- Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:26 pm
This question was an Evaluate the Argument question. New information is OK in Evaluate the Argument questions, because they can be viewed as combination Strengthen/Weaken questions. Because there are two opposing points of view here, represented by the two speakers, Strengthening Mark means Weakening Tina, and Strengthening Tina means Weakening Mark.
To evaluate answer choices in such a question, employ the Variance Test. Because of the way the answer choices are phrased, as questions, you can experiment to see which one answers the question by giving polar opposite answers, then checking to make sure that one polar opposite answer helps Mark and hurts Tina, while the other polar opposite answer hurts Mark and helps Tina.
Employ this strategy on answer choice D, which says "how much of the chains of causation involved in the production, marketing, and disposal of the products should be considered in analyzing their environmental impact." This can easily be converted into a question, "How much?" and the polar opposite answers are "None" and "All". If "None", then the chains of causation involved in the production, marketing, and disposal of the products should not be considered in analyzing their environmental impact; then Mark is right and Tina is wrong. If "All", then Tina is right and Mark is wrong. Because the Variance Test demonstrates that widely varying responses to the question inherent in answer choice D will produce widely varying evaluations of the arguments presented by each person, D contains the question you want to ask to know who is right and who is wrong here.
Employ the Variance Test on choice C now. To "whether it is necessary to seek a third alternative that has none of the negative consequences cited with respect to the two products", answer "Yes" and "No". If it IS necessary to seek a third alternative, does Mark or Tina have the better argument? If we need a third alternative, then Mark's suggestion of paper cups and Tina's suggestion of foam cups are both wrong, so I can't decide between their two views. If is it NOT necessary, then I can choose either paper of foam, but I'm not sure which - the answer has not allowed me to decide between Mark and Tina, like the question stem tells me I have to. So C is not relevant to helping me decide between them.
I hope this helped.