QUESTION TEXT: We know that if life ever existed on the Moon…
QUESTION TYPE: Parallel Reasoning
CONCLUSION: Life has never existed on the moon.
REASONING: If life had existed on the moon, there would be evidence. We haven’t found evidence so far.
ANALYSIS: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Something can exist even if we haven’t found it yet. That’s all there is to this argument. Often the error is quite simple.
- The stimulus had absence of evidence, and used it to prove evidence of absence. We looked for evidence, and couldn’t find any.
This argument has a different structure. First, it just says “we don’t know”. We don’t know if people tried to find out whether the general was a traitor.
Second, the stimulus has a clear conditional link between life and evidence of life. If there were life, there’d be evidence.
This argument has shown no conditional link between being a spy and being a traitor.
- This doesn’t match the structure. The conclusion is “unlikely”, whereas the stimulus said there has “never” been life on the moon.
Further, in the stimulus people actually looked for evidence of life. Whereas this loser couldn’t even be bothered to open his fridge to check for mayo.
- This is a terrible argument, but it doesn’t mirror the absence of evidence flaw.
The flaw here is that the argument gave no evidence about what concerns voters. Unless they care about crime, Hendricks doesn’t have a chance. The argument said what Hendricks wants, but not what voters want.
- This is a bad argument, but the error is different. Here, finding signs of rodents is a necessary condition. The argument incorrectly takes it to be a sufficient condition.
- CORRECT. This matches the absence of evidence error. The author has shown that we haven’t found troop movements or a transfer of weapons. But that doesn’t mean those things don’t exist.
Need help with LR? → Sign up hereTry the LSAT Hacks Course
Graeme teaches how to break down arguments, quickly