How the pigment known as Han purple was synthesized by the ancient Chinese of the Qin and Han dynasties has puzzled s...

Ryan on October 18, 2019

Why is C incorrect?


1 Reply

Annie on November 13, 2019

Hi @Ryan-Mahabir,

This is a tricky question! The question is asking you to find the answer choice which most strengthens the argument. So, you're looking for a premise which helps support the conclusion. Remember, that for an answer choice to "most support" the argument does not mean that it has to be very supportive of it. Rather, it just has to support the argument more than the other answer choices do.

The first step is always to break down the argument:

Premise: Chinese chemists employed the same chemical ingredients in Han purple as in the production of white glass.
Premise: Both were produced by subjecting the mixtures to high heat and mixing in lead to decrease the melting temperature.
Conclusion: Han purple was probably discovered by accident during glass production.

Then, turn to the answer choices.

Answer Choices:
(A) is correct. This answer choice shows that Han purple and white glass were produced in the same geographic area. This strengthens the argument that one was created by accident during production of the other, as it tells us that they were likely produced near each other.

(B) is incorrect. That each product had a different use does not relate to the argument that one product was discovered by accident while making the other.

(C) is incorrect. This answer choice is not about how Han purple was discovered, but is rather about how many people knew how to make it after it was discovered. Therefore, it is not relevant to the argument.

(D) is incorrect. The fact that the materials were easily accessible does not support the argument that Han purple was discovered by accident while making white glass. It tells us that it would have been easy to make white glass, because the materials were readily available, but does not tell us anything about the discovery of Han purple.

(E) is incorrect. The prevalence of white glass versus Han purple in later artifacts has no bearing on how Han purple was discovered. For all we know, this could tell us that the glass was produced in higher quantities than the purple.