QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: A catastrophe is unlikely during the entire journey.
REASONING: A catastrophe is unlikely during any individual stage of the journey.
ANALYSIS: This argument makes a part-to-whole flaw. There could be 1,000 stages of the journey. A small likelihood of catastrophe at each individual stage could add up to great danger.
Hopefully this analogous argument makes it easier to see the flaw: “If you speed through city streets while drunk, an accident is unlikely on any given stretch of road. So you’re not likely to have an accident at any point while drunk driving.”
B, C and D are practically the same answer. They simply don’t happen in the stimulus. An answer has to happen for it to be a flaw.
- CORRECT. The evidence is about the stages (the parts of the journey). The conclusion is about the whole journey.
- The conclusion didn’t say a catastrophe was impossible.
Example of flaw: A catastrophe is unlikely. So traveling to Mars is 100% safe, accidents are impossible.
- This is almost exactly the same as B. The argument didn’t say that the trip would definitely work.
Example of flaw: The trip will probably be safe. So it will be.
- The same as B and C. The argument didn’t say this!
Example of flaw: This rocket has a 1% chance of reaching Mars. So it will reach Mars, we’re 100% certain.
- A conclusion can be right even if the evidence is wrong. This is a common flaw on the LSAT, but it doesn’t happen here.
Example of flaw: Critics said a Mars journey is dangerous, but their evidence is flawed. So traveling to Mars is certainly safe.
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