QUESTION TEXT: Essayist: If Earth’s population continues to grow…
QUESTION TYPE: Identify The Conclusion
CONCLUSION: Colonizing other planets would only be a temporary solution to overcrowding.
REASONING: Earth will be too crowded if our population keeps growing at a geometric rate. Even if we send half the population to Mars, population growth will soon leave Earth just as crowded.
ANALYSIS: LSAT authors usually use the phrase “some say” to indicate an opinion they will disagree with. This argument does that in the second sentence. Then this author says “however” in the third sentence to indicate that they do disagree with the opinion in the second sentence. That’s the conclusion.
Note that the author’s conclusion is about what would be true IF the population keeps growing geometrically. The author doesn’t say that the population WILL keep growing geometrically. This is an important distinction on the LSAT, and it eliminates two answers.
- This first sentence is not the conclusion. It is just a fact that supports the conclusion and adds context to the argument. .
- The author didn’t say population will continue to grow geometrically. She just said what would happen if population grew geometrically.
- This is just a fact that supports the author’s point. Since this is true, then it’s likely that in a few centuries we will have one person per square foot if population grows geometrically.
- Same as B. The author didn’t say that population will grow geometrically.
- CORRECT. The word “however” in the third sentence indicates that the third sentence is the conclusion. The author disagrees with the opinion in the second sentence. Whenever an LSAT author says “some say”, then their conclusion is probably disagreement with the “some say” opinion.
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