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Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited

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Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited [#permalink]

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Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites - calcite formations deposited on cave ceilings by seeping water - can reveal annual variations in rainfall in particular areas over hundreds and thousands of years. We often found that when-according to these cross-sections-drought occurred in a particular area, it coincided with the collapse of an ancient society in that area. I hypothesize that drought reduced agricultural productivity in these areas, thereby leaving these societies without the resources needed to handle internal stresses and external threats.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the support for the scientist's hypothesis?

A. Many droughts indicated in the cross-sections of stalactites do not correspond with the collapse of a society in that area.

B. Information from the cross-sections of stalactites alone cannot reveal the level of agricultural output in an area at a particular time.

C. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts did so when internal power struggles coincided with military raids from neighboring societies.

D. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts maintained large stockpiles of food and water at the time of their collapse.

E. Information from stalactites also suggests that the collapse of some societies coincided with periods of abnormally high rainfall.



[Reveal] Spoiler:
I thought "the support" for the scientist's hypothesis is that "We often found that when-according to these cross-sections-drought occurred in a particular area, it coincided with the collapse of an ancient society in that area", and thus ended at wavering between A and E
So any ideas?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Originally posted by tronghieu1987 on 30 Mar 2016, 20:31.
Last edited by tronghieu1987 on 30 Mar 2016, 23:03, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited [#permalink]

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Conclusion: Drought reduced agricultural produce --> Resources were unavailable to handle threats and stresses.

Possible Weakener: 1) Agricultural produce was not reduced. Resources were available.

A. Many droughts indicated in the cross-sections of stalactites do not correspond with the collapse of a society in that area. - Incorrect - Few droughts may have still indicated a collapse of society and scientists may have derived their conclusion based on them. Also, the option attacks the premise rather than the conclusion.

B. Information from the cross-sections of stalactites alone cannot reveal the level of agricultural output in an area at a particular time. - Incorrect - Again this option attacks the premise and the facts stated.

C. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts did so when internal power struggles coincided with military raids from neighboring societies. - Incorrect - Irrelevant

D. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts maintained large stockpiles of food and water at the time of their collapse. - Correct - Agricultural produce was available during drought.

E. Information from stalactites also suggests that the collapse of some societies coincided with periods of abnormally high rainfall. - Incorrect - Out of context.

Answer: D
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Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2016, 13:05
Vyshak wrote:
Conclusion: Drought reduced agricultural produce --> Resources were unavailable to handle threats and stresses.

Possible Weakener: 1) Agricultural produce was not reduced. Resources were available.

A. Many droughts indicated in the cross-sections of stalactites do not correspond with the collapse of a society in that area. - Incorrect - Few droughts may have still indicated a collapse of society and scientists may have derived their conclusion based on them. Also, the option attacks the premise rather than the conclusion.

B. Information from the cross-sections of stalactites alone cannot reveal the level of agricultural output in an area at a particular time. - Incorrect - Again this option attacks the premise and the facts stated.

C. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts did so when internal power struggles coincided with military raids from neighboring societies. - Incorrect - Irrelevant

D. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts maintained large stockpiles of food and water at the time of their collapse. - Correct - Agricultural produce was available during drought.

E. Information from stalactites also suggests that the collapse of some societies coincided with periods of abnormally high rainfall. - Incorrect - Out of context.

Answer: D


I was very torn between B and D. Can you please explain why it is not B? I understand this premise attacks the facts stated; however, his hypothesis is founded on that premise and thus the hypothesis is very weak if it is founded on a premise that you cannot found a premise on (per choice B; all the support for his hypothesis is gone in an instant with B)...

To me, D you *must* assume (code red never to do on CR) that there isn't food left over because the dictators/leaders etc. kept it all to themselves. Thus, their society collapsed around them. Or some other plausible explanation. The hypothesis is based on a drought weakening agricultural output. B says, objectively (no possible fringe scenario I can think of), that using XSection alone is insufficient to draw any conclusion about agricultural output.

Thank you.
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Re: Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2016, 04:26
Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites - calcite formations deposited on cave ceilings by seeping water - can reveal annual variations in rainfall in particular areas over hundreds and thousands of years. We often found that when-according to these cross-sections-drought occurred in a particular area, it coincided with the collapse of an ancient society in that area. I hypothesize that drought reduced agricultural productivity in these areas, thereby leaving these societies without the resources needed to handle internal stresses and external threats.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the support for the scientist's hypothesis?

A. Many droughts indicated in the cross-sections of stalactites do not correspond with the collapse of a society in that area.

B. Information from the cross-sections of stalactites alone cannot reveal the level of agricultural output in an area at a particular time.

C. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts did so when internal power struggles coincided with military raids from neighboring societies.

D. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts maintained large stockpiles of food and water at the time of their collapse.

E. Information from stalactites also suggests that the collapse of some societies coincided with periods of abnormally high rainfall.


Can someone please explain why E) is wrong
in the mock test, i was confused between E and D. Finally i marked D

Is E wrong because it talks about the collapse of some societies which coincided with periods of high rainfall, the earlier discoveries need not talk about the same socities.
Different stalactities could indicate different eras and diff rainfall estimates ?
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Re: Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited [#permalink]

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tronghieu1987 wrote:
Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites - calcite formations deposited on cave ceilings by seeping water - can reveal annual variations in rainfall in particular areas over hundreds and thousands of years. We often found that when-according to these cross-sections-drought occurred in a particular area, it coincided with the collapse of an ancient society in that area. I hypothesize that drought reduced agricultural productivity in these areas, thereby leaving these societies without the resources needed to handle internal stresses and external threats.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the support for the scientist's hypothesis?

A. Many droughts indicated in the cross-sections of stalactites do not correspond with the collapse of a society in that area.

B. Information from the cross-sections of stalactites alone cannot reveal the level of agricultural output in an area at a particular time.

C. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts did so when internal power struggles coincided with military raids from neighboring societies.

D. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts maintained large stockpiles of food and water at the time of their collapse.

E. Information from stalactites also suggests that the collapse of some societies coincided with periods of abnormally high rainfall.



[Reveal] Spoiler:
I thought "the support" for the scientist's hypothesis is that "We often found that when-according to these cross-sections-drought occurred in a particular area, it coincided with the collapse of an ancient society in that area", and thus ended at wavering between A and E
So any ideas?


A very beautiful and clever question.
Weakener and causal effects both are merged to make this absolutely gorgeous question

If you read the argument carefully and see its conclusion you will see that :- "Society's downfall is correlated to the lack of agricultural resources" ; Draught is mentioned just as a factor that generally brings the above mentioned lack of resources. Stalactites is a red herring to confuse test taker and make him read extraneous useless information.

SO in essence it is lack of agricultural productivity that causes downfall.
A weakener will suggest that lack of agricultural productivity does not causes downfall

Option D is telling us that when society fell it has agricultural products , therefore it's fall cannot be attributed to the lack of agricultural resources.

THUS D IS THE CORRECT WEAKENER

D IS THE ANSWER

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Re: Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2016, 07:57
aniketm.87@gmail.com wrote:
Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites - calcite formations deposited on cave ceilings by seeping water - can reveal annual variations in rainfall in particular areas over hundreds and thousands of years. We often found that when-according to these cross-sections-drought occurred in a particular area, it coincided with the collapse of an ancient society in that area. I hypothesize that drought reduced agricultural productivity in these areas, thereby leaving these societies without the resources needed to handle internal stresses and external threats.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the support for the scientist's hypothesis?

A. Many droughts indicated in the cross-sections of stalactites do not correspond with the collapse of a society in that area.

B. Information from the cross-sections of stalactites alone cannot reveal the level of agricultural output in an area at a particular time.

C. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts did so when internal power struggles coincided with military raids from neighboring societies.

D. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts maintained large stockpiles of food and water at the time of their collapse.

E. Information from stalactites also suggests that the collapse of some societies coincided with periods of abnormally high rainfall.


Can someone please explain why E) is wrong
in the mock test, i was confused between E and D. Finally i marked D

Is E wrong because it talks about the collapse of some societies which coincided with periods of high rainfall, the earlier discoveries need not talk about the same socities.
Different stalactities could indicate different eras and diff rainfall estimates ?


You can think it like this...Abnormally high rainfall might also contribute to reduced productivity...So E is wrong
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Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2016, 05:01
Vyshak wrote:
Conclusion: Drought reduced agricultural produce --> Resources were unavailable to handle threats and stresses.

Possible Weakener: 1) Agricultural produce was not reduced. Resources were available.

A. Many droughts indicated in the cross-sections of stalactites do not correspond with the collapse of a society in that area. - Incorrect - Few droughts may have still indicated a collapse of society and scientists may have derived their conclusion based on them. Also, the option attacks the premise rather than the conclusion.

B. Information from the cross-sections of stalactites alone cannot reveal the level of agricultural output in an area at a particular time.
- Incorrect - Again this option attacks the premise and the facts stated.

C. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts did so when internal power struggles coincided with military raids from neighboring societies. - Incorrect - Irrelevant

D. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts maintained large stockpiles of food and water at the time of their collapse. - Correct - Agricultural produce was available during drought.

E. Information from stalactites also suggests that the collapse of some societies coincided with periods of abnormally high rainfall. - Incorrect - Out of context.

Answer: D


Vyshak,

Option B is not attacking any fact. "I hipothesize that drought reduced agricultural productivity..." is not a fact. It is rather an inference that the author makes based on the fact that there was a drought. The author then draws a conclusion based on this inference, which plays the role of a premise in his hypothesis/argument.

We can weaken the author's hypothesis by either attacking his premise or his conclusion. Option B weakens his premise, while option D weakens his conclusion.

Can anyone please explain the reason why we should discard option B?
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Re: Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited [#permalink]

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EBITDA wrote:
Vyshak wrote:
Conclusion: Drought reduced agricultural produce --> Resources were unavailable to handle threats and stresses.

Possible Weakener: 1) Agricultural produce was not reduced. Resources were available.

A. Many droughts indicated in the cross-sections of stalactites do not correspond with the collapse of a society in that area. - Incorrect - Few droughts may have still indicated a collapse of society and scientists may have derived their conclusion based on them. Also, the option attacks the premise rather than the conclusion.

B. Information from the cross-sections of stalactites alone cannot reveal the level of agricultural output in an area at a particular time.
- Incorrect - Again this option attacks the premise and the facts stated.

C. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts did so when internal power struggles coincided with military raids from neighboring societies. - Incorrect - Irrelevant

D. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts maintained large stockpiles of food and water at the time of their collapse. - Correct - Agricultural produce was available during drought.

E. Information from stalactites also suggests that the collapse of some societies coincided with periods of abnormally high rainfall. - Incorrect - Out of context.

Answer: D


Vyshak,

Option B is not attacking any fact. "I hipothesize that drought reduced agricultural productivity..." is not a fact. It is rather an inference that the author makes based on the fact that there was a drought. The author then draws a conclusion based on this inference, which plays the role of a premise in his hypothesis/argument.

We can weaken the author's hypothesis by either attacking his premise or his conclusion. Option B weakens his premise, while option D weakens his conclusion.

Can anyone please explain the reason why we should discard option B?


The conclusion is that drought reduces agricultural productivity, thereby causing collapse of society. The weakening statement should attack the link between drought and collapse of society. However option B links information from stalactites and drought - it does not address the link between drought and collapse. Hence B is not a weakening statement.
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Re: Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2016, 03:14
The OA is correct and explanations provided in the thread appear sufficient. If there are any specific questions, please post them here and then click again on the "Request Expert Reply" button - users are requested not to click the button without posting their queries.
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Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited [#permalink]

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premises-
cross section of calcium tells anual variation in rainfall
according to these cross section drought area- it coincided with the collapse of the society

hypothesis- drought reduced agricultural productivity THEREBY leaving these societies without the resources to handle


PREMISES are facts and true, we can't doubt on it, it is a causal passage - basically saying that drought left the societies without resources

it is assuming that there is no alternative resources for the societies to survive - option D tells that CAUSE( drought then reduced agriculture) happened but the RESULT ( societies without resources ) didn't happen as societies had enough stock or backup of water and food

choice B problem is that we can't doubt what is mentioned as a fact in the premise
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Re: Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2017, 05:28
A. Many droughts indicated in the cross-sections of stalactites do not correspond with the collapse of a society in that area.
It is ,"often" in the passage, so the argument doesn't exclude other potential causes.
B. Information from the cross-sections of stalactites alone cannot reveal the level of agricultural output in an area at a particular time.
Hypothesis is about adequate availability of goods to sustain society well-being.
C. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts did so when internal power struggles coincided with military raids from neighboring societies.
Strengthen.
D. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts maintained large stockpiles of food and water at the time of their collapse.
This statement doesn't go in line with scientists' hypothesis as despite the availability of goods societies collapsed, thus any other reason caused societies stop existing.
E. Information from stalactites also suggests that the collapse of some societies coincided with periods of abnormally high rainfall.
Abnormally high water could have resulted in crops loss and thereby society crush.

Answer D.
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Re: Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited [#permalink]

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New post 14 Mar 2018, 02:20
Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites - calcite formations deposited on cave ceilings by seeping water - can reveal annual variations in rainfall in particular areas over hundreds and thousands of years. We often found that when-according to these cross-sections-drought occurred in a particular area, it coincided with the collapse of an ancient society in that area. I hypothesize that drought reduced agricultural productivity in these areas, thereby leaving these societies without the resources needed to handle internal stresses and external threats.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the support for the scientist's hypothesis?

A. Many droughts indicated in the cross-sections of stalactites do not correspond with the collapse of a society in that area.
---out of scope. We should be concerned about the hypothesis that is related to the collapsed societies.

B. Information from the cross-sections of stalactites alone cannot reveal the level of agricultural output in an area at a particular time.
---irrelevant. Passage states that draught caused loss in agriculture. So we need to consider that fact.

C. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts did so when internal power struggles coincided with military raids from neighboring societies.
---strengthener

D. Most of the societies that collapsed during droughts maintained large stockpiles of food and water at the time of their collapse.
--- correct

E. Information from stalactites also suggests that the collapse of some societies coincided with periods of abnormally high rainfall.
--- some will always be there
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Re: Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2018, 07:18
Conclusion: thereby leaving these societies without the resources needed to handle internal stresses and external threats.

Pre-thinking always helps. we need to weaken above statement. how to do it? this is happening cause due to drought , they are not able to grow anything. what if they have a lot of saved for drought season ???

D is written on the same lines. Straight D is correct answer.
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Re: Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2018, 07:49
Can anyone please explain why C cannot be an answer choice?

C states that the societies collapsed because of reasons other than lack of resources.
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Re: Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited [#permalink]

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Can anyone please explain why C cannot be an answer choice?

C states that the societies collapsed because of reasons other than lack of resources.


Let me try to help you. As mentioned above your conclusion is : thereby leaving these societies without the resources needed to handle internal stresses and external threats. To elaborate on that it is trying to make a point that if there will not less/no agriculture, there will be no/less resources needed to handle internal stresses and external threats.

choice C is not talking about resources. think it more like this way. suppose they have a lot of food to fill everyone for whole season, but due to internal power struggles coincided with military raids from neighboring societies, they perished. is it seems a right idea.

Hope it helped. ask specific question if any.
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Re: Scientist: Cross-sections of stalactites-calcite formations deposited   [#permalink] 13 Apr 2018, 08:34
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