Recently discovered prehistoric rock paintings on small islands off the northern coast of Norway have archaeologists ...

on July 24, 2020

Except Question

How do I approach this question? I picked A as the answer here, thinking that this didn't weaken the argument because it related to 'once on the island', rather than the 'long journey to and from the islands'? Grateful if you could please provide a breakdown of the answers / question? Thank you!

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Shunhe on July 27, 2020

Hi @Anna2020,

Thanks for the question! So let’s go over the stimulus first. We’re told about these rock paintings on some island that are supposed to show off the painters’ diets. But the argument says that this theory can’t be right. Why? Because to get to the islands, the painters had to have eaten some sea animals, and the paintings don’t have any sea animals in them.

Now we’re looking for an answer choice that does NOT weaken this argument; in other words, the correct answer choice will either strengthen the argument or just be irrelevant. Take a look at (C), which tells us that the cave paintings had a bunch of land animals. OK, but does this weaken the argument? Not really, it’s just irrelevant. We’re concerned about the paintings not having sea animals, and (C) is just talking about the paintings having land animals, so it doesn’t weaken the argument. That’s why (C) is our answer.

All the other answer choices are going to weaken the argument. (A) weakens because it says that once the cave painters got on the islands, they ate land animals, and so that’s why there wouldn’t be sea animals in the paintings.

(B) weakens because it says that it says that some of the cave paintings disappeared, so it opens the possibility that the parts that disappeared are the parts with the sea animals, again weakening the argument.

(D) weakens because it suggests that the cave painters didn’t actually need to eat the sea animals in the first place, since they could’ve just eaten their preserved meats instead, again providing an explanation for why there aren’t sea animals.

(E) weakens because it says that the cave painters didn’t have to go over the sea anyway, so they wouldn’t have painted the sea animals, since they didn’t eat them in the first place.

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

Xiao on November 30, 2020

Hi Shunhe,

Thanks for the explanation! (C) says that the painting has a bunch of land animals. The theory is the painting shows off the diet. Then, the land animals in the painting were the diet, rather than the see food mentioned in the argument. As such C proposed a different possibility of the painter's diet, which weakens the argument against the theory.

The is why I didn't choose (C). Does it make sense? Would you please ayudarme?