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Most of the world's supply of uranium

by gmat blows Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:37 pm

Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from the mines. It is possible to extract uranium from seawater, but the cost of doing so is greater than the price that Uranium fetches on the world market. Therefore, until the cost of extracting uranium from seawater can somehow be reduced, this method of obtaining uranium is unlikely to be commercially viable.

Which of the following would it be most useful to determine in evaluating the argument?

a. Whether the uranium in deposits on land is rapidly being depleted
b. Whether most uranium is used near where it is mined
c. Whether there are any technological advances that show promise of reducing the costs of extracting uranium from seawater
d. Whether the total amount of Uranium in seawater is significantly greater than the total amount of uranium on land
e. Whether uranium can be extracted from freshwater at a cost similar to the cost of extracting it from seawater.

OA: A

-----
I was able to narrow down to A, C, and D
Ive convinced myself that 'technological advaces' to reduce cost was slighltly a shift of scope.
now, between A and D. I feel that they are almost synonymous in meaning. It would be important to know whether the uranium is being depleted (if not, then extracting from seawater is not needed). However, doesnt D) somewhat imply the same thing? If there isnt alot of uranium in the seawater to begin with, then the even the reduction in cost would not be worth it?

Am i thinking too much about this?
thanks.
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium

by RonPurewal Sun Jun 22, 2008 3:31 am

gmat blows wrote:doesnt D) somewhat imply the same thing? If there isnt alot of uranium in the seawater to begin with, then the even the reduction in cost would not be worth it?

Am i thinking too much about this?
thanks.


i'm not sure whether you're 'thinking too much', but you aren't reading the question literally enough.
the question addresses only the issue of whether the amount of uranium in seawater is 'significantly greater' than that on land. therefore, the issue must be construed literally: i.e., as significantly greater vs. not significantly greater. this dichotomy doesn't allow for the consideration of more particular cases, such as 'not a lot of uranium'; that would be a different question.

you MUST read everything very, very literally!
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium

by TryGMAT Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:47 am

RPurewal wrote:
gmat blows wrote:doesnt D) somewhat imply the same thing? If there isnt alot of uranium in the seawater to begin with, then the even the reduction in cost would not be worth it?

Am i thinking too much about this?
thanks.


i'm not sure whether you're 'thinking too much', but you aren't reading the question literally enough.
the question addresses only the issue of whether the amount of uranium in seawater is 'significantly greater' than that on land. therefore, the issue must be construed literally: i.e., as significantly greater vs. not significantly greater. this dichotomy doesn't allow for the consideration of more particular cases, such as 'not a lot of uranium'; that would be a different question.

you MUST read everything very, very literally!


Ron,

I wasn't able to understand your reasoning regarding the amount of uranium in seawater. I chose answer "C"
for this question, and wasn't able to convince myself that the answer is "A". The reason being it did not seem
to affect the conclusion directly. Can you help?

Thanks in advance.
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by JonathanSchneider Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:07 am

Ron's explanation was only in reference to the earlier poster, who wanted an explanation about D.

As to the choice btween C and A, you're right that they are both relevant, but which is "most" relevant? Well, this comes to the word "rapidly" in A. If the supply of uranium from land is being rapidly depleted, this will greatly change the supply available, and thus the price on the market. Very important. C, meanwhile, only tells us that there will be a reduction in the cost of extracting uranium from the sea. We do not know whether that reduction would even be enough to make up for the current cost disparity, much less make such a venture profitable.
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by Guest Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:04 pm

Hi Jonathan,

Even i chose C.

My reasoning was that less supply could affect the market and hence the price. Logic states that decrease in supply would lead to an increase in price but thats an outcome of this statement and is not stated directly.

C is directly evaluating an option of decreasing the cost in uranium which could lead to it being commercially viable.

Can you please explain why we should still go with A since the question is asking when uranium would become commercially viable and C attempts to answer it by giving a solution to the problem?
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by RonPurewal Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:22 am

Anonymous wrote:Hi Jonathan,

Even i chose C.

My reasoning was that less supply could affect the market and hence the price. Logic states that decrease in supply would lead to an increase in price but thats an outcome of this statement and is not stated directly.

C is directly evaluating an option of decreasing the cost in uranium which could lead to it being commercially viable.

Can you please explain why we should still go with A since the question is asking when uranium would become commercially viable and C attempts to answer it by giving a solution to the problem?


whoa, no, guys. that's not the issue here.

the problem is this:

the argument says
until the cost of extracting uranium from seawater can somehow be reduced, this method of obtaining uranium is unlikely to be commercially viable.

in other words, the argument is saying that the ONLY WAY that seawater extraction will be commercially viable is if the cost of that extraction comes down.

to weaken the argument, then, you need to find ANOTHER way in which seawater extraction will be commercially viable, WITHOUT a cost reduction.
this is what choice (a) does. if the uranium on land is being depleted, then extracting uranium from seawater will become "commercially viable", out of pure necessity. the cost will go up, but that's the breaks.

choice (c) doesn't actually affect the argument at all, because the argument already acknowledges that uranium will become commercially viable IF the price comes down.

--

analogy:
if i tell you this:
unless you eat my fish 'n' chips, you'll never know the true meaning of gastronomic ecstasy

then:
* if you say "eating your fish 'n' chips will give me gastronomic ecstasy", then that doesn't affect my statement at all, because you're just echoing what i've already told you.

however:
* if you say "au contraire, i can also get gastronomic ecstasy from a nice fat slice of meat lover's pizza", then that weakens my argument, because i'm telling you there's only one source of gastronomic ecstasy but you're countering with another.

substitute
fish 'n' chips --> cost increase
pizza --> depletion of land resources
gastonomic ecstasy --> commercially viable
...and there you have it.
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Re:

by david.khoy Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:19 am

RonPurewal wrote:
Anonymous wrote:Hi Jonathan,

Even i chose C.

My reasoning was that less supply could affect the market and hence the price. Logic states that decrease in supply would lead to an increase in price but thats an outcome of this statement and is not stated directly.

C is directly evaluating an option of decreasing the cost in uranium which could lead to it being commercially viable.

Can you please explain why we should still go with A since the question is asking when uranium would become commercially viable and C attempts to answer it by giving a solution to the problem?


whoa, no, guys. that's not the issue here.

the problem is this:

the argument says
until the cost of extracting uranium from seawater can somehow be reduced, this method of obtaining uranium is unlikely to be commercially viable.

in other words, the argument is saying that the ONLY WAY that seawater extraction will be commercially viable is if the cost of that extraction comes down.

to weaken the argument, then, you need to find ANOTHER way in which seawater extraction will be commercially viable, WITHOUT a cost reduction.
this is what choice (a) does. if the uranium on land is being depleted, then extracting uranium from seawater will become "commercially viable", out of pure necessity. the cost will go up, but that's the breaks.

choice (c) doesn't actually affect the argument at all, because the argument already acknowledges that uranium will become commercially viable IF the price comes down.

--

analogy:
if i tell you this:
unless you eat my fish 'n' chips, you'll never know the true meaning of gastronomic ecstasy

then:
* if you say "eating your fish 'n' chips will give me gastronomic ecstasy", then that doesn't affect my statement at all, because you're just echoing what i've already told you.

however:
* if you say "au contraire, i can also get gastronomic ecstasy from a nice fat slice of meat lover's pizza", then that weakens my argument, because i'm telling you there's only one source of gastronomic ecstasy but you're countering with another.

substitute
fish 'n' chips --> cost increase
pizza --> depletion of land resources
gastonomic ecstasy --> commercially viable
...and there you have it.


I agree but the question stem asks to evaluate the argument, not to weaken it. That is what the question slightly harder because answer A becomes the obvious choice if you just try weaken the argument.
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium

by StaceyKoprince Tue May 04, 2010 9:09 pm

Right - it does ask us what would be useful to know in order to evaluate the argument.

Evaluating the argument means that you actually have information to know more about whether the argument is valid. If the argument is more valid, then you're strengthening the argument; if the argument is less valid, then you're weakening the argument.

If we were actually to do the research to gain the information represented in the correct answer, then we would be able to determine whether the argument is more or less valid.

Note that, of course, they don't actually tell us which way it goes - each choice just says "whether blah blah blah" meaning the actual information could go either way if the research were done. But if that research were done, and we had the results, then the effect would be to either strengthen or weaken (we don't know which!) the argument!
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium

by david.khoy Thu May 13, 2010 4:03 pm

Thanks for the insight! I have never looked at "Evaluate the argument" questions that way. So, "Evaluate the argument" questions are actually "weaken or strengthen the argument" questions!
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium

by RonPurewal Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:04 am

david.khoy wrote:Thanks for the insight! I have never looked at "Evaluate the argument" questions that way. So, "Evaluate the argument" questions are actually "weaken or strengthen the argument" questions!


this is accurate, yes.
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium

by gurvindersingh2004 Thu Dec 23, 2010 6:20 am

RonPurewal wrote:
david.khoy wrote:Thanks for the insight! I have never looked at "Evaluate the argument" questions that way. So, "Evaluate the argument" questions are actually "weaken or strengthen the argument" questions!


this is accurate, yes.

Hi Ron as you said the correct answer to an Evaluate the argument question could be a strengthener or a weakener ? Then doesnt an affirmative answer to Option C strengthen the Conclusion that is drawn by the argument in the respective CR above
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium

by RonPurewal Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:35 pm

Hi Ron as you said the correct answer to an Evaluate the argument question could be a strengthener or a weakener ? Then doesnt an affirmative answer to Option C strengthen the Conclusion that is drawn by the argument in the respective CR above


nope. that answer choice doesn't help, because it addresses the one possibility that has already been considered by the passage!

note the important qualifier (my boldface) in the original argument:
until the cost of extracting uranium from seawater can somehow be reduced, this method of obtaining uranium is unlikely to be commercially viable.

in other words, the argument already acknowledges the fact that reducing the cost of extracting uranium from seawater (if possible) would make the method commercially viable. so choice (c) basically just repeats that consideration, and therefore neither helps nor hurts the argument.
on the other hand, if that choice contained any other method of cost reduction, then it would be correct for the reason you've mentioned.
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium

by s.ashwin.rao Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:57 pm

Ron,
So should we first try to strengthen or should we weaken an evaluate question? Also as I understand the right answer in an evaluate question should both strengthen if yes and weaken if no or vice-versa. For example here if uranium in deposits on land is rapidly being depleted then extracting uranium from sea-water could become feasible weakening the argument and if not then extracting uranium from sea-water remains a dream strengthening the argument.

Thanks
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium

by RonPurewal Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:10 am

s.ashwin.rao wrote:Ron,
So should we first try to strengthen or should we weaken an evaluate question? Also as I understand the right answer in an evaluate question should both strengthen if yes and weaken if no or vice-versa.


TECHNICALLY, not necessarily; if a "yes" answer would strengthen an argument, it doesn't have to be true that the corresponding "no" answer would weaken the same argument (or vice versa).
for instance:
Tomas is a U.S. citizen; therefore, Tomas has read the Declaration of Independence.
--> if i say Tomas doesn't read English, this definitely weakens the argument (since the Declaration of Independence is written in English).
--> if i say Tomas does read English, this doesn't really strengthen the argument; it's not specific enough to be a strengthener.

EMPIRICALLY, though, you're right -- every single correct answer i've seen to one of these questions has been written in such a way that yes = strengthen and no = weaken, or in such a way that no = strengthen and yes = weaken.
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium

by s.ashwin.rao Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:40 am

Thanks a ton Ron.

I must appreciate your patience in writing long and descriptive answers. Hats off to you.

Thanks Again.