Must Be True. The correct answer choice is (B)
This stimulus discusses extreme value theory (EVT), which predicts that the limit on human life spans is more than likely between 113 and 124 years, while under traditional statistical models, some humans would live beyond 130 years. Thus far, no one has lived longer than 124 years, the upper limit indicated by EVT analysis.
- Premise: Traditional statistical models estimate human longevity at 130 years.
Premise: EVT predicts human longevity to be between 113 and 124 years.
Premise: No one so far has lived beyond the age predicted by EVT analysis.
This stimulus contains no conclusions, so a Must Be True question is likely to follow. We might note that current statistics seem to conform more closely to models that employ EVT analysis.
Answer choice (A): According to the stimulus, it is not clear that EVT offers a more reliable means of predicting future trends. This answer choice reflects a far broader conclusion than is justifiable based on the information provided in the stimulus. While we can infer that EVT might be somewhat accurate, we cannot conclude that this method is more reliable in general.
Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. This is accurate; no human life span has exceeded the upper limits suggested by EVT, while the highest limit suggested by traditional methods is significantly higher. Thus, based on empirical evidence to date, EVT appears to produce a more accurate model of human life’s upper limit than more traditional models.
Answer choice (C): EVT is a tool of statistical analysis, and just because no person has exceeded the upper limits of EVT projection does not mean that it is physically impossible to do so.
Answer choice (D): The assertion in this answer choice is not supported at all by the stimulus. The fact that EVT projects the upper limit of human life span does not mean that there is no point in conducting research on increasing this upper limit.
Answer choice (E): While the stimulus offers some limited evidence of EVT’s predictive value, the author does not take the rather strong stand represented here, that EVT should eventually replace all traditional forms of statistical analysis, so this answer choice is incorrect.