December 2009 LSAT
Section 4
Question 8

# The more modern archaeologists learn about Mayan civilization, the better they understand its intellectual achievemen...

Replies

jamesio on May 10, 2018

the answer in the book is B. is this correct??Anita on May 10, 2018

@erojas and @jamesio, we have the answer as B in our system. Is there a mistake somewhere?Ro13 on September 25, 2018

can you please explain this question? Why is B the answer? I had ECeci on November 6, 2018

Yeah, why is it B? I had E tooJacob-R on November 7, 2018

Answer B is correct. The question stem lets us know that we are looking for why the argumentâ€™s reasoning is most vulnerable to criticism.What is the argument actually saying? We know that it is making a claim about Mayan civilizationâ€™s grasp on math â€” â€œnot onlyâ€ about Mayan astronomers, but about the Mayan people â€œin general.â€

But the evidence we get for the claim about Mayan people â€œin generalâ€ is about the writings of the Mayan religious scribes, which exhibited a high degree of mathematical competence. That doesnâ€™t seem like a correlation/causation error (answer E), as the argument isnâ€™t using the fact of Mayan religious scribesâ€™ abilities to say anything about what is causing the Mayan people â€œin generalâ€ to have good math skills.

Instead the reasoning is flawed because the Mayan religious scribes are probably a sample that is unrepresentative of the general population â€” these are religious scribes! Not ordinary people!

That is why B is the right answer. I hope that helps!