why is this statement causal?

borntokill
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why is this statement causal?

Postby borntokill » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:31 am

Can anyone explain to me why this is a causal statement?

"No comet has ever been observed to flare so far from the sun before, so such a flare must be highly unusual."

Cause: Flare is highly unusual
Effect: No comet has been observed to flare so far from the sun.

I feel the causal relationship is reversed, Flare is highly unusual seems like effect for me.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: why is this statement causal?

Postby pleasetryagain » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:42 am

fwiw I agree w/ you

borntokill
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Re: why is this statement causal?

Postby borntokill » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:12 am

DCD wrote:fwiw I agree w/ you

thx, but
could anyone see why it is the opposite?

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JazzOne
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Re: why is this statement causal?

Postby JazzOne » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:14 am

borntokill wrote:Can anyone explain to me why this is a causal statement?

"No comet has ever been observed to flare so far from the sun before, so such a flare must be highly unusual."

Cause: Flare is highly unusual
Effect: No comet has been observed to flare so far from the sun.

I feel the causal relationship is reversed, Flare is highly unusual seems like effect for me.

How can the flare be an effect? Our observations here on Earth don't have any effect at all on the comet. However, the frequency of comet flares will certainly have an effect on how often we observe them.

Z3RO
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Re: why is this statement causal?

Postby Z3RO » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:17 am

borntokill wrote:Can anyone explain to me why this is a causal statement?

"No comet has ever been observed to flare so far from the sun before, so such a flare must be highly unusual."

Cause: Flare is highly unusual
Effect: No comet has been observed to flare so far from the sun.

I feel the causal relationship is reversed, Flare is highly unusual seems like effect for me.


If "Flare is unusual" is the effect, what caused it? Are you suggesting that our not seeing it until now is what caused the flare to be unusual? Surely our not seeing it until now is what causes us to THINK that it's unusual, but that's not what actually causes the flare's behavior.

The fact that flares are unusual accounts for the fact that we don't see them frequently. If they were more common, we would expect to see them more frequently.
Last edited by Z3RO on Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: why is this statement causal?

Postby pleasetryagain » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:18 am

the only way I see this reversed is:

"No comet has ever been observed to flare so far from the sun before, so such a flare must be highly unusual."

Cause: Flare is highly unusual
Effect: No comet has been observed to flare so far from the sun.

The fact that it is highly unusual causes one to conclude that the flare is further from the sun than those previously observed..

I just dont see one being able to infer this from the fact that it is unusual.. it could be unusual for many reasons.. perhaps in the broader context?..is this an excerpt?

borntokill
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Re: why is this statement causal?

Postby borntokill » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:21 am

JazzOne wrote:
borntokill wrote:Can anyone explain to me why this is a causal statement?

"No comet has ever been observed to flare so far from the sun before, so such a flare must be highly unusual."

Cause: Flare is highly unusual
Effect: No comet has been observed to flare so far from the sun.

I feel the causal relationship is reversed, Flare is highly unusual seems like effect for me.

How can the flare be an effect? Our observations here on Earth don't have any effect at all on the comet.



this is part of what the first speaker says.
the second speaker challenges the first speaker by saying the flare is observered only because an obseratory was tracking the comet carefully. usu. no one bothers to observe comets.

method of reasoning question
correct choice says second speaker "offering an alternative explanation"

the explanation of the question says the second speaker's causual statement weaken's the first speaker's, by presenting an alternative cause.

macaroni
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Re: why is this statement causal?

Postby macaroni » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:23 am

Think of it this way. Why does no one see these flares? BeCAUSE they're highly unusual.

Z3RO
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Re: why is this statement causal?

Postby Z3RO » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:23 am

DCD wrote:the only way I see this reversed is:

"No comet has ever been observed to flare so far from the sun before, so such a flare must be highly unusual."

Cause: Flare is highly unusual
Effect: No comet has been observed to flare so far from the sun.

The fact that it is highly unusual causes one to conclude that the flare is further from the sun than those previously observed..

I just dont see one being able to infer this from the fact that it is unusual.. it could be unusual for many reasons.. perhaps in the broader context?..is this an excerpt?


Your 'reverse' just swaps the sentence structure. The original argument isn't "since flares are unusual, we must not see them often". It goes:

Flare observed that's never been observed that way before
Things that have never been observed before are unusual
That flare's behavior is is unusual

You can take issue with the second premise if you want, but denying the cogency of the argument doesn't have shit to do with the causal relationship that the flare itself bears to our observation and conclusions about it.

borntokill
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Re: why is this statement causal?

Postby borntokill » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:26 am

macaroni wrote:Think of it this way. Why does no one see these flares? BeCAUSE they're highly unusual.

it makes sense. and this is what the explanation of this question suggests
but the original sentence in the stimulus is
"No comet has ever been observed to flare so far from the Sun before, SO such a flare must be highly unusual."

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JazzOne
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Re: why is this statement causal?

Postby JazzOne » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:30 am

borntokill wrote:
macaroni wrote:Think of it this way. Why does no one see these flares? BeCAUSE they're highly unusual.

it makes sense. and this is what the explanation of this question suggests
but the original sentence in the stimulus is
"No comet has ever been observed to flare so far from the Sun before, SO such a flare must be highly unusual."

The word "so" does not indicate a causal relationship. It introduces a conclusion, which may not have been caused by the premise.
Last edited by JazzOne on Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

Z3RO
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Re: why is this statement causal?

Postby Z3RO » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:33 am

borntokill wrote:
macaroni wrote:Think of it this way. Why does no one see these flares? BeCAUSE they're highly unusual.

it makes sense. and this is what the explanation of this question suggests
but the original sentence in the stimulus is
"No comet has ever been observed to flare so far from the Sun before, SO such a flare must be highly unusual."


Ok, you're never going to survive the LSAT or Law School if you can't tell the difference between an argument with premises and a causal relationship.

In an argument, an effect can account for the cause and vice versa. Take this story:

Bill didn't study for the LSAT and got a 140. There is a causal relationship there. Cause = didn't study; Effect = 140. This can't be reversed. Now imagine Bob comes to TLS before his LSAT and says that he isn't studying but plans to take the Feb test. LawandOrder posts "you will get a 140. it's ok; you can still go to Cooley and get models and bottles".

After he gets his score, he comes to TLS in a panic saying that he has a 140 and begs people to chance him gently amongst the T2. OperaSoprano is supportive but she still asks "what was your study plan? maybe you should study more and retake".

The causal relationship never changed, but you can draw conclusions one direction or the other as long as you have an implied premise. See my previous post for that implied premise.

borntokill
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Re: why is this statement causal?

Postby borntokill » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:35 am

JazzOne wrote:
borntokill wrote:
macaroni wrote:Think of it this way. Why does no one see these flares? BeCAUSE they're highly unusual.

it makes sense. and this is what the explanation of this question suggests
but the original sentence in the stimulus is
"No comet has ever been observed to flare so far from the Sun before, SO such a flare must be highly unusual."

The word "so" does not indicate a causal relationship. It introduces a conclusin, which may not have been caused by the premise.


I see
Thanks!

skip james
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Re: why is this statement causal?

Postby skip james » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:31 pm

JazzOne wrote:
borntokill wrote:Can anyone explain to me why this is a causal statement?

"No comet has ever been observed to flare so far from the sun before, so such a flare must be highly unusual."

Cause: Flare is highly unusual
Effect: No comet has been observed to flare so far from the sun.

I feel the causal relationship is reversed, Flare is highly unusual seems like effect for me.

How can the flare be an effect? Our observations here on Earth don't have any effect at all on the comet. However, the frequency of comet flares will certainly have an effect on how often we observe them.


i thought this was pretty insightful.

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mallard
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Re: why is this statement causal?

Postby mallard » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:34 pm

JazzOne did a great job in this thread. I just want to add that this is precisely the sort of misunderstanding about relationships that a sentence like this is intended to produce on a standardized test.




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