DISCUSSION: If you read the full line 49, it talks about scientific literature and claims “being tested in the crucible of the adversarial system”.
You don’t need to know the word crucible to answer this. Imagine you make a scientific claim in court. What happens? The opposing lawyer will examine you and test if the claim is accurate and relevant. This will be a tough process! That’s what a crucible is. Something very difficult. In this case, a difficult, challenging system for testing the credibility of facts.
Just reading the words in the answers doesn’t solve this question though. None of them intrinsically mean something difficult. You have to read the passage around them to see how they were used.
- This means what it sounds: appeals court judges are tempted to do the wrong thing and research. Hardly a crucible, which is a situation of extreme difficulty. Resisting a temptation is part of the normal course of human life.
- This is close. The crucible is indeed testing the credibility of literature. But there’s the problem: the crucible is not credibility itself! It is the system which tests that credibility. They’re two different things.
- CORRECT. The full line here is “the greatest legal engine ever for the discovery of truth – cross-examination”.
Now that sounds like a serious process, a machine at work. This is the closest to “the crucible of the adversarial system”.
Both cases describe an intense system at work. And if you were on the witness stand, it would feel intense to have the “engine” of the legal system working on you.
The original meaning of crucible was a metal pot where things were melted. This is actually quite similar to an engine, which burns fuel. Both are hot and intense.
This may be a difficult question depending on vocabulary, but I think focussing on the difficulty of a crucible and it being part of a system can lead you to answer C.
- This refers to the trial court’s fact finding function. First, “function” isn’t nearly intense enough. Second, this refers to the court, whereas crucible referred to the testing of literature and witnesses.
- Medium here refers to the way text are brought to court by appellate judges. i.e. Internet research, consulting scientists, any way in which judges find info outside of the court record.
This is way, way, way off: the crucible described a system for testing the credibility of facts.
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