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PT16.S2.Q16 - researchers in south austrailia

Alum Member Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
edited September 2016 2098 karma
Hi fellow 7Sagers, while commenting on the September Discussion, I would be thankful if someone can explain to me why answer choice C is wrong and E is right. It would be great if you could explain to me what exactly CPUE mean in the context of the question

• Alum Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
edited September 2016 10721 karma
Hey Nader, I just took a look at the question. CPUE means the number of fish, in this case sharks that are caught per hour for each km. The premise is that number of sharks caught with that measurement, i.e, CPUE, has remained the same since 1973, so the population of Sharks has also remained the same since 1973.

The problem with the argument is that its assuming that what was true in 1973, in reference to how sharks are caught, hasn't changed from that time. So if we wanted to weaken this conclusion that shark population is approximately the same since 1973, we want an answer choice that will say something that will affect the measurement and that is important to how the sharks are being caught has changed in between that time.

Answer choice "E" brings that issue forward. If the technology has improved since 1980, and more sharks are being located, that it's not true that just because the same number of sharks are being caught, the population of sharks is actually the same.

Answer choice "C" can be applied to both time, 1973 and today. So we don't know if "incidental mortality" is not constant anymore. For all we know it caused the same amount of mortality in 1973 and is still causing the same number of deaths in sharks today. So the two time periods are still similar with incident mortality applied and we can still conclude the sharks population is still the same from 1973.

I have found when it comes to questions where something about time has changed from premises to conclusion, to weaken it you want to say that something essential to the conclusion has changed between that time. To strengthen it, you want to say that nothing has changed from that time that is essential to the conclusion. For example one way to strengthen the conclusion is that in between 1973 and today technology has not gotten better that allows us to catch fish with more accuracy.

• Alum Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
10721 karma
Also, I think if this stimulus was a flaw question, the answer choice would be takes what was essential to the number of sharks being caught in 1973 has not changed since then.
• Alum Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
edited September 2016 10721 karma
I just want to add one last thing about the stimulus, it might help to see this as an analogy. 1st fact: A (1973) had C (# of sharks being caught) . 2nd fact: B, which is time today, also has C (same # of sharks as 1973. So our conclusion is: D, the population of sharks is the same in A and B.

It assuming that because A and B have C they are similar and therefore have the same D. to weaken it you want to poke holes in similarity between A and B. If A and B had something essentially different like B had better technology, then we can no longer say that just because same amount of Sharks, "c" are being caught, which is measured by CPU, then D is same for both time.

Our similarity between the two time 1973 and today falls apart, And we can no longer say that what was true in 1973 about the population of Sharks is also true today just because they have "C" in common, which is the same number of sharks being caught.

Let me know if I sucked at explaining it.
• Alum Member Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
2098 karma
@Motivated thanks for explaining the question in such details, and you are great at explaining it. I can see how other answer choices are totally wrong including C.
• Monthly Member
445 karma

@Sami thanks so much for your explanation! Classical example of how LSAT knows what kind of assumptions humans make

I also wrongly went for C, although not entirely sure how it wrecks the argument. My process of thought was that if CPUE is, let's say, 5, then this number is projected to the whole sea volume and thus an approximation of the population is won.

But if technological improvement led to an increase of the fish catching rate from, let's say, 5% to 10%, then a CPUE of 5 would lead to a population measurement of 100 in 1973, but only 50 now.

Now I also see that C does absolutely nothing to weaken the argument, since all sources of fish mortality are already included in the CPUE (it's basically kind of projecting a sample to calculate the approximate fish population).