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Nayeli on November 3 at 08:43PM

Question 2: Practice Question

I'm stuck on one of the practice questions. 2. "If the forest continues to disappear at its present pace, the koala will approach extinction," said the biologist. "So all that is needed to save the koala is to stop deforestation," said the politician. Which one of the following statements is consistent with the biologist's claim, but not with the politician's claim? I chose answer choice D. Deforestation is slowed and the koala survives, because if (contrapositive) the Koala has not approached extinction deforestation has not continued at the same pace, meaning it would have slowed down. The answer key says the correct answer choice is B. Deforestation is stopped and the Koala becomes extinct. I don't understand how this statement is in line with what the biologist has stated.

2 Replies

Skylar on November 3 at 09:49PM

@Ncontrer18 Happy to help! This is a difficult question.

The biologist says, "IF the forest continues to disappear at its present pace, [THEN] the koala will approach extinction." This claim can be diagrammed as: FD -> KE. The contrapositive of this is not KE -> not FD.

The politician says,"So all that is needed to save the koala is to stop deforestation." This is diagrammed as: not FD -> not KE. The contrapositive of this is KE -> FD.

Therefore, the biologist and the politician are saying two different things.

Biologist:
FD -> KE
not KE-> not FD

Politician:
not FD -> not KE
KE -> FD

We are looking for an answer that is in line with the biologist's claim, but not the politician's. (B) "Deforestation is stopped and the koala becomes extinct" achieves this. The biologist never places "KE" nor "not FD" as the Sufficient condition, so (B) does not affect that claim/is consistent with it. However, (B) is inconsistent with the politician's claim, because if deforestation was stopped (not FD) it would follow that the koalas should not become extinct (not KE). Similarly, the koalas were to become extinct (KE), it would follow that the forest would disappear (FD). However, (B) has both the forest not disappearing and the koalas becoming extinct occuring. So, (B) is correct.

Does this make sense? Please let us know if you have additional questions!

Nayeli Monday at 11:34PM

Yes, that has cleared it up for me. Thank you!