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Recent discoveries of the incredible loss of life caused by the

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Recent discoveries of the incredible loss of life caused by the  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2019, 09:28
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Recent discoveries of the incredible loss of life caused by the introduction of small pox and other diseases in the New World have led some scholars to conclude that 100 million people lived in North and South America in 1492, prior to European contact. This is nearly twice the estimated population of Europe of that time. Skeptics argue that there is not sufficient archeological evidence to prove the existence of so many people in the Americas, especially when compared to the more “technologically advanced” Europe.

Which of the following, if it were discovered, would be pertinent evidence against the skeptics’ argument above?

A - Europeans had many domesticated animals unknown in the Americas, including horses, cattle, and sheep
B - The ruins of several cities in the ancient Inca Empire in Peru and the Aztec Empire in Mexico, dating from the 1400s, are larger than any European cities in existence at that time
C - The growing season in most of the Americas is longer than that of Europe.
D - The estimate population of North and South America combined was only around 3 million people in 1600.
E -The area that is now the United States and Canada, had no cities with more than 20,000 people in 1492.

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Re: Recent discoveries of the incredible loss of life caused by the  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2019, 06:28
We need to an answer which should support Scholars conclusion about the population of America.

A: Domestication of animals has nothing to do with the population. Hence A is out
B: This answer compares area of America and Europe back in 1400s. So America may have low population density but had larger area.So could be an evidence
C:The growing season had no connection with population comparison. C is excluded
D: This answer talks about population in 1600 while we are concerned about 1400. Hence, exclude this answer.
E: This answer supports skeptics' argument. Hence we can exclude E.

So the best answer is B.

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Re: Recent discoveries of the incredible loss of life caused by the  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2019, 04:38
Why b ? We are talking about population??

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Re: Recent discoveries of the incredible loss of life caused by the  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2019, 06:23
Quote:
Recent discoveries of the incredible loss of life caused by the introduction of small pox and other diseases in the New World have led some scholars to conclude that 100 million people lived in North and South America in 1492, prior to European contact. This is nearly twice the estimated population of Europe of that time. Skeptics argue that there is not sufficient archeological evidence to prove the existence of so many people in the Americas, especially when compared to the more “technologically advanced” Europe.

Which of the following, if it were discovered, would be pertinent evidence against the skeptics’ argument above?

A - Europeans had many domesticated animals unknown in the Americas, including horses, cattle, and sheep
B - The ruins of several cities in the ancient Inca Empire in Peru and the Aztec Empire in Mexico, dating from the 1400s, are larger than any European cities in existence at that time
C - The growing season in most of the Americas is longer than that of Europe.
D - The estimated population of North and South America combined was only around 3 million people in 1600.
E -The area that is now the United States and Canada, had no cities with more than 20,000 people in 1492.


The right answer to this question is B. The first step is to identify what the question is asking of us. In this case, it is a "weaken the argument" question.

The conclusion we are looking to weaken is that of the skeptics, which is that there is not sufficient archeological evidence to prove the existence of so many people in the Americas. So we wanna find something that says that there were indeed many people in the Americas.

A - This is totally irrelevant. We want to suggest that population in the Americas is actually high. This option talks about domestication in Europe, which has nothing to do with population in the Americas. OUT

B - If the ruins in cities in the Americas were larger than European cities at the time, it suggests that the population in these cities would also have been greater than the population in Europe at the time. This answer is therefore CORRECT

C - This option MAY suggest that the population in the Americas was greater, but that requires us to make several other assumptions, including that population is linked to the length of the growing season. It is unclear that these are related in anyway, and it is for this reason that option C is OUT.

D - This gives us NO new information. If anything, it suggests the opposite of what we're looking for; if there were only 3 million by 1600, then it's unlikely that there were 100 million just a century before. (History buffs may know however that this actually happened, and that the native populations of the new world were genocided at a rate never seen before or since). OUT

E - This option too actually suggests the skeptics are right. If there were no major cities in US and Canada, it reduces the likelihood that there were as many as 100 million people in 1492. One thing to note however is that this option doesn't really strengthen the skeptics conclusion either, as it only speaks of US and Canada. OUT

When there are multiple arguments in a question, always be sure to identify first whose argument you are looking to impact. This will make your job a whole lot easier.

- Matoo
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Re: Recent discoveries of the incredible loss of life caused by the  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2019, 08:25
If B specify larger area of habitance but doesn't specify density of population, how can we deduce anything about populace in that specific area?
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Re: Recent discoveries of the incredible loss of life caused by the  [#permalink]

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New post 29 May 2019, 23:58
Quote:
If B specify larger area of habitance but doesn't specify density of population, how can we deduce anything about populace in that specific area?


This is a good question from selale. 2 points regarding this:

1. One of the biggest challenges of CR is to identify what information we can reasonably assume (earth is round, increased demand is increased price, greater area means more people) and what would count as an assumption that needs to be verified (Eg - growing crops longer would lead to higher pop). You would have to use your judgement here, and this judgement can be fine-tuned with practice.

2. The Question simply asks you for the "best answer of the lot". I agree that we have no info on pop density. However, of all the options, this is MOST LIKELY to weaken the argument of the skeptics, and hence should be chosen for that reason.

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Re: Recent discoveries of the incredible loss of life caused by the   [#permalink] 29 May 2019, 23:58
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