LSAT 46 – Section 2 – Question 24

You need a full course to see this video. Enroll now and get started in less than a minute.

Target time: 1:15

This is question data from the 7Sage LSAT Scorer. You can score your LSATs, track your results, and analyze your performance with pretty charts and vital statistics - all with a Free Account ← sign up in less than 10 seconds

Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT46 S2 Q24
Flaw or descriptive weakening +Flaw
+Harder 144.676 +SubsectionEasier

The question stem reads: The reasoning in the argument is most vulnerable to criticism on which one of the following grounds? This is a Flaw question.

The author begins by claiming that it is clear that Egyptians were the first society to produce alcoholic beverages. That sounds like a conclusion; let's see the author's evidence for that claim. The author then describes how it had been thought the Babylonians were first because they had a process for fermentation around 1500 BC. However, archaeologists have found an Egyptian cup from 2000 B.C. With chemical residue that indicates it contained an alcoholic form of beer. So the author's argument uses the premise that the Egyptian cup is the oldest evidence of alcohol to conclude that Egypt must have been the first society to produce alcohol. Immediately, we can see the author's line of reasoning as flawed. Let's go back in time to 5 seconds before the archaeologists found this Egyptian cup. Then, the oldest evidence we had of alcohol was from the Babylonians. Using the authors' line of reasoning, we conclude that the Babylonians were the first society to produce alcohol. We would be subsequently proven wrong when the archeologists find the Egyptian cup 5 seconds later. All that was needed to prove our argument wrong was finding new evidence that an older civilization had alcohol. Let's return to the present, where the author claims that Egyptians must have been the oldest society to produce alcohol. How do we know we won't find even earlier evidence of alcohol in the future? We can't. The author has made an error in assuming what is true of the past must be true in the future. This is the Problem of Induction.

However, there is an even more fundamental problem. What we humans know has no bearing on the actual truth of the matter. Even if we could see into the future and determine that this Egyptian cup would be the oldest evidence we find, we could not say that Egyptians were, in fact, the first society to produce alcohol. An earlier society could have created alcohol but left no evidence behind for us to find. The upshot is that a lack of evidence for a claim does not constitute evidence that the claim is false.

Answer Choice (A) is incorrect because the claim that Egypt was the first society to produce alcohol is not a generalization about Egyptian society. Either they were the first to produce alcohol, or they were not. A generalization would be that all Egyptians drank alcohol. If the author argued that all Egyptians drank alcohol because we found a single cup in a pharaoh's tomb, then (A) would look better.

Answer Choice (B) is wrong. The premises talk about two distinct types of alcoholic beverage (Egyptian beer vs. Babylonian wine). However, the conclusion talks about alcoholic beverages in general. Alcoholic beer counts as an alcoholic beverage.(B) would look better if the author used the old cup of Egyptian beer to conclude Egyptians were the first society to produce wine.

Answer Choice (C) is incorrect. If we mapped the stimulus onto (C), we would get the following: Because Egpyt developed fermentation before the Babylonians, the development of fermentation in Babylon depended on the development of fermentation in Egypt. Wildly off base from the argument, eliminate.

Correct Answer Choice (D) is what we prephased. The argument does ignore that the first known instance of alcohol (the Egyptian wine cup) is not the first instance of alcohol.

Answer Choice (E) is incorrect. While it is true that the author provides no evidence for the claim that they produced wine as early as 1500 BC, it is irrelevant. If it is true the Babylonians had wine as early as 1500 BC, the Egyptian cup is still older. If it is false, the Babylonians had wine as early as 1500 BC, and the Egyptian cup is still the oldest. Additionally, Even if the author provided evidence for the claim about Babylonian wine, we would still the argument would still be flawed due to the problem discussed in (D).

Take PrepTest

Review Results

Leave a Reply