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The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe

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The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 19 Jan 2020, 05:59
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Question Stats:

27% (01:55) correct 73% (01:55) wrong based on 224 sessions

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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.

Originally posted by Sasindran on 24 Jan 2018, 03:40.
Last edited by Bunuel on 19 Jan 2020, 05:59, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jan 2018, 14:32
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vasuca10 wrote:
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
Experts sayantanc2k mikemcgarry Please guide
Also buddy Sasindran ManasviHP please recheck OA once

vasuca10 and shrivastava.anukriti9@gmail.com & prashant6923,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

In general, the LSAT Logical Reasoning questions have the same general format as the GMAT Critical Reasoning questions--multiple choice analysis of an argument--but the LSAT LR questions tend to be at least a notch harder than the GMAT CR. This one is extremely hard even for an LSAT LR questions, so it's off-the-charts for the GMAT CR. It's important to understand that.

First, look at the prompt question:
The passage, if seen as an objection to an antecedent claim, challenges that claim by:

Right away, that's an extremely hard question, several notches harder than anything the GMAT would ask of us. We have to figure out what the original unstated claim was, and then we have to figure out how the prompt argument responds to that claim.

Presumably, the original claim was something like the following:
The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is imprecise. We can bring more clarity to this question by giving a more precise definition of "intelligent life."

OK, if something of that sort is the original claim, how does this prompt respond?
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 prompt begins by agreeing--yes, it is imprecise, but then it points out problems with defining "intelligent life" too precisely---if we define it too precisely, this precise definition may cause us to miss some form of intelligent life that is well outside what we had imagined.

Now, let's look at the choices:
(C) claiming that "intelligent life" cannot be adequately defined.
A very tempting distractor. In fact, the author says that it could be precisely defined, but the precise definition would cause problems. That's not the same as saying that it simply "cannot be adequately defined."

(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 :-)
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2018, 03:42
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Thanks to ManasviHP for directing to this question
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2018, 23:21
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
Experts sayantanc2k mikemcgarry Please guide
Also buddy Sasindran ManasviHP please recheck OA once
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2018, 23:31
HiGMATNinja sir please guide

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]

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New post 25 Jan 2018, 23:39
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]

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New post Updated on: 26 Jan 2018, 00:00
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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 25 Jan 2018, 23:50.
Last edited by Sasindran on 26 Jan 2018, 00:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jan 2018, 21:48
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]

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New post 28 Jan 2018, 20:15
Thanks mikemcgarry!
It is much clear now :)
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The question whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2020, 07:26
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]

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New post 23 Jan 2020, 05:37
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] 23 Jan 2020, 05:37
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