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Bhai wrote:
Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists' strategy?


(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.

(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.

(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.

(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.

(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.


Strategy of SOME anthropologists: Study modern-day societies of foragers to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers.

A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied.
Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

The criticism made above of the anthropologists' strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. What will weaken this criticism?

(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.

Correct. If all forager societies have many important common features then it may be possible to study modern forager society to understand about ancient forager societies. Even if they are varied, still many important common features can be very helpful.

(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.

Irrelevant what happened to ancient foragers.

(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.

Irrelevant

(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.

Even if many anthropologists do not use the strategy that "some" anthropologists do as mentioned in our argument, its doesn't make the strategy of "some" anthropologists wrong. In any case, we need to weaken the criticism of the strategy (that forager societies are extremely varied). So we need something that tells us that the strategy is effective even if forager societies are very varied.
The fact that many anthropologists do not use this strategy does not helps us say that the strategy is effective.
Finster27

(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.

Again, this does not weaken the criticism. It doesn't tell us why the strategy is effective.

Answer (A)
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E after spending 1 min 54s.

Now coming to the analysis:

Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

Argument: Anthropologists study modern-day forager societies to learn more abt. our ancestors.
Criticism: (i) Forager societies are extremely varied.
(ii) All the forager societies which anthropologists know about have contact with modern non-forager societies. Therefore, any conclusions made abt. our ancestors are bound to be wrong, as the behaviour of modern day foragers is affected by being in contact with non-foragers.

To weaken the criticism:

A--> states that Foragers throughout history have had features in common
This will for sure weaken (i)

B-->Strengthens (ii), therefore eliminate this option

C--> I don't see the relevance - IMO, this neither strengthens/weakens the criticisms

D--> Do not draw inferences - but the criticism is that the study in itself is useless - I eliminate this option too

E--> Strengthens (i)

Therefore the answer should be A
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Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient
ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied.
Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with
modern, non-forager societies.
Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists' strategy?
(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are
absent from other types of societies.
(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.
(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.
(D) Many anthropologistswho study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient
societies on the basis of their studies.
(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are
importantly different from ancient forager societies.

[spoiler=][A]

Hi Chiranjeev,

This is a weakening question and i am confused between 2 choices A & D. To me both of them are weakening.
A. It states that there are common characteristics among forager societies. So, it weakens the conclusion in a way by weakening the two criticism points - societies are varied and contact with other modern societies- stated to draw the conclusion that anthropologists should not study ancient forager socities from modern ones. Hence, it is a weakener
D. It states that anthropologists do not take inferences from the studies. Again, this seems a valid weakener as it weakens the conclusion that anthropologists would not be taking any inferences as per the study in their understanding of Ancient forager societies and makes the criticism invalid.
Can you please explain how D is incorrect and also if my explanation for A is fine ?
Also, could you please state the conclusion for the argument.
The conclusion i was able to draw is :
The study by some anthropologists on modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient
ancestors but this study is flawed.
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shlbatra wrote:
Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient
ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied.
Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with
modern, non-forager societies.
Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists' strategy?
(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are
absent from other types of societies.
(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.
(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.
(D) Many anthropologistswho study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient
societies on the basis of their studies.
(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are
importantly different from ancient forager societies.

[spoiler=][A]

Hi Chiranjeev,

This is a weakening question and i am confused between 2 choices A & D. To me both of them are weakening.
A. It states that there are common characteristics among forager societies. So, it weakens the conclusion in a way by weakening the two criticism points - societies are varied and contact with other modern societies- stated to draw the conclusion that anthropologists should not study ancient forager socities from modern ones. Hence, it is a weakener
D. It states that anthropologists do not take inferences from the studies. Again, this seems a valid weakener as it weakens the conclusion that anthropologists would not be taking any inferences as per the study in their understanding of Ancient forager societies and makes the criticism invalid.
Can you please explain how D is incorrect and also if my explanation for A is fine ?
Also, could you please state the conclusion for the argument.
The conclusion i was able to draw is :
The study by some anthropologists on modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient
ancestors but this study is flawed.


Hi,

Your explanation for A is correct.

First of all the conclusion of this passage is:

The strategy to study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers, is flawed.

In shortened form, the conclusion is: The given strategy used by anthropologists is flawed.

Now. coming to option D, there is a problem with option D: it either goes against the information presented in the passage or does not affect the conclusion.

Let's understand the two cases:

Case 1: When we say that drawing inferences about a population is same as learning about that population.
This is most plausible understanding of "inferences" used in option D. IF you are studying modern societies and saying that you are learning about ancient ancestors, then in all probability, you are drawing inferences about ancestors based on your observation of modern societies.
If we understand the meaning of "inferences" as such, then option D goes against the first statement of the passage:
"Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers"

Since option D goes against the information presented in the passage, it is incorrect.

Case 2: when we say "drawing inferences" is different from learning
In this case, what we are saying is that anthropologists are learning about ancient ancestors but they are not drawing inferences about them.

In such a case, option D does not affect the conclusion because the conclusion talks about a strategy to learn about ancient ancestors. The conclusion says that this strategy is flawed. Whether anthropologists draw inferences or not does not affect the conclusion as long as they learn about ancient ancestors from the study.

Does this help?

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Bhai wrote:
4. Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists’ strategy?

(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.
(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.
(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.
(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.
(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.


You know what is the toughest thing about this questions? To properly find the conclusion.
The conclusion is that a flaw in this strategy is that they are extremely varied.

We want to weaken the criticism which is in fact the conclusion so we should keep focused here.
Naturally, A does a great job and straightly attacks the conclusion by saying the opposite. Tears it apart totally

So yeah, A is the right one
Cheers
J :)
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Re: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effo [#permalink]
Hi Chiranjeev,

Can you please help me understand why option E is wrong for this?

Option E says that modern day foragers who had contact with other societies are also not influenced. So it goes against the argument which says that we cannot learn about ancient foragers by studying modern foragers.

Please let me know where i have gone wrong.
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deepak824 wrote:
Hi Chiranjeev,

Can you please help me understand why option E is wrong for this?

Option E says that modern day foragers who had contact with other societies are also not influenced. So it goes against the argument which says that we cannot learn about ancient foragers by studying modern foragers.

Please let me know where i have gone wrong.


Hi Deepak,

Thank you for your post.

Unfortunately, you have not understood choice E correctly. :(

Choice E talks about those modern-day forager societies that have NOT had much contact with modern societies. In your post, who have defined these societies in exactly the opposite terms. Another key thing that you have missed in choice E is that as per this option these modern-day forager societies, despite having had limited contact with other modern societies, are distinct from ancient forager societies.

In the light of the above analysis, do you think choice E strengthens the criticism noted in the argument or weakens the same?

Thanks,

Neeti.
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Bhai wrote:
4. Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists’ strategy?

(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.
(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.
(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.
(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.
(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.


The key to the question is to understand what part of the argument is the 'criticism'.
'Societies are extremely varied' is the only critic part. Rest all are premises. Answer A

If one considers the 'any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies' as the criticism. He/She may go towards B. Incorrect. Tone/Construction is important to understand such questions.
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Hi Gmatninja / Gmatninja2,
Can you please explain conclusion and argument structure?
In second sentence, it says F societies are different and in last sentence,
author suggests that ancient F society are larger contacts on modern F society.
Am bit stumped with language of stimuli if you could clarify.
WR,
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adkikani wrote:
Hi Gmatninja / Gmatninja2,
Can you please explain conclusion and argument structure?
In second sentence, it says F societies are different and in last sentence,
author suggests that ancient F society are larger contacts on modern F society.
Am bit stumped with language of stimuli if you could clarify.
WR,
Arpit.

The conclusion is that the strategy of studying modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors has a flaw -- and the flaw is that forager societies are extremely varied. Why is this a flaw?

  • If some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in order to learn about ancient foragers, this implies that those anthropologists believe that what is true of modern-day foragers is generally true of ancient foragers.
  • But what if forager societies are extremely varied? This might suggest that even if two groups are both forager societies, those groups might not actually share common characteristics.
  • This, in turn, calls into question the anthropologists' belief that what is true of one group of foragers is generally true of another group of foragers.

Quote:
(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.

Choice (A) reassures us that, even if forager societies are extremely varied, they are still likely to share a number of important features. This suggests that we can learn about ancient foragers by studying modern foragers, even if those two groups have many differences. Thus, the flaw presented in the conclusion is not actually a flaw, and the criticism is not valid.

I hope this helps!
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Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists' strategy?

(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.

(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.

(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.

(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do NOT draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.

(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have NOT had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.

GMATNinja, Could you help to explain why (D) and (E) are incorrect?
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hazelnut wrote:
Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists' strategy?

(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.

(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.

(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.

(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do NOT draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.

(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have NOT had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.

GMATNinja, Could you help to explain why (D) and (E) are incorrect?


First, refer to my last post to help understand the passage.
Quote:
(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.

The argument criticizes the strategy employed by some anthropologists. It makes no difference how many anthropologists use that strategy. Choice (D) does not weaken the criticism.

Quote:
(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.

The argument is that modern-day forager societies and ancient forager societies are so different that anthropologists cannot learn about one by studying the other. This statement strengthens that criticism by stressing that modern-day forager societies--even those that have not had significant contact with modern societies--are importantly different from ancient forager societies.
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Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists' strategy?

(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.

(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.

(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.

(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.

(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.


Premise 1: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers.
Premise 2: A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied.

Conclusion : Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

The basic flaw that the anthropologist cite is that these modern forager society has had considerable contact with non forager societies.Therefore they will not help in knowing ancient forager societies.
If this is indeed true then the characteristics of the forager societies will not remain pure and these societies will take some things from non foragers societies.


A is the only option which casts doubt on the reasoning of the anthropologist.

It says that that all forager societies have unique features thus this will help determine characteristics of ancient forager societies , because even after it has come into contact with modern non forager societies,forager societies will keep their uniqueness.

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GMATNinja VeritasPrepKarishma

Quote:
Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.


Had this been a bold face question: I understood the main conclusion of the argument is:
A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied.

What is the strategy:
Strategy used by some anthropologists to study modern-day societies of foragers ; the study in turn shall help them learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers.

I would like to know the context of the last sentence in the relationship to main conclusion.
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adkikani wrote:
GMATNinja VeritasPrepKarishma

Quote:
Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.


Had this been a bold face question: I understood the main conclusion of the argument is:
A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied.

What is the strategy:
Strategy used by some anthropologists to study modern-day societies of foragers ; the study in turn shall help them learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers.

I would like to know the context of the last sentence in the relationship to main conclusion.

The last sentence is an example of how that strategy could be flawed. It implies that modern forager societies (those with which anthropologists are familiar) have been influenced and affected by modern NON-forager societies. This implies that modern forager societies have adopted characteristics from the non-forager societies. So if we are studying a modern forager society, the data might be skewed by the influence from modern non-forager societies.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effo [#permalink]
Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists' strategy?


(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.

CORRECT. The heart of the criticism against the strategy that anthropologists employ is that there is an extensive amount of variability that potentially distorts the comparison between modern forager societies and ancient societies. Part of this is due to the ‘considerable contact’ that modern forager societies have had with modern nonforager societies. A) tells us that despite such variability, there are nevertheless overlapping features of the societies that will permit comparisons of the type they are interested in and further, that these commonalities (the presence of which could be problematic for the study) are not found in other types of societies.

(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life. X

This is tangential to the argument. Irrelevant.

(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society. X

Useless info. Out.

(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies. X

This would seem to strengthen the argument. It suggests that the strategy isn’t particularly valid else why would the anthropologists dismiss the data/not draw inferences?

(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies. X

This just reinforces the idea that forager societies are varied…we need something that attacks that notion.
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Re: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effo [#permalink]
Bhai wrote:
Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists' strategy?


(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.

(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.

(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.

(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.

(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.


This is exactly what I mean. Here we have a question that wants us to pick the most obvious answer choice as the correct answer. In harder questions, they want us to think many steps further to find the correct answer. But when you think further on these easy questions, you fail by overanalyzing.


(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.
This might definitely weaken the argument.

(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.
This might also weaken the argument. If all anthropologists study modern day societies, their minds are biased when they make conclusions about older societies. They define what they learn in terms of modern day societies.

Or wait, with my reasoning, C should actually strengthen the argument. Im the idiot again.
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Re: Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effo [#permalink]
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