A leading critic of space exploration contends that it would be wrong, given current technology, to send a group of e...

Jermaine on May 17, 2020

Answer choice A and B

Hello, would you be able to explain why B would be the incorrect answer, I was stuck between these two and went with B not the assumption that " A fatal catastrophe is quite unlikely at any given stage if such a backup system is in place." Would A be correct because even though there is backup systems at each stage the back up stations could fail?

1 Reply

Skylar on May 17, 2020

@Jermaine1, happy to help!

(A) "infers that something is true of a whole merely from the fact that it is true of each of the given parts"
This answer choice is pointing out that the fact that a fatal catastrophe is unlikely to occur at any given stage does not mean that a fatal catastrophe is unlikely to occur during the trip overall. The risk at any one individual stage is different than the cumulative risk of the entire trip (all of the individual stages combined). This is correct and what we refer to as a part-to-whole flaw or the fallacy of composition.

(B) "infers that something cannot occur merely from the fact that it is unlikely to occur"
This answer choice is incorrect because the passage does not make this inference. The last sentence of the passage states, "A fatal catastrophe is UNLIKELY to occur." At no point does the passage ever exchange this phrase for "cannot occur."

Does that make sense? Please let us know if you have any other questions!