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# In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred

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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2012, 23:38
I got the question wrong in the first attempt.
This is my second try.
This is how I approached:
Question Stem says that we need to find an assumption to fill the logic gaps. (Ok! We are half-way through!)

Premise 1(P1): In a place, we found animals' charred bones(1 m year old).
Premise 2(P2): Exp. campfire burns (say at Temp 1000 degree C) and bones heated to T<1000
Conclusion: Humans used fire.

So, you know.. where is the gap
charred + bones <.............> humans + fire (i.e. Premise2 <....gap......> Conclusion)

Flag1: I looked up dictionary and found out that char (verb) means 'to partially burn so as to blacken the surface'. The word is contextually used when an object is intentionally half burned (in olden times, this method was used to produce charcoal)
Flag2: Anything other than campfire (unless measured in terms of campfire temp) will disrupt the logical flow from Premise2 to Conclusion. In case forest fire temp can be measured in terms of campfire temp, then this information will become Premise3. Now we need additional information to fill the gap between Premise3 and Conclusion.
Flag3: Cutting tool does not mean that humanoids used to cut meat. May be they used to cut wood for campfires and used to tear the meat or simply ate the whole piece . If two pieces are found together in an excavation, it simply means that both were existent at a particular instant of time.
Flag4: 500 thousand years!(let us say humanoids existed then). Now, let us suppose that after 500 thousands years from today, our future generations (superhumans) found that we(humans) traveled in aeroplane, does it mean that humanoids also traveled in aeroplanes?

Now see the options:
A. "Stinkwood is a building material." So, was it also used to build 1 M years ago ? At the most, with this option, logic can flow as- building material can catch fire and cause charred bones. But how come humans knew about fire. The option does not fill our gap between P2 and Conclusion.

B. Refer to my Flag2. At the most, this option can create a Premise3 in the logic flow, but leave a gap between P3 and Conclusion.

C. We already know that skeleton belonged to animals. No extra information to plug the hole in logical gap between P2 and Conclusion.

D. Refer to Flag4 and you will hate this option.

E. Not a very good option. But best among the given options. Now, if 'char' (verb) means to intentionally half-burn an object, humanoids' cutting tools and humanoids' intention to half-burn the animals existed simultaneously. So, charred bones and humanoids fire knowledge existed at the same time. It kind of fills the logic gap between Premise2 and Conclusion.

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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2013, 03:55
what is an assumption for this argument.?

pls help.
the argument is

from chared bone---------> person use fire

what is assumption here? pls do not say more, pls, just tell me an assumption. nothing more.

after getting an assumption, I will continue to post a question
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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2013, 11:29
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thangvietnam wrote:
what is an assumption for this argument.?
pls help.
the argument is
from charred bone---------> person use fire
what is assumption here? pls do not say more, pls, just tell me an assumption. nothing more.
after getting an assumption, I will continue to post a question

Dear thangvietnam,
With all due respect, you are asking the wrong question. It's as if the question were "find the area of the circle", and you are asking how many vertices the shape has. What you are asking is a question that doesn't really make sense in context.

You see, the prompt here is really just a set of evidence --- there's not really an "argument" in the prompt paragraph, just evidence. The conclusion is actually not in the prompt paragraph at all but in the question, and you need another piece of evidence (from among the answer choices) to establish this conclusion. You can't really even begin to identify an assumption until after you pick the correct answer, so trying to start the question by identifying an assumption is a strategy doomed to failure.

Yes, I know that "identify the assumption" is an approach that works in a large number of CR, but on the GMAT, you can never afford to be a one-trick pony --- there's no "one size fits all" strategy that you can use on every single question. The GMAT will give you enough variety that you have to be flexible and resourceful in how you approach the problems.

Does that make sense?

Mike
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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2013, 08:43
great, great, thank you very much, Mike

your posting is what I want to see.

yes, I see this type of argument is abnormal . and your explanation make clear why this type is abnormal.

that is why your posting is great , great.

do you have any tip/strategy for solving this type of argument in which there are only evidence

pls help
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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2013, 08:48
normally we have inference question, bold phrase question and assumption-based questions.

many questions if not most, are assumption-based questions, argument of which normally contain evidence, conclusion and assumption.

that is why I see the posted question "abnormal" .

Thank you Mike. our discussion is to find out everything which help us beat the gmat.
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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2013, 09:12
Dear Mike

you are correct that for many types of question, starting a question by identifying an assumption works well.

but for this type of question what do you do after you read the argument and the question? you have to know what you will find in the answer choices before you read and analyse answer choices.

Thank you Mike.
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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2013, 11:55
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thangvietnam wrote:
Dear Mike
you are correct that for many types of question, starting a question by identifying an assumption works well.
but for this type of question what do you do after you read the argument and the question? you have to know what you will find in the answer choices before you read and analyse answer choices.
Thank you Mike.

Dear thangvietnam
First of all, your statement "you have to know what you will find in the answer choices before you read and analyse answer choices" is FALSE in general. In the very specific cases of "find the assumption" or "strengthen/weaken the question", then yes, it's good to identify the assumption before you read the answer choices. For those three specific CR question types, your statement is true. In other CR question types, especially unusually ones like this, we have absolutely no way to anticipate how the answer choices will impact the logic of the argument, and hence there is no way to avoid reading and analyzing each answer choices.

http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/save-time- ... questions/

Remember, if you try to approach the GMAT CR with recipes and formulas, the GMAT will obliterate you. On the CR, the GMAT demands flexible critical reasoning.

I have already written quite a bit about this argument in the posts above, so I am not going to go through a full analysis here. The procedures, briefly, would be --- for each answer choice, read the choice, and then evaluate whether this choice, in conjunction with the evidence in the prompt paragraph, supports the claim "that the charred bone fragments are evidence of the use of fire by early hominids." Let me know if you have any specific questions about answer choices that I have not already discussed above.

Mike
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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2013, 04:12
thank you MIke, I will return to this posting in a short time.
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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2013, 04:16
thank you MIke.

I can summarize that to solve a cr question, there are only 2 processes of thinking

- combine information in each answer choice with information in the argument to prove/disprove that answer choices.

when do we do process 1 and when we do process 2. pls explain.

I have not read your article, (will read in a short time), but for now if you have any advise, pls , post

thank you.
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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2013, 10:41
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thangvietnam wrote:
thank you MIke.
I can summarize that to solve a cr question, there are only 2 processes of thinking
- combine information in each answer choice with information in the argument to prove/disprove that answer choices.
when do we do process 1 and when we do process 2. pls explain.
I have not read your article, (will read in a short time), but for now if you have any advise, pls , post
thank you.

Please read that article, in which the answer to this question is explained clearly. Let me know if you have any further questions.
Mike
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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 07:28
thank you Mike

there is no strategy for this type of argument. this is strengthen/weaken question but this question dose not require prethink an assumption.

what we do after we read/understand argurment and before we read/analyse the answer choices, for this type of question. ?

"look for what increase the belief that the 2 pieces of evidence are related"

is what we need to know before going to answer choices.

is that right?
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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 12:46
thangvietnam wrote:
thank you Mike
there is no strategy for this type of argument. this is strengthen/weaken question but this question dose not require prethink an assumption.
what we do after we read/understand argument and before we read/analyse the answer choices, for this type of question. ?
"look for what increase the belief that the 2 pieces of evidence are related"
is what we need to know before going to answer choices.
is that right?

Yes. You see, the GMAT excels at producing question that demand flexible logical reasoning. You absolutely cannot afford to get stuck in a rut, applying the same routine to each question. Instead, many GMAT CR questions demand something entirely new, analysis unlike that demanded by any previous question. This question is an example of such a question. It is not a "question type." It is an out-of-the-blue question all of its own, and you have to engage deeply with the logic of the situation itself. Many questions on the CR, both in the OG and on the real GMAT, will be just like this. Yes, there are a few "types", like "find the assumption", where you definitely can do some "pre-thinking" before you look at the answer choices. Nevertheless, do not get attached to that luxury. Many questions ask you to engage the logic-in-context of the situation, and there's no recipe/procedure/method that will save you from this deep and contextual logical reasoning.

Here's a post that discusses this a little more.
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/formal-log ... reasoning/

Do you know the magazine entitled The Economist? I would highly recommend this magazine, both for the tremendous overview of world political and economic issues it provides, and for high level of language, rhetoric, and argument is maintains. See this post:
If you read the argument in that magazine --- you will be reading messy real world arguments, arguments that are inextricable bound to what is unique to each situation. You cannot use recipes or formulas to understand these arguments. You need to understand context itself. Reading The Economist magazine would give you excellent preparation for the wild diversity of possible arguments in the GMAT CR.

Think about it. The whole point of the CR section on the GMAT, the reason business schools consider this an important topic, is that in the business world you will face new situations and new arguments and new issues all the time. The folks who respond to a new situation or argument with formulaic methods will not get everything out of the situation that he could. By contrast, the person who recognizes the unique logic of each new context --- the person will be on the cutting edge, always poised to draw profit from each new challenge.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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25 Mar 2013, 06:09
This was an easy question for and solved it under time for two reasons
1. This is a strengthen and not an evalulate question (answer B, the only contender for me with B is thrown in for the latter)
2. Because this is a strengthen and not an evaluate question, By easy POE E. If B, the contender, were true we couldn't be sure of the fire being lit naturally or by hominids

Thanks for noting this was thrown out Magoosh. He said " It's compelling evidence that they were intentionally killed and cut up by early hominids, and therefore the charring of the bones happened when the animal remains were in the possession of the early hominids, presumably in some kind of cooking process." I only chose E out of POE because this requires a necessary assumption on the part of the test taker. For instance I could have also said, because they were found in similar layers, that Hominids also inhabited the same area a couple of thousands years later, and died/dug tools on top of where these animals died. How they got into the same layer begs question, they could have been put down there with an machine for all I know.
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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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13 Sep 2016, 13:29
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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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27 Jul 2017, 23:07
Merged topics. Please, search before posting questions!
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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2017, 21:29
IMO, this is not a good question.

Both D and E are close. I do agree that E sounds more natural but D is not bad. With D we could narrow the scope of the finding that early hominids might use fire from 1m years ago to 500.000 years ago. Not bad at all.

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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred [#permalink]

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18 Aug 2017, 00:24
terp26 wrote:
E here

we need to relate hominids with the bone fragments

E does so because they are both fossilzed together with the tools the hominds used

D is wrong because it doesnt talk about charred bone fragments at all

What if the co-existed and this was a forest fire? Mere co-existence cannot prove that hominids were responsible for the fire. I think it should be D.
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Re: In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred   [#permalink] 18 Aug 2017, 00:24

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