QUESTION TEXT: Some biologists believe that the capacity for…
QUESTION TYPE: Role in Argument
- One group of scientists argues that marine reptiles were the first to fly. These scientists claimed that feathers obviously developed from scales.
- A second group correctly rejects this idea. They point out that non-marine reptiles also have scales and that bats (which can fly) have no scales.
- A third group believes that flight developed in tree-dwelling reptiles. They reject the claim that land reptiles might have developed wings. They claim it’s more likely that tree reptiles developed wings to jump between trees.
ANALYSIS: This question has a lot of words. We can focus on the second group of scientists. They point out that non-marine reptiles have scales.
The first group claimed that the fact that marine reptiles had scales meant that they must have been the first fliers. They were assuming that only marine reptiles had scales. But if other animals such as non-marine reptiles had scales then this argument falls apart.
The claim serves as evidence to show that the first group is wrong.
- CORRECT. It directly weakens the claim.
- No, the scientists were reacting to the claim of the first group. The first group argued that flight arose in marine reptiles.
- Same as B. The claim was used against scientists who believed that marine reptiles were the first to fly.
- Same as B and C.
- No, it doesn’t corroborate the observation. If I showed you an Iguana would you cry out: “this must mean that bats can fly!”? That would be silly.
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