There is evidence to suggest that our cave–dwelling ancestors polished many of their flints to a degree far surpassin...

Christina on August 23, 2014

Am I Getting The Assumption Wrong?

From this argument, I thought the assumption was that the polished flints were used only for hunting purposes. So why is the answer D over C? C provides a valid reason as well that the flints were used for another purpose and that was why hey were polished.

3 Replies

Melody on August 26, 2014

Conclusion: "early humans possessed an aesthetic sense."

Why? Evidence suggests that our cave-dwelling ancestors polished a lot of their flints to a point that surpassed what was required for hunting.

We are looking for the answer choice that seriously weakens the argument. In order to weaken this argument we must find a non-aesthetic reason for the amount of polishing done to the flints, which surpassed what was necessary for hunting purposes.

Answer choice (C) states: "There is evidence that these highly polished flints were used for display in religious ceremonies."

Answer choice (C) still gives us an aesthetic reason for the flints. It is true that (C) states that the flints were being used for religious ceremonies, but it states that they were used for display purposes in the religious ceremonies, meaning they were still being used for aesthetic reasons, as opposed to actually being utilized during the ceremonies.

Answer choice (D) states: "Flints were often used by early humans for everyday chores other than hunting."

Here we are given a non-aesthetic purpose for the flints. If the flints were not only used for hunting, but also for everyday chores outside of hunting, then it would explain why early humans polished their flints to a degree surpassing what was necessary for hunting purposes.

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

Wyatt on January 31 at 05:03PM

Why not A? I do understand why the answer is D...I just want to know why Im eliminating A...

Ravi on February 1 at 09:50AM

@Wyatt,

Happy to help.

We're looking to weaken the argument. We're given information that
there is evidence to suggest that our cave-dwelling ancestors polished
many of their flints to a degree far surpassing what was necessary.

The author then concludes that early humans possessed an aesthetic sense.

(A) is incorrect because even if it's true, it's entirely consistent
with the premises because (A) says that MOST flints used by our
cave-dwelling ancestors were not highly polished and the first
sentence of the stimulus says that MANY of the flints of our
cave-dwelling ancestors were polished to a degree far surpassing what
was necessary. It's entirely possible that even though many of the
flints were highly polished, most were not. This wouldn't weaken the
argument. Plus, we're talking about flints that are highly polished,
not ones that aren't. As a result, we can eliminate this answer
choice.

(D), on the other hand, weakens the argument, as it provides an
alternative explanation for why our ancestors had highly polished
flints. If these flints were used for everyday tasks other than
hunting, then it casts doubt on the author's conclusion that our
ancestors were concerned with aesthetics. What if they were just
concerned with getting more chores done? (D) is what we're looking
for, as it weakens the argument.

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