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#4- A recent test of an electric insect control device

jgabalski
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Can anyone help me clarify why B is not the correct answer? I understand why A is correct, and narrowed the choices down to A and B. Is it the fact that choice B does not help us know whether the device helps eliminate a high percentage of the mosquito's killed? Thank you for the help
Adam Tyson
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Thanks for asking, jgabalski. I would say that answer B does, at best, nothing to our argument. We aren't concerned with what percentage of attracted insects are mosquitoes, but with what percentage of mosquitoes were attracted!

To illustrate, let me tell you about a football game I attended this fall here in L.A. My team, the Panthers, were playing the Rams. Most of the people that showed up were wearing Rams gear, and the crowd was definitely cheering more for the home team than for my sad visiting Cats. Now, my question is, did the game attract most of the L.A.-area Panthers fans? Can I be sure about that either way, based solely on the Panthers fans being outnumbered by Rams fans? Nope! Maybe every Panthers fan within a 500-mile radius showed up at that game, but there just weren't that many of us. Being outnumbered tells us nothing about what percentage of local Panthers fans were in attendance.

So I would say that you are right about why B is wrong. It's because it tells us nothing about the percentage of mosquitoes (out of the total of all mosquitoes in the area), just about the dead ones being a small percentage of all killed insects.

Keep pounding!
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bk1111
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Adam Tyson wrote:Thanks for asking, jgabalski. I would say that answer B does, at best, nothing to our argument. We aren't concerned with what percentage of attracted insects are mosquitoes, but with what percentage of mosquitoes were attracted!

To illustrate, let me tell you about a football game I attended this fall here in L.A. My team, the Panthers, were playing the Rams. Most of the people that showed up were wearing Rams gear, and the crowd was definitely cheering more for the home team than for my sad visiting Cats. Now, my question is, did the game attract most of the L.A.-area Panthers fans? Can I be sure about that either way, based solely on the Panthers fans being outnumbered by Rams fans? Nope! Maybe every Panthers fan within a 500-mile radius showed up at that game, but there just weren't that many of us. Being outnumbered tells us nothing about what percentage of local Panthers fans were in attendance.

So I would say that you are right about why B is wrong. It's because it tells us nothing about the percentage of mosquitoes (out of the total of all mosquitoes in the area), just about the dead ones being a small percentage of all killed insects.

Keep pounding!


Hi, I correctly chose A, but I wanted to clarify B. I eliminated it because I thought it would strengthen the conclusion that the device will not significantly aid in controlling the dangerous mosquito population if, as B states, a large proportion of insects attracted were not mosquitos. Is that correct? I noticed you said it would be irrelevant?
nicholaspavic
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I wanted to clarify B. I eliminated it because I thought it would strengthen the conclusion that the device will not significantly aid in controlling the dangerous mosquito population if, as B states, a large proportion of insects attracted were not mosquitos.


Hi bk,

If a large proportion of the non-mosquito insects were not attracted to the device, would that truly matter on the issue of whether or that it significantly aids "in controlling the potentially dangerous mosquito population?" Can you make such a conclusion based on Answer Option (B) asserting that "A very large proportion of the insects that were attracted to the device were not mosquitoes?" In fact, it does not matter one way or another.

Put another way, what if we were in Antarctica where there are no mosquitoes, but other kinds of insects? Say fruitflies at a scientific observatory. Is that relevant? Does it have any bearing on the device's ability to control mosquitoes? No way and thus it cannot weaken the author's argument.

Thanks for the great question! :-D
mN2mmvf
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Why not (D)? If many of the insects that were killed themselves eat a lot of mosquitoes, that would suggest that the device can significantly aid in controlling the mosquito population.
bk1111
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mN2mmvf wrote:Why not (D)? If many of the insects that were killed themselves eat a lot of mosquitoes, that would suggest that the device can significantly aid in controlling the mosquito population.


Thanks, nicholaspavic, for the explanation!

mN2mmvf, I'd like to try to explain why D is incorrect. If anything, D would strengthen the conclusion the this device "will not significantly aid in controlling the potentially dangerous mosquito population." This is because if D is indeed correct and the device is killing mosquito-eating insects, it might end up increasing this dangerous mosquito population because their prey is now dead.
Dave Killoran
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bk1111 wrote:Thanks, nicholaspavic, for the explanation!

mN2mmvf, I'd like to try to explain why D is incorrect. If anything, D would strengthen the conclusion the this device "will not significantly aid in controlling the potentially dangerous mosquito population." This is because if D is indeed correct and the device is killing mosquito-eating insects, it might end up increasing this dangerous mosquito population because their prey is now dead.


That is correct, well done!
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mN2mmvf
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Duh, right! Not sure what I was thinking. Thanks.
akanshalsat
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Hello!!!

I'm still a little confused between A and B, and i've read over percentage and number section of the bibles, but I'm still so confused -- why is B incorrect? is it because saying that a very large proportion of the insects that were attracted to the device weren't mosquitos WOULD STRENGTHEN the argument in that it would mean that the device rlly is not significantly an aid in controlling the population bc it wont be able to kill them?

Also, I didn't choose A bc it was talking about the vicinity of the area after the test not the "mosquito population" in general --> what if there were parts of the population a little bit further in the vicinity?
Adam Tyson
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I'll take you back to my football game analogy earlier in this thread, akanshalsat - so what if most of the people attracted to the game were Rams fans? Does that tell us anything about whether the game attracted a lot of the local Panther fans? Not at all! Maybe 99% of the fans attracted to the game were Rams fans, but the remaining 1% of the fans represented 100% of all Panthers fans in the region? Here's some numbers:

Total fans at the game: 40,000
Rams fans at the game: 39,600
Total Panthers founds found in all of Southern California: 400
Panthers fans at the game: 400

They got us all! Very effective!

Similarly, even if 99% of the insects attracted to the device were NOT mosquitoes, if the remaining 1% represented all of the mosquitoes in the area, then it still could "significantly aid in controlling the potentially dangerous mosquito population." The percentage of insects attracted to the device that were not mosquitoes is irrelevant, because the only thing we care about is the percentage of mosquitoes in the are that were attracted and killed.

As to not getting all the mosquitoes, including those that are beyond the immediate vicinity (whatever range that is), that's not a big deal because we are not looking to prove that one single device could do the job all by itself. That is way too high a standard for a simple weaken question! Rather, we are looking to just weaken the claim that the device isn't going to be helpful. If we have any evidence that it may actually be helpful in dealing with mosquitoes, that's enough to weaken the argument, and A gives us some evidence along those lines. We got some mosquitoes, and now we can't find any nearby - maybe we got them all? Winner!
Adam M. Tyson
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