If ecology and the physical sciences were evaluated by the same criteria, ecology would fail to be a successful scien...

Ryan-Mahabir on September 17, 2019

Why is E correct? Why is C incorrect?


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SamA on September 20, 2019

Hello @Ryan-Mahabir,

Let's break down the argument to see which answer choices follow the same format.

If ecology was evaluated like a physical science (EPS), then it would be unsuccessful (US).

If EPS - - - - -> US

But ecology is a successful science. Therefore it is not being evaluated like a physical science.

not US - - - - -> not EPS

Basically, the passage eliminated the necessary condition (US), which in turn eliminates the sufficient condition (EPS).

You asked why E is correct. I'll diagram it the same way.

If any economic theory were an adequate description (A), then it would be possible to make accurate forecasts (P).

If A - - - - -> P

But it is not possible to make accurate forecasts (This eliminates the necessary condition P). Therefore no economic theory is an adequate description (which eliminates the sufficient condition A).

not P - - - - - -> not A

Make sure to practice your conditional reasoning, including contrapositives like we saw in this example.

Answer choice C does not follow this same pattern.

If future cars are made lighter and stronger (LS), then the number of fatalities will be reduced (FR).

If LS - - - - > FR

It is obvious that future cars will be made lighter and stronger. Therefore fatalities will be reduced.

LS - - - - - > FR

This does not create a contrapositive. It only fulfills the conditional statement from the first sentence.