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In a study of the effect of radiation from nuclear weapons plants

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In a study of the effect of radiation from nuclear weapons plants [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2017, 20:51
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A
B
C
D
E

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82% (00:57) correct 18% (01:23) wrong based on 134 sessions

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In a study of the effect of radiation from nuclear weapons plants on people living in areas near them, researchers compared death rates in the areas near the plants with death rates in areas that had no such plants. Finding no difference in these rates, the researchers concluded that radiation from the nuclear weapons plants poses no health hazards to people living near them.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the researchers’ argument?

(A) Nuclear power plants were not included in the study.
(B) The areas studied had similar death rates before and after the nuclear weapons plants were built.
(C) Exposure to nuclear radiation can cause many serious diseases that do not necessarily result in death.
(D) Only a small number of areas have nuclear weapons plants.
(E) The researchers did not study the possible health hazards of radiation on people who were employed at the nuclear weapons plants if those employees did not live in the study areas.

Source: LSAT

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Re: In a study of the effect of radiation from nuclear weapons plants [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2017, 22:56
I will go with C
comparing death rates isnt logical, what if people living near nuclear plants get more serious diseases. So i guess C weakens
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Re: In a study of the effect of radiation from nuclear weapons plants [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2017, 01:41
Answer C
What if the death rates are similar but people living near nuclear plants get very serious diseases.So option C most seriously weakens the argument.Please give me kudos . I need them badly to increase my score.
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Re: In a study of the effect of radiation from nuclear weapons plants [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 05:44
broall wrote:
In a study of the effect of radiation from nuclear weapons plants on people living in areas near them, researchers compared death rates in the areas near the plants with death rates in areas that had no such plants. Finding no difference in these rates, the researchers concluded that radiation from the nuclear weapons plants poses no health hazards to people living near them.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the researchers’ argument?

(A) Nuclear power plants were not included in the study.
(B) The areas studied had similar death rates before and after the nuclear weapons plants were built.
(C) Exposure to nuclear radiation can cause many serious diseases that do not necessarily result in death.
(D) Only a small number of areas have nuclear weapons plants.
(E) The researchers did not study the possible health hazards of radiation on people who were employed at the nuclear weapons plants if those employees did not live in the study areas.

Source: LSAT

MGMAT explanation -->

No difference in death rates between areas with and without nuclear weapons plants---> Radiation from nuclear weapons plants poses no health hazards to people living near them

Whoa now! There is a lot of terrible argumentation going on here. Just because there is the same number of people dying does NOT mean that there are no health risks associated with nuclear weapon plants! In order to weaken this argument, I can see a few plans of attack: (1) We can show how there used to be a difference in death rates before the plants were installed - maybe the areas without weapons plants used to have 50% less people die than they do now; (2) We can attack the idea of having no health risks: people can still get sick and that would definitely be a health hazard! (3) What if these people are dying due to different things? Suppose that the people near the plants are dying due to radiation and the other people are dying due to old age? This would weaken the argument too!

(A) This simply does not matter. It is completely irrelevant because we are talking about the radiation from nuclear weapons plants exclusively.

(B) This is actually touching on one of our predictions but it does so in the wrong way. This actually strengthens the argument by showing that the same number of people are dying before and after the plants were installed. Maybe the plants don't have health hazards?

(C) This is a pretty good weakener; not perfect, but pretty good. This shows how, even though the death rates are given as evidence, the death rates are not indicative of the totality of health hazards that could result from radiation. This would show that maybe radiation does have some health hazards, just none that are really so serious that they lead to death. I like this one and I'll keep it for now.

(D) It doesn't matter how small the number of areas that have the plants are. We are trying to simply make a value judgement on the plants: are they dangerous or not? There could be one plant; there could be millions. It doesn't matter.

(E) This is oddly specific and it is fairly inconsequential. With the way that this answer choice is phrased, employees simply do not matter.

However, if the answer choice had said something about how there was a correlation between the employees working at the plant and an unusually high death rate then maybe that would be a much better weakener. It would thus show that radiation does pose some reason for concern if these employees are dying at alarming rates! It would also help to know if these employees only lived in areas that did NOT have a plant because then it would mean that their areas' numbers would be inflated. You can see that (E) is awfully close to this line of reasoning yet simply knowing that the researchers did not study this isn't enough to say that radiation probably does pose a health risk. Maybe if they studied these people then they would see that there actually was not any increase in sickness/death for employees at the plant. In which case, if an answer choice could easily strengthen or weaken, it probably isn't right.
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Re: In a study of the effect of radiation from nuclear weapons plants   [#permalink] 19 Dec 2017, 05:44
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In a study of the effect of radiation from nuclear weapons plants

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