Complete Question Explanation
Flaw-CE. The correct answer choice is (E)
Because the fossils discovered in Antarctica were typically found only in ocean-floor sediments, the author concludes that the ice must have melted and submerged Antarctica under the sea:
- Cause Effect
Melting of ice Fossils found in Antarctica
It is entirely plausible, of course, that there is another explanation for discovering the fossils there. The fact that they were previously found only in ocean floor sediments does not preclude the possibility that the same type of fossil can be found elsewhere as well. In other words, the author treats the bizarre discovery of fossils in Antarctica as having only one possible explanation. Answer choice (E) presents the best illustration of this flaw and is therefore correct.
Answer choice (A): The author tries to discredit the widely believed position that Antarctica was covered by ice for 14 million years, not establish it as true. This answer choice is incorrect.
Answer choice (B): The author never suggested that either of two possible explanations could independently account for the discovery of fossils in Antarctica. Her mistake is precisely that she never acknowledged the possibility of having an alternate explanation. This answer choice is incorrect.
Answer choice (C): The author never established the occurrence of any event. This is precisely what the flaw in the argument is: the evidence presented is insufficient to establish that Antarctica was submerged under water 3 million years ago. This answer choice is incorrect.
Answer choice (D): While this may seem like an attractive answer at first, the issue with the fossil evidence is not that it is too “narrow.” The problem is that there are multiple ways of explaining their presence in Antarctica. This answer choice is incorrect.
Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice.
See discussion above.