Astronomer: Proponents of the hypothesis that life evolved extraterrestrially and drifted here in spores point out th...

Ryan on October 7, 2019

Why is A correct? Why is B incorrect?


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on December 7, 2019

Please answer this question. I too chose B. The argument does not offer evidence against the extraterrestrial theory.

Shunhe on December 27, 2019

Hi @Ryan-Mahabir and @tomgbean,

(A) is correct because we can see in the last sentence of the stimulus that the opponents of the hypothesis lack positive support and only offer arguments against the view that life evolved on earth, and that the astronomer uses that "as good reason to regard their hypothesis as false." Lack of positive evidence for a hypothesis cannot be counted as negative evidence against hat hypothesis, and this is what (A) states.

(B) is false because there's no evidence that the astronomer considers the opponent's view as being "inherently implausible." The astronomer doesn't argue against the spore theory because of some intrinsic improbability of the theory (for example, spores not being able to drift through space). Instead, the evidence the astronomer cites against the theory comes in the last sentence, which is the fact that the theory has no positive support. This is different from an inherent implausibility in the theory. Hope this helps!

on July 21, 2020

Hi @Shunhe - thanks for the above. Please can you clarify why C is incorrect?

I picked C because A seemed incorrect due to the "no evidence" comment, as there is empirical evidence provided to support that hypothesis? Feel like I'm missing something here!


Shunhe on July 28, 2020

Hi @Anna2020,

Thanks for the question! So (C) isn’t going to be the correct answer because the astronomer doesn’t ever talk about another hypothesis that is “equally like” to be true. Because the astronomer never does that, (C) can’t be a flaw in the argument and it can’t be the right answer.

As for why (A) is correct: we are regarding “their hypothesis” as false in the conclusion. And what’s their hypothesis? The hypothesis that life evolved extraterrestrial and drifted here in spores. And what evidence is there? Well, there’s evidence against another hypothesis (that life existed on earth). But they never put forward any positive evidence advancing the theory that life came on meteorites; they just attack another possible theory. So in that sense, there’s no evidence in favor of (positively supporting) the hypothesis, because we generally don’t categorize evidence against competing theory B as evidence in favor of theory A on the LSAT. So that’s why there’s no evidence in favor of the hypothesis.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.