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# The Earth s rivers constantly carry dissolved salts into its

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SVP
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The Earth s rivers constantly carry dissolved salts into its [#permalink]

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24 Dec 2005, 10:44
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The Earthâ€™s rivers constantly carry dissolved salts into its oceans. Clearly, therefore, by taking the resulting increase in salt levels in the oceans over the past hundred years and then determining how many centuries of such increases it would have taken the oceans to reach current salt levels from a hypothetical initial salt-free state, the maximum age of the Earthâ€™s oceans can be accurately estimated.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. The quantities of dissolved salts deposited by rivers in the Earthâ€™s oceans have not been unusually large during the past hundred years.
B. At any given time, all the Earthâ€™s rivers have about the same salt levels.
C. There are salts that leach into the Earthâ€™s oceans directly from the ocean floor.
D. There is no method superior to that based on salt levels for estimating the maximum age of the Earthâ€™s oceans.
E. None of the salts carried into the Earthâ€™s oceans by rivers are used up by biological activity in the oceans.
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VP
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24 Dec 2005, 11:48
My choice is A
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24 Dec 2005, 12:39
Between A and B I choose A since it is not too extreme.
Director
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24 Dec 2005, 12:43
I think we have to choose between B and E.

The line of argument is: Constant inflow of salt > accumulation of salt in the oceans

I think both statements refer to one assumption. In B it is the constant rate, in E it is the accumulation without "leakage".

However B is the initial phrase and seems to be a fact, so that it would be no assumption. Finally I choose E
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24 Dec 2005, 17:41
I think it is definitely E. The conclusion is that analyzing the salt qty of the ocean one can determine the age of the earth. The evidence is all the rivers constantly dump salt into the ocean. E nicely bridges the evidence and conclusion by saying the salt dumped is not "consumed"
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24 Dec 2005, 20:45
I am stuck between A and E.

I will go with my first instinct E.
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25 Dec 2005, 01:16

A. The quantities of dissolved salts deposited by rivers in the Earthâ€™s oceans have not been unusually large during the past hundred years. ==> Even if its unusually large, the salt increase would still be present in the ocean, thus Earth's age could still be determined

B. At any given time, all the Earthâ€™s rivers have about the same salt levels. ==> Out of scope

C. There are salts that leach into the Earthâ€™s oceans directly from the ocean floor. ==> Out of scope

D. There is no method superior to that based on salt levels for estimating the maximum age of the Earthâ€™s oceans. ==> Out of scope

E. None of the salts carried into the Earthâ€™s oceans by rivers are used up by biological activity in the oceans. ==> Correct! If the salts carried into the Earth's ocean are used up by the biological activities, the 'salt increase' in the ocean could not be determined and the earth's age could not be determined.
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Director
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25 Dec 2005, 12:21
This is a clear E: If E is not true we can not conclude anything about the age of the oceans.
SVP
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25 Dec 2005, 12:39
It should be 'A'
Director
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25 Dec 2005, 22:52
between B and E!I ll go with E
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29 Dec 2005, 12:24
One more for A ~
Director
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29 Dec 2005, 17:55
Clear A.

E doesn't have to be assumed since it says "none" are used up. What we are talking about here is the approximate amount of salt, not the absolutely precise amount of salt. Therefore, "none" is too extreme. 0.000001% doesn't affect the overall result.

However, if the amount (which we take as a basic criteria of calculating the Earth's age) has been unusually large, then we can no longer rely on it.
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Director
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01 Jan 2006, 16:44
i go for A.
If we neate the statement then it says "the salt increase would have been higher in the past decade"..So if its higher in the past decade, we might not be able to calculate the age of oceans correctly..thus it brings down the argument..
OA plz?
Director
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03 Jan 2006, 00:15
E for me.
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03 Jan 2006, 14:28
E for me ..
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05 Jan 2006, 10:08
I think A would be a good choice. As its not far fetch
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05 Jan 2006, 11:51
I'll vote for E.

choice A can be assumed, but although the quantities of dissolved salts deposited by rivers in the Earthâ€™s oceans have not been unusually large , they could have been unusually low. Therefore, E overpowers A.
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20 Jan 2006, 07:15
Nakib, please post the OA. My money is on (E). We can`t accurately estimate the age of the earth without assuming that salt levels are not absorbed by biological activity within the oceans.
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20 Jan 2006, 15:10
E for me as well.
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20 Jan 2006, 22:36
I'm jumping on the E band wagon.
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20 Jan 2006, 22:36

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