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# The tidal range at a particular location is the difference in height

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Re: The tidal range at a particular location is the difference in height [#permalink]
If the magnitudes of tidal ranges are explained entirely by gravitational forces, then wouldn’t tidal ranges be identical everywhere? Why would the sun’s gravity, and/or the moon’s gravity, act differently in the Bay of Fundy? Something’s fishy here. The argument might look logical, but there’s a bait and switch happening here. We have a premise that says, “The only forces involved in inducing the tides are the sun’s and moon’s gravity,” and a conclusion that says tidal ranges must be entirely explained by gravitational forces. The problem with this is that “inducing” just means “starting.” So this argument basically pulls this switch on us: “Since childbirth can be induced by jumping on a trampoline, childbirth is entirely explained by jumping on a trampoline.” Really? Nah, didn’t think so. I’m not sure how to articulate the flaw precisely, but I do know it has something to do with “inducing” and “entirely explained” not being the same thing.

A) Uh, no. More examples might be nice, but this isn’t what we’re looking for and I wouldn’t call this a “flaw,” per se.
B) This could be it. What’s special about the Bay of Fundy? I don’t know. But maybe the beach is extremely steep, or the bay is extremely shallow, or something, and those are “the conditions in which gravitational forces act” to create such an extreme tidal range. This one’s a keeper.
C) Well, the argument definitely didn’t consider this possibility. But it also didn’t consider the possibility that we don’t give a **** whether it considered the possibility of quite a lot of things, including exactly how things are measured. This just isn’t the point.
D) Does the argument actually do this? For example, does it presume that the mating cry of a Blue Whale in heat (do they go into heat? let’s pretend) is a result of the interplay of gravitational forces? Nah, I don’t think it did.E) Did the argument really need to do this? I don’t see why it would need to, if it was going to use the very broad “gravitational forces” in the conclusion. This is beside the point.