Biologist: Researchers believe that dogs are the descendants of domesticated wolves that were bred to be better compa...

Letitia on December 13 at 01:56PM

Preptest 65, Section 4, Q23

Can someone please explain the answer B? My answer was A.

1 Reply

Ravi on December 14 at 10:05PM

@letc,

We're looking for the underlying principle of the biologist's argument.

The first sentence of the stimulus is context/background information. The second sentence of the stimulus, "It has recently been found that some breeds of dog are much more closely related genetically to wolves than to most other breeds of dog," is the premise. The next sentence, "This shows that some dogs are descended from wolves that were domesticated much more recently than others," is the conclusion.

Thus, the argument structure is P - >C, or

Some breeds of dogs much more closely related to wolves than dogs - >some dogs descended from wolves that were domesticated much more recently than others

In our answer, we want to find one that correctly paraphrases the argument structure we've outlined above.

Answer choice (A) is tricky because it contains the paraphrases of the premise and conclusion, but it puts them in the wrong spots. This is where I suspect you made your mistake; you put the conclusion in the sufficient condition and the premise in the necessary condition, which is backward. (A) gives us C - >P instead of the P - >C mapping that we're looking for.

Answer choice (B) says, "If one breed of dog is more closely related to wolves than to another breed of dog, then the former breed of dog has more recent undomesticated wolf ancestors than the latter breed has." This answer accurately captures the underlying principle of the biologist's argument, as it correctly paraphrases the author's premise and conclusion, putting the premise in the sufficient condition and the conclusion in the necessary condition. (B) maps out P - >C just as we were looking for.