QUESTION TEXT: A plausible explanation of the disappearance of…
QUESTION TYPE: Weaken
CONCLUSION: A large comet could have killed the dinosaurs.
REASONING: The comet would have sent a cloud of dust into the atmosphere and cooled the planet.
ANALYSIS: The correct answer says that species very much like the dinosaurs survived. That’s strange. If all of the dinosaurs died then we would expect similar species to have died too.
- So? The argument just says that the comet explanation is plausible. It’s to be expected that some paleontologists will disagree. But they haven’t proven the comet theory is implausible.
- CORRECT. We would have expected these species to die if they had the same vulnerabilities that dinosaurs had. Otherwise, why didn’t some dinosaurs survive as well?
- There might be some other way of figuring out if the theory were true. This doesn’t matter.
- Of course. Some animals might have been adapted to survive in a cooler climate. But the dinosaurs could still have died if they weren’t well adapted to cool weather.
- “Fully understood” is a very high standard. We might be able to conclude that a comet would have killed the dinosaurs even if we can’t figure out all of the consequences.
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