QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: My neighbor is wrong to say that my pesticides are spreading to her land in runoff water.
REASONING: My pesticides are harmless, and I don’t spray them directly on my neighbor’s land.
ANALYSIS: The farmer completely ignores the neighbor’s argument. The neighbor says the pesticides are coming to her land via runoff water.
The farmer says the pesticides are safe. But the neighbor’s complaint wasn’t about safety. It was about the fact that pesticides were reaching her land.
To prove the neighbor wrong, the farmer would have to show that his pesticides weren’t reaching his neighbor’s land via runoff water.
It is true that the farmer hasn’t proved his claim about the safety of organic pesticides (Answer choice A). But this would only be relevant if the neighbor’s main complaint had been about safety.
- See the explanation above. The neighbor’s claim was that the pesticides had reached her land, not that the pesticides were unsafe.
- The neighbor never said that the farmer directly sprays pesticides on her land. That’s the only thing the farmer was careful to avoid.
- CORRECT. The farmer completely ignores the neighbor’s claim about runoff water.
- The farmer doesn’t have to prove why the pesticides are on his neighbor’s land. He just has to prove that it’s not his fault.
- The evidence about safety is actually irrelevant, because the neighbor’s claim was that the pesticides had travelled to her land. She didn’t say whether the pesticides were unsafe.
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