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#1 - It is probably within the reach of human technology to

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I chose A instead D...and I don't know why D is correct :(
Can anyone help me?

Adam Tyson
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Happy to help, chian9010! In LR, the Main Point is always the claim that gets all the support and gives none, so you want to be sure to find the claim within the stimulus that received support from other claims but didn't give any support to anything else. When in doubt about which answer is the main point, try pulling those claims out of the argument and asking yourself which one supports the other. Does answer A, in this case, support answer D, or is it the other way around?

The first sentence does get some support from the second sentence, so it is a conclusion, but you can't stop there because some arguments have multiple conclusions in them and we only want the main one. That first sentence, coupled with the "if there is even a chance" language and the last sentence about the benefits of doing the research, supports the contention that research now is justified. That means the first sentence is both a conclusion and a premise, something we call an "intermediate conclusion" or "subsidiary conclusion".

Look at the argument this way, rearranged a bit and paraphrased slightly (okay, more than slightly):

1. It could take a while and a lot of effort to make Mars inhabitable, but we have done other great things that took time and effort
2. Therefore, we could do it
3. Research now would give us a lot of good, useful information
4. If there is a chance that it could work (which we have established there is), research now would be justified
5. Therefore, research now is justified

It all builds to justifying the research, and the claim that we could succeed is just a step along the way to getting there. That's why D is the best answer here.

Use that process of comparing the claims to each other to figure out how they relate to each other - supporter or supported - to help determine whether a claim is a premise, a conclusion, or both. Keep at it!
Adam M. Tyson
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