Scientists are sometimes said to assume that something is not the case until there is proof that it is the case. Now ...

Farnoush on September 9 at 07:19PM

Why B?

Hi, could you please explain the answer choices and why they are wrong and why B is right. Thank you

1 Reply

Irina on September 9 at 10:21PM

@farnoushsalimian,

The stimulus presents a general statement that scientists sometimes assume something is not the case until there is proof that it is the case. Then it presents an example of untested food additive, concluding that the application of this principle would find an additive to be not safe, but at the same time safe because it has not been proven otherwise. The application of the principle thus necessarily leads to a contradiction, so the principle is wrong.

Let's look at the answer choices:

(A) a general statement is argued to be false by showing it is formulated to mislead.

Incorrect. It is true that a statement is argued to be false but not because it is deliberately formulated to mislead, rather because it leads to absurd results.

(B) a statement is argued to be false by showing that it leads to implausible consequences.

Correct. The statement is shown to lead to contradictory conclusions if taken as true, thus it is implausible for scientists to actually assume a given substance is both safe and not safe.

(C) A statement is shown to be false by showing that it directly contradicts a second statement that is taken to be true.

Incorrect. There is no second statement, the stimulus only considers one general statement.

(D) A general statement is shown to be uninformative by showing that there are as many specific instances in which it is false as there are instances in which it is true.

Incorrect. The argument finds the statement false not uninformative.

(E) A statement is shown to be uninformative by showing that it supports no independently testable inferences.

Incorrect. The argument concludes that the statement is false not uninformative, and the statement does support independently testable inferences but they happen to be contradictory.

Let me know if you have any further questions.