There is evidence to suggest that our cave–dwelling ancestors polished many of their flints to a degree far surpassin...

Russel on December 7 at 03:48AM

??

This is extremely confusing. If this is looking for a way to weaken the conclusion then how is the answer that they use the Flints for ceremonies? The only way that would weaken the argument is if they did not care how the flints were polished, and they were polished to different degrees. How does C not strengthen the conclusion?

3 Replies

Ravi on December 17 at 05:43AM

@Bly2828,

We're looking to weaken the argument. We're given information that there is evidence to suggest that our cave-dwelling ancestors polished many of their flints to a degree far surpassing what was necessary.

The author then concludes that early humans possessed an aesthetic sense.

In examining (C), it does not weaken the argument. (C), if anything, would strengthen the argument, as using highly polished flints for display in religious ceremonies suggests that our ancestors were concerned with aesthetics.

(D), on the other hand, weakens the argument, as it provides an alternative explanation for why our ancestors had highly polished flints. If these flints were used for everyday tasks other than hunting, then it casts doubt on the author's conclusion that our ancestors were concerned with aesthetics. What if they were just concerned with getting more chores done? (D) is what we're looking for, as it weakens the argument.

It sounds like you may have misinterpreted what we were looking for here. Does this help clarify things? Let us know if you have more questions!

Ryan on April 6 at 08:56PM

How would A not weaken the argument? The argument states that MANY of their flints were polished, A states that MOST of them were not. This would conclude that MANY were not polished and thus weaken the argument?

Victoria on May 13 at 06:49PM

Hello @RyanSpencer,

I think your problem here is that you are placing too much focus on the wrong portion of the passage. The passage concludes that early humans possessed an aesthetic sense. The evidence it presents to support this is that our cave-dwelling ancestors polished many of their flints beyond what was required for hunting purposes.

We are looking for the answer choice that weakens this argument.

A is incorrect because it is irrelevant to the argument. It does not matter how many of their flints were polished. You can still successfully argue that early humans possessed an aesthetic sense even if the majority of their flints were not highly polished. The fact that some flints were polished beyond what was required for hunting is sufficient evidence for the author to suggest that there was an aesthetic sense among early humans.

D is correct as it introduces some ambiguity to the passage. We know that the flints were polished beyond what was required for hunting. We do not know how polished flints needed to be if they were also used for everyday chores. This weakens the argument as it casts doubt on the conclusion that the polished flints indicate a sense of aestheticism by providing a potential alternate explanation for why the flints were so highly polished.

Hope this was helpful! Let us know if you have any further questions.