The author of the passage would most likely agree with which one of the following statements about the use of the arc...

kens on July 24, 2020

October 1996 LSAT #26

I was reluctant to choose E as an answer because of the word "impossible". Where in the passage can we find this? Thanks in advance!

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shunhe on July 24, 2020

Hi @kenken,

Thanks for the question! So we’re being asked for what the author would agree with regarding the use of the archaeological record to reconstruct historic activity. Ideally, on reading through the passage, we remembered generally where the author was talking about this, and this happens in the last paragraph, so we go back to it and read through it.

Well, we’re told starting in lines 47-49 that it’s difficult to know “how accurately the archaeological record reflects historic activity,” and that “a hypothesis can be tested only against the best available data” (lines 50-51), and our understanding might be “radically altered by better data” (line 53). So basically, there could always be some new data that changes our reconstruction of historic activity. Well, if that’s true, then naturally, even though we can reconstruct historic activity from archaeological evidence, it’s ultimately impossible to confirm the accuracy of such a reconstruction, since there could always be new data that changes our understanding radically. So it’s impossible to know 100% for sure that our reconstruction is right. That’s basically what’s being said in the last paragraph, and so (E) is the correct answer choice, even though it is pretty strong.

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