User avatar
 
smiller
Thanks Received: 19
Elle Woods
Elle Woods
 
Posts: 93
Joined: February 01st, 2013
 
 
 

Re: Q20 - Recent medical and anthropological

by smiller Fri Dec 31, 1999 8:00 pm

Question Type:
Necessary Assumption

Stimulus Breakdown:
Premise:
People who originally adopted and enforced ancient prohibitions did not have access to the same data as modern researchers.

Conclusion:
Recent data cannot explain the origin of the prohibitions.

Answer Anticipation:
This is one of those odd LSAT arguments that might be difficult to understand intuitively. We wouldn't expect people in ancient times to have access to the same data as modern researchers, but it's still pretty normal for modern researchers to understand things that happened in ancient times.

In a case like this, it can be helpful to focus on the structure of the argument first, and not worry too much about the deeper meaning. Here's what the argument is assuming, in basic "if premise, then conclusion" terms: if people who adopted and enforced ancient prohibitions did not have access to the same data as modern researchers, then recent data can't explain the origin of those prohibitions.

Correct Answer:
(A)

Answer Choice Analysis:
(A) This is the correct answer. If we negate the answer, and state that we can explain the origin of a food prohibition without considering what was understood by the people who adopted and enforced it, the premise no longer supports the conclusion. We would no longer care what information the original adopters and enforcers did or did not have.

(B) "Contradictory" puts this out of scope. Whether certain prohibitions are contradictory or not has no impact on the argument.

(C) This is also out of scope. Any connection, or lack of connection, between social importance and nutritional value is irrelevant.

(D) This answer is also out of scope. We don't care if the original purpose is forgotten in a few generations. This doesn't explain why it's necessary for the original adopters and enforcers to have access to the same data as modern researchers.

(E) Once again, we have an answer that is out of scope. We don't care if the original adopters and enforcers had a nontechnical understanding. This doesn't explain the significance of them not having access to the same data as modern researchers.

Takeaway/Pattern: If an argument seems strange or obscure, don't get stuck trying to understand the deeper meaning. If you understand, on a basic level, the concepts that the argument is trying to connect, you can still spot answers that are clearly irrelevant.

#officialexplanation
 
hyewonkim89
Thanks Received: 4
Atticus Finch
Atticus Finch
 
Posts: 143
Joined: December 17th, 2012
 
 
trophy
Most Thankful
trophy
First Responder
 

Q20 - Recent medical and anthropological

by hyewonkim89 Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:23 am

Hi MLSAT,

I found this question quite difficult even after diagramming it.

P: Those who adopted and enforced food prohibitions didn't have access to the same data as modern researcher

C: Recent medical and anthropological data can't explain the origin of the prohibitions involved.

I can eliminate the wrong answers because they just seemed too irrelevant to me. But I'm still having a hard time coming up with a clear gap here.

Will someone please help?

Thanks in advance!
 
tian.application
Thanks Received: 4
Forum Guests
 
Posts: 11
Joined: May 13th, 2013
 
This post thanked 1 time.
 
 

Re: Q20 - Recent medical and anthropological

by tian.application Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:06 pm

my thoughts:

conclusion: data cannot explain the origin

support: those who originally adopted and enforced them did not have access to same data

____________________________________

gap: those who originally adopted and enforced them - call them ancestors - what the hell are you doing here? why in the world that if you don't know about the data, then the data cannot explain the origin? isn't it possible that we arrived at the same destination through two different routes? was our ancestor's route relevant in determining the validity of our route?

solve the problem:
1. correct answer must have ancestors - those originally adopted and enforced the prohibition. if not, why did the stimulus use fact about those people as support?
2. eliminate B/C/D none of them mentioned ancestors
3. we have A and E left. which one addressed the gap? (E) threw in a ton of irrelevant terms (medical/nontechnical) that are totally useless to bridge the gap. so check A.
4. negate A --> origin doesn't have to be explained with reference to the understand of ancestors --> conclusion destroyed.

so (A)
User avatar
 
rinagoldfield
Thanks Received: 270
Atticus Finch
Atticus Finch
 
Posts: 407
Joined: December 13th, 2011
 
This post thanked 2 times.
 
 

Re: Q20 - Recent medical and anthropological

by rinagoldfield Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:24 pm

Hi Hye! Hard question.

I agree with tian.application’s argument core above:

Premise: those who originally adopted and enforced the prohibitions did not have access to modern data

Conclusion: modern data cannot explain the origin of the prohibitions

The gap here is the assumption that we can’t explain the origin of something old with new information.

(A) gets at this gap. But it’s tricky. To begin with, let’s unpack what (A) is really saying:

"The origin of a food prohibition must be explained"

Good so far.

"with reference to"


huh? Ok, this really means

"in terms of"

"the understanding that the people who adopted and enforced the prohibition had."

this means

"the prohibitionists’ knowledge at the time."

So (A) really means "The origin of a food prohibition must be explained in terms of the prohibitionists’ knowledge at the time."

Now, why is this a necessary assumption? Let’s consider an analogy:

Person X suffers from an undiagnosed mental illness. Person X self-medicates by taking all kinds of drugs. Person X later receives a diagnosis and treatment. Person X looks back and thinks "wow, my drug use was an important coping mechanism back when I had no idea I was sick."

Person X now knows she was sick, but didn’t at the time of her drug use. Can she conclude that this new information (her diagnosis) can be used to explain the "origin" of her drug use? Sure! She doesn’t need to explain her drug use according to how she understood herself at the time.

Similarly, why shouldn’t the new data about food prohibitions help us understand the origin of those prohibitions? There’s no given reason. (A) is a necessary assumption.

(B), (C), (D), and (E), are all out of scope or irrelevant. ("contradictory food prohibitions," "nutritional value" "forgotten a few generations after" "nontechnical.")

Hope that helps.
 
ganbayou
Thanks Received: 0
Atticus Finch
Atticus Finch
 
Posts: 239
Joined: June 13th, 2015
 
 
 

Re: Q20 - Recent medical and anthropological

by ganbayou Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:23 pm

Hello

I think Im confused because I was not sure whether the "data" talked in the stimulus all refer to the same thing...
"data" appears 3 times in total.
So the data the researchers used explains the significance of the prohibition, but does not explain the origin of the prohibition right?
And the second data (used in conclusion), is this the same as the data in the 1st sentence (show the significance)? (I thought all are the same but just in case...)
User avatar
 
maryadkins
Thanks Received: 581
Atticus Finch
Atticus Finch
 
Posts: 1292
Joined: March 23rd, 2011
 
 
 

Re: Q20 - Recent medical and anthropological

by maryadkins Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:51 am

Yep, it's the same data! (Note in the conclusion: "these" data and "the same data.")
 
ratphilip
Thanks Received: 0
Vinny Gambini
Vinny Gambini
 
Posts: 2
Joined: March 07th, 2017
 
 
 

Re: Q20 - Recent medical and anthropological

by ratphilip Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:30 pm

Is it fair to say the premise is stated strangely? I think I would have had an easier time if the premise said:

"Since modern researchers do not have access to the same data as those who originally adopted and enforced them"
Is this rewording identical to the premise the way it is currently stated? If so (A) makes complete sense. If not I am still a little confused because it currently seems to imply Modern Researchers have more data than Those who originally enforced? Or is question A saying the data between the two groups must be exactly identical?

Thank you
User avatar
 
ohthatpatrick
Thanks Received: 2811
Atticus Finch
Atticus Finch
 
Posts: 4117
Joined: April 01st, 2011
 
 
 

Re: Q20 - Recent medical and anthropological

by ohthatpatrick Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:18 pm

That would NOT be an equivalent wording.

It IS trying to say that modern researchers have more data.

Imagine Jewish people, more than 5,000 years ago prohibiting eating pork.

Modern researchers may have data that shows how congestive heart failure is 3 times more likely with a pork-heavy diet.

But the Jewish people of 5,000 years ago who INVENTED this pork prohibition didn't have access to that "Recent medical and anthropological data".

So the author is saying, "The fact that we NOW know that refraining from eating pork is good for your long term heart health shouldn't tempt us to think that THAT'S why Jewish people 5,000 years ago forbade people to eat pork, because those old Jewish people wouldn't have had any scientific data showing that pork is bad for your long term heart health."
 
AlexY297
Thanks Received: 0
Vinny Gambini
Vinny Gambini
 
Posts: 16
Joined: September 26th, 2018
 
 
 

Re: Q20 - Recent medical and anthropological

by AlexY297 Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:42 am

This question was worded very oddly. Do you have any advice when encountering such oddly worded questions?

In regards to the answer choices, I felt A stood out very clearly since the other answers seem out of scope like B with "contradictory food prohibitions," C with "nutritional value of the food prohibited," D with "forgotten a few generations after the prohibition," and E "nontechnical understanding of the medical functions."
User avatar
 
ohthatpatrick
Thanks Received: 2811
Atticus Finch
Atticus Finch
 
Posts: 4117
Joined: April 01st, 2011
 
 
 

Re: Q20 - Recent medical and anthropological

by ohthatpatrick Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:28 pm

I'm not sure which part of "this question" you're saying was worded weirdly. The question stem is a boilerplate Necessary Assumption stem. And each of the three claims in the argument seems relatively clear.

If you're saying it was hard to like answer choice (A), we feel ya.

The best advice there is the advice you apparently followed. Work wrong to right and get rid of stuff that seems extraneous/new/extreme.

If you're trying to confirm why (A) is the correct answer, use the negation test and see whether negating (A) weakens the argument.

Since our conclusion is "this can't explain the origin of these food prohibitions" and our premise is "those who originally adopted and enforced them didn't have access to modern data", we can see that (A) seems to be connecting those dots.

If we negate (A), it severs the relevance between the conclusion and the premise.


For what it's worth, I don't like (A) because the premise was about what data ancient people had access to, not about what understanding they possessed (those are related but not equivalent ideas). So I was similarly struggling through this question but felt like (A) was the best available answer.