Until recently it was thought that ink used before the sixteenth century did not contain titanium. However, a new typ...

filozinni on June 23, 2020

Why is A correct

Could anybody please explain why A is the correct answer? Thank you!

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shunhe on June 28, 2020

Hi @filozinni,

Thanks for the question! So let’s take a look at what this stimulus is telling us. We’re told that people used to think that ink used before the 16th century didn’t have titanium. But now we know that Gutenberg’s Bible and another Bible called B-36 had titanium ink in them, though no other 15th-century books had them. We then make two conclusions based on this: (1) B-36 was printed by Gutenberg (seemingly because both the bibles had titanium, so they had to be by the same author), and (2) we can’t doubt a 15th-century map’s authenticity based on the fact that there’s titanium ink in it (presumably because people used titanium ink back then, as seen from the bibles).

Now we’re asked to find a flaw in the argument. And we should notice that this argument does a very odd thing before looking at the answer choices. The argument concludes that because titanium was used, two works had to be by the same author; in other words, the titanium was a unique identifier of one specific author, which implies it wasn’t used by many people at the time. The argument also concludes that we can’t assume a 15-century map isn’t authentic based on titanium, which rests on the assumption that many people were using ink with titanium back in the 15th century. These assumptions that the titanium is a unique identifier and that many people used titanium ink in the fifteenth century are contradictory, and the correct answer choice might refer to this flaw.

Indeed, this is what (A) does. It tells us that the results of the analysis lead to two contradictory conclusions, that the use of titanium was both extremely restricted (because of the bibles that could be connected to the same author via titanium ink) and not extremely restricted (since an unrelated map had titanium ink, and we can’t conclude based on the titanium that the map isn’t from the 15th century). So (A) pinpoints this flaw, and is the correct answer.

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

filozinni on July 2, 2020

It is much clearer now, thank you for the explanation @Shunhe!

Veda-Bhadharla on July 6, 2020

I see here why A is the answer, but why is the answer not C?