Scientist: Physicists claim that their system of careful peer review prevents scientific fraud in physics effectively...

R on August 27, 2018

Answer Explanation

I don't understand why the correct choice is correct, help please. Cheers.

1 Reply

Mehran on August 27, 2018

Hi @RJEh, thanks for your post. Let's take a careful look first at the stimulus.

There is an argument here. The conclusion is "It would be conducive to progress in physics if physicists were [to enhance their discipline's safeguards against scientific fraud]." Why? What are the premises given in support of this conclusion? (1) Physicists claim that their system of careful peer review prevents scientific fraud effectively (2) That's what biologists used to say 20 years ago, but they were wrong, and (3) since then, biologists have greatly enhanced their discipline's safeguards against scientific fraud, which has in turn prevented major incidents.

Notice that these premises revolve around preventing major incidents of fraud, yet the conclusion is much broader (about "progress in physics"). This is not a strong argument.

The question stem is a Strengthen with Sufficient Premise question. You are asked to identify the missing assumption that is sufficient to bridge the gap between the premises and the conclusion.

Answer choice (A) does this, by connecting major incidents of scientific fraud, on the one hand, and progress in a scientific discipline, on the other. (Note: "are deleterious to progress" means "damaging to").

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any additional questions.