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#15 - Editorialist: Society is obliged to bestow the

GLMDYP
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Hi Powerscore!
As I mentioned before, this is another "equivocate" question. How can (C) fit into the stimulus? I just don't understand what does "equivocate" refer to here.
Thanks!
Jon Denning
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Thanks for the question! What's being confused here is the word "mature," specifically as it relates to the idea of what it means to have reached "adulthood" (and thus get the privileges of it): is it being mature enough to accept the responsibilities of adulthood, or is it being physiologically mature in terms of development? One could be said to be behavioral/psychological maturity, while the other is purely physical maturity. Since maturity is discussed first as behavioral, and then later as physical, the author has equivocated with respect to its meaning.
Jon Denning
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sherrilynm
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Can someone explain why D is incorrect? Thanks.
Adam Tyson
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Answer D describes a flawed appeal to experts or to authority, sherrilynm, which is not the problem in this stimulus. That would be something along the lines of "some very smart scientists say something is true, so therefore it must be true". In this case, we never said something is true just because an expert or authority said it was. Instead, we said that science has established something. In other words, we aren't accepting it just because we think they are smart, but because they have done whatever else it is that scientists do to actually prove something. In other words, it's not "it's true because they say so", but is instead "it's true because they proved it". That's not a flaw at all!

No, the problem here is that we have used "mature" in two ways that are not compatible. Physical maturity and emotional or intellectual maturity are far from the same thing. Ask any parent!
Adam M. Tyson
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sherrilynm
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Thanks Adam! That makes things a lot clearer. So can we say that in general, if it says that science proved something, it is not relying on expert opinion?
Adam Tyson
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Yes, I think that's a safe bet. "It has been proven by science" is not an appeal to experts. However, there could be an argument that has a conclusion like that which is based on such a flaw! That might look something like this:

"Renowned scientists have conducted several studies and experiments to test their theory. They claim that the results prove the theory is true.Therefore, the theory has been proven to be true."

This has a flawed appeal to experts/authority. Can we conclude that the theory is true, or are we saying it only because the "renowned scientists" say it is? I think the latter.

"It has been proven", when used as a premise, is typically accepted as a true statement, not a flawed argument. It's when you conclude that something has been proven that you have to be careful!
Adam M. Tyson
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