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# The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe

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General Discussion
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe [#permalink]
Shouldn't the answer be Option C?
(A) showing the claim to be irrelevant to the issue at hand -Out of Scope
(B) citing examples that fail to fit proposed definition of “intelligent life” - totally irrelevant as there are no examples
(C) claiming that “intelligent life” cannot be adequately defined - the best choice
(D) arguing that the claim, if acted on, would be counterproductive - Does not fit the passage and is too strong and extreme
(E) maintaining that the claim is not supported by the available evidence - Irrelevant
Also buddy Sasindran ManasviHP please recheck OA once
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe [#permalink]

According to me answer must be Option C. The stimulus mentions whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is certainly imprecise. Also it is difficult to define "Intelligent life" in a precise manner. The passage concludes: we cannot define “intelligent life” in some more precise way and we will find intelligent life only if we leave our definitions open.
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe [#permalink]
Even I chose C. Can anyone explain why it is incorrect?
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe [#permalink]
1
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The stimulus challenges the claim that we can answer the question about the existence of intelligent life elsewhere by defining it more precisely. It argues that we must leave our definitions open to new possibilities if we are to find and recognize intelligent life in the universe. By defining the question more precisely we will only work against our goal of answering the question.

Answer choice (A): The passage does not show that the claim is irrelevant to the issue at hand. It merely shows that the claim is incorrect because it will work against our goal of answering the question with regards to intelligent life elsewhere.

Answer choice (B): The passage does not cite any examples that fail to fit a proposed definition of “intelligent life”.

Answer choice (C): The passage does not claim that “intelligent life” cannot be adequately defined. Rather, it argues that defining it more precisely will work against our goal of answering the question of intelligent life elsewhere. To find and recognize intelligent life, the stimulus argues, we must leave our definitions open to new possibilities.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. The passage argues against the claim that we can answer the question about intelligent life by defining the question more precisely, because the claim will actually work against our goal. If we want to answer the question about intelligent life, the passage argues, we must leave our definitions open to new possibilities. Thus it will be counterproductive for us to define the question of intelligent life more precisely, as the claim suggests that we do, since it will in fact prevent us from finding and recognizing intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.

Answer choice (E): The passage does not argue that the claim is unsupported by evidence, but rather that it will not aid us in our goal. In fact, the passage suggests that the claim will work against our goal of finding intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.

Originally posted by Sasindran on 26 Jan 2018, 00:50.
Last edited by Sasindran on 26 Jan 2018, 01:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe [#permalink]
Thanks a tonne mikemcgarry sir for the response. Its pretty much clear now
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe [#permalink]
Thanks mikemcgarry!
It is much clear now
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe [#permalink]
Sasindran wrote:
The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is certainly imprecise, because we are not sure how different from use something might be and still count as "intelligent life" Yet we cannot just decide to define "intelligent life" in some more precise way since it is likely that we will find and recognize intelligent life elsewhere in the universe only if we leave our definitions open to new, unimagined possibilities.

The passage, if seen as an objection to an antecedent claim, challenges that claim by:

(A) showing the claim to be irrelevant to the issue at hand

(B) citing examples that fail to fit proposed definition of "intelligent life"

(C) claiming that "intelligent life" cannot be adequately defined.

(D) arguing that the claim, if acted on, would be counterproductive

(E) maintaining that the claim is not supported by the available evidence.

Saying that, on exam, in 9 cases out of 10 I would guess on this question right after skimming the answer choices is overgiving credits to myself. It's 10 out of 10
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe [#permalink]
The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is certainly imprecise, because we are not sure how different from use something might be and still count as "intelligent life" Yet we cannot just decide to define "intelligent life" in some more precise way since it is likely that we will find and recognize intelligent life elsewhere in the universe only if we leave our definitions open to new, unimagined possibilities.

The passage, if seen as an objection to an antecedent claim, challenges that claim by:

Logical flaw question

Pre-thinking

The author reasoning is that our current definition of intelligent life is an obstacle to find intelligent life in the universe. Understanding this reasoning already prompts us to the right answer (Option D). So let's see why the others choices are wrong.

POE:

(A) showing the claim to be irrelevant to the issue at hand
Nothing is highlighted as irrelevant. OUT

(B) citing examples that fail to fit proposed definition of "intelligent life"
No example is cited. OUT

(C) claiming that "intelligent life" cannot be adequately defined.
The argument claims that we should not define intelligent life too much in details because we must remain open minded. Nothing suggests that the author believes that intelligent life cannot be defined adequately. OUT

(D) arguing that the claim, if acted on, would be counterproductive
In line with pre-thinking

(E) maintaining that the claim is not supported by the available evidence.
Out of scope
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe [#permalink]
Must be D. The key words are: "open to new, unimagined possibilities". It's not that an adequate definition cannot be conjured, but that coming up with one limits the scope of what can potentially count as an intelligent life form, an idea supported by the fact that there are uncertainties regarding the divergence between technical definitions and actual life forms.

C is a trap.
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe [#permalink]
This is the perfect epitome for " read the argument carefully and go back to the paragraph and recheck once you have chosen your answer " questions. If you had done so after picking C, you would have realised that the author doesn't specify that x cannot be precisely defined. He just says that it shouldn't be, irrespective of whether or not it can be, since doing so would effect the possibility of obtaining favourable results and in short "counter-productive". Extremely useful question!
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe [#permalink]
mikemcgarry wrote:

(D) arguing that the claim, if acted on, would be counterproductive
A very cleverly worded answer. The claim is that we should give a more precise definition to "intelligent life." The author of the prompt argues that if we act on that claim, i.e. give a more precise definition, then it would be counterproductive--the very precision of the definition might prevent us from finding very different kinds of intelligent life! This is the best answer to this very difficult question.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Hi Mike,

Thank you for the explanation.

It is very hard to determine that "act on that claim" means "give a more precise definition". I believe this already steps out of the boundaries of CR. This is basically how good a cryptographist you are, and how well you can decode a bar code language.
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe [#permalink]
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe [#permalink]
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