57 LR One Question 22
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What about B? If it disappeared before the discovery of the Clovis points, then it cut off the road for Seberians to go to North America, so we can conclude that the Clovis point occurred earlier than the Seberian migration to America, so it is not invented in America?
Yeah, (B) is super attractive!
But if it's true (and if our present knowledge of Clovis points is complete), the Clovis point must have been invented in North America! (That's overstating it a little bit; at least, we'd know for certain that they weren't imported to North America from Siberia)
I am confused about this one. I feel like answer choices A and B both leave room for the points to be invented in either Siberia or N America. With A it just doesn't feel like it strengthens it for me because it does not state how many have been found, and just leaves such gaping holes. What if there are older ones in N. Am. that haven't been found? What if they crossed back and forth a bunch and deposited ones in Siberia they invented in N. Am. Also I don't think B proves they were invented in N. Am. What if they invented them in Siberia, went to N. Am. then a few crossed back, bridge disappeared, and then they made the ones that were found?
The central issue for understanding your questions here is to keep in mind that the fact that a Strengthen (or Weaken) answer "leaves room for" an alternative explanation is not disqualifying! Remember our discussions of these types; we haven't been asked to prove anything. This is a lot like criminal prosecution; the standard is not "beyond any possible doubt."
So, yes, both of the things you've mentioned are possible. But there's no evidence that either possibility you've raised is particularly likely.
However, if the Siberian points are all older than any of the American points, then the most likely explanation is that they originated in Siberia.
The same structural line of thinking applies to (B).
I mean, you're right; (B) is not truly dispositive, in part because your explanation is a nonzero possibility. It's just super unlikely.
Think of it this way: the possibility that a strange confluence of events may exist does not argue strongly in favor that the confluence does in fact exist. (Like, it's possible that I'm an alien dressed in a Dave suit. You do not have enough evidence to prove that I'm not. But the fact that I've now raised the possibility doesn't make the possibility more likely to be true).
You may also want to refresh the instructions at the beginning of each LR section; you are specifically directed by the test writers not to make implausible assumptions. That bit of advice is one of the few things they've done that's helpful!
Thank you Dave, this is really helpful. It seems like it is a case of A having the ability to strengthen (however weakly) the answer and B simply not being able to strengthen it. That makes a lot of sense. I guess my issue was I did not initially see how A could strengthen it at all. I do, now, see how it strengthen it, but it still seems to me very weak evidence. Also great tip to review the instructions at the beginning of the LR section, I had actually never even read it.
Your help is very appreciated!!
I've noticed that you've thanked me numerous times. That's super thoughtful and makes me feel good. So thank you! I'm really happy to help.
I agree with your analysis here. Sometimes the best answer is the one that does just a little bit of the lifting, when the other choices pretend to do any work at all. Lazy damn answer choices. Smh.