QUESTION TYPE: Method of Reasoning
CONCLUSION: This characteristic [altering the environment in ways that help a species to survive] is actually quite common. It is not just the most highly evolved species that do this.
REASONING: Plankton is given as an example. Plankton release a gas that causes clouds. The clouds reflect heat and cool the earth. A cool earth benefits the plankton.
ANALYSIS: The argument uses a detailed example to prove that their opponent’s claim is wrong.
- There is a general principle and a particular case. But it is the particular case (plankton) that is used to justify the general principle (many species alter their environment.)
- An example: If I explain how I got $1,000,000 dollars without robbing a bank (a controversial phenomenon) then maybe you’ll believe that I really did get $1,000,000 without robbing a bank (and therefore I will have supported the claim that the phenomenon did occur.)
This is totally different. The argument wasn’t explaining why species alter their environment.
- This is tempting. But the stimulus didn’t try to describe the conditions under which species can alter their environment. It just said they could.
- CORRECT. Some people say that only highly evolved species can change their environment. But look! An itty-bitty plankton can do it! That’s a counterexample. It shows that the claim made by some people is wrong.
- There is a detailed example. But the stimulus didn’t say if the strategy was good or bad. There’s no value judgment being made.
Need help with LR? → Sign up hereTry the LSAT Hacks Course
Graeme teaches how to break down arguments, quickly