• July 20, 2016 at 9:59 am #2278

      My question came about mostly because I’m an idiot. Reading the stimulus I came up with this rough interpretation:

      1) Amp pop declining
      2) Oz declining cont. past 50 yrs
      3) UV-B (blocked by oz) CAN be bad for genes
      4) Amps have little protection to UV-B
      Therefore, oz decline primary cause to amp pop decline

      This seems like a corr=caus fallacy with a small asterisk of primary caus (leaving some room for other caus)

      I picked C because to me it made it seem like there was something going on where amphibians are living that was reducing the ozone. Obviously, my answer was wrong–like I said, idiot. But my question is now, in the LSAT, does the existence of a cause to the cause the stimulus purports weaken the argument? Let’s suspend criticism for a sec and accept that the ozone decline is the primary cause for the decline in the amphibian pop. What if that primary cause had a primary cause? For example, what if peat burning plants established themselves in areas where amphibians live 50 years ago and were the primary cause to the ozone reduction in those areas? Does that shift the cause to the peat burning or is it still the ozone reduction?

    • July 20, 2016 at 10:28 am #2279
      LSAT Dan

      To answer your direct question, no – The existence of a “cause of the cause” doesn’t disqualify the secondary cause. In your example, based on my experience, *either* the peat burning or the ozone depletion might be given as a correct answer in a weaken question, but you wouldn’t see both given on the same question with the ozone answer being considered wrong.

      As for answer choice (C) on this question, it’s a typical example of something seen often on strengthen or weaken questions with a cause and effect argument. If the cause and effect are both present (or both absent), then the argument is strengthened. I think you might have just over-thought this one. For more on strengthen/weaken questions and the cause/effect argument, see: http://thelsattrainer.academy/forums/topic/strengthenweaken-questions/

      That post also covers two other common ways in which strengthen/weaken questions tend to resolve on the LSAT.

      Hope this helps,

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