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# Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again

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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
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I will go with B. B clearly establishes that it is not just the resistant cotton that are getting affected and that bio engineering had nothing to do with how much they were affected by the bollworms.

imaru wrote:
Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide against bollworms, a major cause of crop failure, sustained little bollworm damage until this year. This year the plantings are being seriously damaged by bollworms. Bollworms, however, are not necessarily developing resistance to the cottonâ€™s insecticide. Bollworms breed on corn, and last year more corn than usual was planted throughout cotton-growing regions. So it is likely that the cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms.

In evaluating the argument, which of the following would be most useful to establish?

A. Whether corn could be bioengineered to produce the insecticide
This will not tell us why the plantings were affected this year.
B. Whether plantings of cotton that does not produce the insecticide are suffering unusually extensive damage from bollworms this year

C. Whether other crops that have been bioengineered to produce their own insecticide successfully resist the pests against which the insecticide was to protect them
The effect of bio engineering on other crops may be different from that on cotton, so cannot establish anything by knowing this

D. Whether plantings of bioengineered cotton are frequently damaged by insect pests other than bollworms
The argument is about bollworms specifically, this is out of scope
E. Whether there are insecticides that can be used against bollworms that have developed resistance to the insecticide produced by the bioengineered cotton
they could again get resistant to the new insecticide, not really solving the problem of why the plantings were so affected this year
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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
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What is the conclusion here?

It is likely that the cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms.

Lets take B. It says "Whether plantings of cotton that does not produce the insecticide are suffering unusually extensive damage from bollworms this year". Lets say the damage is high for cotton plants that do not produce insecticide. What can we conclude out of that? The damage could be because of high infestation of bollworms in that particular region, or because of natural occurence, or the artificial insecticide used was not good enough. Based on this information, how can we evaluate the conclusion reached in the argument?

What if the damage is low. Does that mean cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms? It could also mean bioengineered cotton is not producing isecticide and also there are corn-bred bollworms.

I think B is not a perfect option. Seems to be the best among worst.
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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
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Is there any expert's analysis for this question?

Much thanks.
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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
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bagdbmba wrote:
Is there any expert's analysis for this question?

Much thanks.

Why is D wrong??

We need to evaluate the argument..
We can either strengthen or weaken the argument. D states that something else could have caused to for the effect.

Need experts opinion...
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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
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jaituteja wrote:

Why is D wrong??

We need to evaluate the argument..
We can either strengthen or weaken the argument. D states that something else could have caused to for the effect.

Need experts opinion...

I)The argument talks about "this year".
II)We know what is causing all the damage.
This year (I) the plantings are being seriously damaged by bollworms (II).

D. Whether plantings of bio engineered cotton are frequently damaged by insect pests other than boll worms.

D has two problems:
I)Does not have a time frame. Are "frequently damaged"... we cannot infere that this is happening this year as well nor that the damage of the past years has some reflection on this year's cotton.
II)Since we already know what is causing the damage, the info abut other pests is not relevant.

Hope it helps
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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
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Found a good explanation from gmat expert:
First, identify the conclusion: it is likely that the genetically-engineered cotton is being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms instead of being attacked by bollworms that are developing resistance to the cotton's insecticide.

Evidence: More corn than usual was planted, and bollworms breed on corn.

The argument is not very convincing, as the reader is not given enough evidence to decide which of the two possible reasons for the damage (resistance or abundance of corn) is the actual reason. It may well be that both are contributing factors, nor can we be sure that there is no other factors.

Look for evidence that favors one reason over the other.

A is irrelevant
B is very helpful, for if the answer is 'yes', the corn explanation seems more plausible. If the answer is 'no', the corn explanation loses all credibility: if other cotton is not damaged to an unusual extent, then it seems unlikely that they are more worms.
C is irrelevant
D is irrelevant
E is irrelevant
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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
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Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide against bollworms, a major cause of crop failure, sustained little bollworm damage until this year. This year the plantings are being seriously damaged by bollworms. Bollworms, however, are not necessarily developing resistance to the cotton's insecticide. Bollworms breed on corn, and last year more corn than usual was planted throughout cotton-growing regions. So it is likely that the cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms.

In evaluating the argument, which of the following would be most useful to establish?

Type - Evaluate
Boil it down -it is likely that the cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms.

A. Whether corn could be bioengineered to produce the insecticide - This statement fails to address the issue
B. Whether plantings of cotton that does not produce the insecticide are suffering unusually extensive damage from bollworms this year - Correct
Applying variance test - If the answer to this statement is Yes , then bollworms have affected all types of cotton . Then conclusion is valid
On the other hand , if the answer to this statement is No , then bollworms have inflicted extensive damage only on cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide against bollworms.

C. Whether other crops that have been bioengineered to produce their own insecticide successfully resist the pests against which the insecticide was to protect them - Out of scope
D. Whether plantings of bioengineered cotton are frequently damaged by insect pests other than bollworms - Out of scope
E. Whether there are insecticides that can be used against bollworms that have developed resistance to the insecticide produced by the bioengineered cotton - Irrelevant

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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
CLEARLY THIS ANSWER HAS TO DO WITH THE GMAT PREFERENCE FOR NO OVER YES IN TERMS OF YES NO QUESTIONS. SINCE B DOESN'T REALLY WORK IF YOU SAY YES BUT WORKS WELL IF YOU SAY NO AND E DOESN'T REALLY WORK IF YOU SAY NO BUT WORKS IF YOU SAY YES.

I love how you guys just dismiss the other answer choices. let's look at the questions again:

Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide against bollworms, a major cause of crop failure, sustained little bollworm damage until this year. This year the plantings are being seriously damaged by bollworms. Bollworms, however, are not necessarily developing resistance to the cotton's insecticide. Bollworms breed on corn, and last year more corn than usual was planted throughout cotton-growing regions. So it is likely that the cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms.

In evaluating the argument, which of the following would be most useful to establish?

B. Whether plantings of cotton that does not produce the insecticide are suffering unusually extensive damage from bollworms this year

I think the GMAT likes us to ask YES NO questions. So Let's say YES that this corn has suffered extensive damage. THEN

*is a really really really really really really crappy answer. Literally the question said that cotton that was bioengineered to protect against bullworm suffered extensive damage this year. So who the hell cares if the cotton that isn't bionengineered suffered more extensive damage. The last line of the question is awful GMAT writing because it says corn which can be deduced to mean either all corn or only the corn that is bioengineered. Since the GMAT only talks about this type of corn it would be unfair to look at the other type. Therefore B is almost irrelevant. If we did know non bio-engineered cotton suffered extensive damage this year. We could agree that the bullworm was more active than last year but really the answer is supposed to be discussing cotton that has developed a resistance.

If we answered no then we could conclude that the bullworm is unlikely overwhelming it and there is some other reason the cotton plant struggled so this would help us evaluate the argument. So a NO answer is kind of good.

So B is perhaps so so so so smally marginally better than E. Both you have to use a YES/NO spread and evaluate.

E. Whether there are insecticides that can be used against bollworms that have developed resistance to the insecticide produced by the bioengineered cotton

This answer is also terrible. If we answered YES to this question then we could see if the cotton is being overwhelmed by bullworms because they would have resistance to them. If we answered NO then it doesn't help the question. Since if there is a NO then we are just back where we started. Also yes is kind of flaky as it doesn't say it will be used. I guess B is the right answer. It shows the GMAT has a preference for negating arguments rather than making them. In the real world assuming YES/NO is a 50/50 chance than both E and B would be used.

A farmer would want to know right away if there was an insecticide that had resistance to the bullworm and see if it was actually overwhelmed or if it was that a super large amount of bullworms now had resistance.
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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
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imaru wrote:
Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review, 2nd Edition

Practice Question
Question No.: 70
Page: 144
Difficulty:

Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide against bollworms, a major cause of crop failure, sustained little bollworm damage until this year. This year the plantings are being seriously damaged by bollworms. Bollworms, however, are not necessarily developing resistance to the cotton's insecticide. Bollworms breed on corn, and last year more corn than usual was planted throughout cotton-growing regions. So it is likely that the cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms.

In evaluating the argument, which of the following would be most useful to establish?

A. Whether corn could be bioengineered to produce the insecticide
B. Whether plantings of cotton that does not produce the insecticide are suffering unusually extensive damage from bollworms this year
C. Whether other crops that have been bioengineered to produce their own insecticide successfully resist the pests against which the insecticide was to protect them
D. Whether plantings of bioengineered cotton are frequently damaged by insect pests other than bollworms
E. Whether there are insecticides that can be used against bollworms that have developed resistance to the insecticide produced by the bioengineered cotton

The basic argument:

Some cotton should kill any bollworms that eat it

For years that was true, but this year the bollworms are eating all of that cotton

We conclude that this isn't happening because the cotton isn't killing the bollworms any more, but because there are just too many bollworms around

That conclusion is dubious, because we have no evidence that there are more bollworms this year

So to evaluate the argument, we would want that evidence.

How do we know that there are so many MORE bollworms this year?

If we look at other cotton, or even other crops, and see more bollworm damage than usual, that would help.

We'd have more evidence that bollworms are overrunning crops.

B. Whether plantings of cotton that does not produce the insecticide are suffering unusually extensive damage from bollworms this year
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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
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imaru wrote:
Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide against bollworms, a major cause of crop failure, sustained little bollworm damage until this year. This year the plantings are being seriously damaged by bollworms. Bollworms, however, are not necessarily developing resistance to the cotton's insecticide. Bollworms breed on corn, and last year more corn than usual was planted throughout cotton-growing regions. So it is likely that the cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms.

IMPORTANT ANALYSIS POINT :
If we read closely, in the beginning of the argument they are talking about the plantings of bioengineered cotton, but notice that later they are talking about the PLANTING as a whole is being damaged. So, from here itself we get a hint that,

Plantings of cotton = Plantings of bioengineered cotton + Plantings of non-bioengineered cotton

UNDERSTANDING THE CAUSAL ARGUMENT,
First note the CORRELATION, More Corn planted throughout cotton-growing regions, More bollworms, thus more damage to the plantings of cotton
Conclusion -- So it is likely that the cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms.

In evaluating the argument, which of the following would be most useful to establish?

APPLYING VARIANCE TEST TO EACH AND EVERY OPTION.

A. Whether corn could be bioengineered to produce the insecticide
Yes, corn could be bioengineered to produce the insecticide. How does that affect the conclusion that -- cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms?? Its totally Irrelevant with respect to the current perspective. Lets see how,
The argument says, bollworms breed on corn, and last year more corn than usual was planted throughout cotton-growing regions. So, the corn was planted last year itself and knowing that corn could be bioengineered to produce the insecticide is of no use now/currently, as the corn is already planted last year. If this fact was known before hand then it could have helped to control the population of bollworms in corns and thereby, in cotton and thus, could have affected the conclusion in hand. But knowing this fact now is totally irrelevant as the corn is already planted and BOLLWORMs have already bred. INCORRECT.

B. Whether plantings of cotton that does not produce the insecticide are suffering unusually extensive damage from bollworms this year
Yes, plantings of cotton that does not produce the insecticide are suffering unusually extensive damage from bollworms this year. This supports the conclusion that -- cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms. Its not the bioengineered one but the non-bioengineered which is causing the trouble. The bioengineered one is producing its insecticides and the bollworms are not resistant to it, means bollworms are causing damage to non-bioengineered but the bioengineered ones.
No, will weaken the conclusion. Its just the opposite. CORRECT.

C. Whether other crops that have been bioengineered to produce their own insecticide successfully resist the pests against which the insecticide was to protect them
Yes, other crops that have been bioengineered to produce their own insecticide successfully resist the pests against which the insecticide was to protect them. This does not affect the conclusion at all. It even does not matter whether other bioengineered crops were able to resist pests or not. We are exclusively concerned with the plantings of cotton. It does not affect the conclusion that -- cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms. INCORRECT.

D. Whether plantings of bioengineered cotton are frequently damaged by insect pests other than bollworms
Yes, plantings of bioengineered cotton are frequently damaged by insect pests other than bollworms. it is again irrelevant to the conclusion in hand -- cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms. As we are specifically concerned with corn-bred bollworms not any other insect pests. INCORRECT.

E. Whether there are insecticides that can be used against bollworms that have developed resistance to the insecticide produced by the bioengineered cotton
Its clearly given in the argument that Bollworms, however, are not necessarily developing resistance to the cotton's insecticide. So this option statement is totally irrelevant. INCORRECT.

If we see clearly options C, D, and E are totally irrelevant. Option A might cause a doubt, but if we read the argument closely, option A can be quickly eliminated.
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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
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Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide against bollworms, a major cause of crop failure, sustained little bollworm damage until this year. This year the plantings are being seriously damaged by bollworms. Bollworms, however, are not necessarily developing resistance to the cotton's insecticide. Bollworms breed on corn, and last year more corn than usual was planted throughout cotton-growing regions. So it is likely that the cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms.

In evaluating the argument, which of the following would be most useful to establish?

A. Whether corn could be bioengineered to produce the insecticide
B. Whether plantings of cotton that does not produce the insecticide are suffering unusually extensive damage from bollworms this year
C. Whether other crops that have been bioengineered to produce their own insecticide successfully resist the pests against which the insecticide was to protect them
D. Whether plantings of bioengineered cotton are frequently damaged by insect pests other than bollworms
E. Whether there are insecticides that can be used against bollworms that have developed resistance to the insecticide produced by the bioengineered cotton[/quote]

Dear mikemcgarry, GMATNinja, GMATNinjaTwo, MagooshExpert Carolyn, sayantanc2k,

Especially when I read “Bollworms, however, are not necessarily developing resistance to the cotton's insecticide”, Does it mean developing resistance is not the cause?
likewise, "it is not necessarily true" means it is not true,
so I can neglect this cause -- developing resistance, right?

Then I need find an answer choice to evaluate whether the planting of bioengineered cotton suffered seriously damaged because of corn-bred bollworms, right?
Per choice B, Whether plantings of cotton that does not produce the insecticide are suffering unusually extensive damage from bollworms this year

#1 )If non bioengineered cotton does suffered the damage, then corn-bred bollworms did cause the damage, -- strenghten
#2) If non bioengineered cotton does not suffered the damage, then other factor caused the damage, -- yes, weaken
but I wonder the cause should be developing resistance, or other factor except neither con-bored bollworms nor developing resistance?
I am not sure whether should I consider developing resistance a cause, because it confuses me a lot that “Bollworms, however, are not necessarily developing resistance to the cotton's insecticide”.

Have a nice day
>_~
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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
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zoezhuyan wrote:
Quote:
Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide against bollworms, a major cause of crop failure, sustained little bollworm damage until this year. This year the plantings are being seriously damaged by bollworms. Bollworms, however, are not necessarily developing resistance to the cotton's insecticide. Bollworms breed on corn, and last year more corn than usual was planted throughout cotton-growing regions. So it is likely that the cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms.

In evaluating the argument, which of the following would be most useful to establish?

A. Whether corn could be bioengineered to produce the insecticide
B. Whether plantings of cotton that does not produce the insecticide are suffering unusually extensive damage from bollworms this year
C. Whether other crops that have been bioengineered to produce their own insecticide successfully resist the pests against which the insecticide was to protect them
D. Whether plantings of bioengineered cotton are frequently damaged by insect pests other than bollworms
E. Whether there are insecticides that can be used against bollworms that have developed resistance to the insecticide produced by the bioengineered cotton

Dear mikemcgarry, GMATNinja, GMATNinjaTwo, MagooshExpert Carolyn, sayantanc2k,

Especially when I read “Bollworms, however, are not necessarily developing resistance to the cotton's insecticide”, Does it mean developing resistance is not the cause?
likewise, "it is not necessarily true" means it is not true,
so I can neglect this cause -- developing resistance, right?

Then I need find an answer choice to evaluate whether the planting of bioengineered cotton suffered seriously damaged because of corn-bred bollworms, right?
Per choice B, Whether plantings of cotton that does not produce the insecticide are suffering unusually extensive damage from bollworms this year

#1 )If non bioengineered cotton does suffered the damage, then corn-bred bollworms did cause the damage, -- strenghten
#2) If non bioengineered cotton does not suffered the damage, then other factor caused the damage, -- yes, weaken
but I wonder the cause should be developing resistance, or other factor except neither con-bored bollworms nor developing resistance?
I am not sure whether should I consider developing resistance a cause, because it confuses me a lot that “Bollworms, however, are not necessarily developing resistance to the cotton's insecticide”.

Have a nice day
>_~

First of all, I have some good news... we are currently working on a QOTD post for this very question! Stay tuned for a detailed explanation.

For now, let me try to help with your questions:

Quote:
Especially when I read “Bollworms, however, are not necessarily developing resistance to the cotton's insecticide”, Does it mean developing resistance is not the cause?
likewise, "it is not necessarily true" means it is not true,
so I can neglect this cause -- developing resistance, right?

If something is not necessarily true, it might be true and it might not be true. Consider the following example:

Our company's revenues will increase next year. That does not necessarily mean that our profits will increase.

Does that mean that profits will NOT increase? We don't know. Profits might increase and they might not. The point is that we cannot determine whether the profits will increase just because revenues will increase. Profits might increase if revenues increase. But profits will not necessarily increase just because revenue increases.

In this passage, we are told that bollworms are seriously damaging cotton plantings this year. That might be evidence that bollworms are developing a resistance to the insecticide. But just because bollworms are damaging the plantings does not necessarily mean that bollworms are developing a resistance to the insecticide. In other words, based on the evidence (damage to plantings), we cannot determine whether bollworms have developed a resistance.

THEN the author presents further evidence: " Bollworms breed on corn, and last year more corn than usual was planted throughout cotton-growing regions." According to the author, this additional evidence suggests that bollworms have NOT developed a resistance.

Based on the initial evidence (damage to cotton plantings), we can't tell whether bollworms have developed a resistance. The additional evidence (more corn than usual) provides an alternative explanation for the initial evidence. Thus, in light of the additional evidence, the author believes that the bollworms have NOT developed a resistance. Instead, "it is likely that the cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms."

Hopefully that helps!
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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
Hi, went through a lot to convince myself that E is better than B - but where in the paragraph does it say ground-based telescopes have more light gathering capacity? E simply says "require telescopes with more light gathering capacity than space telescopes can provide" - that doesn't mean that just because space telescopes CAN'T, ground based telescopes CAN.

Isn't B still better then? :/
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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
B. Whether plantings of cotton that does not produce the insecticide are suffering unusually extensive damage from bollworms this year.
Option B has a small issue. It does not mention whether the cotton are planted in the same area and are subjected to the same environment. It is better than the other s but still could have been modified.
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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
hibobotamuss wrote:
Hi, went through a lot to convince myself that E is better than B - but where in the paragraph does it say ground-based telescopes have more light gathering capacity? E simply says "require telescopes with more light gathering capacity than space telescopes can provide" - that doesn't mean that just because space telescopes CAN'T, ground based telescopes CAN.

Isn't B still better then? :/

this is not the right thread for the telescope question
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Re: Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
I am quite confused on what is the argument of the passage. Is it the last sentence, 'So it is likely that the cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms.' ?

So basically, this is what I understood the passage.

1. Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide.
2. bollworms cause of crop damage
3. Until this year, bollworms suffered little damage. -> means that insecticide worked
4. But this year, it got damaged badly.

'Bollworms, however, are not necessarily developing resistance to the cotton's insecticide'

-> possible that the crop developed resistance to the insecticide ( but may not be true)
5. Bollworms feed on corn
6. last year, more corn planted in cotton growing field

What should I look out for to establish the argument in this case?
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Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
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Some info from powerscore on evaluate the argument type questions:
- EA questions require you to select a question, statistic, or additional info. that would either strengthen or weaken the argument
- EA questions are solved via the Variance Test: pose polar opposite responses to the question posed in the answer choice and evaluate the impact on the conclusion; a correct response will both strengthen and weaken the argument

Argument: it is likely that the bioengineered cotton is simply being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms
P1 : Bollworms typically breed on corn and last year there was more corn planted throughout cotton-growing regions
P2: This year the plantings have taken damage from bollworms despite the fact the Bioengineered plantings generally sustain little damage from bollworms
CP: This does not mean that Bollworms are necessarily resistant to the natural insecticide occuring in the bioengineered plantings

What should we evaluate to determine the
(A) Whether corn could be bioengineered to produce the insecticide
Indirectly I had thought that this answer choice would pass the variance test because if corn could be bioengineered to produce the insecticide then perhaps it would have meant that bollworm populations are kept at bay, but this doesn't prevent the likelihood that bollworms could have developed a resistance to the natural insecticides of either cotton/ corn and thus it may not negate the fact that damage done by BWorms was greater this year.

(B) Whether plantings of cotton that does not produce the insecticide are suffering unusually extensive damage from bollworms this year
Variance test:

Yes- all cotton in general is suffering from more bollworm damage this year than usual --> Conclusion is supported
No - plantings of cotton that do not produce insecticide naturally are not suffering from unusual damage this year, so it's just the bioengineered cotton. Bollworm population may be the same across non-bio engineered and bioengineered, but the bollworms may just be more attracted to the bioengineered cotton, thus the conclusion that the cotton is being overwhelmed by corn-bred bollworms may not necessarily be true.

(C) Whether other crops that have been bioengineered to produce their own insecticide successfully resist the pests against which the insecticide was to protect them
This answer choice attempts to parallel logic between another crop and cotton, but what might be true of other bioengineered crops may not be true for cotton.

(D) Whether plantings of bioengineered cotton are frequently damaged by insect pests other than bollworms
Whether other insects damage the cotton in question is irrelevant to the argument that this year bioengineered cotton has been overrun by corn-bred bollworms.

(E) Whether there are insecticides that can be used against bollworms that have developed resistance to the insecticide produced by the bioengineered cotton

Whether there are insecticides that can be used to contain the damage neither negates or reinforces the argument that this year bioengineered cotton has been overrun by corn-bred bollworms.
Plantings of cotton bioengineered to produce its own insecticide again [#permalink]
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