PT 7. Sec 1. Q 24

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Ragged
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PT 7. Sec 1. Q 24

Postby Ragged » Wed May 12, 2010 9:58 pm

For some reason I think the answer should be B but the answer key says A. Thanks.

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Ragged
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Re: PT 7. Sec 1. Q 24

Postby Ragged » Thu May 13, 2010 11:23 am

bump de bump

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Atlas LSAT Teacher
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Re: PT 7. Sec 1. Q 24

Postby Atlas LSAT Teacher » Thu May 13, 2010 6:44 pm

The conclusion of this argument is that chance (serendipity) can no longer play a role in scientific discovery. Those are strong words! What's the reasoning? It's because investigators today must give clear projections of the outcome of their research in their proposal to get funded, and then they'll ignore everything that doesn't bear on the goal of their proposal. So, it must be that they'll never have chance findings, since chance findings are ones you did not purposely seek.

There's a subtle disconnect here - just because something is a product of chance, does it mean it will not bear on the investigator's goal? Let's say there is a freak accident in the lab. If the results of that have nothing to do with the stated goal of the research, then according to the rules of modern, funding-centric science, they'll be ignored. But what if EUREKA something relevant appears. Would the researchers ignore it because it was because of chance? No, they'd only ignore it if it did not bear on the research.

(A) states the assumption, and, in short, tells us that if something is a chance discovery, it's irrelevant (this is the contrapositive of what's given, relevant --> purposefully seeks). This completes the argument: Not on purpose --> irrelevant --> not focus on it (and thus not learn from it).

(B) is incorrect because it is irrelevant whether past investigators made predictions. Even if they had, they were not bound to only focus on their goals, which is the core of the argument.
(C) is out of scope -- preferences?
(D) focuses on who receives grants, which is off topic
(E) is out of scope -- most valuable? The argument states "many", not "most valuable."

Does that clear it up?

And, because I just recently figured out how to load images here:

--ImageRemoved--

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Ragged
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Re: PT 7. Sec 1. Q 24

Postby Ragged » Thu May 13, 2010 7:01 pm

Yep, thank you Atlas. Its now clear to me that A is better.

The reason that I was thinking that it might be B is because if in the past most investigators also made clear predictions of the outcome of the research and yet serendipity still happened then it means that making clear predictions does not preclude possibility of serendipity happening, which would undermine the argument's premis that making clear predictions precludes possibility of serendipity.

I do understand that A is a much better answer since the disconnect between accidental and relavent is now apperent to me, but does what I'm saying about choice B make any sense?

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Atlas LSAT Teacher
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Re: PT 7. Sec 1. Q 24

Postby Atlas LSAT Teacher » Thu May 13, 2010 9:23 pm

Yup, that makes a lot of sense. The part that your thought is missing is that the prediction leads to a focus. If it said "in the past, scientists were focused on what they predicted to the exclusion of whatever else might occur in the lab (or wherever they did there investigating), you'd be onto something.




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