According to some astronomers, Earth is struck by a meteorite large enough to cause an ice age on an average of once ...

on July 28 at 07:27PM

Further explanation as to why C is correct

I chose A. I crossed off C bc it cited "specific prediction about when the next such event will occur." In the passage, however, it merely says that "we can predict Earth will be struck in the near future." I don't see how "near future" can be seen as a specific prediction; I would think we would need a specific date, month, etc to warrant this terminology. Could you please explain why C is the better answer choice over A?

1 Reply

Shunhe on July 29 at 12:26AM

Hi @shaase,

Thanks for the question! Let’s start off by recapping the stimulus. So some astronomers tell us that earth is struck by a meteorite large enough to cause an ice age about once every 100 million years. And the last incident occurred almost 100 million years ago, so we can expect that Earth will be hit in the near future. So, the argument concludes, we need funding to figure out if there’s a way to protect us from meteorite strikes.

We’re asked now to find a flaw in the reasoning of the argument. Let’s take a look at (A), which tells us that the argument makes a bold prescription on the basis of evidence that establishes only a high probability for a disastrous event. First of all, does this even happen? Are we establishing a high probability for a disastrous event? That doesn’t happen. We aren’t establishing a high probability by just showing that the meteorite strike’s supposed to follow the trend it used to follow. And second of all, let’s say that it was using a high probability for a disastrous event to make a bold prescription. Well, if there actually was a high probability of meteorites striking, wouldn’t the call for funding be justified? That’s not really a flaw with the argument, and for both of these reasons, (A) is the wrong answer.

(C), on the other hand, does use the word “specific.” But compared to the other answer choices, it’s clearly the right one, and knowing the “near future” is certainly more specific than having no clue when the asteroid will hit. We have to be somewhat flexible with the use of this word here, and since (C) is the closest to describing the flaw, it’s the correct answer choice.

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