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Researchers have shown that older ants, which usually spend more time

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Researchers have shown that older ants, which usually spend more time [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2017, 08:59
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Researchers have shown that older ants, which usually spend more time gathering nourishment for the colony, tend to have larger brains than do younger ants, which usually help nurture ant larvae in the colony. Since gathering nourishment requires greater cognitive skills than does nurturing larvae, it would appear that such gathering leads to the increased brain size of older ants.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

A. Ants that have spent more time gathering nourishment do not have considerably larger brains than do ants that have spent a much shorter time gathering.
B. The brains of older ants that stop gathering nourishment to take on other tasks do not become smaller.
C. The brains of older ants that are not involved in gathering nourishment are the same size as those counterparts of the same age that do gather nourishment.
D. In many species of ants, the brains of older ants are only minimally larger than the brains of younger ants.
E. Ants that have to travel farther to gather nourishment do not have considerably larger brains than do ants that do not have to travel far.

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Re: Researchers have shown that older ants, which usually spend more time [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2017, 11:50
I am between C and D. I chose C because option D talks about some species. We don't know if the author is talking about these species of ants.

So C IMO
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Re: Researchers have shown that older ants, which usually spend more time [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2017, 12:40
C should be answer because it clearly weakens the argument by stating that brain size is not dependent on activity that ants do but depends on age of ants.


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Re: Researchers have shown that older ants, which usually spend more time [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2017, 21:02
Would go with C on this one!
As this option clearly weakens the argument states that despite collecting food the brain size of larger ants is similar the brain size of larger ants who do work.
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Re: Researchers have shown that older ants, which usually spend more time [#permalink]

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New post 09 May 2018, 01:53
broall wrote:
Researchers have shown that older ants, which usually spend more time gathering nourishment for the colony, tend to have larger brains than do younger ants, which usually help nurture ant larvae in the colony. Since gathering nourishment requires greater cognitive skills than does nurturing larvae, it would appear that such gathering leads to the increased brain size of older ants.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

A. Ants that have spent more time gathering nourishment do not have considerably larger brains than do ants that have spent a much shorter time gathering.
B. The brains of older ants that stop gathering nourishment to take on other tasks do not become smaller.
C. The brains of older ants that are not involved in gathering nourishment are the same size as those counterparts of the same age that do gather nourishment.
D. In many species of ants, the brains of older ants are only minimally larger than the brains of younger ants.
E. Ants that have to travel farther to gather nourishment do not have considerably larger brains than do ants that do not have to travel far.


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In this argument, there is a correlation between brain size and activity of the ant – those ants that gather nourishment (which tend to be older) have larger brains than those ants that nurture larvae (which tend to be younger ants). Because of this correlation, the author concludes that the cause for this difference in size must be the increased cognitive skills required for gathering. But where is the proof for this? Perhaps there is some other attribute relating to the ants that perform these different tasks and that is the reason for the difference. What if quite simply, older ants (which perform the gathering) have larger brains than younger ants (which perform the nurturing)? Then it simply has to do with age NOT the tasks they are performing. To weaken this argument, you are looking for some other plausible explanation for the different size brains and (C) gives that perfectly, as it suggests that indeed the difference might be explained by age alone.

For (A) – this does not necessarily weaken the argument. The activity the ant performs could indeed be causing the difference, but at a certain threshold, more gathering does not further increase brain size. (A) can be true and it does not hurt the core position of the argument. Likewise for (B), the author is just stating that the INCREASE in brain size is caused by the different activities – if the brain doesn’t decrease in size after stopping the activities it does not affect this conclusion. For (D), the degree of the difference in size is not addressed in the argument so this choice has no impact on the quality of the author’s conclusion. Similarly for (E), the distance traveled is not addressed in the argument, simply what activity the ants engage in. Correct answer is (C).
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Re: Researchers have shown that older ants, which usually spend more time [#permalink]

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New post 14 May 2018, 08:19
It is C because here the Argument of Gathering nourishment related to brain size does not hold good as the older ants which are not involved in gathering nourishment have the same size of brain.Hence, this choice weakens the Argument considerably.

broall wrote:
Researchers have shown that older ants, which usually spend more time gathering nourishment for the colony, tend to have larger brains than do younger ants, which usually help nurture ant larvae in the colony. Since gathering nourishment requires greater cognitive skills than does nurturing larvae, it would appear that such gathering leads to the increased brain size of older ants.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

A. Ants that have spent more time gathering nourishment do not have considerably larger brains than do ants that have spent a much shorter time gathering.
B. The brains of older ants that stop gathering nourishment to take on other tasks do not become smaller.
C. The brains of older ants that are not involved in gathering nourishment are the same size as those counterparts of the same age that do gather nourishment.
D. In many species of ants, the brains of older ants are only minimally larger than the brains of younger ants.
E. Ants that have to travel farther to gather nourishment do not have considerably larger brains than do ants that do not have to travel far.

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Re: Researchers have shown that older ants, which usually spend more time   [#permalink] 14 May 2018, 08:19
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