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#15- Carrillo: Using the number of existing primate species,

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I fully get why the answer is B, but I can't get rid of A.

I was going back and forth on this and ultimately chose A.

I know Carrillo would agree with answer choice A. However, Olson stating that the "oldest discovered is only 55 million..." I GUESS doesn't really mean that they have been around for MORE than 55 million years? Is that how you get rid of A? Since he's pretty much only using that evidence on primate fossils to discredit the model and not really commenting on how long they've been around?

Even that though is really tough to get. I know under a testing situation with a question this hair splitting i'm not sure if I can get rid of A with comfort.

Any thoughts on how I can?
Malila Robinson
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Hi Khodi7531,

As you said, for Answer A Carrillo would clearly agree. But it's unclear whether Olsen would agree or disagree. Olsen talks about "the oldest primate fossils discovered so far" which doesn't rule out the possibility of older fossils being found someday.

Olsen is attacking Carrillo's estimation process for being speculative, rather than for being absolutely incorrect. And that leads us to Answer B.
Hope that helps!
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Hi! I didn't choose answer choice B (correct answer) because there is no evidence that Carrillo believes that his model is reliable. He says that his model supports a specific conclusion, but did not imply that he agrees with it. I was thinking that he is merely describing his model as supporting a conclusion, but not necessarily saying that it is reliable/correct.
Am I reading this wrong?!

Brook Miscoski
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I understand that you discarded Answer Choice (B) because you did not believe that Carrillo's claim that his statistical model "strongly supports" a conclusion means that he believes his statistical model is reliable. The question stem asks you to rely on the dialog as your evidence in determining the point of disagreement between Carrillo and Olson. Since it is not typical that people claim their models "strongly support" a conclusion while harboring the belief that their models are actually unreliable, you should not discard Answer Choice (B), especially when Olson has directly claimed that the model is pure speculation.

I understand that you are making a distinction between believing that a model supports a conclusion and believing that a model is reliable. However, there is not "no evidence that Carrillo believes his model is reliable," because a claim about the inferential power of a model is properly read as a claim about its reliability. You are reading his claim that his model "strongly supports" a conclusion very narrowly to eliminate Answer Choice (B), so the issue is overly narrow reading rather than a lack of evidence for Answer Choice (B).

But the important question is how to avoid this scenario. In this case, remember that you are separating answers into contenders and losers. Carrillo said "my model proves X," and Olsen said "that's speculation." An answer choice that says they disagree about the reliability of the model should stay, as a strong contender.