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# Measurements of the extent of amino-acid decomposition in

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Measurements of the extent of amino-acid decomposition in [#permalink]

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30 Mar 2004, 10:05
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Measurements of the extent of amino-acid decomposition in fragments of eggshell found at archaeological sites in such places as southern Africa can be used to obtain accurate dates for sites up to 200,000 years old. Because the decomposition is slower in cool climates, the technique can be used to obtain accurate dates for sites almost a million years old in cooler regions.

The information above provides the most support for which one of the following conclusions?

(A) The oldest archaeological sites are not in southern Africa, but rather in cooler regions of the world.

(B) The amino-acid decomposition that enables eggshells to be used in dating does not take place in other organic matter found at ancient archaeological sites.

(C) If the site being dated had been subject to large unsuspected climatic fluctuations during the time the eggshell has been at the site, application of the technique is less likely to yield accurate results.

(D) After 200,000 ears in a cool climate, less than one-fifth of the amino acids in a fragment of eggshell that would provide material for dating with the technique will have decomposed and will thus no longer be suitable for examination by the technique.

(E) Fragments of eggshell are more likely to be found at ancient archaeological sites in warm regions of the world than at such sites in cooler regions.
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30 Mar 2004, 11:36
I will go with C. Explanation will follow if my answer is correct.

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30 Mar 2004, 13:31
You are right anandnk?

Please explain. Also can you explain why D is wrong(I chose D)?

Thanks
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30 Mar 2004, 14:11
Where did you get the information from the stem to conclude D?
When you draw the conclusion you should not bring in other things that are outside the scope of the argument.
In fact D says something exactly opposit of what the stem says. In cooler climates the determination of date can be extended way beyond 200000 years.

C is correct because it says if climate varies a lot then rate of decomposition of the fragments is not linear or predictable by some formula. In order for the accurate measurements to occur the argument assumes that the climate does not change drastically leading to hapazard variation in decomposition.

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30 Mar 2004, 19:39
Thanks anandnk. Your explanation makes things sound so simple.

I know sometimes my questions might sound stupid to you. I apologize for that. But since this is a forum, I am compelled to ask questions when I am in doubt. I hope all of you guys will be patient enough to help me out. After discussing and answering questions with you guys, I am seeing an improvement in my verbal.
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30 Mar 2004, 19:39
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