Some species are called "indicator species" because the loss of a population of such a species serves as an early war...

Kath on October 30, 2019

Main conclusion

Could you explain this question? I choose C instead of B.

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Annie on November 3, 2019

Hi @Kath,

This question asks us to identify the conclusion in the argument, and then find the answer choice which rephrases it in some way. Let's break down the argument:

Premise: The loss of an "indicator species" serves as a warning of problems from pollution.
Premise: Environmentalists tracking pollution pay attention to indicator species.
Premise: Declines in population are often the result of the natural evolution of an ecosystem.
Conclusion: Environmentalists shouldn't attribute the loss of a population to pollution in all cases.

If your struggling to find the conclusion, it often helps to break down the argument in a systematic way as we did above. In this question, there is also a indicator word ("yet") pointing you to the conclusion.

Answer choices:
(A) is incorrect. The argument does not discuss scientists overreacting. Rather, it talks about how scientists may misdiagnose the cause of losing a species.

(B) is correct. As you can see above, the conclusion is that environmentalists shouldn't always attribute the loss of a population to pollution, or as stated in the answer choice "environmental degradation."

(C) is incorrect. The argument does not call scientists' behavior as problematic, but rather just says that they would be misguided.

(D) is incorrect. There is no discussion of resistance in the argument.

(E) is incorrect. This answer choice states that pollution is part of nature's status quo. That is not what the argument is saying.