If future improvements to computer simulations of automobile crashes enable computers to provide as much reliable inf...

Devin on February 22, 2020

Why is B incorrect?

Thanks in advance

1 Reply

on February 23, 2020

Hello @devinjax14,

Notice that this conclusion is conditional. "If" and "then" are important words to pay attention to.

I'll paraphrase: "If computer simulations can provide as much info about safety features as actual crash tests, then manufacturers will use far fewer crash tests."

We want to strengthen the possibility that the given cause (equal safety info) will lead to the given effect (fewer crash tests).

You asked why B does not strengthen the argument. B says that, within the next 20 years, computer simulations probably will provide as much information about safety features as crash tests. But does the author ever argue that the computer simulations will catch up to the crash tests? No, because his argument is conditional. He says "IF the simulations provide as much safety information, then..." B is incorrect because it does nothing to strengthen the connection between cause and effect. It simply says that the cause is likely to occur. That doesn't mean the effect will follow.

A is correct because it defends the argument from a possible flaw. What if crash tests provide some other important data that a computer simulation can't match? Then we cannot say that crash tests will be replaced by simulations. If safety information is the only important result of crash tests, then the argument is stronger.