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June 2007, Logical Reasoning 1, Question 18


Question 18. When the question stem asks what the information above supports, we have an inference question. Inference questions give us a handful of facts, and ask us to find an answer choice that we can prove using those facts. Begin by analyzing the facts.

The first thing we're told is that modern science is built on the process of testing hypotheses and trying to prove them wrong. Second sentence tells us that nothing brings more recognition than overthrowing conventional wisdom. That's a very strong statement, nothing brings more recognition. The next sentence tells us that some scientists are skeptical of global warming, which is a widely accepted theory.

And the final sentence tells us two things. First, that there's hundreds of researchers striving to make breakthroughs in climatology, but very few of them find any evidence that global warming isn't true. It can often be hard to predict the answer on an inference question. So just go into the answer choices and use a process of elimination, eliminating things that you can't prove with the facts you've been given.

So answer choice A, most scientists who are reluctant to accept, wow, this is already a problem. There are some scientists who are unwilling to accept things about global warming, but I don't know anything about most of them, just some of them. Some of them are skeptical, some of them have found some evidence, but I don't know anything about most of them.

Go to answer choice B. Now, with what we said just a moment ago, this answer might seem suspicious, it also begins with most. But note, we do know something about most researchers in climatology because we know something about all scientists. Nothing brings more recognition than overthrowing conventional wisdom.

Answer choice B says, most researchers in climatology have substantial motive to find evidence that would discredit the global warming hypothesis. We can say certainly nothing brings more recognition than overthrowing conventional wisdom, and global warming is widely accepted. So it's conventional wisdom, thus most researchers would have a motive to try to discredit the hypothesis, answer choice B is provable.

So it's our answer, glance at the other answers just to see what's wrong with them. Answer choice C says that we have some conclusive evidence that shows that global warming is true, but all we know is that it is widely accepted. Widely accepted things don't have to be true, and they don't have to have been conclusively proven.

Answer choice D, the skeptical scientists have not offered any alternative hypotheses. But we know that few of them have found evidence, we don't know what they've done with hypotheses. Answer choice E, research in global warming is primarily driven and that's the problem.

We know that nothing brings more recognition than overthrowing conventional wisdom, so that's a motive. We don't know that that's the primary motive of most people who do climatology. So answer choice E goes too far, answer choice B was our answer.

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