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Two paleontologists, Dr Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpre

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Two paleontologists, Dr Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpre  [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2010, 06:35
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Two paleontologists, Dr Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpretation of certain footprints that were left among other footprints in hardened volcanic ash at site G. Dr. Tyson claims they are clearly early hominid footprints since they show human characteristics: a squarish heel and a big toe immediately adjacent to the next toe. However, since the footprints indicate that if hominids made those prints they would have had to walk in an unexpected cross-stepping manner, by placing the left foot to the right of the right foot. Dr. Rees rejects Dr. Tyson’s conclusion.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously undermines Dr. Tyson’s conclusion?

(A) The foot prints showing human characteristics were clearly those of at least two distinct individuals.

(B) Certain species of bears had feet very like human feet, except that the outside toe on each foot was the biggest toe and the innermost toe was the smallest toe.

(C) Footprints shaped like a human’s that do not show a cross-stepping pattern exist at site M, which is a mile away from site G, and the two sets of footprints are contemporaneous.

(D) When the moist volcanic ash became sealed under additional layers of ash before hardening, some details of some of the footprints were erased.

(E) Most of the other footprints at site G were of animals with hooves.

Source: LSAT

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Re: Two paleontologists, Dr Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpre  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2010, 07:49
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Going with A for the first one and B for the second one.

noboru wrote:
Two paleontologists, Dr Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpretation of certain footprints that were left among other footprints in hardened volcanic ash at site G. Dr. Tyson claims they are clearly early hominid footprints since they show human characteristics: a squarish heel and a big toe immediately adjacent to the next toe. However, since the footprints indicate that if hominids made those prints they would have had to walk in an unexpected cross-stepping manner, by placing the left foot to the right of the right foot. Dr. Rees rejects Dr. Tyson’s conclusion.

The disagreement between the two paleontologists is over which one of the following?

Dr. Tyson thinks that the evidence shows the footprints belong to early hominids due to the shape of the footprints, while Dr. Rees believes they can't belong to early hominids because of the walking pattern. Sounds like they're disagreeing over interpretations of different aspects of the evidence.

(A) the relative significance of various aspects of the evidence Bingo
(B) the assumption that early hominid footprints are distinguishable from other footprints Clearly they agree with that, or this disagreement wouldn't happen to begin with
(C) the possibility of using the evidence of footprints to determine the gait of the creature that made those footprints The gait has been determined and is the evidence that Dr. Rees is using, so this is not a point of dissention
(D) the assumption that evidence from one paleontologic site is enough to support a conclusion They're both drawing conclusions, neither one is arguing that no conclusion can be drawn
(E) the likelihood that early hominids would have walked upright on two feet Dr. Rees didn't say anything about this possibility

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously undermines Dr. Tyson’s conclusion?

(A) The foot prints showing human characteristics were clearly those of at least two distinct individuals. This would strengthen Dr. Tyson's conclusion by weakening Dr. Rees's, because it would open the possibility of the strange pattern of footprints being caused by two people walking in a particular fashion, causing the overlap of footprints
(B) Certain species of bears had feet very like human feet, except that the outside toe on each foot was the biggest toe and the innermost toe was the smallest toe. This would explain the "cross-stepping pattern" - because the bear's feet look the same as a human's, except they're essentially reversed. So the footprint from the left foot would look like the right foot, and vice versa. This strengthen's Dr. Rees's position, by giving a reason to believe the footprints might belong to the bear, and thereby weakens Dr. Tyson's conclusion.
(C) Footprints shaped like a human’s that do not show a cross-stepping pattern exist at site M, which is a mile away from site G, and the two sets of footprints are contemporaneous. Strengthen's Dr. Tyson's argument by showing that the cross-stepping pattern might be an anomaly
(D) When the moist volcanic ash became sealed under additional layers of ash before hardening, some details of some of the footprints were erased. I originally answered this by POE until I started typing this post and realized that B is a much better answer. This doesn't really affect either argument, since both conclusions are being made from the same set of prints.
(E) Most of the other footprints at site G were of animals with hooves. Totally irrelevant.
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Re: Two paleontologists, Dr Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpre  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2010, 09:53
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This explanation is very clear and thorough! I would just add one thing for those trying to decide between answers A) and B) on the second question. It's important to keep track of what conclusion the scientists are arguing over: whether or not the tracks are evidence of humans. Answer A) in the second question does not call that conclusion into question. It just says that there might be some disagreement about HOW MANY humans there are, without questioning the conclusion that humans were present.
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Re: Two paleontologists, Dr Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpre  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2015, 05:55
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Tyson claims they are clearly early hominid footprints since they show human characteristics: "a squarish heel and a big toe immediately adjacent to the next toe."

(B) Certain species of bears had feet very like human feet, except that the "outside toe on each foot was the biggest toe and the innermost toe was the smallest toe."
Even Bear has what Tyson explained. But Tyson's explanation dint have the other char of bear foot print.. Weakens the conclusion. Hence the answer..
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Re: Two paleontologists, Dr Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpre  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2017, 00:56
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noboru wrote:
Two paleontologists, Dr Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpretation of certain footprints that were left among other footprints in hardened volcanic ash at site G. Dr. Tyson claims they are clearly early hominid footprints since they show human characteristics: a squarish heel and a big toe immediately adjacent to the next toe. However, since the footprints indicate that if hominids made those prints they would have had to walk in an unexpected cross-stepping manner, by placing the left foot to the right of the right foot. Dr. Rees rejects Dr. Tyson’s conclusion.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously undermines Dr. Tyson’s conclusion?

(A) The foot prints showing human characteristics were clearly those of at least two distinct individuals.

(B) Certain species of bears had feet very like human feet, except that the outside toe on each foot was the biggest toe and the innermost toe was the smallest toe.

(C) Footprints shaped like a human’s that do not show a cross-stepping pattern exist at site M, which is a mile away from site G, and the two sets of footprints are contemporaneous.

(D) When the moist volcanic ash became sealed under additional layers of ash before hardening, some details of some of the footprints were erased.

(E) Most of the other footprints at site G were of animals with hooves.

Source: LSAT


the reason (D) is incorrect is that neither paleontologist weighs in on the issue of how much evidence you need to support a conclusion. That is, the disagreement is about what can be inferred from the evidence, not about whether there is enough evidence to draw any conclusion.

B-->, we have to make sure we understand the evidence brought up in the stimulus. It appears that the footprints discovered, though similar in shape to humans', differs in an important way: the "left" foot is on the right, and the "right" foot is on the left. As Dr. Rees says, for hominids to make those footprints, they would have to walk in a bizarre cross-stepping pattern.

Now if it turns out that a certain species of bear has footprints very similar to humans', except the order of the toes is reversed, then those bears would leave footprints just like the ones in question. (Look at your feet. If your big toe and little toe switched places, your right foot would look more like a left foot, and vice versa.) So if (B) is true, then it's much more likely that the footprints were left by bears than by early hominids, so Dr. Tyson's conclusion is weakened.
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Re: Two paleontologists, Dr Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpre  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2017, 14:37
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Two paleontologists, Dr Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpretation of certain footprints that were left among other footprints in hardened volcanic ash at site G. Dr. Tyson claims they are clearly early hominid footprints since they show human characteristics: a squarish heel and a big toe immediately adjacent to the next toe. However, since the footprints indicate that if hominids made those prints they would have had to walk in an unexpected cross-stepping manner, by placing the left foot to the right of the right foot. Dr. Rees rejects Dr. Tyson’s conclusion.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously undermines Dr. Tyson’s conclusion?

(A) The foot prints showing human characteristics were clearly those of at least two distinct individuals. -This strengthens the argument on Tyson.

(B) Certain species of bears had feet very like human feet, except that the outside toe on each foot was the biggest toe and the innermost toe was the smallest toe. -Correct

(C) Footprints shaped like a human’s that do not show a cross-stepping pattern exist at site M, which is a mile away from site G, and the two sets of footprints are contemporaneous. -This slightly strengthens the argument

(D) When the moist volcanic ash became sealed under additional layers of ash before hardening, some details of some of the footprints were erased. -But, still from the pattern we can end up stating that the prints were of human. This doesn't exactly weaken the argument. B is better than this option

(E) Most of the other footprints at site G were of animals with hooves. -So?
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Re: Two paleontologists, Dr Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpre  [#permalink]

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Re: Two paleontologists, Dr Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpre   [#permalink] 09 Jun 2019, 21:16
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