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# Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans

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Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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20 Apr 2009, 19:17
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Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans by deer ticks. Generally deer ticks pick up the bacterium while in the larval stage from feeding on infected whitefooted mice. However, certain other species on which the larvae feed do not harbor the bacterium. Therefore, if the population of these other species were increased, the number of ticks acquiring the bacterium and hence the number of people contracting Lyme disease—would likely decline.

Which of the following it would be most useful to ascertain in evaluating the argument?

A. Whether populations of the other species on which deer tick larvae feed are found only in areas also inhabited by white footed mice.

B. Whether the size of the deer population is currently limited by the availability of animals for ticks ‘s larval stage to feed on

C. Whether the infected deer population could be controlled by increasing the number of animals that prey on white footed mice.

D.Whether deer ticks that were not infected as larvae can become infected as adults by feeding on deer on which infected deer ticks have fed.

E. Whether the other species on which deer tick larvae feed harbor any other bacteria that ticks transmits to humans.

Thanks!
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
New!
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Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2016, 13:00
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This question is a tricky one. Let us begin by first understanding what the question is asking.

"Which of the following would it be most important to ascertain in evaluating the argument?"
In other words, the answer to which of the following questions would be the most useful in determining whether or not the author's argument is logical.

In order to answer this question, we must first understand the author's logic.

The argument can be simplified as follows:

[*]Lyme disease is transferred to humans by infected deer ticks.
[*]When deer ticks are in the larval stage, they feed on two species:
[*][*]1. White-footed mice; and
[*][*]2. Other species.

[*]White footed mice carry Lyme disease, and larvae who feed on infected mice also become infected.

[*]Other species do not carry Lyme disease, and so larvae who feed on other species do not become infected.

[*]Therefore, increasing the population of 'Other species' will lead to a decrease in the number of infected larvae.

Because this is an evaluate the argument type question, we know that there is probably something wrong with this argument. In this case, the author is making an assumption. Understanding what this assumption is will help us to evaluate which of the answer choices is best, because the best answer choice will address this assumption directly.

So, what is the author's assumption? In this question, the author actually states his/her assumption in the conclusion. The structure of the author's conclusion is A leads to B leads to C, where B is the assumption.
A: Increase population size of other species.
B: (Assumption) "more of the larvae would be feeding on the uninfected hosts"
C: The number of newly infected deer ticks will decrease.

Are we absolutely certain that by introducing new hosts, the larvae will prefer to feed on this host as opposed to the white-footed mice? No, we are not certain. So, when we examine the answer choices, we will look for an answer choice that makes this assumption (B) a fact. (A common mistake on this problem is searching for an answer to the author's final point (C). This would be the case if we were looking to weaken the argument. However, this is not our goal. Our goal is to determine whether or not we do in fact have an argument.)

A: Irrelevant. Whether or not the 'Other Species' is found only in the same areas in which white-footed mice are found does not help us address the assumption. If they are found only in the same are, it is still likely that the larvae may feed on the new host, but it is just as likely that they may not begin feeding on the new host. Furthermore, even if the 'Other species' is found in places other than those in which white-footed mice are found, this would not inhibit the larvae from feeding on the new hosts, because they may still be present in the areas inhabited by the white-footed mice.

B. If the population size is currently limited by the number of available hosts to feed on, then introducing a new host would remove this limitation, and the larvae would in fact begin feeding on the 'Other species.'
Furthermore, if the population size is not currently limited by the number of available hosts to feed on, then there is no limitation to be removed, and the larvae would not begin feeding on the 'Other specie,' because they have no incentive to.
In other words, the answer to this question, whether it be yes or no, directly addresses the author's assumption, which, in turn, will help us in evaluating the author's logic. This is the correct answer.

C. This answer may seem correct at first. However, it will only appear to be so if we are assuming the same thing as the author (that the population size is currently limited by the number of available hosts and that introducing a new host will cause the larvae to feed on the new host.
Only if we accept this assumption to be true would we be concerned about what steps should be taken next to control the infected deer tick population. However, since the question deals with evaluating the author's argument (and the validity of the author's assumption), this answer choice is irrelevant, because it does not address the author's assumption (in fact, it maintains it), and as a result does not help is in evaluating the author's argument.

D. This answer choice is similar to answer 'c'. It maintains the author's assumption rather than addressing it.
Remember: The author is assuming that the introduction of a new species will cause deer ticks to feed on this new species.
Because this answer choice assumes that the current population size is currently limited by the number of 'Other species' available to feed on, it does not help us in evaluating the validity of the original assumption.

E. This answer choice is out of the scope of the author's argument. The author is concerned about a reduction in the spread of Lyme disease. Other diseases are irrelevant to this argument.

In summary, when we are given an evaluation question, we must first understand the author's line of reasoning and then search for a flaw in this line of reasoning. The best answer choice will directly address this flaw.
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Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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05 Nov 2013, 19:49
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jjhko wrote:
Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans by deer ticks. Generally deer ticks pick up the bacterium while in the larval stage from feeding on infected whitefooted mice. However, certain other species on which the larvae feed do not harbor the bacterium. Therefore, if the population of these other species were increased, the number of ticks acquiring the bacterium and hence the number of people contracting Lyme disease—would likely decline.

Which of the following it would be most useful to ascertain in evaluating the argument?

A. Whether populations of the other species on which deer tick larvae feed are found only in areas also inhabited by white footed mice.

B. Whether the size of the deer population is currently limited by the availability of animals for ticks ‘s larval stage to feed on

C. Whether the infected deer population could be controlled by increasing the number of animals that prey on white footed mice.

D.Whether deer ticks that were not infected as larvae can become infected as adults by feeding on deer on which infected deer ticks have fed.

E. Whether the other species on which deer tick larvae feed harbor any other bacteria that ticks transmits to humans.

Thanks!

I think OA is B

Whether the size of the deer <b>ticks</b> population is currently limited by the availability of animals for ticks ‘s larval stage to feed on

Argument says in order to control lyme disease, increase the number of species that larva feeds on. So larva has multiple options to feed on i.e. feeding on deer sticks, grasshopper, ants etc (grasshopper & ants are just my examples for understanding purposes). As larva has multiple options to feed on, larva is spread across multiple options and less larva feeds on deer ticks..so reduction in lyme disease.

B is asking the question size of population is currently limited by the availability of animals for ticks ‘s larval stage to feed on?
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Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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21 Apr 2009, 00:27
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This is a cause-effect question. For the same effect, if there is an alternate cause, then this will help evaluate the argument.

The conclusion of the argument says that people contracting Lymn desease would decline by increasing number of other species as this would ensure decline in infected deer ticks.

But, if there deer ticks get infection from infected deers then people contracting Lymn desease may not decline.

Hence, D should be the answer.
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Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2014, 06:16
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Please add the OA. I think that someone said that it is B. Also, the correct version of the question is at the following URL http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/rc- ... t7861.html.
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Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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12 Dec 2015, 22:39
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A (Wrong) - Don't care if it is only found there. Could be found anywhere for the argument to hold
B (Correct) - Is the deer tick population at capacity? Who says they will go to the uninfected ones?
C (Wrong) - Not relevant to argument
D (Wrong) - Argument says "Generally, deer pick up the bacterium while in the larval stage." Argument never dismisses that they can pick up the disease later, it just says this is where they are most likely to get it and thus if we did this approach, number of ticks acquiring the bacterium would decline. A little sneaky, but like C this is basically saying here's a whole new option to solve this. We only care about evaluating the option discussed.
E (Wrong) - Out of scope
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Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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20 Apr 2009, 20:43
jjhko wrote:
Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans by deer ticks. Generally deer ticks pick up the bacterium while in the larval stage from feeding on infected whitefooted mice. However, certain other species on which the larvae feed do not harbor the bacterium. Therefore, if the population of these other species were increased, the number of ticks acquiring the bacterium and hence the number of people contracting Lyme disease—would likely decline.

Which of the following it would be most useful to ascertain in evaluating the argument?

A. Whether populations of the other species on which deer tick larvae feed are found only in areas also inhabited by white footed mice.---> I feel only is the keyword here. It would have been a better choice without this.

B. Whether the size of the deer population is currently limited by the availability of animals for ticks ‘s larval stage to feed on---> talks abt animal population.

C. Whether the infected deer population could be controlled by increasing the number of animals that prey on white footed mice.---> Already infected..OOO

D.Whether deer ticks that were not infected as larvae can become infected as adults by feeding on deer on which infected deer ticks have fed.---> this could increase the Lyme disease at later point of time.

E. Whether the other species on which deer tick larvae feed harbor any other bacteria that ticks transmits to humans.---> we are interested in Lyme disease.

Thanks!

I feel D.
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Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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20 Apr 2009, 22:04
agree with D
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Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2009, 10:33
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Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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04 Nov 2013, 22:05
As per GMAT Prep the answer is B.
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Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2015, 11:07
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Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2015, 23:33
Here's what the argument states: "Therefore, if the population of these other species were increased, the number of ticks acquiring the bacterium and hence the number of people contracting Lyme disease—would likely decline."

They have concluded that they can reduce the number of infected ticks by providing the ticks with an alternative food source that does not have Lyme disease bacterium. Consequently, they hope, the number of infected ticks will decrease, presumably resulting in a lower incidence of ticks infecting people.

The facts provided in the argument do not state or imply any correlation between deer population and the incidence of Lyme disease in people. Therefore, it is inconsequential to the argument whether the deer population is limited by the availability of food source for the deer ticks. Whose to say that the ticks cannot be as prolific in causing Lyme disease with a severely diminished deer population as they are now?

It seems impossible that "B" will be the right answer.

Answer choice "D" directly addresses the point that the population of infected ticks could increase because of an alternative reason - ticks becoming infected later on in their life when they do not feed on white footed mice. Therefore, I certainly find it useful to evaluate whether the plan of reducing the population of infected deer ticks by providing alternative food sources can be undermined by another factor, such as the ticks acquiring infection through other means.
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Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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04 Nov 2015, 06:00
I got thrown off because the correct version of choice b is deer tick population.,.,couldnt understand why b is right

Choice b shld read the whether the size of deer tick population is limited.,.,.,.,
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Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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05 Nov 2015, 05:30
Can someone comprehensively explain the Answer choices A,B,D? I can eliminate only C and E completely.. Thanks
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Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2016, 22:49
There is an error in the answer choices.
In B, the word 'tick' has been omitted. Correct wording is 'the size of deer tick population'.
Then OA: B makes sense.
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Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2016, 08:08
antoniobarreda wrote:
This question is a tricky one. Let us begin by first understanding what the question is asking.

"Which of the following would it be most important to ascertain in evaluating the argument?"
In other words, the answer to which of the following questions would be the most useful in determining whether or not the author's argument is logical.

In order to answer this question, we must first understand the author's logic.

The argument can be simplified as follows:

[*]Lyme disease is transferred to humans by infected deer ticks.
[*]When deer ticks are in the larval stage, they feed on two species:
[*][*]1. White-footed mice; and
[*][*]2. Other species.

[*]White footed mice carry Lyme disease, and larvae who feed on infected mice also become infected.

[*]Other species do not carry Lyme disease, and so larvae who feed on other species do not become infected.

[*]Therefore, increasing the population of 'Other species' will lead to a decrease in the number of infected larvae.

Because this is an evaluate the argument type question, we know that there is probably something wrong with this argument. In this case, the author is making an assumption. Understanding what this assumption is will help us to evaluate which of the answer choices is best, because the best answer choice will address this assumption directly.

So, what is the author's assumption? In this question, the author actually states his/her assumption in the conclusion. The structure of the author's conclusion is A leads to B leads to C, where B is the assumption.
A: Increase population size of other species.
B: (Assumption) "more of the larvae would be feeding on the uninfected hosts"
C: The number of newly infected deer ticks will decrease.

Are we absolutely certain that by introducing new hosts, the larvae will prefer to feed on this host as opposed to the white-footed mice? No, we are not certain. So, when we examine the answer choices, we will look for an answer choice that makes this assumption (B) a fact. (A common mistake on this problem is searching for an answer to the author's final point (C). This would be the case if we were looking to weaken the argument. However, this is not our goal. Our goal is to determine whether or not we do in fact have an argument.)

A: Irrelevant. Whether or not the 'Other Species' is found only in the same areas in which white-footed mice are found does not help us address the assumption. If they are found only in the same are, it is still likely that the larvae may feed on the new host, but it is just as likely that they may not begin feeding on the new host. Furthermore, even if the 'Other species' is found in places other than those in which white-footed mice are found, this would not inhibit the larvae from feeding on the new hosts, because they may still be present in the areas inhabited by the white-footed mice.

B. If the population size is currently limited by the number of available hosts to feed on, then introducing a new host would remove this limitation, and the larvae would in fact begin feeding on the 'Other species.'
Furthermore, if the population size is not currently limited by the number of available hosts to feed on, then there is no limitation to be removed, and the larvae would not begin feeding on the 'Other specie,' because they have no incentive to.
In other words, the answer to this question, whether it be yes or no, directly addresses the author's assumption, which, in turn, will help us in evaluating the author's logic. This is the correct answer.

C. This answer may seem correct at first. However, it will only appear to be so if we are assuming the same thing as the author (that the population size is currently limited by the number of available hosts and that introducing a new host will cause the larvae to feed on the new host.
Only if we accept this assumption to be true would we be concerned about what steps should be taken next to control the infected deer tick population. However, since the question deals with evaluating the author's argument (and the validity of the author's assumption), this answer choice is irrelevant, because it does not address the author's assumption (in fact, it maintains it), and as a result does not help is in evaluating the author's argument.

D. This answer choice is similar to answer 'c'. It maintains the author's assumption rather than addressing it.
Remember: The author is assuming that the introduction of a new species will cause deer ticks to feed on this new species.
Because this answer choice assumes that the current population size is currently limited by the number of 'Other species' available to feed on, it does not help us in evaluating the validity of the original assumption.

E. This answer choice is out of the scope of the author's argument. The author is concerned about a reduction in the spread of Lyme disease. Other diseases are irrelevant to this argument.

In summary, when we are given an evaluation question, we must first understand the author's line of reasoning and then search for a flaw in this line of reasoning. The best answer choice will directly address this flaw.

Awesome explanation.

Thanks for making this question cleared.
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Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2016, 23:18
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Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans by deer ticks. Generally deer ticks pick up the bacterium while in the larval stage from feeding on infected whitefooted mice. However, certain other species on which the larvae feed do not harbor the bacterium. Therefore, if the population of these other species were increased, the number of ticks acquiring the bacterium and hence the number of people contracting Lyme disease—would likely decline.

Premise 1 > Lyme disease is caused by bacterium, host is deer ticks.
Infect whitefoot mice => Deer ticks => Human

If there is any other species than Infected whitefoot mice, it dont harbor the bacterium. From that conclusion is : if the population of these other species were increased, the number of ticks acquiring the bacterium and hence the number of people contracting Lyme disease—would likely decline.

Why would it decline if the no. of Infected mouse is same.
If you increase other species, does it mean that it will affect the population of Infected mouse somehow.

Or it means that if you increase other species, there is more chances that Deer ticks will feed on Other animals instead of Whitefooted mice, responsible for infection.

Which of the following it would be most useful to ascertain in evaluating the argument?

B. Whether the size of the deer population is currently limited by the availability of animals for ticks ‘s larval stage to feed on

why Deer tick will go for "other species" when they have mice to feed on. Deer tick go to mice because there is no alternate available?? This question attempts to answer that there is a link between "size of the deer tick population" and "animals for ticks ‘s larval stage to feed on".

If there is no link then whether you increase other host species or not, doesn't matter. Deer tick will get infected by Mice.

C. Whether the infected deer population could be controlled by increasing the number of animals that prey on white footed mice.
even if it is yes, does it answer our question that : these other species were increased, the number of ticks acquiring the bacterium and hence the number of people contracting Lyme disease—would likely decline. It could be an "Alternative option" that reduce the white footed mice and hence the decline in lyme disease. But hopw does it help to explain "Increase in other species will help to reduce Lyme disease"
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Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]

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12 Jan 2017, 07:50
Easily among the best possible explanations on this super-tough question.Thanks a tonne!!

antoniobarreda wrote:
This question is a tricky one. Let us begin by first understanding what the question is asking.

"Which of the following would it be most important to ascertain in evaluating the argument?"
In other words, the answer to which of the following questions would be the most useful in determining whether or not the author's argument is logical.

In order to answer this question, we must first understand the author's logic.

The argument can be simplified as follows:

[*]Lyme disease is transferred to humans by infected deer ticks.
[*]When deer ticks are in the larval stage, they feed on two species:
[*][*]1. White-footed mice; and
[*][*]2. Other species.

[*]White footed mice carry Lyme disease, and larvae who feed on infected mice also become infected.

[*]Other species do not carry Lyme disease, and so larvae who feed on other species do not become infected.

[*]Therefore, increasing the population of 'Other species' will lead to a decrease in the number of infected larvae.

Because this is an evaluate the argument type question, we know that there is probably something wrong with this argument. In this case, the author is making an assumption. Understanding what this assumption is will help us to evaluate which of the answer choices is best, because the best answer choice will address this assumption directly.

So, what is the author's assumption? In this question, the author actually states his/her assumption in the conclusion. The structure of the author's conclusion is A leads to B leads to C, where B is the assumption.
A: Increase population size of other species.
B: (Assumption) "more of the larvae would be feeding on the uninfected hosts"
C: The number of newly infected deer ticks will decrease.

Are we absolutely certain that by introducing new hosts, the larvae will prefer to feed on this host as opposed to the white-footed mice? No, we are not certain. So, when we examine the answer choices, we will look for an answer choice that makes this assumption (B) a fact. (A common mistake on this problem is searching for an answer to the author's final point (C). This would be the case if we were looking to weaken the argument. However, this is not our goal. Our goal is to determine whether or not we do in fact have an argument.)

A: Irrelevant. Whether or not the 'Other Species' is found only in the same areas in which white-footed mice are found does not help us address the assumption. If they are found only in the same are, it is still likely that the larvae may feed on the new host, but it is just as likely that they may not begin feeding on the new host. Furthermore, even if the 'Other species' is found in places other than those in which white-footed mice are found, this would not inhibit the larvae from feeding on the new hosts, because they may still be present in the areas inhabited by the white-footed mice.

B. If the population size is currently limited by the number of available hosts to feed on, then introducing a new host would remove this limitation, and the larvae would in fact begin feeding on the 'Other species.'
Furthermore, if the population size is not currently limited by the number of available hosts to feed on, then there is no limitation to be removed, and the larvae would not begin feeding on the 'Other specie,' because they have no incentive to.
In other words, the answer to this question, whether it be yes or no, directly addresses the author's assumption, which, in turn, will help us in evaluating the author's logic. This is the correct answer.

C. This answer may seem correct at first. However, it will only appear to be so if we are assuming the same thing as the author (that the population size is currently limited by the number of available hosts and that introducing a new host will cause the larvae to feed on the new host.
Only if we accept this assumption to be true would we be concerned about what steps should be taken next to control the infected deer tick population. However, since the question deals with evaluating the author's argument (and the validity of the author's assumption), this answer choice is irrelevant, because it does not address the author's assumption (in fact, it maintains it), and as a result does not help is in evaluating the author's argument.

D. This answer choice is similar to answer 'c'. It maintains the author's assumption rather than addressing it.
Remember: The author is assuming that the introduction of a new species will cause deer ticks to feed on this new species.
Because this answer choice assumes that the current population size is currently limited by the number of 'Other species' available to feed on, it does not help us in evaluating the validity of the original assumption.

E. This answer choice is out of the scope of the author's argument. The author is concerned about a reduction in the spread of Lyme disease. Other diseases are irrelevant to this argument.

In summary, when we are given an evaluation question, we must first understand the author's line of reasoning and then search for a flaw in this line of reasoning. The best answer choice will directly address this flaw.
Re: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans   [#permalink] 12 Jan 2017, 07:50
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