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#24025
Complete Question Explanation

Weaken. The correct answer choice is (A)

The conclusion for this Stimulus is contained in the first sentence: “There is no reason why the work of scientists has to be officially confirmed before being published.” The remainder of the Stimulus supports this conclusion; it answers the “because” questions. At its core, the author is attempting to say that confirmation is not necessary before publication of findings because good scientific work will be replicated and poor scientific work will be exposed.

The Question Stem contains a typical weaken question. What’s wrong with what the author is proposing? One initial statement he makes is that poor scientific work “is not harmful.” This statement is a little too broad and a weakness in his position. Another weakness in his argument is that there will be relatively immediate confirmation or refutation of the published scientific results. In identifying weaknesses ahead of reading the Answer Choices, one is in a better position to attack the test.

Answer Choice (A): This is the correct answer choice. It addresses one of the pre-identified weaknesses in the author’s argument: that some significant period of time can lapse before a scientific finding is confirmed by replication.

Answer Choice (B): This answer actually strengthens the author’s conclusion that confirmation is not necessary because of peer review. This peer review serves as confirmation of the results. Answer Choice (B) should be eliminated.

Answer Choice (C): This answer does not weaken the conclusion and may in fact strengthen it. By making their work available for replication, scientists are having their work confirmed, possibly prior to publication. Answer Choice (C) should be eliminated.

Answer Choice (D): This a “so what?” answer choice. It does not matter for this question that careless reporting is more common than fraud in scientific experiments. Answer Choice (D) should be eliminated.

Answer Choice (E): This answer could actually strengthen the conclusion rather than weaken it. In working as team, scientists have an informal “peer review” as in Answer Choice (B), which could in fact be a confirmation of the scientific results. Answer Choice (E) should also be eliminated.

Because there is only one Answer Choice that weakens the argument while the other four do not (three of them may in fact strengthen the author’s conclusion), Answer Choice (A) is the correct choice.
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 ashpine17
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#86889
My pre-phase was that the poor scientific work can potentially cause a lot of harm or misinformation before it is finally revealed to be flawed via scientific experimentation. I picked C because I thought this choice would make it so that scientists under pressure would make it so their work can pass scrutiny even if it is poor....where did I go wrong? I also don't get why A is correct even after reading the other explanation.
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 ashpine17
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#86891
I thought A was incorrect because the stimulus states that poor scientific work isn't harmful so what's the harm in taking a long time to confirm that the scientific work is poor?
 Robert Carroll
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#86905
ashpine,

Answer choice (A) looks almost exactly like your prephrase. The author thinks publication of unconfirmed results is ok because those results will eventually get challenged or confirmed. As you pointed out in your prephrase, it would make the argument worse if those unconfirmed results could stick around for a while because the eventual challenge or confirmation - the quicker bad results get overturned (and the quicker good results get replicated) the better for the author's argument, so any delay is potentially bad for the author.

Answer choice (C) isn't saying that scientists will hide bad results in a way that will escape scrutiny. Instead, it's saying that they make their work accessible to such scrutiny - so they have pressure to make their results EASIER to scrutinize. This would be good for the argument.

The author says that poor work will be exposed, but it certainly wouldn't be good if exposure took a long time. Answer choice (A) exploits that issue.

Robert Carroll
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 ashpine17
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#86920
Hi, thanks for responding quickly

Is there a causal relationship in the stimulus? I reread the sentence and it says poor scientific work isn't harmful BECAUSE there will be scientific review so is this problematic because it assumes the whole disconfirming process will be relatively prompt so that any potential harm poor scientific work will inflict won't have time to happen?
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 Ryan Twomey
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#87019
Hey Asphine,

There is not a causal relationship in the stimulus. The author is sayign that poor science is not harmful. So the author is sayign that poor science does not cause harm.

We want our correct answer to show that poor science does cause harm. So we are looking for a cause in our correct answer choice, but I would not think of this as a causal argument in the stimulus.

I hope this helps. I wish you all of the best in your studies and good luck with everything.

Best,
Ryan
 nickp18
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#87337
Hi Powerscore team,

I got this question right but did not correctly ID the conclusion. I thought "poor scientific work on the part of any one scientist... is not harmful" was the conclusion.

I tried using the reasoning of "if - then" or "if - because" method like this: "there is no reason why the work of scientists has to be officially confirmed before being published - because - poor scientific work on the part of any one scientist... is not harmful."

Any help clarifying this would be appreciated!
 Robert Carroll
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#87365
Nick,

"Because" is a premise indicator, so the method you used just proved that "poor scientific work on the part of any one scientist... is not harmful" is a premise. Your translation made sense, and while making sense, had a premise indicator on that part. That's a confirmation that the quoted part is a premise, not the conclusion; the other part is the conclusion.

Robert Carroll

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