## #18 - A large survey of scientists found that almost all

James Finch
PowerScore Staff

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Hi erust2,

Absolutely! The first step to zeroing in on the correct answer choice is to immediately eliminate the Loser answer choices and then decide between remaining Contenders. Often this, will leave only two, and a second, more careful read through of them will show one to be a clear winner over the other. Other times, eliminating all the other answer choices only leaves one possibility; you may not love it, especially at first, but if it is the only one that could conceivably answer the question, then it is the correct answer choice.

Hope this helps!
ksikanon
LSAT Apprentice

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Is "almost all" the same as "most?" or is it more like "most, but possibly all?"

I'm struggling with B because let's say in a given scenario, we have 1,000 scientists who take the survey. 600 accept W-L, and 501 accept B-E. For the conclusion to be true, you need to have over 500 scientists who are from the W-L group and 500 from the B-E group. So, while I see why (B) is incorrect due to the word "exactly," had that answer choice said something like "Some of the scientists in the survey who know the B-E experiment are the same ones who accept W-L." Would that be a necessary assumption?
James Finch
PowerScore Staff

Posts: 679
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:06 pm
Points: 676

Hi Ksikanon,

"Almost all" is generally used on the LSAT as a stand-in for "all." Here, the formal logic isn't the issue--two subgroups that each comprise "almost all" of a larger group, when combined, would definitely make up "most" of that larger group. The problem is whether it is logical to combine the two groups based on what we know; here, we have an issue of whether the scientists understand or are even aware of the Minsk Hypothesis (MH). Without knowing how much the scientists know about the MH and how it is contradicted by the combination of Wang's Law and the Brown-Eisler Experiment, we can't infer their attitude towards it.

Hope this helps!
gcs4v333
LSAT Apprentice

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I've read all of the explanations and I still don't understand why (A) is correct. I don't think any other answer choice is more correct-seeming, but usually after I read the explanations provided here I have an "A-ha" moment, but I'm not getting it here.

In my head I diagrammed the question as:

Premise: A large survey of scientists found that almost all (scientists surveyed):
A) Accept Wan'gs Law and
B) Know the results of the Brown-Eisler Experiment

Premise: The results of the Brown-Eisler Experiment + Wang's Law contradict the Minsk Hypothesis

Conclusion: Most of the scientists surveyed reject he Minsk Hypothesis.

I don't understand why being aware that the results of B-E + WL is necessary to reach the conclusion. Can't I reject a hypothesis before I know of the hypothesis' existence? To make perhaps a bad analogy: If I accept the Law of Gravity and I know the results of Newton dropping a couple of balls off the roof, and there's an Gravity Isn't True Hypothesis floating around, don't I reject it without even knowing about it?

Maybe "reject" is too strong of a verb. If I "reject" something I have to be aware of the thing-I'm-rejecting's existence. But Answer Choice (A) isn't saying "The scientists are aware of MH's existence" it's saying they have to actively know B-E + WL contradict MH. And I still don't see why they have to know that.

After typing all of this out, I'm even more confused than I was before. Can someone please diagram this problem and map out exactly how (A) completes a piece of the puzzle that is missing? Thank you.
Malila Robinson
PowerScore Staff

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Hi gcs4v333,
It sounds like your reasoning is right where you need it to be. As you stated, the conclusion is that most of the scientists who were surveyed reject the Minsk Hypothesis. (And as you reasoned, a rejection requires that you know about something and purposely dismiss it.)
But the only proof we are given for that rejection is that there is a contradiction between the combination of the Brown-Eisler Experiment results & Wang’s Law (which most of those same scientists accept) and the Minsk Hypothesis.
If the scientists were not aware of this contradiction then we couldn't automatically jump to the conclusion that they reject the Minsk Hypothesis. We could say "Therefore it is likely that most of the scientists who were surveyed would reject the Minsk Hypothesis." But this conclusion is stating that they definitely reject it, and that requires them to be aware of the contradiction. That leads to Answer A as the correct answer.
Hope that helps!
-Malila