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Historian: We can learn about the medical history of

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15 Jul 2004, 02:41
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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 historian'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 disease.
(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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15 Jul 2004, 06:44
A should be it..........C comes close but is mentioned in the passage!!

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15 Jul 2004, 06:56
I think it is C.

A - 'none of the mercury' makes it too rigid. Then why should we focuss only on hair? Other parts like bones can be examined - right?

B - An inference

C - Because it was effective, mercury was ingested. Hence I take C as the answer.

D - He is not poisoned in any way. He was just treated as the passage suggests.

E - farfetched.

OlegC 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 historian'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 disease.
(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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15 Jul 2004, 08:08
IMO, (A) is best.

Apply a negation rule on (C), "mercury is not effective for treating ......."
So, there is a possibility that earlier people didn't knew about this and they kept on feeding mercury to patients suffering from the disease.

On negating (A), Mercury can be eliminated from body, then this means that even if mercury was injested by patients of the disease, but later on the mercury was eliminated from body and hence the argument falls apart.

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15 Jul 2004, 08:17
I find the question logically incorrect (thats if I am reading it correctly )

Why should the traces of Mercury mean that verenal disease caused his deafness, and not Mercury? For that reason, I think D comes close to being the answer.

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15 Jul 2004, 21:48
Negation of E means this, I believe :
Statement : None can be eliminated
Negation : Some can be eliminated.

I donot think that the argument falls apart.

If C is negated, then mercury is not effective. Then, the argument falls apart because the hypothesis that the guy contracted a venereal disease cannot be proven and hence the guy cannot be deaf.

mba wrote:
IMO, (A) is best.

Apply a negation rule on (C), "mercury is not effective for treating ......."
So, there is a possibility that earlier people didn't knew about this and they kept on feeding mercury to patients suffering from the disease.

On negating (A), Mercury can be eliminated from body, then this means that even if mercury was injested by patients of the disease, but later on the mercury was eliminated from body and hence the argument falls apart.

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15 Jul 2004, 22:05
D for me
Stem says that we're not sure whether Beethoven had a venereal disease(VD). However, conclusion says that because he took mercury to cure venereal disease, then mercury must have caused his deafness.

D) negation: If Mercury does not cause deafness in people with VD, this directly contradicts the stem and the claim that one can learn about the medical history of individuals through chemical analysis of their hair falls apart.

A) too extreme a claim. Even though some mercury is eliminated, the theory could still hold. Remember, we need only to find a trace of mercury.
C) mercury being effective back then to treat VD could have been a myth. Nonetheless, it could have been widely used to futilely treat VD and hence, we could still conclude that the presence of mercury proved that someone had VDs. The effectiveness of mercury as a treatment it out of scope.
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15 Jul 2004, 22:10
But, he was not "poisoned" as stated in D. It looks too extreme a word to be used.

Paul wrote:
D for me
Stem says that we're not sure whether Beethoven had a venereal disease(VD). However, conclusion says that because he took mercury to cure venereal disease, then mercury must have caused his deafness.

D) negation: If Mercury does not cause deafness in people with VD, this directly contradicts the stem and the claim that one can learn about the medical history of individuals through chemical analysis of their hair falls apart.

A) too extreme a claim. Even though some mercury is eliminated, the theory could still hold. Remember, we need only to find a trace of mercury.
C) mercury being effective back then to treat VD could have been a myth. Nonetheless, it could have been widely used to futilely treat VD and hence, we could still conclude that the presence of mercury proved that someone had VDs. The effectiveness of mercury as a treatment it out of scope.

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15 Jul 2004, 22:16
Check out what happened to Newton: "Newton's psychological problems
were due to mercury poisoning". We are trying to find if Mercury is present in Beethoven and I mean if we are trying to find out if he ingested some (it sure does not taste good nor is it healthy ), we can call ingesting mercury, mercury poisoning. Btw, mercury IS a poison. For example, when present in fish, mercury can poison humans who, further up the food chain, eat it
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16 Jul 2004, 00:12
Hi (time to pop in )

I feel the answer should be A.
Consider the following ..What is the first assumption that the other assumption relies on.

Only if mercury be injected stays intact (assumption A), only then can the second assumption (D) be valid. If no mercurt dissolves, even though it can cause deafness, they cannot prove the point. Hence, it is the choice A, that has to be assumed.

Choice A is the best.
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16 Jul 2004, 02:00
My choice was between A and D.I was going to go with A but Paul made couple of good points that convince me that D is the best choice.

Why not A?
I agree with Paul's explanation on this.It is extreme. You can assume only 1% mercury remain intact and still the argument holds good.No reason to assume 100% of mercury remain intact.

Why D?

Argument is that chemicals in hair cause some medical conditions aka diseases.

In beethoven's case, the stem simply says that mercury may have been used to cure the VD.But we should look for the cause of the disease, not the cure .

We donot know from stem what caused VD but then there is another disease here, deafness. Again, there is no mention of cause ofdeafness in the stem.

Now if D is assumed, meaning ,assuming mercury causes deafness in people with VD, it perfectly fits the argument. If D is not assumed, then there is absolutely no proof that chemical caused a disease,mercury was only used to cure the desease and not the cause of any disease ,which defeats the argument.

Great points Paul.

(If OA is not D, OA must be wrong )
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16 Jul 2004, 02:13
After POE, I have C and D but finally opt for C.

Check C via negation.
The passage tries to prove that that VD caused Beethoven's deafness.
If mercury IS NOT an effective treatment for VD, and if researchers find a
trace of mercury in his hair, we can conclude his deafness has different causes, not VD.

C.

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16 Jul 2004, 02:24
But from C, mercury did not cause any disease.C only says that is treats VD.Only if you can prove that mecury causes some disease, that will support the argument.
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16 Jul 2004, 03:02
OA is B and I tend to agree. My explanations:

A is wrong
quote GoalStanford: â€œI agree with Paul's explanation on this. It is extreme. You can assume only 1% mercury remains intact and still the argument holds good. No reason to assume 100% of mercury remains intactâ€

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16 Jul 2004, 03:10
Yes, B sounds good. However, what stumped me is when I negated B, I thought of it as "Some people in Beethoven's time did ingest mercury" which does nothing to attack the conclusion
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16 Jul 2004, 03:17
I think I should rather buy a lotto than try getting the CR answer right.

I still have not figured the best way to solve CR's. Each time there is one or the other issue/aspect comes up and spoil the party.The only ones these days I get right are the d a m n easy and straight forward ones.I think I should refresh some basics and do a fresh start on CR's.
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Last edited by GoalStanford on 16 Jul 2004, 03:22, edited 2 times in total.

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16 Jul 2004, 03:19
Don't get discouraged, I think this one was a tricky CR and that why I posted it!

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16 Jul 2004, 06:33
Even my answer was wrong. But I am hopimg to do everything correctly on the exam day

Cool Cool Cool

GoalStanford wrote:
I think I should rather buy a lotto than try getting the CR answer right.

I still have not figured the best way to solve CR's. Each time there is one or the other issue/aspect comes up and spoil the party.The only ones these days I get right are the d a m n easy and straight forward ones.I think I should refresh some basics and do a fresh start on CR's.

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Thnx & Rgds,
Chandra

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16 Jul 2004, 06:46
wow! this one, really, was tricky. I chose, stumbled, again chose, again stumbled This guy did helluva job!
Took a lot to understand what the author was trying to say.

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16 Jul 2004, 06:46
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