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 Administrator
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#23990
Complete Question Explanation

Parallel Reasoning—CE. The correct answer choice is (D)

The argument here is simple (although questionable): since the improvement of economic conditions didn’t come until free trade, the rise in prosperity can be attributed to free trade.

The question stem requires that we find the answer choice which most closely parallels this argument. The correct answer choice will base a causal conclusion on the fact that one occurrence was subsequent to another.

Only correct answer choice (D) provides an accurate parallel: the author of this choice presumes that, because improvements only took place after the new program, those improvements can be attributed to the new program.
 Isaiah4110
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#42640
Can you please explain why E is wrong? Is it because the answer choice says "their extinction could not have come before the collision"? If the answer choice were to say something more absolute like "extinction only happened after an asteriod collided with earth", then would that make E correct? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 Jennifer Janowsky
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#42748
Isaiah4110 wrote:Can you please explain why E is wrong? Is it because the answer choice says "their extinction could not have come before the collision"? If the answer choice were to say something more absolute like "extinction only happened after an asteriod collided with earth", then would that make E correct? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Yes!

Answer (E) says that collision caused extinction, and therefore extinction could not have come before collision. The reason this answer is wrong is because it doesn't follow the same pattern as the stimulus. Where in the stimulus they supported a cause/effect relationship based off of the sequence of two events, in answer choice (E) they weaken the likelihood of a sequence of two events based on a cause/effect relationship.

Therefore, as you correctly said, answer (E) may be right if it were worded something like "The extinction of the dinosaurs was brought about by an asteroid colliding with Earth, because their extinction only happened after an asteroid collided with earth."

Good question!
 tetsuya0129
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#83072
Hi Powerscore staff,

I am troubled by (D), which I picked for no better alternatives. It does not match the logic in the stimulus. Pardon me for using symbols "A" and "B" to simplify the texts and illustrate my opinion of the logic in detail:

Stimulus:
A appeared only when B is implemented.
Thus, A can be attributed to B.

(D):
A began to occur after B was in place.
Thus, B can be credited with A.

Because (D) does not contain "only", so I was disinclined to it at first. For me, the way (D) attributes the cause is simply: A occurs after B, so B can be the cause; whereas the logic in the stimulus is: A occurs only after B, so B can be the cause.

I knew this is not conditional reasoning; instead, it's causation reasoning, I suppose(?). But how do the two different ways be deemed paralleled?

Thank you very much,
Leon
 Adam Tyson
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#83413
Good question, Leon! In this case, "only when" in the stimulus does not indicate a conditional relationship, but a chronological one. "Only when" is used synonymously here with "only after."

If we treated that use of the phrase as a necessary condition indicator (which is tempting), it would alter the meaning of the statement. Translated, that would be like the author saying "if conditions improved, then the policy had been implemented." That is not what the author is trying to say here. In fact, there is nothing conditional about their position, because there is no uncertainty - no "if" - about conditions having improved. The author presents that as an historical fact - things DID improve. The evidence isn't about a conditional relationship, but a temporal one.

Another clue that the statement was not intended to be treated conditionally is that the conclusion is causal - "can be attributed to" is causal language. So the stimulus and answer D are both examples of "A came before B, so A must have caused B."

Tricky of them to use that phrase in that way! Sometimes a conditional indicator is not actually a conditional indicator, and that makes our lives as test takers more difficult, but if we pay attention to the context and decipher the author's intended meaning we can avoid those traps.
 tetsuya0129
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#83416
These points are gold! Thank you so much.

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