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# QOTD: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies

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QOTD: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2017, 12:05
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60% (01:40) correct 40% (01:52) wrong based on 638 sessions

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 79: Critical Reasoning

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Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists' strategy?

(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.

(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.

(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.

(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.

(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.

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QOTD: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2017, 12:06
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The conclusion is that the strategy of studying modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors has a flaw -- and the flaw is that forager societies are extremely varied. Why is this a flaw?

• If some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in order to learn about ancient foragers, this implies that those anthropologists believe that what is true of modern-day foragers is generally true of ancient foragers.
• But what if forager societies are extremely varied? This might suggest that even if two groups are both forager societies, those groups might not actually share common characteristics.
• This, in turn, calls into question the anthropologists' belief that what is true of one group of foragers is generally true of another group of foragers.

Quote:
(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.

Choice (A) reassures us that, even if forager societies are extremely varied, they are still likely to share a number of important features. This suggests that we can learn about ancient foragers by studying modern foragers, even if those two groups have many differences. Thus, the flaw presented in the conclusion is not actually a flaw, and the criticism is not valid. Keep choice (A).

Quote:
(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.

We are trying to determine whether studying modern-day societies of foragers to learn about our ancient forager ancestors is a flawed strategy. The fact given in choice (B) neither supports nor weakens the author's argument. Thus, choice (B) can be eliminated.

Quote:
(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.

Again, we are trying to determine if the author's criticism is valid. The fact that all anthropologists study modern-day societies has no impact on the author's argument, so choice (C) should be eliminated.

Quote:
(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.

The argument criticizes the strategy employed by some anthropologists. It makes no difference how many anthropologists use that strategy. Choice (D) does not weaken the criticism.

Quote:
(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.

The argument is that modern-day forager societies and ancient forager societies are so different that anthropologists cannot learn about one by studying the other. This statement strengthens that criticism by stressing that modern-day forager societies--even those that have not had significant contact with modern societies--are importantly different from ancient forager societies.

So (E) is out, and (A) is the correct answer.
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Re: QOTD: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2017, 13:22
souvik101990 wrote:
Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

SOME AP's study m-day society of foragers to learn about our ancient ancestors.
FLAW is forager societies are extremely varied.
Forager society AP's are familiar with has had sig. contact with modern non forager societies. (The author thinks this has changed the characteristics of our hunter ancestors, and there would be no commonality between them in the past, and them now)

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists' strategy?

Quote:
(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.

I like this option. This tells me that there are a NUMBER of important features that are common in all forager societies, and these would help AP's study modern day forager societies to figure out the evolution, etc. Keep!

Quote:
(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.

The flaw in the argument is that forager societies are extremely varied, and this statement doesn't help me in anyway to weaken or strengthen the argument.
OUT!

Quote:
(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.

Ok, and how's this helping? It's not. OUT!

Quote:
(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.

Many might not draw inferences, but some do as stated in the passage i.e. SOME AP's study modern day forager societies to learn more about ancient forager societies. OUT!

Quote:
(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.

This is telling me that modern-day forager societies that haven't had significant contact with modern societies are different from ancient forager societies. Hmm.. so basically even with little to no contact with modern societies, the forager societies now are different than before => modern societies have had little impact on the evolution of some modern forager societies.

One-on-One fight between A & E
A tells me that there are important characteristics common in all forager societies ; This commonality would be good to study to learn more about our ancestors.
E tells me that modern societies have basically had negligible impact on some modern forager societies, but I really don't see how this helps me weaken the criticism as it's talking about a subset of modern day forager societies.

A is the answer for me and it's 4 am, so I hope I'm right.
If it's not, then I'm complete off on this CR question
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QOTD: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2017, 13:26
Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists' strategy?

(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies. CORRECT

(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.

(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.

(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.

(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.
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Re: QOTD: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2017, 23:04
Wow that's hell of a tough question.....I am also going for A...completely unsure though!
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QOTD: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2017, 08:53
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 79: Critical Reasoning

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Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists' strategy?

(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.

(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.

(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.

(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.

(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.

Premise 1: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers.
Premise 2: A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied.

Conclusion : Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

The basic flaw that the anthropologist cite is that these modern forager society has had considerable contact with non forager societies.Therefore they will not help in knowing ancient forager societies.
If this is indeed true then the characteristics of the forager societies will not remain pure and these societies will take some things from non foragers societies.

A is the only option which casts doubt on the reasoning of the anthropologist.

It says that that all forager societies have unique features thus this will help determine characteristics of ancient forager societies , because even after it has come into contact with modern non forager societies,forager societies will keep their uniqueness.

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Re: QOTD: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2017, 11:05
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 79: Critical Reasoning

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Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists' strategy?

(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.

(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.

(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.

(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.

(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.

Argument: Anthropologists study modern-day forager societies to learn about ancient foragers. But modern-day forager societies are varied and have had considerable contact with non-forager societies.

Prethinking
Assumptions for argument to hold: The variance in modern-day forager societies does not allow significant inferences to be drawn about the ancient foragers.
Possible weakener: Despite the variation, enough common things exist between these societies.
We need to weaken the argument. That is we are looking for a choice that says despite the variance, it still makes sense to study forager societies.

(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.
CORRECT. SO it still makes sense to study them. In line with our pre-thinking.

(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.
That does not provide any reason why the anthropologists should study them. Does not weaken the argument

(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.
Okay so what? Does it make sense to study despite the overlap

(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.
That's all the more saying that there is no use studying modern-day forager societies. If anything, it strengthens the conclusion

(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.
We are talking about studying modern-day forager societies that HAVE had significant contact with modern societies

I hope the explanation helps
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Re: QOTD: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2017, 04:42
some questions have option choices that seem fine at the first glance. This question is an example.
Clearly, only A is not out of scope; nevertheless, if a test taker does not practice daily, he or she hardly recognizes that all other 4 options are out of scope.
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QOTD: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies [#permalink]

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06 May 2018, 06:31
GMATNinja VeritasPrepKarishma

Quote:
Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

Had this been a bold face question: I understood the main conclusion of the argument is:
A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied.

What is the strategy:
Strategy used by some anthropologists to study modern-day societies of foragers ; the study in turn shall help them learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers.

I would like to know the context of the last sentence in the relationship to main conclusion.
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Re: QOTD: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies [#permalink]

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08 May 2018, 19:15
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GMATNinja VeritasPrepKarishma

Quote:
Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

Had this been a bold face question: I understood the main conclusion of the argument is:
A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied.

What is the strategy:
Strategy used by some anthropologists to study modern-day societies of foragers ; the study in turn shall help them learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers.

I would like to know the context of the last sentence in the relationship to main conclusion.

The last sentence is an example of how that strategy could be flawed. It implies that modern forager societies (those with which anthropologists are familiar) have been influenced and affected by modern NON-forager societies. This implies that modern forager societies have adopted characteristics from the non-forager societies. So if we are studying a modern forager society, the data might be skewed by the influence from modern non-forager societies.

I hope that helps!
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Re: QOTD: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies   [#permalink] 08 May 2018, 19:15
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