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Am I understanding the stimulus properly?

Domestication → Cooperative → Communication
Language → Communication

Domestication → Language
The author says that language developed primarily to facilitate animal domestication. While this isn't conditional reasoning (not 100 percent), the conclusion is somewhat similar to the diagram above. Language is sufficient for a means of communication but it wasn't primarily/necessarily developed for domestication. So for answer (E) when it says something serves a purpose, it refers to communication (which is required for domestication)?
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I diagramed this question exactly as the student in post above mine. I chose answer choice E, but I considered A for a hot minute. Can someone explain why E is better than A?
 Brook Miscoski
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One of the skills a student learns in preparing for the LSAT is to choose the best technique for the job. For that, it is helpful to read a stimulus fully and react to it before engaging in diagramming. This stimulus flows pretty well, but the last sentence introduces the jarring word "primary." It certainly seems that language is useful for domestication, but why would that mean that language was primarily for raising animals? That's answer choice (E). By realizing that the flaw in the stimulus is the introduction of this new concept, "primary," you avoid unnecessary diagramming, and therefore avoid the impulse to select an answer like (A), which is about conditional reasoning.

If you did diagram the stimulus, it does diagram as LSAT2018 wrote out. However, the stimulus does not conclude that language leads to domesticated animals (which would be A). Instead, the stimulus concludes that since language satisfies a necessary condition, that it was for the purpose of enabling the sufficient condition--answer (E). That's a flaw, because language could have developed for some other reason and then happened to satisfy a necessary condition--it could have been a coincidence.
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Hi Powerscore,

I chose answer choice E but I often get caught off guard with Flaw answer choices I don't understand. Just to put myself at ease, can you please confirm my understanding of answer choice A?

Choice A says, "conflates being necessary for the development of a phenomenon with guaranteeing the development of that phenomenon." I translated this to mean that the argument is flawed in that it, "equates the necessary condition with ensuring that the phenomenon occurs." I am guessing that the phenomenon is referring to the concept of "language" which was the sufficient condition for the necessary condition, "sophisticated communication." I didn't diagram this problem when I solved it, but just for context, I understand this as:

Premise: Domestication :arrow: Copperative :arrow: Sophisticated
Premise: Language :arrow: Sophisticated
Conclusion: Language :longline: Sophisticated

Also, choice C is an example of a circular reasoning answer choice, correct?

Thanks in advance!
 Adam Tyson
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Answer A describes a Mistaken Reversal - getting the Necessary Condition confused for a Sufficient Condition (when one thing guarantees another thing, the first thing - the one giving the guarantee - is the Sufficient Condition). Here, I think the "phenomenon" is the domestication of animals. Answer A would be right if the author had said "Domestication of animals requires the use of language, and a certain group of people had language, therefore that group must have domesticated some animals." Obviously that is not what happened here. Instead, it's more causal - domestication of animals needs something like language, so the desire to domesticate animals caused people to invent language.

Answer C is not circular, but describes a bad causal argument based solely on a correlation. Two things happened at the same time, therefore one of them caused the other. Since the author never said that language and animal domestication came about around the same time as each other, this does not accurately describe the flaw in the reasoning.

A true circular answer would say something like "presupposed what it sets out to prove" or "assumes the truth of the conclusion rather than providing support for it" or "merely restates a premise as its conclusion."
 Shaela L. Hayes
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I chose answer E, and I understand why the other answers are wrong, but I still don't feel E qualifies as the exact flaw stated. The conclusion states "It is likely, therefore, that language developed primarily to facilitate animal domestication." From this degree of certainty how can we infer that the author mistakenly "assumes that if something serves a purpose it must have developed in order to serve that purpose."? I believe the answer should have said something along the lines of "assumes that if something serves a purpose it more probable than not that it developed in order to serve that purpose." Had this question appeared later than the first ten I feel I would have been more skeptical of the degree and threw this answer out.

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 Poonam Agrawal
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Hi Shaela,

Great question! Remember that we are always searching for the best answer to these questions. Sometimes, the answers are not perfect, but they are still better than the rest of the options. This question is a good example of this situation - the degree of certainty in answer choice (E) is a little stronger than the stimulus, but the overall message is pretty close to the larger flaw at play in this question.

Hope that helps!

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