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OG 11 Question

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Marty Murray wrote:
Here is why A is basically irrelevant.

The argument uses the discovery of STONE implements as evidence.

A is about not about stone implements. A is about CERAMIC implements. Ceramic implements are not stone implements.

Stone implements are made from stone. Ceramic implements are made from some kind of material that is formed and then heated to render it hard.

So A is about something different from what the argument is about.

To rock CR you have to note pretty much every word. Miss the fact that the argument uses one word and an answer choice uses another and you are doomed, DOOOOOMED. LOL

Enjoy the game!!!
Yes, I didn't realize that GMAT CR would require knowledge of CERAMIC implements and STONE implements - how they differ from one another Sad

I considered the term "POTTERY" HOLISTICALLY -- as POTTERY includes both CERAMIC and STONE, I didn't think that any answer choice needs to be evaluated on the basis of the above; rather I presumed that by CERAMIC Option A actually meant POTTERY itself...There I got it wrong!

However, though I could be wrong, it seems to be BIT weird that option A hangs on such intricate details of POTTERY! Is it the sole reason to eliminate A ? (could there be any additional reasons to eliminate A because I guess, GMAT GENERALLY doesn't frame Questions on such minute details!)

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RBBmba@2014 wrote:
Marty Murray wrote:
Here is why A is basically irrelevant.

The argument uses the discovery of STONE implements as evidence.

A is about not about stone implements. A is about CERAMIC implements. Ceramic implements are not stone implements.

So A is about something different from what the argument is about.

Yes, I didn't realize that GMAT CR would require knowledge of CERAMIC implements and STONE implements - how they differ from one another Sad

However, though I could be wrong, it seems to be BIT weird that option A hangs on such intricate details of POTTERY! Is it the sole reason to eliminate A ? (could there be any additional reasons to eliminate A because I guess, GMAT GENERALLY doesn't frame Questions on such minute details!)
Actually in many cases noticing one key detail like that one is key for getting a CR question right, though in a way I agree with what you are saying. The type of difference that exists between the meanings of words like "pottery", "ceramic" and "stone" is not commonly the key to getting a CR question right.

That having been said, you don't need to know the difference between CERAMIC and STONE to get this one right. What you do have to do is to know better than to ASSUME that ceramic is the SAME as stone.

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GMATGuruNY wrote:
winnerhere wrote:
The earliest Mayan pottery found at Colha, in Belize, is about 3,000 years old. Recently, however, 4,500-year-old stone agricultural implements were unearthed at Colha. These implements resemble Mayan stone implements of a much later period, also found at Colha. Moreover, the implements’ designs are strikingly different from the designs of stone implements produced by other cultures known to have inhabited the area in prehistoric times. Therefore, there were surely Mayan settlements in Colha 4,500 years ago.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

(A) Ceramic ware is not known to have been used by the Mayan people to make agricultural implements.
(B) Carbon-dating of corn pollen in Colha indicates that agriculture began there around 4,500 years ago.
(C) Archaeological evidence indicates that some of the oldest stone implements found at Colha were used to cut away vegetation after controlled burning of trees to open areas of swampland for cultivation.
(D) Successor cultures at a given site often adopt the style of agricultural implements used by earlier inhabitants of the same site.
(E) Many religious and social institutions of the Mayan people who inhabited Colha 3,000 years ago relied on a highly developed system of agricultural symbols.

OA : Later
To weaken the conclusion, attack the assumption.

Assumption: Because the 4500 year-old implements resemble Mayan implements of a later period, the Mayans must have made the 4500 year-old implements.
The correct answer will suggest that the Mayans did not make the 4500 year-old implements.

Answer choice D does just what we need.
It suggests that another culture made the 4500 year-old implements and that the Mayans -- the successor culture -- adopted the style of these implements.
If the Mayans adopted the style of this earlier culture, then there is no proof that the Mayans were in Colha 4500 years ago.

The correct answer is D.
Hi GMATGuruNY,
Though I understand your above explanation, I got a doubt to clarify -

"the implements’ designs are strikingly different from the designs of stone implements produced by other cultures known to have inhabited the area in prehistoric times" -- this PART is stated in the ARGUMENT,hence it's TRUE. Therefore, the OA seems to CONTRADICT this PREMISE in the ARGUMENT, I guess.

Thoughts ?

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Quote:
"the implements’ designs are strikingly different from the designs of stone implements produced by other cultures known to have inhabited the area in prehistoric times" -- this PART is stated in the ARGUMENT,hence it's TRUE. Therefore, the OA seems to CONTRADICT this PREMISE in the ARGUMENT, I guess.
No contradiction here. If successor cultures often adopt the styles of their predecessors, it doesn't mean they always do. So the style of the implements found at Colha were different than whatever came before. You're right that this is a given. But the Mayans in Belize (who came after whoever settled in Colha) may well have modeled the style of their tools on the implements found in Colhas.

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DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
Quote:
"the implements’ designs are strikingly different from the designs of stone implements produced by other cultures known to have inhabited the area in prehistoric times" -- this PART is stated in the ARGUMENT,hence it's TRUE. Therefore, the OA seems to CONTRADICT this PREMISE in the ARGUMENT, I guess.
No contradiction here. If successor cultures often adopt the styles of their predecessors, it doesn't mean they always do. So the style of the implements found at Colha were different than whatever came before. You're right that this is a given. But the Mayans in Belize (who came after whoever settled in Colha) may well have modeled the style of their tools on the implements found in Colhas.
Hi Dave,
Don't really get this! Would it be possible for your to elaborate ?

Per the ARGUMENT,If the styles of Mayans' predecessors are strikingly DIFFERENT from those of Mayans, then how we can say any Option indicating that the Mayans ADOPTED the styles of the earlier inhabitants/their predecessors doesn't CONTRADICT the PREMISE in RED as mentioned in the ARGUMENT ?

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RBBmba@2014 wrote:
DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
Quote:
"the implements’ designs are strikingly different from the designs of stone implements produced by other cultures known to have inhabited the area in prehistoric times" -- this PART is stated in the ARGUMENT,hence it's TRUE. Therefore, the OA seems to CONTRADICT this PREMISE in the ARGUMENT, I guess.
No contradiction here. If successor cultures often adopt the styles of their predecessors, it doesn't mean they always do. So the style of the implements found at Colha were different than whatever came before. You're right that this is a given. But the Mayans in Belize (who came after whoever settled in Colha) may well have modeled the style of their tools on the implements found in Colhas.
Hi Dave,
Don't really get this! Would it be possible for your to elaborate ?

Per the ARGUMENT,If the styles of Mayans' predecessors are strikingly DIFFERENT from those of Mayans, then how we can say any Option indicating that the Mayans ADOPTED the styles of the earlier inhabitants/their predecessors doesn't CONTRADICT the PREMISE in RED as mentioned in the ARGUMENT ?
The misunderstanding lies here: If the styles of Mayans' predecessors are strikingly DIFFERENT from those of Mayans.
The style of the Mayans' predecessors is different from the style of whoever came before them, not from that of the Mayans, who seem to have come after. Think of three different time periods.

T1: Pre-Colha
T2: Colha
T3: Mayans (Belize)

The argument is claiming that what's found in T2 is different from what had been found in T1. It's no contradiction to claim that what was found in T3 has similarities to what was found in T2. Make sense?

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DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
The misunderstanding lies here: If the styles of Mayans' predecessors are strikingly DIFFERENT from those of Mayans.
The style of the Mayans' predecessors is different from the style of whoever came before them, not from that of the Mayans, who seem to have come after. Think of three different time periods.

T1: Pre-Colha
T2: Colha
T3: Mayans (Belize)

The argument is claiming that what's found in T2 is different from what had been found in T1. It's no contradiction to claim that what was found in T3 has similarities to what was found in T2. Make sense?
Hi Dave,
Got a doubt on this : Option D is a GENERIC statement WITHOUT a DIRECT reference to any SPECIFIC "time period" and hence can be applied to any time period such as T1/T2/T3...Isn't it ?

If so, then doesn't Option D seem to CONTRADICT the ARGUMENT which says what's found in T2 is different from what had been found in T1 ? Because per Option D, Successor culture (from T2) can adopt the style of earlier culture (from T1) -- that's a clear CONTRADICTION, I guess!

(Pretty confusing) Thoughts ?

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RBBmba@2014 wrote:
DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
The misunderstanding lies here: If the styles of Mayans' predecessors are strikingly DIFFERENT from those of Mayans.
The style of the Mayans' predecessors is different from the style of whoever came before them, not from that of the Mayans, who seem to have come after. Think of three different time periods.

T1: Pre-Colha
T2: Colha
T3: Mayans (Belize)

The argument is claiming that what's found in T2 is different from what had been found in T1. It's no contradiction to claim that what was found in T3 has similarities to what was found in T2. Make sense?
Hi Dave,
Got a doubt on this : Option D is a GENERIC statement WITHOUT a DIRECT reference to any SPECIFIC "time period" and hence can be applied to any time period such as T1/T2/T3...Isn't it ?

If so, then doesn't Option D seem to CONTRADICT the ARGUMENT which says what's found in T2 is different from what had been found in T1 ? Because per Option D, Successor culture (from T2) can adopt the style of earlier culture (from T1) -- that's a clear CONTRADICTION, I guess!

(Pretty confusing) Thoughts ?
There's no contradiction in claiming that something "often" happens and then pointing out an instance in which the phenomenon did not occur. Imagine you're an archaeologist. You find pottery that's 4500 years old. It's stylistically different from what came before. Moreover, the new pottery is stylistically similar to the Mayan pottery that came after. You're trying to determine if the same culture produced the pottery you found as well as the pottery that came after.

If cultures often borrow styles from previous inhabitants, it would muddy the picture - you wouldn't know if the similarities existed because the same culture produced both or because one culture adopted a style from a previous one. You would, however, be able to deduce that the pottery from 4500 years ago was likely produced by a different culture than what came before, but that's not what we're trying to determine here.

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