Let me jump in and second Adam's answer, and then use your question to make a separate point about the LSAT.
One of the reasons I love this question is because the question stem references the idea of "consistency." The word consistent
is one that means something a bit different on the LSAT than it tends to be used in real life.
In real life, most people use consistent
to mean agreement. Thus, these two statements would be inconsistent to most people:
- Statement 1: All flowers are yellow.
Statement 2: My house is purple
In real life, typically people want to see an agreement between two statements to call them consistent. If they don't directly agree, then most people say they are inconsistent.
The LSAT works differently, and uses the logical definition of consistency. The logical definition of consistent
is that it means "could be true," and that inconsistent
means "cannot be true." Thus, the two statement above would be considered consistent on the LSAT.
Most of the time this difference isn't an issue because consistency rarely appears on the test, but it becomes one when a question uses that concept, as is the case here.
So, what are the operational effects of the LSAT meaning of consistent
? Well, the first thing to consider is that millions of statements are consistent. Just about any two statements will be consistent, as long as they don't contradict each other. Inconsistent statements must
contradict each other. Thus, when this particular question stem asks for what is consistent with one statement but inconsistent with another, you shouldn't worry about finding the consistent part because most of what you see will be consistent. Instead, search directly for the answer that is inconsistent, because it will have a very specific characteristic of contradicting the politician's statement.
In this case, the politician said:
The answer we need has to contradict that, which would be:
That's precisely what (B) says (and, as noted already, that answer is consistent with what the biologist said).
Great LSAT question--one of my all-time favorites. Thanks!