Need help with this question

Rickjames11
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Need help with this question

Postby Rickjames11 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:59 am

Some people mistakenly believe that since we do not have direct access to the distant past we cannot learn much about it. Contemporary historians and archaeologists find current geography, geology, and climate to be rich in clues about a given region's distant history. However, the more distant the period we are studying is, the less useful the study of the present becomes.

Of the following, which one most closely conforms to the principle that the passage illustrates?

A) Astronomers often draw inferences about earlier years of our solar system on the basis of recently collected data. Unfortunately, they have been able to infer comparatively little about the origin of our solar system.


Why is this the answer?

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3v3ryth1ng
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Re: Need help with this question

Postby 3v3ryth1ng » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:14 am

Rickjames11 wrote:Some people mistakenly believe that since we do not have direct access to the distant past we cannot learn much about it. Contemporary historians and archaeologists find current geography, geology, and climate to be rich in clues about a given region's distant history. However, the more distant the period we are studying is, the less useful the study of the present becomes.

Of the following, which one most closely conforms to the principle that the passage illustrates?

A) Astronomers often draw inferences about earlier years of our solar system on the basis of recently collected data. Unfortunately, they have been able to infer comparatively little about the origin of our solar system.


Why is this the answer?


Principle: "...the more distant the period we are studying is, the less useful the study of the present becomes."

Application: Astronomers are attempting to use studies about the present ("recently collected data") to draw inferences. However, these studies are comparatively less useful (compared to, presumably, other studies) because the period they're studying is so distant (in the past).

This answer matches the principle almost perfectly. The only way it would be wrong is if another choice fit more perfectly, which would involve someone trying to infer something about the pre-galaxy, pre-big bang period (not even sure that's possible). From what I've seen, LSAC doesn't like to do that, because they like to have 1 correct answer, and 4 that are clearly wrong.

The first sentence of the stimulus is supposed to throw you off. It sounds like it contradicts the principle, but it doesn't (you can still learn "much" about the past while learning comparatively little). The principle itself is that last sentence.

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bgdddymtty
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Re: Need help with this question

Postby bgdddymtty » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:38 pm

3v3ryth1ng wrote:
Rickjames11 wrote:Some people mistakenly believe that since we do not have direct access to the distant past we cannot learn much about it. Contemporary historians and archaeologists find current geography, geology, and climate to be rich in clues about a given region's distant history. However, the more distant the period we are studying is, the less useful the study of the present becomes.

Of the following, which one most closely conforms to the principle that the passage illustrates?

A) Astronomers often draw inferences about earlier years of our solar system on the basis of recently collected data. Unfortunately, they have been able to infer comparatively little about the origin of our solar system.


Why is this the answer?


Principle: "...the more distant the period we are studying is, the less useful the study of the present becomes."

Application: Astronomers are attempting to use studies about the present ("recently collected data") to draw inferences. However, these studies are comparatively less useful (compared to, presumably, other studies) because the period they're studying is so distant (in the past).

This answer matches the principle almost perfectly. The only way it would be wrong is if another choice fit more perfectly, which would involve someone trying to infer something about the pre-galaxy, pre-big bang period (not even sure that's possible). From what I've seen, LSAC doesn't like to do that, because they like to have 1 correct answer, and 4 that are clearly wrong.

The first sentence of the stimulus is supposed to throw you off. It sounds like it contradicts the principle, but it doesn't (you can still learn "much" about the past while learning comparatively little). The principle itself is that last sentence.

This is mostly right, but I think the parts that are imprecise might throw you (or other readers) off in your approach to future questions of a similar nature, so I'd like to elaborate a bit.

The principle is not illustrated merely by the final sentence of the stimulus. The first sentence, while phrased in a way that might throw some people off, is just as important. Since the belief that if one does not have direct access to the distant past one cannot learn much about it is mistaken, we can infer that the opposite is true. That is, one might be able to learn much about the distant past even if one does not have direct access. This is important because it necessitates the first sentence of the correct answer choice. It is likely that at least one of the incorrect answer choices got the other half of the principle right but messed up this portion. If you don't pull out the entire principle, you might end up stuck between two answers that both seem right.

Understanding all of the syntax in the question is also important. The word "comparatively" in the second sentence of the answer choice illustrates this point well. If it were being used to refer to a comparison with some hypothetical set of other studies (i.e., information to which we are not privy), the word would be rendered meaningless. The test-writers do not do this. They choose their words carefully. Instead, "comparatively" here means in comparison to the volume of inferences spoken of in the prior sentence. This matters because it dovetails with the portion of the principle stated by the previous poster. The origins of the solar system are by definition more distant than any other "years of our solar system," so the study of the present is less useful for the inquiries described in the second sentence of the answer choice than it is for the inquiries described in the first. Thus, both parts of the principle are properly encapsulated by the correct answer choice.

Finally, I want to echo the bit about there being one correct answer and four incorrect answers on any LSAT question. An answer choice either does or does not fit the criterion established in the question stem. If you see an answer and think, "Well, this is an okay answer, but," either it's wrong or you're missing something. You get no points for "pretty good" answer choices.

Fyo'Couch
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Re: Need help with this question

Postby Fyo'Couch » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:55 pm

Rickjames11 wrote:Some people mistakenly believe that since we do not have direct access to the distant past we cannot learn much about it. Contemporary historians and archaeologists find current geography, geology, and climate to be rich in clues about a given region's distant history. However, the more distant the period we are studying is, the less useful the study of the present becomes.

Of the following, which one most closely conforms to the principle that the passage illustrates?

A) Astronomers often draw inferences about earlier years of our solar system on the basis of recently collected data. Unfortunately, they have been able to infer comparatively little about the origin of our solar system.


Why is this the answer?


Buy anotha' couch you rich mothafucka'

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Mr.Binks
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Re: Need help with this question

Postby Mr.Binks » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:25 am

Fyo'Couch wrote:
Rickjames11 wrote:Some people mistakenly believe that since we do not have direct access to the distant past we cannot learn much about it. Contemporary historians and archaeologists find current geography, geology, and climate to be rich in clues about a given region's distant history. However, the more distant the period we are studying is, the less useful the study of the present becomes.

Of the following, which one most closely conforms to the principle that the passage illustrates?

A) Astronomers often draw inferences about earlier years of our solar system on the basis of recently collected data. Unfortunately, they have been able to infer comparatively little about the origin of our solar system.


Why is this the answer?


Buy anotha' couch you rich mothafucka'


loll...




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