QUESTION TEXT: So-called “engineered foods,” usually in powder or…
QUESTION TYPE: Necessary Assumption
CONCLUSION: Athletes who need to improve muscular strength should not consume engineered foods.
REASONING: Engineered foods produce growth hormones. Growth hormones only produce growth in connective tissue and not in muscle tissue.
ANALYSIS: We don’t have any evidence that connective tissue growth is useless for strength. It might help.
We also have no evidence that athletes experience any disadvantage from taking these foods. Therefore the conclusion that athletes definitely should not take them is not well supported. At best we could say there is no evidence that athletes should take the foods.
Remember to negate the answer choices.
- Even if muscle mass doesn’t improve strength it could be the case that connective tissue growth doesn’t work either.
Negation: An increase in muscle mass doesn’t increase strength.
- The conclusion is only about what athletes should do. This doesn’t matter.
- CORRECT. There could be some other advantage from the engineered food. We have no evidence of the disadvantage. It is necessary that there would be no reason to consume engineered foods apart from muscle mass gains.
- This would help the argument but it isn’t necessary. It’s enough that engineered foods don’t improve health as much as normal foods.
- This weakens the argument if it is true, since the engineered foods improve connective tissue.
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Confused re your comment on answer a. Question clearly states growth in connective tissues doesn’t improve muscle strength?
I clarified the explanation by making explicit what the negation says.
A isn’t necessary, because it’s possible that neither muscle mass nor connective tissue increase strength.