QUESTION TYPE: Weaken
CONCLUSION: We can’t use standard archaeological techniques to date prehistoric paintings made on limestone.
REASONING: Standard archaeological techniques can’t date anything that has any minerals containing carbon. We can’t collect samples of paintings made on limestone without removing some limestone. Limestone is a mineral containing carbon.
ANALYSIS: All of our samples will have carbon. But the right answer tells us we can remove the carbon from those samples in the lab.
- According to the argument, all of those techniques will contain limestone and thus the samples will be worthless.
- CORRECT. This would do it. The samples contain limestone, but we can remove it. Then we could date the paint samples.
- We’re not trying to date the limestone. We’re trying to date the paint. The limestone is certainly much older.
- This strengthens the argument. The argument is discussing techniques for dating vegetable matter: none of them work if there is carbon. This answer choice rules out the possibility of dating any other materials in the paint.
- That’s nice. But any carbon means we can’t date the sample.
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