LSAT 14 – Section 4 – Question 25

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT14 S4 Q25
Weaken +Weak
+Harder 148.739 +SubsectionMedium
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This is a weakening question, though I’d forgive you if you failed to immediately identify it as it throws a particularly dense question stem at us. This is one of those question stems that introduces a final premise which is to be added to the stimulus in our judgment of the answer choices, but in this case, it does so in an incredibly confusing way. Our objective is to specifically weaken an interpretation that holds that the lines serve unrelated purposes rather than refer to astronomical phenomena. Despite the density of this question stem, what should tip us off that it is specifically a weakening question is that it asks: which one of the following, if true, most effectively counters.

The first sentence of the stimulus is very strangely worded, but what we should pick up on is that these lines are ancient, about as wide as a footpath, and stretch long distances; sounds like some old roads! We next learn that these lines form giant shapes, and that one where a bunch of lines emerge from a point intersects with one shaped like a bird; ok not sounding so much like roads anymore. The rest of the stimulus concerns the interpretation of an investigator who thinks the markings are landing strips for aliens and argues that they couldn’t have been roads. From him, we learn a bunch of information that casts doubt on the roads hypothesis; the lines run in strange patterns and will sometimes just end in the middle of the desert. Our job is to weaken an explanation of these weird lines which interprets their shapes as serving unrelated purposes, and specifically to do so from a perspective that believes the lines have an astronomical purpose. Let’s see what we get in the answer choices:

Answer Choice (A) Interesting, but we are trying to weaken the interpretation that these specific lines in Peru had no purpose; what North American peoples do isn’t of interest to us.

Correct Answer Choice (B) This answer strongly suggests that the lines have an astronomical purpose which unites the straight lines (observation spot) with the figure (represents a constellation).

Answer Choice (C) This fails to weaken the interpretation that the figures are unrelated; in fact, it seems to suggest the straight lines are part of a complex of patterns and have nothing to do with the bird.

Answer Choice (D) Similar to A, this brings in a different phenomenon and does nothing to explain how the straight lines and bird figure could have together served an astronomical purpose.

Answer Choice (E) This strengthens the hypothesis we want to weaken; if one was made well before the other, it’s far more likely they were unrelated.

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