PT2.S4.Q8 - Amino-acid decomposition in fragments of eggshell

KarlygashKarlygash Alum Member
edited January 2020 in Logical Reasoning 55 karma

Hi, everyone,

Have trouble with this question. The correct answer choice C adds additional information ("climate fluctuations") which is not provided under the stimulus. Does it mean you can add additional information by guessing, however, this is not reliable technique? How to deal with this sort of questions?

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  • FHChick99FHChick99 Alum Member
    185 karma

    In this case, the additional information you're referring to is an inference. Basically, we can infer from the stimulus that the extent of amino acid decomposition in eggshells (which can be used to obtain the dates of archaeological sites) is based in part on the temperature of the climate in which the eggshell is decomposing. What would happen if the climate of the area where the eggshell is decomposing fluctuated greatly overtime and this fluctuation was unsuspected? Well, then the date arrived at by using this decomposition technique is probably not very accurate.

    This type of AC is very cookie cutter in MSS questions--it requires you to piece together premises in the stimulus and arrive at an inference, so the additional information you're referring to isn't necessarily "additional;" I like to think of it as something that follows from the premises in the stimulus.

    Something to note: the standard of proof for MSS is not as high as MBT questions. For instance, there could be some case in which archaeologists used this technique, the climate fluctuated without them knowing, and they still arrived at an accurate date. This less than 100% certainty is a hallmark of MSS questions. For MSS questions, you just need to find the AC that is more strongly supported by the stimulus than the other 4 ACs.

  • KarlygashKarlygash Alum Member
    55 karma

    Thank you, I was having doubts choosing C since stimulus says the data for eggplants is accurate. However, scientists may not know about some undiscovered climate fluctuations in that region. The problem was that Stimulus is saying with 100 % certainty that the data is right up to 200 000 years. As JY was saying in one of the lessons you can not rely on the common sense. Seems like for MSS questions this rule is not working and inferences may be used even if info is not under the S.

  • leoxnardxleoxnardx Alum Member
    82 karma

    I agree with the explanation above. I got this question wrong just by thinking that we don't have information about climate fluctuation. However, we know that the eggshells decomposing rate, the thing the scientists use to determine age, depends on the climate. Cooler climate, decompose slower; hotter climate, decomp faster. Therefore, if there is a huge drop/rise in temp during a period of lets just say 100 years, a mini ice age/global warming, the rate of decomp must fluctuates and leads to an estimated age that is not truly reflecting the age of the site.

    The lesson learned here is exactly what the other comment talked about: inference. MSS questions allow us to make certain degree of inferences basing on the passage, and it can still be consistent with the information stated.

  • nye8870nye8870 Alum
    1749 karma

    a) the stim in no way mentions sites related to S.A. So wrong.
    b) the way they measure eggshell decomp is different than other organic? blah blah. Wrong
    c) there is a difference in accuracy dependent upon cold vs warm. So if there were temp fluctuations, we can easily infer , less reliable results. CORRECT
    d) a bunch of fluff, we cannot infer. So wrong.
    e) goes against everything this passage says. Why would we find more eggshells in warm climate if they deteriorate quicker in warm climate? Totally Wrong

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