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# Historian: We can learn about the medical history of

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Manager
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23 Jan 2005, 16:50
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Historian: We can learn about the medical history of individuals through chemical analysis of their hair. It is likely, for example, that Isaac Newton's psychological problems were due to mercury poisoning; traces of mercury were found in his hair. Analysis is now being done on a lock of Beethoven's hair. Although no convincing argument has shown that Beethoven ever had a venereal disease, some people hypothesize that venereal disease caused his deafness. Since mercury was commonly ingested in Beethoven's time to treat venereal disease, if researchers find a trace of mercury in his hair, we can conclude that this hypothesis is correct.

Which one of the following is an assumption on which the histroian's argument depends?

a) None of the mercury introduced into the body can be eliminated.

b) Some people in Beethoven's time did not ingest mercury.

c) Mercury is an effective treatment for venereal.

d) Mercury poisoning can cause deafness in people with venereal disease.

e) Beethoven suffered from psychological problems of the same severity as Newton's.

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Manager
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23 Jan 2005, 16:53
OA is: B.

I thought that B was too obvious. I guess D is not an assumption because it's an inference? These LSAT questions are tough!

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23 Jan 2005, 21:13
thenine wrote:
Questor wrote:
Historian: We can learn about the medical history of individuals through chemical analysis of their hair. It is likely, for example, that Isaac Newton's psychological problems were due to mercury poisoning; traces of mercury were found in his hair. Analysis is now being done on a lock of Beethoven's hair. Although no convincing argument has shown that Beethoven ever had a venereal disease, some people hypothesize that venereal disease caused his deafness. Since mercury was commonly ingested in Beethoven's time to treat venereal disease, if researchers find a trace of mercury in his hair, we can conclude that this hypothesis is correct.

Which one of the following is an assumption on which the histroian's argument depends?

a) None of the mercury introduced into the body can be eliminated.

b) Some people in Beethoven's time did not ingest mercury.

c) Mercury is an effective treatment for venereal.

d) Mercury poisoning can cause deafness in people with venereal disease.

e) Beethoven suffered from psychological problems of the same severity as Newton's.

e

Damn i am having a horible day on these

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Director
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24 Jan 2005, 07:10
I picked (E) as wel. OE please. thanks

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VP
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
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24 Jan 2005, 09:16
Questor wrote:
Historian: We can learn about the medical history of individuals through chemical analysis of their hair. It is likely, for example, that Isaac Newton's psychological problems were due to mercury poisoning; traces of mercury were found in his hair. Analysis is now being done on a lock of Beethoven's hair. Although no convincing argument has shown that Beethoven ever had a venereal disease, some people hypothesize that venereal disease caused his deafness. Since mercury was commonly ingested in Beethoven's time to treat venereal disease, if researchers find a trace of mercury in his hair, we can conclude that this hypothesis is correct.

Which one of the following is an assumption on which the histroian's argument depends?

a) None of the mercury introduced into the body can be eliminated.

b) Some people in Beethoven's time did not ingest mercury.

c) Mercury is an effective treatment for venereal.

d) Mercury poisoning can cause deafness in people with venereal disease.

e) Beethoven suffered from psychological problems of the same severity as Newton's.

B it is.

If all the people ingest mercury, we cannot make sure mercury is used to treat venereal disease. Then we cannot get the conclusion: veneral disease caused the deafness.

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Manager
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25 Jan 2005, 22:52
Folaa3:

I got this question from an LSAT book, which doesn't contain any explanations, only the answers.

All:

I just re-read the question. What a convoluted passage! The first part talks about mercury poisoning causing psychological problems. Then the second part, which we need to find the assumption to, talks about venereal diseases causing deafness. So D and E wouldn't be correct. C & A are out of scope. For B to be true, we have to connect the ingestion of mercury with venereal diseases (the reason that Beethoven took mercury in the first place supposedly), which caused his deafness. But why couldn't mercury poisoning be a cause of his deafness? A pretty weak argument indeed.

Questor

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27 Jan 2005, 06:23
Questor,

Good day.Shouldn't the assumption be common for both Newton and Beethoven.While,reading your explaination I think that you are applying the assumption for Beethoven alone.Please let me know if it is otherwise.

I think that (b) is common for both Newton and Beethoven.Rgds,

Anna
Questor wrote:
Folaa3:

I got this question from an LSAT book, which doesn't contain any explanations, only the answers.

All:

I just re-read the question. What a convoluted passage! The first part talks about mercury poisoning causing psychological problems. Then the second part, which we need to find the assumption to, talks about venereal diseases causing deafness. So D and E wouldn't be correct. C & A are out of scope. For B to be true, we have to connect the ingestion of mercury with venereal diseases (the reason that Beethoven took mercury in the first place supposedly), which caused his deafness. But why couldn't mercury poisoning be a cause of his deafness? A pretty weak argument indeed.

Questor

_________________

We can crack the exam together

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Director
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30 Jan 2005, 11:10
Initially, I also picked (C) but after going through discussions I realized my mistake.

Trickier part is to find what is the conclusion of the argument. Initially, I chose "We can learn about the medical history of individuals through chemical analysis of their hair.", so I ended up in (C).

But here, Conclusion is... what some ppl hypothesized i.e. "venereal disease caused his deafness"

Now, (B) makes sense and hence it is perhaps the best answer.

(dont miss this link).. I think, mallelac did the same mistake as I did. Olegc has explained it nicely. A perfect discussion of this qus:
http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=8032

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30 Jan 2005, 11:10
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