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Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences bet

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Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences bet  [#permalink]

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Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species. This classification is unjustified, however, since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time.

Which of the following, if true, would enable the conclusion of the argument to be properly drawn?


(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil.

(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen.

(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.

(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.

(E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are no less distinctive than differences between specimens that came from different areas.

Originally posted by Jivana on 11 Aug 2009, 18:49.
Last edited by Bunuel on 18 Jan 2020, 05:56, edited 3 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences bet  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2009, 00:59
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Premise: paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species

Counter premise: however, since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time

Conclusion: the classification is unjustified.

Now we have to find a link between the counter premise and the conclusion. This link will allow the conclusion to be properly drawn


(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil.

This means that some species that lived in a given area are preserved as a fossil. This supports the paleontologists view

(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen.

same as A

(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.

This restricts to three the number of species in a geographical area at the same time. Let's put both premises together to see if we can draw the conclusion

since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time and since no geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time, we can conclude that it is impossible to classify triceratops into sixteen species.

This sounds correct

(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.


(E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are no less distinctive than differences between specimens that came from different areas.

This means that we should not distinguish between triceratops that came from the same are and triceratops that came from different areas. This supports the paleontologists view that we can use the differences in fossils to classify triceratops.
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences bet  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2009, 20:19
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Jivana wrote:
Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species. This classification is unjustified, however, since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time.

Which of the following, if true, would enable the conclusion of the argument to be properly drawn?

(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil.
(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen.
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.
(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.

(E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are no less distinctive than differences between specimens that came from different areas.

Chose E, OA is C


The conclusion of the argument is "This classification is unjustified". Therefore, E is wrong because E weakens the conclusion.
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences bet  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2010, 12:08
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Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species. This classification is unjustified, however, since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time.
Which of the following, if true, would enable the conclusion of the argument to be properly drawn?
(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil.
(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen.
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.
(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.
(E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are no less distinctive than differences between specimens that came from different areas.

Would go with C..... although I read the question wrong before :)

Explanation:
CN = The classification is wrong as the specimens used to distinguish 11 species come from same area.

The only supporting option to this is C.. as it says clear that any area can support max of 3 similar species at the same time!
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences bet  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2010, 11:49
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C it is.

argument says...classification of species is not justified because 11 species came from animals that lived in same area at the same time.

option C says...no geographical area ever supports more than 3 similar species at the same time.

so option (C) will help in stating that conclusion is justified because at max there can be only 3 species from the same geographical area.
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New post 26 May 2012, 20:10
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Correct answer is C. A study is presented and the author finds flaw in the study. The flaw is that the study has used fossils from the same area to determine new species. Author is not convinced about it.

(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil.
Some of the species may not be preserved but the others can be used to determine the species. We will take the fossils only. Concern is about finding species and not the finding of all the fossil
(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen.
Exaggerated answer that is not supported/ implied from the argument
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.
Correct answer. Let us negate this. "There is at least one geographical are that supports more than three similar species at the same time". If there exists such an area, then we can find 11 different species from the same area. Author says the complete opposite. The argument of the author will fail if the statement is true.
(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.
Out of scope
(E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are no less distinctive than differences between specimens that came from different areas.
This is the opposite of C and the reasoning used by the study. Author is not convinced with the statement and says that such a statement can't be true. Variations exist between species from different geographical regions.
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences bet  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2014, 02:11
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Jivana wrote:
Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species. This classification is unjustified, however, since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time.

Which of the following, if true, would enable the conclusion of the argument to be properly drawn?

Conclusion: The classification is unjustified.

(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil. - This does not mean that there couldn't be 16 different species (or 11 for that matter) ; there could be more as well. So A goes out.
(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen. - This somehow neither justifies nor defies the conclusion.
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time. - If there could only exist 3 species at max in a given area then 11 being found in a particular area is unjustified. Hence C is the answer.
(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation. - What species?
(E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are no less distinctive than differences between specimens that came from different areas. - This rather defies the conclusion by proving that there are these different species that might have existed.

I choose But it is not the OA.


I chose C. Explanations in red. Please let me know if I went wrong somewhere.

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Click kudos if it helped. :)
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences bet  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2016, 07:40
Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species. This classification is unjustified, however, since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time.

Which of the following, if true, would enable the conclusion of the argument to be properly drawn?

EVIDENCE :- THE SAME ARE AND SAME TIME ANIMALS ARE USED AS SPECIMEN

CONCLUSION :- HENCE THE CLASSIFICATION IS WRONG

ASSUMPTION :- THE SAME ARE @ SAME TIME CANNOT BE THE SOLE REASON FOR CLASSIFICATION

(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil. :- IRRELEVANT
(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen. :- IRRELEVANT
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.:- WELL THATS I GUESS HAS TO BE TRUE AND ACTUALLY SUPPORTS THE ASSUMPTION
(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.OKAY BUT IRRELEVANT OR RATHER 180
(E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are no less distinctive than differences between specimens that came from different areas. THAT IS COMPLETE 180
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences bet  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2017, 01:18
[quote="Jivana"]Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species. This classification is unjustified, however, since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time.

Which of the following, if true, would enable the conclusion of the argument to be properly drawn?

(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil.
(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen.
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.
(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.
(E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are no less distinctive than differences between specimens that came from different areas.


Answer is C
Premise 1: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species
Premise 2:This classification is unjustified, however, since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time

The valid conclusion is C
C fills the logical gap between the conclusion that the classification is false .
If we try to negate C the argument falls and the conclusion becomes invalid .
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New post 24 Apr 2018, 07:45
Premise: paleontologists made 16 classification while opponents said that it should be classified in 11 species.

Conclusion: classification is unjustified.
Which of the following, if true, would enable the conclusion of the argument to be properly drawn?

(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil. ---- means there were more then 11 species, now problem is bigger.
(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen. --- irrelevant
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time. --- means every area has only 3 species. in other words those 16 species classification is baseless. as those fossil are from only 3 species. conclusion is solidified.
(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation. ---- irrelevant
(E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are no less distinctive than differences between specimens that came from different areas. ---- irrelevant
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New post 31 Oct 2018, 16:37
Bunuel,

Something that enables the conclusion of the argument to be properly drawn can be an assumption which is unstated truth for the argument to hold.

So should this question be "assumption question Type"

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 16:46
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Probus - Notice the words 'if true', this usually present in strengthen and weakening questions. It means that given situation/option can be an imaginary, However absurd you have to consider it true, look for its impact on given situation and decide. on the other hand assumption can not be among such cases. it is just a hidden premise. 'if true' cant be in assumption question. Hope it clarifies.
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New post 08 Sep 2019, 21:13
Jivana wrote:
Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species. This classification is unjustified, however, since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time.

Which of the following, if true, would enable the conclusion of the argument to be properly drawn?

(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil.
(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen.
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.
(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.
(E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are no less distinctive than differences between specimens that came from different areas.


Paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species.
The specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time.

Conclusion: This classification is unjustified.

The conclusion is drawn based on the observation that 11 of the species come from animals living in the same area at the same time. This seems to indicate that the classification is unjustified. It seems that 11 is too many species from the same area at the same time though the argument doesn't state it explicitly.

Which of the following will help conclusion be properly drawn i.e. which of the following will justify the conclusion?

(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil.

Doesn't help our conclusion. Doesn't say why our current classification is not justified.

(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen.

Again, doesn't tell us that our current classification is not justified.

(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.

Correct. We found 11 species in the same area at the same time. But no area supports more than 3 at the same time. So our classification is not justified,

(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.

Our species are quite similar. Many species are quite dissimilar. This doesn't mean our classification is wrong. It doesn't say that the animals belong to different species only if they are quite dissimilar.

(E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are no less distinctive than differences between specimens that came from different areas.

If anything, it helps to say that our classification is justified. Specimens of different species are quite distinctive.

Answer (C)
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New post 18 Apr 2020, 07:56
VeritasKarishma GMATNinja abhimahna AjiteshArun Skywalker18 EMPOWERgmatVerbal
I cant understand whats the reason for giving the first line in the argument ? whats the relation between number 16 and 11 and whats the relation between small difference , and similar species ?
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New post 19 Apr 2020, 23:47
preetamsaha wrote:
VeritasKarishma GMATNinja abhimahna AjiteshArun Skywalker18 EMPOWERgmatVerbal
I cant understand whats the reason for giving the first line in the argument ? whats the relation between number 16 and 11 and whats the relation between small difference , and similar species ?


When are animals classified into different species? When they have enough differences between them. The argument tells us that triceratops have been classified into 16 different species based on small differences. The argument says that this classification may not be correct.

Include the correct option and see if you understand the conclusion:

Paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into 16 species.
The specimens used to distinguish 11 of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time.
No geographical area ever supports more than 3 similar species at the same time.

Conclusion: So this classification is unjustified.

The argument tells you that paleontologists classified triceratops into 16 species.
It says that 11 of these species lived in the same area at the same time.

It concludes that the classification is wrong. Why?
If we know that atmost 3 species are supported by an area, then 11 coming from the same area would be wrong. So our conclusion will follow.
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New post 19 Apr 2020, 23:57
VeritasKarishma so the number (3) used in option c just to support unjustified classification,correctly pointing out both premise (16) and counter premise (11) ? am i right ?
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New post 20 Apr 2020, 00:43
Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species. This classification is unjustified, however, since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time.

Which of the following, if true, would enable the conclusion of the argument to be properly drawn?


(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil.

(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen.

(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.

(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.

(E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are no less distinctive than differences between specimens that came from different areas.

Loved the question. What is the source?
Simplify the argument: Triceratops have been classified into 16 species. Why? Because there are small differences in the fossil specimens.
Conclusion: The classification is unjustified. Because 11 specimens were recovered from the same area.
Assumption: If specimens are recovered from same area, they cannot be different species.
A. irrelevant. We do not need every species fossil.
B. This is also not required by the argument. If only one specimen of each species is discovered that is enough.
C. This is correct. This is absolutely required by the argument to hold.
D. Just a general statement. Not required assumption.
E. This just means- Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are similar to the differences between specimens that came from different areas. This actually supports the palaentologists.
C is correct
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New post 21 Apr 2020, 21:58
preetamsaha wrote:
VeritasKarishma so the number (3) used in option c just to support unjustified classification,correctly pointing out both premise (16) and counter premise (11) ? am i right ?


I don't understand what you are trying to say here.

Context: Paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into 16 species.
Premise: The specimens used to distinguish 11 of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time.
Missing sufficient premise: No geographical area ever supports more than 3 similar species at the same time.
Conclusion: So this classification is unjustified.
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New post 21 Apr 2020, 22:49
VeritasKarishma ok . thanks for the explanation.
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences bet   [#permalink] 21 Apr 2020, 22:49

Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences bet

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