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Messages - PNym

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31
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Necessary Principle LR Problem
« on: November 16, 2007, 01:32:06 AM »
Your answer certainly is not a sufficient assumption b/c it doesn't prove the conclusion 100% valid.  Change the 'never' to something less strong and it could be a necessary assumption. 

Remeber, there are numerous (possibly an infinite amount if you consider defenders) necessary assumptions for every argument.  Do not rule out one in an answer choice just b/c it is not the one that you prephrased.

Why wouldn't the answer I chose be a sufficient assumption? If that answer was a pertinent principle, then it would justify the stimulus's evaluation, wouldn't it?

(I do realize why the answer choice I chose was incorrect for this particular question stem - it is far too strong to be necessary. To tell you the truth, though, by the time I had reached the answer choices, I had forgotten this was a necessary assumption problem, which is why I chose that answer choice, thinking it was a sufficient assumption problem. I do want to know, though, if I erred in categorizing that answer choice as a sufficient assumption.)

32
Studying for the LSAT / Re: My Only Piece of Advice to LSAT Test-Takers
« on: November 16, 2007, 12:38:33 AM »

Extreme fear is a killer that can paralyze your mind for sure.

More youtube fun: 

Rock it!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZOp9MKVvEU

That's one of the coolest things I've seen in a LONG time.

Wow, that IS pretty clever. I'm impressed!

33
Studying for the LSAT / Re: My Only Piece of Advice to LSAT Test-Takers
« on: November 16, 2007, 12:19:06 AM »
I plan to utilize part of the next few weeks desensitizing myself to panic attacks, a la the advice provided in Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_attack

I'm betting that this strategy will reduce my emotional response to the exam, thereby improving how much concentration I can bring to bear on the information it contains. Any takers? :)

34
Studying for the LSAT / Diagramming this fact set?
« on: November 16, 2007, 12:17:05 AM »
Stimulus:
In the Centerville Botanical Gardens, all tulip trees are older than any maples. A majority, but not all, of the garden's sycamores are older than any of its maples. All the garden's maples are older than any of its dogwoods.

I correctly answered this problem, but wasn't sure whether or not the diagrams I sketched accurately represented the information provided, or even whether or not I should have diagrammed in the first place. Can someone clarify these two points of uncertainty?

35
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Weaken question
« on: November 15, 2007, 11:48:15 PM »
Stim:
Two paleontologists, Dr. Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpretation of certain footprints that were left among other footprints in hardened volcanic ash at site G. Dr. Tyson claims they are clearly early hominid footprints since they show human characteristics: a squarish heel and a big toe immediately adjacent to the next toe. However, since the footprints indicate that if hominids made those prints they would have had to walk in an unexpected ross stepping manner, by placing the left foot to the right of the right foot, Dr. Rees rejects Dr. Tyson's conclusion.

QStem:
Which one of the following, if true, most seriously undermines Dr. Tyson's conclusion?

TCR:
Certain species of bears had feet very like human feet, except that the outside toe on each foot was the biggest toe and the innermost toe was the smallest toe.

My Answer:
When the moist volcanic ash became sealed under additional layers of ash before hardening, some details of some of the footprints were erased.

What's wrong with my answer? I understand that TCR opens up the possibility that the bears, rather than humans, left the prints, but doesn't my answer open up the possibility that the prints were damaged, and were originally created by something else?

No, it doesn't.  Some details were ERASED, not altered.  Accordingly, what is left in the imprints in the hardened ash is the original footprints sans some details.  You are stretching that answer to bridge the gap from some details erased to your thought that that can show they were created by something else. 

How did you rationalize that leap / unwarranted assumption?


I conjured up an image of a talon mark that had been left by the footprint's original owner as part of the footprint. Then I imagined that talon mark had been erased by the sealing of the footprints by the additional layers of ash.

What's to prevent this hypothetical scenario from weakening the argument? TCR may be stronger, because it suggests a specific alternative cause of the footprint, but wouldn't this hypothetical weaken the argument as well? Is my hypothetical too much of a stretch, given the information presented?

I didn't quite mentally process the part of TCR that dealt with difference in big toe position when I originally read TCR, and so I chose the other answer choice that seemed plausible.

That hypothetical scenario is prevented from weakening the argument because it is not part of the answer choice, it is your invention.  Plus, a talon mark would not simply be a detail, it would be a significant feature of the footprint.  The answer says some of the details were erased, not that some of the significant features were erased.

You are over thinking it, plus, not fully reading / processing an answer choice (here the CR) is certain to get you into some trouble with this test.  You must be very vigilant and pay close attention to EVERYTHING on the test.



A detail can't be a significant feature? Not asking this to be a male private part, but I always thought details could be significant; hence the saying "the devil's in the details."

Now that I understand the significance of the big toe arrangement, I do agree with you that TCR is better.

(I know I should have fully read the damn answer choice, but my concentration wanes if I haven't eaten in awhile, and I hadn't eaten in awhile - that was actually the last problem I did before eating dinner! :P)

36
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Can anyone explain the game from June 1998
« on: November 15, 2007, 11:03:23 PM »
Key to that game is drawing up scenarios, one where Maricella plays golf, and one where Maricella plays tennis. Since Maricella must play one of these sports, drawing out the two scenarios provides you with pretty much all you need to answer the questions for the game.

The scenario where Maricella plays tennis can have Paulo playing either tennis or golf.

37
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Weaken question
« on: November 15, 2007, 10:59:22 PM »
Stim:
Two paleontologists, Dr. Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpretation of certain footprints that were left among other footprints in hardened volcanic ash at site G. Dr. Tyson claims they are clearly early hominid footprints since they show human characteristics: a squarish heel and a big toe immediately adjacent to the next toe. However, since the footprints indicate that if hominids made those prints they would have had to walk in an unexpected ross stepping manner, by placing the left foot to the right of the right foot, Dr. Rees rejects Dr. Tyson's conclusion.

QStem:
Which one of the following, if true, most seriously undermines Dr. Tyson's conclusion?

TCR:
Certain species of bears had feet very like human feet, except that the outside toe on each foot was the biggest toe and the innermost toe was the smallest toe.

My Answer:
When the moist volcanic ash became sealed under additional layers of ash before hardening, some details of some of the footprints were erased.

What's wrong with my answer? I understand that TCR opens up the possibility that the bears, rather than humans, left the prints, but doesn't my answer open up the possibility that the prints were damaged, and were originally created by something else?

No, it doesn't.  Some details were ERASED, not altered.  Accordingly, what is left in the imprints in the hardened ash is the original footprints sans some details.  You are stretching that answer to bridge the gap from some details erased to your thought that that can show they were created by something else. 

How did you rationalize that leap / unwarranted assumption?


I conjured up an image of a talon mark that had been left by the footprint's original owner as part of the footprint. Then I imagined that talon mark had been erased by the sealing of the footprints by the additional layers of ash.

What's to prevent this hypothetical scenario from weakening the argument? TCR may be stronger, because it suggests a specific alternative cause of the footprint, but wouldn't this hypothetical weaken the argument as well? Is my hypothetical too much of a stretch, given the information presented?

I didn't quite mentally process the part of TCR that dealt with difference in big toe position when I originally read TCR, and so I chose the other answer choice that seemed plausible.

38
Studying for the LSAT / Weaken question
« on: November 15, 2007, 10:08:20 PM »
Stim:
Two paleontologists, Dr. Tyson and Dr. Rees, disagree over the interpretation of certain footprints that were left among other footprints in hardened volcanic ash at site G. Dr. Tyson claims they are clearly early hominid footprints since they show human characteristics: a squarish heel and a big toe immediately adjacent to the next toe. However, since the footprints indicate that if hominids made those prints they would have had to walk in an unexpected ross stepping manner, by placing the left foot to the right of the right foot, Dr. Rees rejects Dr. Tyson's conclusion.

QStem:
Which one of the following, if true, most seriously undermines Dr. Tyson's conclusion?

TCR:
Certain species of bears had feet very like human feet, except that the outside toe on each foot was the biggest toe and the innermost toe was the smallest toe.

My Answer:
When the moist volcanic ash became sealed under additional layers of ash before hardening, some details of some of the footprints were erased.

What's wrong with my answer? I understand that TCR opens up the possibility that the bears, rather than humans, left the prints, but doesn't my answer open up the possibility that the prints were damaged, and were originally created by something else?

39
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Stanford 2L Taking Questions
« on: November 15, 2007, 08:44:37 PM »
What's the ideological atmosphere like? I've met dogmatic douchebags of all persuasions on the LSD boards, and I don't want to be discouraged from a good argument by someone else's bellicose, zealously-ideological behavior, since I've found that attacking and defending positions has significantly developed my critical thinking skills.

40
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Just Visited Vandy
« on: November 15, 2007, 08:39:07 PM »
Out of curiosity, is it true that the Vandy girls are gorgeous? A family friend who finished his PhD in electrical engineering at Vandy swore so.

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