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#20 - The report released by the interior ministry states

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Complete Question Explanation

Parallel Flaw. The correct answer choice is (E)

The argument is essentially that since Senator Armand maintains that the program could not be successful, the figures cited in the report are not accurate.

That correctly utilizes the contra positive of "Figures accurate → Program Successful."

All of the figures and the conditional are designed to distract you from the real flaw: the argument is based on the inappropriate appeal to the expertise of Senator Armand. It doesn't seem likely that we should reject 5 years of study just because some "smart" person off the top of her head decides that certain things are impossible. We'd rather see the numbers, and decide for ourselves.

Answer choice (A): This answer choice does not reference an authority-- in fact, even though the father might be the authority in some senses, the father's claim is rejected. What this choice does do is side with the person who claims to have an eyewitness account, which is the opposite of what the stimulus does.

Answer choice (B): This answer choice sides with the child, not the authority, and weighs at least some eyewitness claims more heavily than other claims, so this choice is incorrect. Furthermore, this choice contains a different flaw. A failure to carry out a policy 100% does not prove that the policy doesn't exist, because policies define what people will attempt to do rather than what people are successful at doing, so the conclusion is unjustified.

Answer choice (C): Even though Amos could simply be an extreme freak of nature, this response involves the correct application of expertise. Dr. Treviso has specific, studied expertise that would enable him to make his judgment, and accepting his claim is not at all the same as accepting Senator Armand's, whose claim is not informed.

Answer choice (D): This answer choice involves a Mistaken Reversal of its last premise, "Robert is right → Evelyn did not listen to late news." The stimulus did not involve a formal logic error, so this response is wrong. Furthermore, this response does not involve an inappropriate appeal to authority.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. Just because Lomas is an engineering expert does not mean he has the ability to judge which athlete has a chance of winning. It makes no sense to reject an eyewitness account in favor of Lomas' "authority."
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Pg 283

For me, the answers B, C, and E were too similar to distinguish.

Is the answer E right answer due to the word, "report" when answer B and C used "claim"?

Is there any other characteristic to connect the stimuli with the correct answer?
Steve Stein
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In that one both the stimulus and correct answer choice (E) provide scenarios in which actual results are reported (statistics on an increase in arable land, a report of the results of a race), and then, based on an expert's claimd, the author draws the questionable conclusion that the results were not accurately reported.

In answer choice (B), a claim is presented, and a report of actual results is used to refute it, while in answer choice (C), one claim is presented and then an experts claim is used to refute it (there is no reporting of actual results).

I hope that's helpful! Please let me know whether this is clear--thanks!

Steve Stein
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Administrator wrote:Answer choice (D): This answer choice involves a Mistaken Reversal of its last premise, "Robert is right → Evelyn did not listen to late news." The stimulus did not involve a formal logic error, so this response is wrong. Furthermore, this response does not involve an inappropriate appeal to authority.

Could you explain further why answer choice D is wrong. First, I am confused where there is a mistaken reversal here. I don't see another conditional statement beyond the last premise (Robert is right :arrow: Evelyn did not listen to late news).

Second, I thought that there was an inappropriate appeal to authority. Just because this Robert claims to always know the time, what makes him an expert in when Evelyn came home? This seems similar to answer choice E's inappropriate authority source, where the bicycle engineering expert doesn't necessarily know the outcome of the bike race.
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I read the explanations here but still am not convinced why not AC C?
In Stimulus, some figures represented then a math scientific said those number are wrong and the conclusion is those numbers and argument is wrong.
In AC C, an expert in Cardiopulmonary refuses an argument about holding the breath and the conclusion is the argument is wrong.
I see the same flaw in AC C as stimulus. Can some one explain why it is not the right answer choice?

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Hey guys, let me see if I can help you both out here.

First, the flaw is definitely an inappropriate appeal to an expert or authority figure. In the stimulus, we are looking to the opinion of a mathematician, whose expertise is completely irrelevant to the facts at issue, even though some numbers were mentioned. Why would we listen to a mathematician about whether a land reclamation policy is successful or not? In addition, even if she was an expert in the right discipline, there is no evidence that she has any direct knowledge of, or evidence about, the success or failure of the policy. It's basically "well she's smart, so she's probably right."

Answer C has an appeal to an expert, but the Doctor is exactly the right sort of expert when it comes to things like breathing. Also, he doesn't have to have direct knowledge about Amos, because his claim is that what Amos says is true is simply not possible, based on his actual knowledge of the subject matter. He has evidence in the form of knowing that the claim is physiologically impossible. This argument is much stronger than the one in the stimulus, and while the good doctor might be wrong, at least we have good reason to listen to him.

Answer D doesn't appeal to an expert, exactly, but at least Robert always known something, so maybe that counts. His knowing the time doesn't really matter in weighing the merits of Evelyn's claim, so that is similar to the stimulus. But Robert never says that Evelyn cannot be right - he says she IS not right. Then it gets worse, adding in a conditional claim about Robert's claim, then brings up entirely new information about the late news, and then proceeds to make a Mistaken Reversal. There was nothing conditional in the stimulus, and no new bit of information added in to support the mathematician's claim, so this really goes way off the rails compared to what happened in the stimulus. This answer diverges completely from the simple "the smart person said so, so it just be true" aspect of the stimulus.

E has exactly what we need. Lomas is a bicycle engineering expert, so he has some expertise that is vaguely, peripherally related to a question about a bicycle race. But does he have any direct knowledge of the race? Does his expertise in bicycle engineering mean that he is an expert on bicycle races, or this race in particular? No to both. In this answer, as in the stimulus, we are insisting that he must be right and the other party must be wrong simply because Lomas is an expert on something, and it isn't even the right thing.
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