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Difficulty: Sub 505 Level,   Logical Flaw,                        
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Re: The average normal infant born in the United States weighs between twe [#permalink]
the passage is ambiguous
all it says is that

its weight gain has been below the United States average..
now a reader can infer this to be
its weight gain has been below the United States average weight gain
or
its weight gain has been below the United States average weight..

Isn't it?
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Re: The average normal infant born in the United States weighs between twe [#permalink]
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The average normal infant born in the United States weights between 12 and 14 pounds at the age of three months. Therefore, if a three-month-old child weights only 10 pounds, its weight gain has been below the United States average.

Which of the following a flaw in the reasoning above?

A. Weight is only one measure of normal infant development.
Very very tempting answer but are we concerned about the normal infant development?

B. Some three-month-old children weigh as much as 17 pounds.
The word some vs average clash with each other

C. It is possible for a normal child to weigh 10 pounds at birth.
For us anything is possible but we need to present a solid evidence for it.

D. The phrase "below average" does not necessarily mean insufficient.
We are again not concerned with insufficiency about it.

E. Average weight gain is not the same as average weight.
Bingo! The last sentence assumes that the weight gain is same as the average weight and therefore came to such flawed reasoning.
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Re: The average normal infant born in the United States weighs between twe [#permalink]
The flaw is that average weight does not give any indication about weight gain. Hence "E"
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Re: The average normal infant born in the United States weighs between twe [#permalink]
"The average normal infant born in the United States weighs between twelve and fourteen pounds at the age of three months." - Is this statement ambiguous?

A) The average weight of infants in US @ 3 months is b/w 12-14 lbs. (This is the version assumed in the question )

Can it also mean

B) The average weight of 'normal' infants ( a subset of all infants) is b/w 12-14 lbs. (Is this not a better interpretation? And if this is the case, then in the conclusion which states "its weight gain has been below the United States average." , isn't the fact that the conclusion is conflating the 'normal' class' average with the US average, also a flaw?)

avigutman , GMATNinja MartyMurray could you help clarify this please? Thanks!
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Re: The average normal infant born in the United States weighs between twe [#permalink]
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PReciSioN wrote:
"The average normal infant born in the United States weighs between twelve and fourteen pounds at the age of three months." - Is this statement ambiguous?

A) The average weight of infants in US @ 3 months is b/w 12-14 lbs. (This is the version assumed in the question )

I don't think the question assumes that. Notice that "the average weight" is not at issue. "The average weight" is not mentioned.
Quote:
Can it also mean

B) The average weight of 'normal' infants ( a subset of all infants) is b/w 12-14 lbs. (Is this not a better interpretation?

Absolutely, it can, and appears to, mean that.
Quote:
And if this is the case, then in the conclusion which states "its weight gain has been below the United States average." , isn't the fact that the conclusion is conflating the 'normal' class' average with the US average, also a flaw?)

Yes, we could perhaps consider that a secondary flaw.
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Re: The average normal infant born in the United States weighs between twe [#permalink]
MartyMurray wrote:
PReciSioN wrote:
"The average normal infant born in the United States weighs between twelve and fourteen pounds at the age of three months." - Is this statement ambiguous?

A) The average weight of infants in US @ 3 months is b/w 12-14 lbs. (This is the version assumed in the question )

I don't think the question assumes that. Notice that "the average weight" is not at issue. "The average weight" is not mentioned.
Quote:
Can it also mean

B) The average weight of 'normal' infants ( a subset of all infants) is b/w 12-14 lbs. (Is this not a better interpretation?

Absolutely, it can, and appears to, mean that.
Quote:
 And if this is the case, then in the conclusion which states "its weight gain has been below the United States average." , isn't the fact that the conclusion is conflating the 'normal' class' average with the US average, also a flaw?)

Yes, we could perhaps consider that a secondary flaw.

­Thanks for the reply MartyMurray

In this case, could we consider A to be somewhat indicative of a flaw as well? 
A states - "Weight is only one measure of normal infant development." . If suppose we took the opposite of A and assumed that weight was the only measure of a normal infant (I've conveniently skipped development, which is mentioned in the option), then in that case the line which states "The average normal infant .... weighs b/w 12-14 lbs" could be taken to mean that the US avg is b/w 12-14 lbs, making the conclusion somewhat better. 

But I suppose, since A doesn't really seem to resolve the 'secondary flaw' we discussed very well, and the fact that E is ofcourse a glaring flaw (we cannot assume that all infants have the same weight at birth), we choose E? Am I right in this reasoning? Thanks Marty!
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Re: The average normal infant born in the United States weighs between twe [#permalink]
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