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

Timur on August 31, 2014

Answer Choice Explanation

While I understand C is correct, why does "near future" correlate to a "specific prediction"?

6 Replies

Melody on September 6, 2014

The issue here is that the author uses evidence pertaining to the average frequency of Earth being struck by a meteorite large enough to cause an ice age, i.e. "on an average of once every 100 million years," to then predict that Earth will be struck by such a meteorite in the near future since "the last such incident occurred nearly 100 million years ago."

An average frequency cannot be accurately used to then make a specific prediction that Earth will be struck by a huge meteorite any time soon.

I'm not sure if that's what you meant by "near future" correlating to a "specific prediction." Let us know if you need any further clarification.

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

Timur on September 8, 2014

Yes more or less; just a stylistic misunderstanding! Thanks!

Sarah on March 13, 2019

It seems I am a few years late to this thread, but I do believe I had the same issue as the last user who commented. I was going to select C, but the reason I did not was because it said that a "specific prediction about when the next such event will occur" was made. I thought because the person only said "Earth will be struck by such a meteorite in the NEAR future", the prediction was not specific about when exactly this meteor would hit Earth (e.g what does "near" mean? A day? A week? A year?) . Therefore, in my mind, C was not the correct answer due to a lack of specificity in the arguer's prediction that C seemed to look for. I went with answer choice A instead. Although I was skeptical of the terminology "high probability," I figured this phrasing is more subjective (e.g. there is some leniency as to what constitutes a high probability) and resultantly seemed more appropriate. I think where I went wrong was falling into the trap of assuming the answer choice with less specific language would be more applicable :/ Still, I would appreciate if an instructor could explain to me why A is wrong, just so I will be able to make sure I understand why C is the better choice!

Jeremy on March 20, 2019

I had a similar line of reasoning to Sarah. Would also appreciate an explanation why A is an inferior answer as compared to C. Thanks!

Marissa on June 25, 2019

What type of question is this?

Thalia on May 16, 2020

Bumping the above concerns. Can someone further explain why A is incorrect? Thank you!