The Asian elephant walks with at least two, and sometimes three, feet on the ground at all times. Even though it can ...

hkolon on May 18, 2020

Explain B!

Hi - I chose A because I wasn't sure how any of the other answer choices could have been assumed. I see now that B was the better choice, but will someone walk me through the logic here? Thanks!

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shunhe on May 19, 2020

Hi @hkolon,

Thanks for the question! Let’s take a look at the stimulus. We’re told that the Asian elephant walks with two, and sometimes three, feet on the ground at all times. Then we’re told that it can accelerate, but it does so by taking quicker and longer steps, and the argument then concludes that the Asian elephant doesn’t actually run.

Now we’re asked for a statement to assume that would make the conclusion follow logically. In other words, we’re going to bring in new information from the answer choices to complete the gap in the argument. None of the answer choices are necessarily currently assumed; we are looking to assume one of them and bring it into the problem. Before looking at the answer choices, we can do a bit of anticipating and think what the answer choice might have to do with. And one thing that seems important is to define what “running” is and connecting it to the other parts of this stimulus, since we go from talking about feet on the ground and accelerating to running; there seems to be a gap there. Identifying these gaps before you go into the answer choices will help you narrow it down.

Now let’s take a look at (A), which tells us that if an animal can’t accelerate, then it can’t run. Let’s say we assume this. It doesn’t apply in our case, because the Asian Elephant can accelerate, and so this conditional doesn’t apply to the Asian elephant.

Now let’s take a look at (B). This, like we anticipated, connects the idea of running with feet on the ground. To run, an animal must have all its feet off the ground at once. But we’re told that the Asian elephant always has at least one foot on the ground (we can safely assume it has four feet, since this would count as “common knowledge”). And so it can’t run. This would fill in the gap and is the correct answer.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.