PTF97.S3.Q16 - Zebra mussels: Feel that correct answer was pulled out of ass

Ashley2018Ashley2018 Monthly Member
edited October 2021 in Logical Reasoning 2054 karma

So I didn't have a pre-phase and felt that all the answer choices were wrong. How on earth is the correct answer supported by the stimulus? It sounds like some random reasonable statement that makes sense in a common sense sort of way, and isn't anything that needs a stimulus, let alone this one. Like I suppose if your mussels have nuclear waste in them, I wouldn't eat them but this just doesn't sound like a supported statement. It sounds more like everyday advice against eating raw chicken or rotten milk. Did anyone else feel like the same way?

I ended up picking C because its said bags of zebra mussels were "suspended" and that made me think they were floating midwater. I ended up googling photos of zebra mussels clogging pipes and apparently that's not the case. They are literally stuck to the pipes.

Comments

  • robertgmarinorobertgmarino Monthly Member
    26 karma

    It supports it quite clearly. They may be a nuisance to clear out of the drains, but they retain the waste they are feeding out of the pipes. This means that although they themselves are considered hazardous waste now, they are encapsulating it in a ready-to-remove medium. The other choices are not too relevant to the actual stimulus, so it could also be done by elimination.

  • Ashley2018Ashley2018 Monthly Member
    2054 karma

    @robertgmarino said:
    It supports it quite clearly. They may be a nuisance to clear out of the drains, but they retain the waste they are feeding out of the pipes. This means that although they themselves are considered hazardous waste now, they are encapsulating it in a ready-to-remove medium. The other choices are not too relevant to the actual stimulus, so it could also be done by elimination.

    But the answer choice says "must" be regarded as hazardous waste...how is that supported? the only info i got from the stimulus is that these things are annoying but can be beneficial in certain circumstances because they suck up hazardous wastes

  • BlueRiceCakeBlueRiceCake Alum Member
    edited October 2021 302 karma

    I think what they were going for is that if hazardous waste isn't transformed into anything, it's still harmful.

    Therefore if the mussles don't act as something that converts the waste into something else, the waste is technically still there and the mussles act as a pocket of waste.

    It makes sense since obviously the net amount of waste isn't removed. But it requires us to know that just by the virtue of the mussles eating the waste, the waste isn't nullified. Like let's say hypothetically these mussles are made of some material that prevents radiation from leaking out and anyone can just pick one up and dispose of it. Then by no means are we "treating it like like hazardous waste".

    That's probably not true and mussles are made of material that doesn't perfectly isolate waste. But I also don't know anything about mussles, so to me it would be an assumption I need to make to make the correct answer.

    The LSAT occasionally pops out a question like that, so it's not new, it's just annoying

  • MonkeyMammoth24MonkeyMammoth24 Alum Member
    789 karma

    I'm sorry, but the title of this discussion post has made my day. It is how I feel about a lot of questions on the LSAT. perfectly said.

  • Pete Butti-JUDGEPete Butti-JUDGE Monthly Member
    7 karma

    Yeah, this is an annoying question, because it forces you to assume that ingesting hazardous waste makes that thing hazardous itself. Seems like a pretty minor assumption, but on the grand scheme of assumptions for the LSAT, you would usually think this is too much of a stretch. In these scenarios (and only these scenarios, as I think following this approach can lead to incorrect answers / wasted time if you make this a general strategy) I compare the ACs with each other.

    It sounds like you narrowed it down to AC C and E. From there, you have to compare the assumption that each AC is asking you to make. AC C is asking you to assume that engineers have no way to clear the drain pipes. There is no support for that in the stimulus, and the phrase that the mussels are a "nuisance" seems mildly to suggest that this actually is not the case. After all, if there was no way to unclog the pipes, then mussels would probably be more than a nuisance -- they would be disastrous.

    AC E on the other hand is asking you to make a smaller assumption, as described above. The other thing is that AC E is phrased in a much more qualified way. It is less strong, and easier to defend or agree with.

    This is a sucky question, but I do think the LSAT sometimes wants to test your ability to decide between two assumptions in opposing ACs and see if you can choose the one that is "less bad." The best thing for these questions is to just not waste a ton of time on it -- choose the best answer, flag, and come back if you have time at the end.

  • Ashley2018Ashley2018 Monthly Member
    2054 karma

    @"Pete Butti-JUDGE" said:
    Yeah, this is an annoying question, because it forces you to assume that ingesting hazardous waste makes that thing hazardous itself. Seems like a pretty minor assumption, but on the grand scheme of assumptions for the LSAT, you would usually think this is too much of a stretch. In these scenarios (and only these scenarios, as I think following this approach can lead to incorrect answers / wasted time if you make this a general strategy) I compare the ACs with each other.

    It sounds like you narrowed it down to AC C and E. From there, you have to compare the assumption that each AC is asking you to make. AC C is asking you to assume that engineers have no way to clear the drain pipes. There is no support for that in the stimulus, and the phrase that the mussels are a "nuisance" seems mildly to suggest that this actually is not the case. After all, if there was no way to unclog the pipes, then mussels would probably be more than a nuisance -- they would be disastrous.

    AC E on the other hand is asking you to make a smaller assumption, as described above. The other thing is that AC E is phrased in a much more qualified way. It is less strong, and easier to defend or agree with.

    This is a sucky question, but I do think the LSAT sometimes wants to test your ability to decide between two assumptions in opposing ACs and see if you can choose the one that is "less bad." The best thing for these questions is to just not waste a ton of time on it -- choose the best answer, flag, and come back if you have time at the end.

    My problem with this question is that E sounds reasonable on its own and I don't really see what we are supposed to push together from the stimulus to arrive at such an inference. E just sounds like something you'd hear on the street. The only thing it has in common with the stimulus is that it mentions mussels and nuclear waste.

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