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Recent medical and anthropological data show that prohibitions

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Recent medical and anthropological data show that prohibitions  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2018, 23:57
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Difficulty:

  75% (hard)

Question Stats:

48% (02:13) correct 52% (02:22) wrong based on 108 sessions

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Recent medical and anthropological data show that prohibitions on the use of certain foods served important social, economic, and medical functions in ancient cultures. But these data cannot explain the origin of the prohibitions involved since those who originally adopted and enforced them did not have access to the same data as modem researchers.

Which one of the following is an assumption required by the argument?

(A) The origin of a food prohibition must be explained with reference to the understanding that the people who adopted and enforced the prohibition had.

(B) The social, economic, and medical problems of a society may lead to the adoption of contradictory food prohibitions.

(C) The social importance of the origin of a food prohibition is independent of the nutritional value of the food prohibited.

(D) The original purpose of a food prohibition is often forgotten a few generations after the prohibition is introduced.

(E) The people who originally adopted and enforced food prohibitions in ancient cultures generally had a nontechnical understanding of the medical functions of those prohibitions.

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Re: Recent medical and anthropological data show that prohibitions  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2018, 00:03
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Question Type:
Necessary Assumption

Stimulus Breakdown:
Premise:
People who originally adopted and enforced ancient prohibitions did not have access to the same data as modern researchers.

Conclusion:
Recent data cannot explain the origin of the prohibitions.

Answer Anticipation:

In a case like this, it can be helpful to focus on the structure of the argument first, and not worry too much about the deeper meaning. Here's what the argument is assuming, in basic "if premise, then conclusion" terms: if people who adopted and enforced ancient prohibitions did not have access to the same data as modern researchers, then recent data can't explain the origin of those prohibitions.



Answer Choice Analysis:

(A) This is the correct answer. If we negate the answer, and state that we can explain the origin of a food prohibition without considering what was understood by the people who adopted and enforced it, the premise no longer supports the conclusion. We would no longer care what information the original adopters and enforcers did or did not have.

(B) "Contradictory" puts this out of scope. Whether certain prohibitions are contradictory or not has no impact on the argument.

(C) This is also out of scope. Any connection, or lack of connection, between social importance and nutritional value is irrelevant.

(D) This answer is also out of scope. We don't care if the original purpose is forgotten in a few generations. This doesn't explain why it's necessary for the original adopters and enforcers to have access to the same data as modern researchers.

(E) Once again, we have an answer that is out of scope. We don't care if the original adopters and enforcers had a nontechnical understanding. This doesn't explain the significance of them not having access to the same data as modern researchers.

Takeaway/Pattern: If an argument seems strange or obscure, don't get stuck trying to understand the deeper meaning. If you understand, on a basic level, the concepts that the argument is trying to connect, you can still spot answers that are clearly irrelevant.

Src: ManhattenPrep
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Re: Recent medical and anthropological data show that prohibitions &nbs [#permalink] 09 Sep 2018, 00:03
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Recent medical and anthropological data show that prohibitions

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