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Scientist: A small group of islands near Australia is inhabited

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Scientist: A small group of islands near Australia is inhabited  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2017, 02:36
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Scientist: A small group of islands near Australia is inhabited by several species of iguana; closely related species also exist in the Americas, but nowhere else. The islands in question formed Jong after the fragmentation of Gondwana, the ancient supercontinent that included present-day South America and Australia. Thus, these species' progenitors must have rafted on floating debris across the Pacific Ocean from the Americas.

Which one of the following, if true, most weakens the scientist's argument?

(A) A number of animal species that inhabit the islands are not found in the Americas.

(B) Genetic analysis indicates that the iguana species on the islands are different in several respects from those found in the Americas.

(C) Documented cases of iguanas rafting long distances between land masses are uncommon.

(D) Fossils of iguana species closely related to those that inhabit the islands have been found in Australia.

(E) The lineages of numerous plant and animal species found in Australia or in South America date back to a period prior to the fragmentation of Gondwana.

Source: LSAT PrepTest 80 - December 2016
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Re: Scientist: A small group of islands near Australia is inhabited  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2017, 01:06
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this is quite interesting to go through this argument .
see we have said that species of iguana fish inhabit near the islands of australia ,
conclusion : if we re-frame says that these species which currently inhabit near the islands of australia have moved from America that means they earlier inhabited in America , so we need to tell that they had not inhabited in America but in australia .

now go through the options
A. we do not care about other species or animals , wrong
B. A trap, but does not directly address the issue , out
C. irrelevant
D. yes, if fossils of iguana found in australia then these species which live near the islands of Austrlia must have come from australia not from somewhere else like America . so correct
E. totally out of scope talking about other plant and animals .

hence D
hit kudos if you liked my reasoning .
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Re: Scientist: A small group of islands near Australia is inhabited  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2017, 17:51
E talks about lineages => out of scope with A and C.
B does not help.
Only D is left.
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Re: Scientist: A small group of islands near Australia is inhabited  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2018, 04:35
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Iguana species exist both in South America and a few islands near Australia. So, these species must have rafted from South America to these islands.

Weaken this statement. What if we can show that these species may have come from nearby Australia and not all the way from South America on boats?

A) A number of animal species that inhabit the islands are not found in the Americas.

So? Pfffttt.. Who cares about other animal species? Tell me about iguana. Irrelevant.

(B) Genetic analysis indicates that the iguana species on the islands are different in several respects from those found in the Americas.

Cool.. DNA is different from South American iguana. But, in these millions of years evolution, the DNA may have changed a bit. So, cannot really confirm. Let's keep this option open.

(C) Documented cases of iguanas rafting long distances between land masses are uncommon.

Documented by humans? Sure. But what if something like this happened millions of years ago? Cant really say. Ignore.

(D) Fossils of iguana species closely related to those that inhabit the islands have been found in Australia.

Fossils are related to the ones in Australia. Wait a minute, what if they came from Australia and not South America? :D

(E) The lineages of numerous plant and animal species found in Australia or in South America date back to a period prior to the fragmentation of Gondwana.

OKay, so? They may have common origins? But tell me about iguana please. Reject.

So, it is either B or D.

D shows an alternate place of origin. B is a bit vague and half confirmed.

So, answer is D.

ganand wrote:
Scientist: A small group of islands near Australia is inhabited by several species of iguana; closely related species also exist in the Americas, but nowhere else. The islands in question formed Jong after the fragmentation of Gondwana, the ancient supercontinent that included present-day South America and Australia. Thus, these species' progenitors must have rafted on floating debris across the Pacific Ocean from the Americas.

Which one of the following, if true, most weakens the scientist's argument?

(A) A number of animal species that inhabit the islands are not found in the Americas.

(B) Genetic analysis indicates that the iguana species on the islands are different in several respects from those found in the Americas.

(C) Documented cases of iguanas rafting long distances between land masses are uncommon.

(D) Fossils of iguana species closely related to those that inhabit the islands have been found in Australia.

(E) The lineages of numerous plant and animal species found in Australia or in South America date back to a period prior to the fragmentation of Gondwana.

Source: LSAT PrepTest 80 - December 2016
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Re: Scientist: A small group of islands near Australia is inhabited  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2018, 01:47
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Scientist: A small group of islands near Australia is inhabited by several species of iguana; closely related species also exist in the Americas, but nowhere else. The islands in question formed Jong after the fragmentation of Gondwana, the ancient supercontinent that included present-day South America and Australia. Thus, these species' progenitors (their ancestor's origin) must have rafted on floating debris across the Pacific Ocean from the Americas.

Which one of the following, if true, most weakens the scientist's argument?

(A) A number of animal species that inhabit the islands are not found in the Americas. - Out of the box.

(B) Genetic analysis indicates that the iguana species on the islands are different in several respects from those found in the Americas. - Different in several respects- Yes might the time changed it. This actually strengthens a bit.

(C) Documented cases of iguanas rafting long distances between land masses are uncommon. - Does nothing, documented cases might be uncommon but might be found.

(D) Fossils of iguana species closely related to those that inhabit the islands have been found in Australia. - So they might come from Australia rather than Americas. - ANSWER

(E) The lineages of numerous plant and animal species found in Australia or in South America date back to a period prior to the fragmentation of Gondwana. - Out of the box.
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Re: Scientist: A small group of islands near Australia is inhabited  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2018, 05:03
ganand wrote:
Scientist: A small group of islands near Australia is inhabited by several species of iguana; closely related species also exist in the Americas, but nowhere else. The islands in question formed Jong after the fragmentation of Gondwana, the ancient supercontinent that included present-day South America and Australia. Thus, these species' progenitors must have rafted on floating debris across the Pacific Ocean from the Americas.

Which one of the following, if true, most weakens the scientist's argument?

(A) A number of animal species that inhabit the islands are not found in the Americas.

(B) Genetic analysis indicates that the iguana species on the islands are different in several respects from those found in the Americas.

(C) Documented cases of iguanas rafting long distances between land masses are uncommon.

(D) Fossils of iguana species closely related to those that inhabit the islands have been found in Australia.

(E) The lineages of numerous plant and animal species found in Australia or in South America date back to a period prior to the fragmentation of Gondwana.

Source: LSAT PrepTest 80 - December 2016



Can we assume that DNA can change after few years? As far as I know, DNA retains its property.

Please help me with this question, these type of problems are most important for GMAT
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Re: Scientist: A small group of islands near Australia is inhabited  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2018, 06:37
Its safe to say that its a call between B and D.
I think B is the answer. Genetics can conclusively confirm the lineage of any species. I don't know if you guys have watched the video in which several people are told about their places of origin through genetics. Several species are clubbed in a biological division based on their similarities in genetics.

D on the other hand says that fossils of the ancestors of the iguana has been found in Australia, which was once part of Gondwana, as was America. This doesn't weaken the argument at all. On the other hand, if the fossil in on another island, it may make the argument strong that iguanas can spread from one piece of land to another separated by a water body.
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Re: Scientist: A small group of islands near Australia is inhabited  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2018, 20:56
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slayer1983 wrote:
Its safe to say that its a call between B and D.
I think B is the answer. Genetics can conclusively confirm the lineage of any species. I don't know if you guys have watched the video in which several people are told about their places of origin through genetics. Several species are clubbed in a biological division based on their similarities in genetics.

D on the other hand says that fossils of the ancestors of the iguana has been found in Australia, which was once part of Gondwana, as was America. This doesn't weaken the argument at all. On the other hand, if the fossil in on another island, it may make the argument strong that iguanas can spread from one piece of land to another separated by a water body.



Option B says "Genetic analysis indicates that the iguana species on the islands are different in several respects from those found in the Americas."

This option highlights the difference in characteristics between iguana species found on the islands and those found in the Americas.Look on the other side,there can be multiple similarities as well. This option didn't disregard the similarity point. So we cannot say that this option is correct. Actually we cannot conclude whether the species rafted across Pacific ocean. You see the outcome is undetermined.

Option D on the other hand says that fossils of the ancestors of the iguana has been found in Australia.

If fossils are found in Australia, the conclusion "MUST HAVE RAFTED" is weakened.

IMO D is correct.

Hope that helps!!
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Scientist: A small group of islands near Australia is inhabited  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2019, 20:24
Tough nut.

The argument is that the iguanas found on the islands near Australia must have rafted on floating debris from the Americas.
This assumes the iguanas originated in the Americas.
The argument is based on the fact that the iguanas are similar to those found in the Americas, but nowhere else. The argument is also dervied from the fact that the islands in question were formed after the the fragmentation of Gondwana (South America + Australia combined land).

We are asked to weaken the argument.
A is incorrect - the argument is concerned with iguanas, not other animals.
B is incorrect because the iguanas may still be descended from the Americas even if the present day Australian iguanas are different from the Americas Iguanas.
C is incorrect- a lack of evidence to prove a claim is not sufficient to be taken as evidence against that claim - this is actually a logical fallacy.
D is correct because evidence of fossils found in Australia may suggest the iguanas descended from Australia, Not the Americas.
E is incorrect because (1) we are only concerned with the iguanas and this answer choice doesn't help us understand how the iguanas MAY NOT have originated from the Americas, and (2) the argument actually assumes that the iguanas lineages extend back before the fragmentation, but it assumes the lineage was in the Americas, not elsewhere.
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Scientist: A small group of islands near Australia is inhabited   [#permalink] 06 Aug 2019, 20:24
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