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Lesson help relating to our Advanced Logical Reasoning Course.
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On the Categorical Reasoning section of Lesson 9, I just wanted to confirm whether Errors in the Use of Evidence applies to the question on prehistoric wooden tools found in South America. Jones assumes that because there is no evidence of tools dating to before 13,000 years, he concludes that the this belonged to the people who migrated to South America before 13,000 years ago.
And so the this is the assumption that is reconsidered by Smith, and the answer to this question is similar to the answer in Question 1 that the author questions the assumption of the other speaker. Would this be correct?
 Jon Denning
PowerScore Staff
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  • Joined: Apr 11, 2011
Good question, especially since an evidence error was central to another question you've asked elsewhere (Lesson 1 question 2).

And this too is related to the absence of evidence as evidence of absence notion, where Jones assumes if something had happened in a particular way (people crossing into the Americas earlier than 13,000 years ago) there should be evidence for it (tools found from before 13,000 years ago). Smith challenges that assumption by showing a way that the evidence may have plausibly vanished: tools not left in bogs wouldn't last 13,000+ years. So again the lack of evidence tells you nothing conclusive.

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