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I have seen many arguments where causality to be destroyed.

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I have seen many arguments where causality to be destroyed. [#permalink]

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30 Jul 2010, 00:38
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I have seen many arguments where causality to be destroyed. I will like to share an odd one where its the opposite. Source : Kaplan

Aggressive fertility treatments are not responsible for the rise in the incidence of twin
births. Rather, this increase can be attributed to the fact that women are waiting
longer to become mothers. Statistically, women over 35 are more likely to conceive
twins, and these women now comprise a greater percentage of women giving birth
than ever before. The argument above is flawed in that it ignores the possibility that

A. many women over 35 who give birth to twins are not first-time mothers
B. women over 35 are not the only women who give birth to twins
C. the correlation between fertility treatments and the increased incidence of
multiple births may be a coincidence
D. on average, women over 35 are no more likely to conceive identical twins
than other women are
E. women over 35 are more likely to resort to the sorts of fertility treatments
that tend to yield twin births

OA after the dicussion

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30 Jul 2010, 02:32
The author concludes that aggressive fertility treatments are not responsible for rise in the incidence of twin births. Rather it is attributed to the fact that women are waiting longer to become mothers.

This is a simple causal flaw argument. There is a correlation between the rise in the incedence of twin births and women are waiting longer to become mothers. This correlation is CAUSAL LINK. However, the fact that two things are related does not prove that one caused the other. Here aggressive fertility is an UNDERRATED CAUSE.
There4 now we understand what the flaw is and where the gap exists in the argument.

Looking at all the possibilities we can rule out the following-
A-->may be true, but wont make any impact on the argument. Cant fill the gap.
B-->a general statement. cant fill the gap.
C-->OOS. Argument is not concerned about multiple births.
D-->contradicting statement. Argument has explicitly stated that women over 35 are more likely to conceive twins

E logically fills the gap because the argument ignores the fact that woman who are above 35 and when they resort to the sorts of fertility treatment could be the reason for rise in the incidence of twin births.
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30 Jul 2010, 02:50
IMO E.

Premise: Women over 35 are predisposed to having twins.
Premise: Women over 35 constitute an increasing percentage of women giving birth.
Conclusion: Fertility treatments aren't responsible for the increase in the number of twins.

If you insert E as a new premise, it successfully invalidates the conlcusion and weakens the overall argument.

Last edited by Gryphon on 30 Jul 2010, 02:52, edited 1 time in total.

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30 Jul 2010, 02:51
That was close. But didn't close the deal

But here argument wants to break away from causal relationship. To weaken it you have to re-establish the causal link. That's the catch.

tryingharder wrote:
This is a simple causal flaw argument. There is a correlation between the rise in the incedence of twin births and women are waiting longer to become mothers. This correlation is CAUSAL LINK. However, the fact that two things are related does not prove that one caused the other. Here aggressive fertility is an UNDERRATED CAUSE.

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30 Jul 2010, 03:11
nusmavrik wrote:
That was close. But didn't close the deal

But here argument wants to break away from causal relationship. To weaken it you have to re-establish the causal link. That's the catch.

tryingharder wrote:
This is a simple causal flaw argument. There is a correlation between the rise in the incedence of twin births and women are waiting longer to become mothers. This correlation is CAUSAL LINK. However, the fact that two things are related does not prove that one caused the other. Here aggressive fertility is an UNDERRATED CAUSE.

thnx 4 the clue budy
this time it has to be C. No other choice looks like a possible possibility. hehe
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30 Jul 2010, 03:17

Conclusion: Fertility treatments aren't responsible for the increase in the number of twins.
Here the arg is non causal. E makes the arg causal - hence weakens it!

C helps the argument. It strengthens it.

tryingharder wrote:

thnx 4 the clue budy
this time it has to be C. No other choice looks like a possible possibility. hehe

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30 Jul 2010, 03:35
nusmavrik wrote:

Conclusion: Fertility treatments aren't responsible for the increase in the number of twins.
Here the arg is non causal. E makes the arg causal - hence weakens it!

C helps the argument. It strengthens it.

tryingharder wrote:

thnx 4 the clue budy
this time it has to be C. No other choice looks like a possible possibility. hehe

trust me not a fluke, i was tinking on the right lines and first time i was 200% sure about E. I know that C strengthens but then thought that there might be some catch. infact i was quite confused before picking C.

nywyz..got it now
and good to know that E is correct
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30 Jul 2010, 04:10
Even I go for E . What is the OA? E? :D

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30 Jul 2010, 04:38
You will love the Kaplan's OE. Its lengthy.
Takeaway : Non-causal argument can be destroyed by the assumption which establishes the causal relationship.

19. (E)
Reading the question stem first (always a fine idea)
for question 19 warns you to be on the alert for
something the author has overlooked. The author
argues against the notion that fertility treatments
are responsible for the increased incidence of twins
by presenting an alternative explanation—that the
increase has occurred because more women are
having children later in life, and these older women
are statistically more likely to bear twins. This
sounds plausible, but remember the key questions
in GMAT causal arguments: Can the causality be
reversed? Is coincidence confused for cause? Could
another cause have been at work? If women over 35
are much more likely to use fertility treatments that
often result in twin births, then it’s possible that the
twin births among older women are in fact due to
fertility treatments. The problem (E) points out is
not that the “alternative explanation” is illogical or
impossible, but that it might be dependent on the
very explanation it’s supposed to replace.

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31 Jul 2010, 14:01
E........isn't it .according to kaplan ........was relieved not to C..it would have had weirdest of explanation if it were C

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31 Jul 2010, 21:53
cruel one for me .....picked A

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12 Sep 2010, 04:18
Tough question
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12 Sep 2010, 04:28
tough one....

i called the C...................

hmmm
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Re: Watch Causality   [#permalink] 12 Sep 2010, 04:28
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I have seen many arguments where causality to be destroyed.

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