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Is the reason the answer is (D) because the argument assumes that the temperature on the thermometer is the same for both plants, but (D) undermines that assumption, by telling us that it likely isn't the same for both plants? So that's what's being undermined - that in reality, you can't assume that the temperature is the same for both of them?

But, wouldn't the temp have to be 1 degree for the for the curling one and less than zero for the blossom one for (D) to work? So I guess it undermines the argument, because the thermometer may be measuring the one that should be less than zero, which should be less than zero, so it would be inaccurate. We don't know if it's measuring the one that should be 1, so it's possible that it's more than 1 degree off. Is that an accurate understanding of this question?

 Steve Stein
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In that one, the author is saying that the two plants internal thermometers are so exact, that with the right indication you could count on the temperature's being between 0 and 2 degrees Celsius.

If, as answer choice D provides, the temperature will vary between the two plants, even when they are right next to one another, by more than 2 degrees, that throws off the whole conclusion.

That's a tough one--let me know whether this makes is clear--thanks!

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How does it throw off the conclusion?

Is my reasoning in my original post correct to explain why (D) is right?

When I did the question at first, I chose (D) because it made the most sense, based on the issues it brought up, but when I went over it, I wanted to explain to myself exactly what made it write mechanically. Is the mechanics I went through in my first post accurate?
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Hello Powerscore,

This may be a dumb question, but couldn't E equally weaken the argument because it lets us know that the temperatures may not be 100% accurate depending on the weather?

Thanks !
 Eric Ockert
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Even if certain types of thermometers have this swing in accuracy at different temperatures, the argument is claiming the plants can serve as a test to determine whether the thermometer one is looking at is accurate specifically at the temperature of 1 deg C. So regardless of whether the thermometer in the tests would be one of these certain types mentioned in answer choice (E), the test of its accuracy would still work here. So (E) doesn't really have any effect on the argument.
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Hello, I see how the first half of D works, but I didn't choose it when I read "even if the two plants are growing side by side..." I immediately crossed it out. how can two plants grow side by side and have different air temperature? Am I missing something?
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 Poonam Agrawal
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Hi gmsanch!

Answer choice (D) says that the two flowers grow at vastly different heights. Rhododendrons can grow 12 feet tall, while crocuses grow only a few inches high. Air temperature tends to decrease as you increase in elevation (the same reason why it is cold in airplanes and at the top of mountains).

So, even if the two flowers are growing side-by-side, they can be growing at different air temperatures because of their different elevations.

Hope that clears it up a bit! Let us know if you have any other questions.

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