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#16 - Dinosaurs lack turbinates

165OrBust
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:06 pm
Points: 14

Hello PS Team,

These Method - AP questions are really taking their toll on my scores! I’m hoping you can help me understand this question correctly and nudge me back on track.

I broke down the argument as follows:

Premise (fact): Dinosaurs lack turbinates.
Premise (claim): Some pleobiologists argue this implies that all dinosaurs were cold-blooded. (Note: “some say...” - expect conclusion to disagree)
Premise (leading to intermediate conclusion): Some dinosaur species lived in Australia and Alaska.
Intermediate conclusion (directly supporting conclusion): Only warm-blooded animals could survive such temperatures.
Conclusion (refuting claim): These paleobiologists are mistaken.

After staring at my analysis for a few minutes, I can only conclude that I erroneously categorized “only warm-blooded animals...” as an intermediate conclusion, and that it is rather a second premise which follows “some lived in a Australia and Alaska” and directly supports the conclusion.

Am I missing a key indicator that clearly shows that “only warm-blooded animals” is not an intermediate conclusion?

Thanks for your advice!
Liz
Robert Carroll
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:18 am
Points: 362

Liz,

If that statement were an intermediate conclusion, it would have to be based on something. But that statement stands alone. There's no justification for why an animal would have to be warm-blooded to survive a certain climate. So that's not an intermediate conclusion. Instead, consider how the statement is used, because this is a common argument form. It's a conditional: survive temps :arrow: warm-blooded The statement before that affirms that certain creatures have survived in such an environment. This combination is used to demonstrate that the necessary condition of the conditional is true. Generalizing, in any case where there's a conditional and a statement of the truth of the sufficient condition, those two things can't be related to each other as premise to intermediate conclusion (though there's no reason they couldn't be related to other things in that way). A :arrow: B, A, therefore B is the basic idea; the conditional and the affirmation of the sufficient condition have to be presented as separate premises, and their combination leads to something else. So in this case, the premise about Australia and Alaska doesn't lead to the conditional, but functions in combination with the conditional to lead to a conclusion.

Robert Carroll
165OrBust
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:06 pm
Points: 14

Thank you Robert!

Your comments completely cleared things up and made me realize my rookie mistake. Also, framing it as part of a conditional argument really drove the lesson home.

Perhaps it’s time for a day off to recharge!

Many thanks,
Liz