A carved flint object depicting a stylized human head with an open mouth was found in a Stone Age tomb in Ireland. So...

JayDee8732 on July 19, 2017

Why is B correct?

I choose E and wanna know why B is correct and why the other answer are not?

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Mehran on July 30, 2017

@JayDee8732 let's take a closer look.

The conclusion here is, "the object was probably the head of a speaking staff, a communal object passed around a small assembly to indicate who has the right to speak."

The support? "Because of its size and the fact that an open mouth symbolizes speaking . . ."

This is a Weaken question, so we are looking for an answer choice that weakens this argument.

(B) weakens this argument by pointing to counter evidence, i.e. "communal objects were normally passed from one generation to the next in Stone Age Ireland."

Why is this counter evidence? Because the object was found in a tomb in Ireland and (B) is saying that if it was a communal object, it would not have been buried, but rather passed from one generation to the next.

The problem with (E) is that it is irrelevant. We do not know whether this is actually a speaking staff (or a weapon), so the fact that "a speaking staff with a stone head is thought to symbolize a warrior's mace" has no impact on this argument.

Hope that helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

ritagentile on September 23, 2020

question- I still don't really understand how B weakens. Since it's saying communal objects were passed from one generation to the next during the STONE AGE, why does it mattered that it was found in a tomb? Couldn't it have been passed down for many generations and then still buried? Are we to assume it is still being passed down today?

MikeND on October 16, 2020

I am also very confused about this. B jumped out to me as irrelevant because it doesn't disprove the conclusion that this is likely a speaking staff and not a warrior's mace, while E directly provides evidence to the contrary. @LSATMax, may we please have an answer???

findhealth on December 10, 2020

I was confused too and found this online: The fact that something symbolizes a weapon doesn’t make it a weapon. If a speaking staff symbolizes a mace, it’s still a speaking staff and not a mace.

kaiplanet on October 21, 2021

Im with everyone on this -- E directly speaks to the issue of the staff being a weapon, which is what the argument attempts to disprove by describing the staff's size.

Ravi on February 5, 2022

B relies on two facts in the stimulus. The carving was found in a tomb, and speaking staffs were communal objects. Thus, if B is true, a speaking staff probably wouldn't be found in a tomb, so this is why B weakens the argument.

E is incorrect because if something symbolizes a warrior's mace, that does not make it a weapon. E grants that it might be a speaking staff, so that doesn't weaken the argument.