Science teacher: An abstract knowledge of science is very seldom useful for the decisions that adults typically make ...

Ryan on December 15 at 02:57PM

Why is E correct? Why is C incorrect?

Thanks

1 Reply

Annie on December 16 at 04:53PM

Hi @Ryan-Mahabir,

Here’s a breakdown of the argument:

Premise: An abstract knowledge of science is seldom useful in making decisions in one’s daily life.
Premise: But, skills taught in secondary school should be useful for making decisions in daily life.
Premise: ??
Conclusion: Secondary school should teach students to use science to evaluate practical issues like health and public policy instead.

You’re looking for an extra premise that the argument is currently assuming.

(C) is incorrect because it is too strong of a statement. The answer choice states that adults with an abstract knowledge of science are “no better” at evaluating daily issues than those without such knowledge. But, the argument does not make such strong statements. Rather premise 1 states that an abstract knowledge of science is “seldom’ useful. These are not the same thing.

(E) is correct because it fills in the missing premise. The conclusion is assuming that the ability to evaluate practical issues like health and public policy (see the conclusion) is useful for making decisions in daily life (see premise 1). This answer choice fills in that gap in the reasoning.