The fact that tobacco smoke inhaled by smokers harms the smokers does not prove that the much smaller amount of tobac...

Theresa on September 22, 2015

Please explain

I got the answer correct but can you explain why D is incorrect

3 Replies

Melody on September 29, 2015

As explained in the thread above, the argument follows the reasoning that just because something is bad in large quantities doesn't mean that it is bad in small quantities as well, and then we are given an example to show this.

Answer choice (D) is not about something being detrimental in large quantities as opposed to small quantities. Instead it makes more of a part to whole argument explaining that just because five people like a product, that does not mean the population as a whole will like it.

Hope that clears things up! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Maroun on March 4 at 06:14PM

Hello Melody,
answers A, B, and C seem to follow the reasoning that if something is bad in large quantities, it does not mean it is bad in small quantities as well. This is the line of reasoning, so why would it even matter if it is followed by an example?

Ravi on March 11 at 06:32PM

@Maroun,

Great question. The general reasoning of (A), (B), and (C) are similar
to the stimulus, but the examples used to illustrate their points are
different from the example in the stimulus. The reason it matters that
the example in the answer choice correctly mirrors the example in the
stimulus is because the example is part of the support for the overall
argument.

The stimulus provides us with an analogy between smoking tobacco and
vitamins, where vitamins are used to support a point about smoking.
The stimulus is basically saying that lots of smoking is harmful, but
this doesn't mean that a little bit of smoke inhaled by nonsmokers is
harmful to some degree. Consider that a lot of vitamin A is harmful,
but a little bit of it is actually good for you.

In other words, it's saying "Lots of X can result in a certain effect,
but this does not necessitate that a little of X would produce the
same type of effect, only less pronounced. Consider that lots of Y has
a certain effect, but a little bit of Y actually produces the opposite
type of effect."

Do you see how the example used in the stimulus is a key component of
the argument structure?

If the example illustrates something different from the example used
in the stimulus, this means that the answer choice has a different
support structure from the stimulus. Let's take a look at each of
these answers—as well as the correct answer choice—to see why they're
wrong and why (E) is correct.

(A) says, "The fact that a large concentration of bleach will make
fabric very white does not prove that a small concentration of bleach
will make fabric somewhat white. The effect of a small concentration
of bleach may be too slight to change the color of the fabric."

The problem with (A) is that its example doesn't illustrate the same
type of point the example in the stimulus does (where if we
consume/use less of something, it actually has the opposite effect).
As a result, we can get rid of (A). Additionally, this argument is
entirely about bleach and doesn't use an analogy in its argument,
unlike the stimulus, which uses an analogy.

(B) says, "Although a healthful diet should include a certain amount
of fiber, it does not follow that a diet that includes large amounts
of fiber is more healthful than one that includes smaller amounts of
fiber. Too much fiber can interfere with proper digestion."

The problem with (B) is that it is only about fiber. It doesn't use
any sort of analogy like the stimulus does. We can, therefore, get rid
of it.

(C) says, "The fact that large amounts of chemical fertilizers can
kill plants does not prove that chemical fertilizers are generally
harmful to plants. It proves only that the quantity of chemical
fertilizer used should be adjusted according to the needs of the
plants and the nutrients already in the soil."

The problem with (C) is that it's all about chemical fertilizers;
because our stimulus uses an analogy to make its point and (C) does
not, it's not similar.

(E) says, "Although watching television for half of every day would be
a waste of time, watching television briefly every day is not
necessarily even a small waste of time. After all, it would be a waste
to sleep half of every day, but some sleep every day is necessary."

(E) matches the stimulus really well. It uses an analogy with
sleep—sleep is harmful in large amounts, but it's good in smaller
doses, and this is used to support the point that watching a small
amount of TV isn't necessarily a small waste of time just because
watching lots of TV is a waste of time. (E) matches everything in our
stimulus really well, so it's the correct answer choice.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any questions!