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#16- Salmonella is a food-borne microorganism that can cause

lsatqueen
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Hi,

I do not understand why the correct answer is B. If we are trying to weaken the argument, we should be attacking the conclusion which is the last sentence. How does B weaken the conclusion?

In case you were wondering, I chose E.

Many thanks!
Emily Haney-Caron
PowerScore Staff
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Hi lsatqueen,

Thanks for the question! You're right that in this question, the conclusion is the last sentence, so that's what we want to weaken. To prephrase it, we're going to be looking for an answer choice that gives a reason why we wouldn't want to replace the previous test with the new one. B does that, although maybe not in the way you were expecting; if B is true, then the new test would give many, many "false alarms" where we're alerted to salmonella unnecessarily. E, on the other hand, doesn't weaken; we're talking about testing food samples, here, not people who have been made sick, so it ends up being kind of irrelevant whether the symptoms of salmonella might be mistaken. This one is tricky, but hopefully that helps a bit!
Anali
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Hi!

I narrowed this question down to A and B, since they both discussed the new test. However, I went with A because B would seem to strengthen the conclusion by suggesting that the test identifies the slightest traces of Salmonella, compared to the older tests which would "miss unusual strains of the microorganism". Is A incorrect because "similar bacteria" is not relevant to the argument?

Thank you
bk1111
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Anali wrote:Hi!

I narrowed this question down to A and B, since they both discussed the new test. However, I went with A because B would seem to strengthen the conclusion by suggesting that the test identifies the slightest traces of Salmonella, compared to the older tests which would "miss unusual strains of the microorganism". Is A incorrect because "similar bacteria" is not relevant to the argument?

Thank you


Hi, I would also like to know why A isn't the best answer. However, I do understand why B is correct. Essentially, B suggests the new test detects many false positives, making the new test an unreliable indicator of detecting salmonella that is harmful to people. The fact that the stimulus says the old test can miss unusual strains does not negate answer choice B's relevance because "can" is relatively weak whereas B says it does salmonella at detect low levels.
James Finch
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Hi BK,

The reason (A) is incorrect is that the stimulus is only concerned with Salmonella organisms, not, other similar bacteria, which may or may not be harmless. So if we used (A) to attack the conclusion that public health officials should replace previous Salmonella tests with this new one, it doesn't actually weaken. It could, potentially, if we knew that similar bacteria were also harmful, but the stimulus is only concerned with the harm caused by different strains of Salmonella .

Hope that clears things up!
Lsat180Please
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Hi! I got to B because I thought that it was weakening the causal relationship by showing the cause without the effect ie. the cause is salmonella and the effects are intestinal illnesses. Thus because answer B says that the test can show the cause (salmonella) without its effects to likely occur, it weakens the CE relationship. Is this correct reasoning? thanks!
Ben DiFabbio
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Lsat180Please wrote:Hi! I got to B because I thought that it was weakening the causal relationship by showing the cause without the effect ie. the cause is salmonella and the effects are intestinal illnesses. Thus because answer B says that the test can show the cause (salmonella) without its effects to likely occur, it weakens the CE relationship. Is this correct reasoning? thanks!


Hi there,

I think your analysis would be right on if the conclusion of the argument went something like, "Therefore, salmonella causes intestinal illnesses." But as it stands, the argument does not turn on a cause and effect issue. The conclusion is that public health officials should replace the old test with the new test.

The reason answer choice B) weakens the argument is that, if true, it would make the new test pretty much useless! If the new test tells us that there is salmonella in our food even when there is such a small amount that it doesn't pose any health risk to people, then it would lead people to avoid foods that were perfectly safe.

I hope that helps!