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#18 - Dobson: Some historians claim that the people who

srcline@noctrl.edu
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Hello

I know this is a flaw question that is asking what the flaw is in Dodson's argument; Dodson: therefore, the people who built the ring were not knowledgeable about celestial events. B/C there are many stones in the ring so the change that one pair will point in a celestially significant direction is large.

I chose D; Is D incorrect b/c Dodson doesn't base his conclusion around the historians opinion, but the way the stones are laid out? A is correct because what he states about how the stones are set is his evidence? and from there he concludes that that evidence is false? Is my thought processes correct with this question

Thankyou
Sarah
Adam Tyson
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Hey there Sarah, thanks for the question. I think you are right about what's wrong with D - Dobson did not make the mistake of treating an opinion as if it were a factual claim. Since Flaw questions fall into the Must Be True family, they are subject to the "Fact Test" and we have to reject any answers that bring up new information. The concept of "opinion" here is new info - it wasn't in the stimulus - and so it must be rejected.

So what did Dobson actually do wrong? Think about his argument - he points out that the placement of those stones COULD be just a coincidence. Suggesting that does weaken the claim made by the historians by introducing an element of doubt, saying that their evidence doesn't necessarily support their conclusion. Where he goes wrong is in determining not that the historians COULD be wrong, but that they ARE wrong. He merely weakened their argument, but acted as if he had destroyed it. A little overconfident! This happens occasionally on the LSAT, and if we were to try to fit this into one of our classic Flaw categories it would probably be as one of those evidence flaws that says something like "some evidence against a position is taken as proving that position is incorrect."

So, it's not about basing his argument on the placement of the stones - it's about making too strong a claim based on that evidence.

Hope that helped!
Adam M. Tyson
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