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Strengthen—CE. The correct answer choice is (B)
The conclusion of this stimulus is presented in the first sentence: Scientists hypothesize that P-fat is
necessary for eyesight development. This conclusion is based on the fact that babies that are fed milk
formulas that contain less P-fat have worse eyesight than those that are fed mother’s milk with high P-fat
The scientists’ hypothesis is questionable, since other differences between formula and mother’s milk
might conceivably account for differences in eyesight development. Furthermore, the information could
be consistent with P-fat as a beneficial but unnecessary factor.
The inclusion of information about premature versus full-term babies can be confusing, because it does
not play an immediate role in the argument. In fact, this detail might make one wonder whether there is
simply a correlation between babies that are born prematurely and those likely to be fed formula, which
could mean that premature birth, rather than P-fat, is the cause.
Since we are asked to support the hypothesis, we should look for the choice which, if true, would make
it more likely that P-fat is indeed a necessity.
Answer choice (A): Since the stimulus concerns the development of eyesight, it is unclear how levels of
P-fat in adults is relevant.
Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. If premature birth directly deprives the baby of
P-fat, it seems more likely that P-fat is the cause, rather than some other factor associated with premature
birth. This answer choice improves the argument, even if it doesn’t completely justify the conclusion.
Answer choice (C): This incorrect choice might be initially attractive, as it appears to eliminate genetics
as an alternate explanation, strengthening the conclusion. The argument in the stimulus, however, is that
P-fat is required, and ruling out other potential causes of poor eyesight would not affect the claim that
P-fat is necessary to eyesight development.
Answer choice (D): This answer choice is relevant only if we add the presumption that babies always
prefer substances that are more supportive of their eyesight development.
Answer choice (E): This answer choice does nothing to strengthen the scientists’ hypothesis that P-fat
is required for eyesight development. It may help to strengthen the link between premature birth to poor
eyesight, but that is not what we are looking for in response to this question.