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# One good clue as to which geographical regions an ancient relic was mo

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Re: One good clue as to which geographical regions an ancient relic was mo [#permalink]
Bunuel Did not get why c is wrong? I was confused between A and C.
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Re: One good clue as to which geographical regions an ancient relic was mo [#permalink]
Pdeshwal wrote:
One good clue as to which geographical regions an ancient relic was moved through in the past involves the analysis of pollen that clings to the surface of the relic. A relic is linked to a geographical area by the identification of pollen from plants that are known to have been unique to that area.

Which one of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the reliability of the method described above?

(A) Pollens are often transported from one region to another by wind or human movement.

(B) There are several less complicated methods of determining the history of the movement of an object than the analysis and identification of pollen.

(C) Many types of pollen were common to several geographical regions in the ancient world.

(D) Data are scarce as to the geographical distribution of the pollens of many ancient plants.

(E) Pollen analysis is a painstaking process that is also expensive to conduct.

EXPLANATION FROM Fox LSAT

Hmm. This sounds like some CSI forensic science stuff. I wonder if we can pretend we’re working on a murder case in order to answer the question. What if instead of “ancient relic” we were talking about a murder weapon? What if the prosecutor had said, “We know this gun has been at the defendant’s remote mountain cabin because the gun has traces of pollen from trees that grow only around the defendant’s cabin”? What do you think? Guilty?

Please tell me you’re not nodding along with the prosecutor right now, because the prosecutor is completely full of ****. Just because the trees don’t move around doesn’t mean the pollen doesn’t move around. It’s conceivable that the entire world is covered with pollen from a tree that only lives on one particular mountain in Africa. Even if you think that’s far-fetched, it’s certainly not impossible. Doesn’t a tree emit, like, a bazillion pieces of pollen every day? And isn’t that **** essentially weightless? Can’t pollen fly thousands of miles on the wind, float on top of the ocean, be transmitted by insects, birds, and other animals, etcetera etcetera? Are there any allergy sufferers on the jury? Do you think they are going to buy the idea that pollen pretty much stays in a fixed geographical area? I don’t think the prosecutor can possibly win here—I think there must be reasonable doubt if pollen is your only evidence.

Back to the question. We’re asked to “cast doubt” on the pollen analysis method, and I’m guessing that we’ve already done a decent job of it. Our “Wait, your evidence is pollen?! You’ve got to be **** with me, that **** gets everywhere!” defense is probably a winner here.

A) Boom. We predicted wind, but we forgot about humans. How do we know that the dirty cops didn’t sprinkle pollen on the gun before putting it in the evidence locker? Great answer. This isn’t what we predicted, but it has the same devastating effect as what we predicted.

B) Not a chance. Just because there are better methods of doing something doesn’t mean that a worse method doesn’t also work. Example: Jump out of an airplane at 40,000 feet, with a parachute made of bricks, and you will definitely kill yourself. Jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge is a worse method for killing yourself because sometimes people survive both the fall and the sharks—and then have to live with their horrifying injuries—but the method does, generally, work.

C) This is irrelevant, because the facts are only about a pollen or pollens that were known to have been unique to a specific area. This answer just doesn’t apply.

D) Irrelevant. Apparently we have enough data to conclude that this pollen or pollens were linked to a certain geographical area. The fact that we wouldn’t be able to do the same analysis for “many types of pollen” doesn’t in any way weaken our logic.

E) Irrelevant. Just because something is expensive and painstaking doesn’t mean it’s not logically sound.

Our answer is A, because it introduces reasonable doubt.
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Re: One good clue as to which geographical regions an ancient relic was mo [#permalink]
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Re: One good clue as to which geographical regions an ancient relic was mo [#permalink]
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