Wood that is waterlogged or desiccated can be preserved for a significant period, but, under normal conditions, wood ...

Hayley on July 16 at 10:21PM

B or d

Hi there! I understand why it is D but I don’t get why it is not B.

1 Reply

Irina on July 17 at 11:05PM

@Hayley,

Let's look at the argument.

Wood that is waterlogged or desiccated can be preserved for a significant period, but, under normal conditions, wood usually disintegrates within a century or two. For this reason, archaeologists have been unable to find many remains of early wheeled vehicles to examine.

There are several implicit assumptions here :
(1) early wheeled vehicles were made out of wood;
(2) early wheeled vehicles are older than "a century or two"
(3) wood that is waterlogged or desiccated is harder to find

But they have found small ceramic models of wheeled vehicles made at approximately the same time as those early vehicles. Since these models have been much less susceptible to disintegration, the main evidence regarding early wheeled vehicles has come from these models.

This part of the argument also involves an implicit assumption that the models are accurate representations of early wheeled vehicles.

Now we are asked to identify a statement most strongly supported by the stimulus.

(B) "Few, if any, small models of early wheeled vehicles were made of wood or other materials equally susceptible to disintegration under normal conditions."

Can we possibly conclude that based on the information in the passage? No. We only know that the archaeologists found "small ceramic models of wheeled vehicles." We have no information whatsoever regarding the quantity of the models discovered or the quantity of the models produced. Let's say that the opposite of B is true and the majority of the models were made of wood and only few made of ceramic, it would be equally plausible that at the archaeologists found a few ceramic models, and the rest of them made of wood disintegrated.

Let me know if this makes sense.