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Messages - halftheloop

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Studying for the LSAT / flawed pattern of reasoning
« on: October 23, 2007, 06:06:45 PM »
i thought i knew what the flaw is, but my abstract reasonign doesn't seem to match up to the right AC...

NOt all tenured faculty are full professors. Therefore, although every facult member in the linguistics department has tenure, it must be the case that not all of the faculty members in teh linguistics department are full professors.

The flawed pattern of reasoning above is most similar to that exhibited by which one of the following?

TCR: Although some buildings designed by famous architects are not well proportioned, all government buildings are designed by famous architects.  Therefore, some government buildings are not well proportioned.

Help? What is teh flaw??

Studying for the LSAT / calling for lsat guru help, please!
« on: October 23, 2007, 05:57:49 PM »
Scientists analyzing air bubbles that had been trapped in Antarctic ice during the Earth's last ice age found that the ice-age atmosphere had contained unusually large amounts of ferrous material and surprisingly small amounts of carbon dioxide.  One scientist noted that algae absorb arbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The scientist hypothesized that the ferrous material, which was contained in atmospheric dust, had promoted a great increase in teh population of Antarctic algae such as diatoms.

Which one of the following, if true, would most seriously undermine the scientist's hypothesis?

C) The dust found in the air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice contained other minerals in addition to the ferrous material. (I chose this one because I thought this showed there could be an alternate source rather than just the ferrous material that could have been the reason to "promote a great increase in... diatoms"
D) (TCR) Sediment from the ocean floor near Antarctic reflects no increase during the last ice in the rate at which the shells that diatoms leave when they die accumulated.

Now is TCR "more correcT" because it kills the hypothesis more directly?  When approaching these "undermine" questions, is it more important to look at what immediately kills the conclusion rather than see what undermines the premises that get you to the conclusion?  is the case the same for strengthen questions (look at what you can do immediately to the conclusion rather tahn to the premises)?

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Official December Test takers??
« on: October 21, 2007, 07:21:42 AM »
hoping for a miraculous 8 point jump sometime before then...

Studying for the LSAT / comets
« on: October 20, 2007, 02:52:43 PM »
When astronomers observed the comet Schwassman-Wachmann 3 becoming 1,000 times brighter in Sept 1995, they correctly hypothesized that its increased brightness was a result of the comet's breaking up - when comets break up, they emit large amounts of gas and dust, becoming visibly brighter as a result.  However, their observations did not reveal comet Schwassman-Wachmann 3 actually breaking into pieces until November 1995, even though telescopes were trained on it throughout the entire period.

Which of the following most helps to resolve the  apparent conflict in the statements abovve?

I chose: Comets often do not emit gas and dust until several weeks after they have begun to break up ( I interpreted this as: so there's the possibility that they broke up, then they started to emit gas/dust weeks later but by the time that gas and dust became bright enough for astronomers to start watching, their observations were too late to cover the actual breaking-up-into-pieces)

Right answer:  Gas and dust can be released by cracks in a comet even if the comet is not broken all the way through. 

ummm someone pelase tell me why my answer is wrong and why the right answer is so?

Cotrell is, at best, able to write magazine articles of average quality. The most compelling pieces of evidence for this are those few of the numerous articles submitted by Cotrell that are superior, since Cotrell, who is incapable of writing an article that is better than average, must obviously have plagiarized superior ones.

The argument is most vulnerable to criticism on which one of the following grounds?

A) (I picked) : It simply ignores the existence of potential counterevidence  (doesn't it??? the blatant evidence that Cotrell HAS written superior articles???? or is it the "potential" that makes the answer a no-no)

B) Right answer: presupposes what it seeks to establish.  <-- i HATE these answers

can someone please give me a good explanation of the right answer, how it works in this stimulus, and how i should look out for it in general?  i'm not good at seeing circular reasoning if it's anymore complicated than: the sky is blue because the sky is blue.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: simple type 5
« on: October 20, 2007, 02:35:43 PM »
In terms of age and altitude, everything starts at the same base: 0.  With a human quality like wisdom, Henrietta could have begun at a much lower level of wisdom than her daughter.  So even though Henrietta has gotten wiser, she may not still be as wise as her daughter.

i don't entirely follow your explanation.  i get how you compare the first elements of each age and altitude as both starting at zero.  but you say the reason why the answer about Henrietta is wrong is because wisdom is a relative human quality, and it doesn't start at zero.  but the parallel to that in the stimulus is being "thin," which is also a relative quantity and doesn't necessarily start at zero.  clarification?

Studying for the LSAT / simple type 5
« on: October 20, 2007, 01:02:19 PM »
The higher the altitude, the thinner the air. Since Mexico City's altitude is higher than that of Panama City, the air must be thinner in Mexico City than in Panama City.

Which one of the following arguments is most similar in its reasoning to the argument above?

Right Answer: The older a tree, the more rings it has. The tree in Lou's yard is older than the tree in Theresa's yard. Therefore, the tree in Lou's yard must have more rings than does the tree in Theresa's yard.

Simple enough - and I got it right.  But I got lucky in picking it over the other one I was considering:   

As one gets older one gets wiser.  Since Henrietta is older than her daughter, Henrietta must be wiser than her daughter.

Why exactly is that one wrong?

Studying for the LSAT / hmm, help?
« on: October 20, 2007, 09:30:50 AM »
Some statisticians claim that the surest way to increase the overall correctness of the total set of one's beliefs is: never change that set, except by rejecting a belief when given adequate evidence against it. however, if this were the only rule one followed, then whenever one were presented with any kind of evidence, one would have to either reject some of one's beliefs or else leave one's beleifs unchanged. But then, over time, one could only have fewer and fewer beliefs. Since we need many beliefs in order to survive, the statisticans' claim muts be mistake.

The argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that it:

I thought it was: neglects the possiblity that even while following the statisticans' rule, one migth also accept new beliefs when presented with some kinds of evidence.

Apparently the right answer is: presumes without providing any justification that the surest way of increasing the overall correctness of the total set of one's beliefs must not hinder one's ability to survive.

I just don't get it. Please explain.

Studying for the LSAT / is anyone else confused...
« on: October 19, 2007, 02:28:29 PM »
as to why some people who are clearly not busy studying for LSATs or law school would actually choose to spend their free time trolling LSD???  i'm looking at all these failed "score!!!" threads authored by the same person/people and i feel like i'm reading the mind of a person with multiple personality disorder

Studying for the LSAT / Re: UN
« on: October 19, 2007, 10:11:03 AM »
okay, that's definitely a good tip to keep in mind about avoiding the unnecessary leaps to justify my own answer.  thanks guys!

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