A large survey of scientists found that almost all accept Wang's Law, and almost all know the results of the Brown-Ei...

on December 28 at 04:52AM

My case for B - why is my analysis wrong?

The argument says almost all agree with Wangs Law, and also, almost all agree with E.B experiment. Then goes on to conclude that most therefore reject the M hypothesis since believing in both contradicts the M hypothesis. Isn’t this a classic case of incorrectly concluding from the fact that “Most C’S are A’s, and Most B’s are A’s” that “most A’s are both C and B” when the best we can say is SOME A’s are both? In the context of this Q - the best we can say is SOME scientists agree with some Wangs Law and EB experiment, and thus reject M hypothesis. UNLESS.... we choose answer choice b which guarantees there is overlap. Where did i go wrong? I was feeling pretty confident when I chose the answer choice - haha! Thanks guys :)

2 Replies

Skylar on December 29 at 12:09AM

@kristinsmith04, happy to help.

First of all, it's great that you're taking caution to distinguish between most and some - this is an important concept and you seem to have a solid understanding of it.

The key here is that the passage does not say "most" scientists but instead says "almost all" scientists. These two phrases mean different things, and "almost all" accounts for more than "most" does. Imagine that we have 20 scientists and exactly 11 of them accept Wang's Law. We could accurately say that most of the scientists accept it, but we could not accurately say that almost all of the scientists accept it.

Working with "almost all" leaves significantly more room for overlap, which allows us to make a "most" conclusion. Therefore, (B) is unnecessary.

Does that make sense? Let us know if you have any other questions and best of luck with your studies!

on January 2 at 11:22PM

You're the best - thx!