whose feathers were tested for mercury were not fully grown

(E) the process used to preserve birds in the 1880s did not substantially decrease the amount of mercury in the birds’ feathers

Source: LSAT
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Last edited by broall on 18 Sep 2017, 20:18, edited 1 time in total.
Reformatted question

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Re: Feathers recently taken from seabirds stuffed and [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2013, 20:18
Veritas teaches a technique called the "assumption negation technique" that is very effective for solving critical reasoning assumption questions. In order to utilize the assumption negation technique, narrow down your list of potential answers to a couple you feel may be correct. Then, for each answer choice, negate the choice, insert the negated statement back into the argument, and gauge whether or not the argument falls apart. A correct assumption, when negated, will destroy the argument.

This argument is stating that mercury levels are higher in saltwater fish now than in the 1880s, and it uses the comparison of the mercury in feathers of currently living birds vs. those of birds stuffed in the 1880s.

Negating answer choice E, we have: "the process used to preserve birds in the 1880s DID substantially decrease the amount of mercury in the birds’ feathers." If that is the case, then the comparison between living birds and those stuffed in the 1880s is no longer relevant, as the mercury in those birds' feathers was significantly altered. This destroys the link between premises and conclusion, and thus answer choice E is a required assumption.

I hope this helps!!!
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Re: Feathers recently taken from seabirds stuffed and [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2017, 03:38
VeritasPrepBrandon wrote:
Veritas teaches a technique called the "assumption negation technique" that is very effective for solving critical reasoning assumption questions. In order to utilize the assumption negation technique, narrow down your list of potential answers to a couple you feel may be correct. Then, for each answer choice, negate the choice, insert the negated statement back into the argument, and gauge whether or not the argument falls apart. A correct assumption, when negated, will destroy the argument.

This argument is stating that mercury levels are higher in saltwater fish now than in the 1880s, and it uses the comparison of the mercury in feathers of currently living birds vs. those of birds stuffed in the 1880s.

Negating answer choice E, we have: "the process used to preserve birds in the 1880s DID substantially decrease the amount of mercury in the birds’ feathers." If that is the case, then the comparison between living birds and those stuffed in the 1880s is no longer relevant, as the mercury in those birds' feathers was significantly altered. This destroys the link between premises and conclusion, and thus answer choice E is a required assumption.

I hope this helps!!!


hi

its fairly easy problem, and like everyone, I also got it right, but...
I was wondering if you could tell me whether the way I have eliminated "C" is okay

Assumption is an unstated premise, but the premise that "C" states is clearly stated in the argument, so it cannot be an unstated premise, so I have ruled it out. Is that okay ..?

thanks in advance, man

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Re: Feathers recently taken from seabirds stuffed and   [#permalink] 05 Oct 2017, 03:38
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