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## Veritas Session - Peat Harvesting

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ArunangsuSahu GMAT Destroyer!
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Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:49 am
Strengthen question:
Requires similar comparison.....(B) is the choice

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Gaurav 2013-fall Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:53 am
i choose B

neverstepback Just gettin' started!
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Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:10 am
B should be the answer as it helps in establishing a similarity between the wetlands of the two countries

Sharma_Gaurav Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:24 am
B is the right answer. explained by Brian very well

Gaurav 2013-fall Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:05 am
I would like to add sth here: In this CR, there are two arguments: One by the opponents (peat is bad) and the other by the author (peat is good). I assumed that the question is about supporting the author's argument i.e 'peat is good' and got the answer B. But, on the D-day,I am not sure what would I have picked.

Is there anyone who thinks like me?

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David@VeritasPrep GMAT Instructor
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Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:45 pm
Gaurav 2013-fall wrote:
I would like to add sth here: In this CR, there are two arguments: One by the opponents (peat is bad) and the other by the author (peat is good). I assumed that the question is about supporting the author's argument i.e 'peat is good' and got the answer B. But, on the D-day,I am not sure what would I have picked.

Is there anyone who thinks like me?
AH! I can help you with this...I always get excited when someone asks just the right question and I have the perfect answer for them.

The key here is the hard transition "but this cannot be true..." whenever you see such a transition (other examples include "however, on the other hand, nevertheless, yet" and many more) then you know that everything before the hard transition was written just to be contradicted!

In this argument, the whole reason that the opponents of peat harvesting are even mentioned is so that they can be contradicted. It gives the context for the author to tell us why peat harvesting is okay. You will see this in many CR questions. When you see that you have the hard transition you know immediately that what comes before cannot be the conclusion AND cannot be the evidence for the conclusion! The conclusion and the evidence for it must both come after the hard transition.

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Veritas Prep

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Gaurav 2013-fall Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:33 pm
David@VeritasPrep wrote:
Gaurav 2013-fall wrote:
I would like to add sth here: In this CR, there are two arguments: One by the opponents (peat is bad) and the other by the author (peat is good). I assumed that the question is about supporting the author's argument i.e 'peat is good' and got the answer B. But, on the D-day,I am not sure what would I have picked.

Is there anyone who thinks like me?
AH! I can help you with this...I always get excited when someone asks just the right question and I have the perfect answer for them.

The key here is the hard transition "but this cannot be true..." whenever you see such a transition (other examples include "however, on the other hand, nevertheless, yet" and many more) then you know that everything before the hard transition was written just to be contradicted!

In this argument, the whole reason that the opponents of peat harvesting are even mentioned is so that they can be contradicted. It gives the context for the author to tell us why peat harvesting is okay. You will see this in many CR questions. When you see that you have the hard transition you know immediately that what comes before cannot be the conclusion AND cannot be the evidence for the conclusion! The conclusion and the evidence for it must both come after the hard transition.
Thanks David for introducing me to the concept of 'hard transition' in CR.

Ganesh hatwar Rising GMAT Star
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Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:47 am
Does this CR needs technical knowledge, such as peat. flora and fauna? What is peat?

Opponents of peat harvesting in this country argue that it would alter the ecological balance of our peat-rich wetlands and that, as a direct consequence of this, much of the country’s water supply would be threatened with contamination. But this cannot be true, for in Ireland, where peat has been harvested for centuries, the water supply is not contaminated. We can safely proceed with the harvesting of peat.

Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?

(A) Over hundreds of years, the ecological balance of all areas changes slowly but significantly, sometimes to the advantage of certain flora and fauna.
(B) The original ecology of the peat-harvesting areas of Ireland was virtually identical to that of the undisturbed wetlands of this country.
(C) The activities of the other industries in coming years are likely to have adverse effects on the water supply of this country.
(D) The peat resources of this country are far larger than those of some countries that successfully harvest peat.
(E) The peat-harvesting industry of Ireland has been able to supply most of that country’s fuel for generations.

No OA

Not sure with A or B will go with B

IMO B

thevenus Just gettin' started!
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Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:26 am
This is not a GMAT representative question.The question is rather a crap.
Opponents of peat harvesting in this country argue that it would alter the ecological balance of our peat-rich wetlands and that, as a direct consequence of this, much of the country’s water supply would be threatened with contamination. But this cannot be true, for in Ireland, where peat has been harvested for centuries, the water supply is not contaminated. We can safely proceed with the harvesting of peat.

Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?

(A) Over hundreds of years, the ecological balance of all areas changes slowly but significantly, sometimes to the advantage of certain flora and fauna.
(B) The original ecology of the peat-harvesting areas of Ireland was virtually identical to that of the undisturbed wetlands of this country.

the premise is talking about - ".....that it would alter the ecological balance of our peat-rich wetlands ...." not the "undisturbed wetlands of this country !

Secondly, virtually the atmosphere of two places can be similar but this is not strong enough to say that the consequences or the agriculture would be the same.

None of the answer choice is good enough !

(C) The activities of the other industries in coming years are likely to have adverse effects on the water supply of this country.
(D) The peat resources of this country are far larger than those of some countries that successfully harvest peat.
(E) The peat-harvesting industry of Ireland has been able to supply most of that country’s fuel for generations.

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David@VeritasPrep GMAT Instructor
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Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:43 am
thevenus -

Certainly everyone is entitled to his view. However, I have discussed this question with literally hundreds of students and none has expressed the opinion that this is "crap."

If you look to the postings above yours you will see that the others who have posted - a couple of dozen people - have liked the question or the explanation or both.

What you will want to do in the future is to look at each question as a learning opportunity. In this case I can see where you can alter your approach in order to be more successful at critical reasoning.

You say
Quote:
Secondly, virtually the atmosphere of two places can be similar but this is not strong enough to say that the consequences or the agriculture would be the same.

None of the answer choice is good enough !
You have a mistaken impression of what it means to strengthen an argument. You do not need for the correct answer to make the conclusion absolutely guaranteed, all you need to do is to make the conclusion a little, or a lot, more likely.

Let me give you an analogy in math that might help. A strengthen question would look like this in math "2 + x = 4." Your conclusion is 4, the current premise is 2 and the answer choice will replace x. What you seem to be looking for is a "2" so that you can say "2 + 2 = 4." That would guarantee the conclusion. What the GMAT is more likely to give is "x is a positive integer."

Now we can say "2 + a positive integer = 4." Now the conclusion is a little more likely because after all the number 2 (which we need to make our conclusion true) is a positive integer. So now our conclusion is that much closer.

The same thing applies to this argument. It is basically the transitive property... "harvesting peat in Ireland has not contaminated the water supply + this country's wetlands are virtually identical to those in Ireland = this country can safely harvest peat"

Now the conclusion is not guaranteed of course because the harvesting done in this country might be done in a very bad way and cause harm that did not occur in Ireland. But we do not need to make the conclusion true only to increase the likelihood that it is true.

I hope this helps you.

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hjafferi Rising GMAT Star
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Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:11 am
Imo B...Good questions though...

mohan514 Rising GMAT Star
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Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:08 pm
i compared ecological balance with ecology of ireland ,
such an approach has made me go with option A

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David@VeritasPrep GMAT Instructor
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Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:34 am
mohan514 - Did you mean B? Answer choice A does not really say anything. It is very general and gives us no help in utilizing the evidence of Ireland.

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mparakala Rising GMAT Star
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Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:44 pm
Firstly, I identified the conclusion.
Conclusion: It is not true that peat harvesting leads to water contamination.

A - talks about a change and not the relationship in the conclusion - incorrect

C - info on industries - Incorrect

D - info on peat resources - Incorrect

E - talks about supply of fuel - Incorrect

B - talks about the relationship saying that the original ecology of Ireland was similar to he wetlands and hence, the comparison! so, if they had similar ecologies then, the claim that peat harvesting leads to water contamination in wetlands is UNTRUE b'coz it did not lead to water contamination in Ireland. Hence proved ! This strengthens the conclusion!

Ans [B]

@David@Veritas Prep - please let me know if I gave the right answer. thank you!

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David@VeritasPrep GMAT Instructor
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Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:35 pm
mparakala -

Nice reasoning as well.

David

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David Newland, JD, MA, MAE
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