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Archaeologist: Researchers excavating a burial site in Cypru

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RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member Default Avatar
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Archaeologist: Researchers excavating a burial site in Cypru

Post Thu May 12, 2016 1:04 pm
Archaeologist: Researchers excavating a burial site in Cyprus found a feline skeleton lying near a human skeleton. Both skeletons were in the same sediment at the same depth and equally well-preserved, suggesting that the feline and human were buried together about 9,500 years ago. This shows that felines were domesticated around the time farming began, when they would have been useful in protecting stores of grain from mice.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the archaeologist's argument?

(A) Archaeologists have not found any remains of stores of grain in the immediate vicinity of the burial site.
(B) The burial site in Cyprus is substantially older than any other known burial site in which a feline skeleton and a human skeleton appear to have been buried together.
(C) Paintings found near the burial site seem to show people keeping felines as domestic companions, but do not show felines hunting mice.
(D) In Cyprus, there are many burial sites dating from around 9,500 years ago in which the remains of wild animals appear to have been buried alongside human remains.
(E) Before felines were domesticated, early farmers had no effective way to protect stores of grain from mice.


OA:D

Source: OG 2016,CR Qs.48

@Verbal Experts - although D appears to be more convincing, I'd like to know why EXACTLY Option C is wrong,despite it seems to be close contender ?

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Marty Murray Legendary Member
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Post Thu May 12, 2016 9:18 pm
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
@Verbal Experts - although D appears to be more convincing, I'd like to know why EXACTLY Option C is wrong,despite it seems to be close contender ?
Key to getting CR questions right can be finding the exact conclusion.

Conclusion Of The Argument: "This shows that felines were domesticated around the time farming began"

This, "when they would have been useful in protecting stores of grain from mice" is really just a modifier modifying "the time farming began".

Option C says, "Paintings found near the burial site seem to show people keeping felines as domestic companions". That statement tends to strengthen the conclusion.

Further, this part, "but do not show felines hunting mice" would not be a very good weakener even if the conclusion were about felines hunting mice, which, just to be clear, it is not.

Consider the following. What if there no paintings of people with cats? Would that weaken the conclusion that they had domesticated cats? Not really. People don't depict in paintings everything that was going on at the time. What if the paintings did not show anyone eating? Would that weaken the conclusion that people ate during those times?

So there are two takeaways.

The first is that being clear regarding what the conclusion is is key to getting CR questions right.

The second is that something that does not strengthen a conclusion does not necessarily weaken the conclusion.

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