CARS 108 Book Section 8, Passage 5, Question 27

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pkwy22
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CARS 108 Book Section 8, Passage 5, Question 27

Post by pkwy22 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:29 pm

Question 27:

A new scientific study is released that contradicts our prior knowledge on the subject. Based on the passage, the author would most likely:

The correct answer in the key is B: only evaluate the probability that the new evidence is correct in comparison to his prior knowledge.


However, to me, C is the more appropriate answer.

Paragraph two explicitly states that "probability supposes an opposition of experiments or observation" (and a study is either done experimentally or through observations).
The author then gives an example of what is meant by opposition of experiments and how it relates to 'superior evidence.'
"A hundred instances of experiments on one side, and fifty on another, afford a doubtful expectation of any event; though a hundred uniform experiments, with only one that is contradictory, reasonably beget a pretty strong degree of assurance." <---it says right there that one experiment (in this case a study) is not enough to create 'doubtful expectation.'
So why/how is the correct answer not C?
NS_Tutor_Mathias
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Re: CARS 108 Book Section 8, Passage 5, Question 27

Post by NS_Tutor_Mathias » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:27 pm

The phrasing of neither option here is perfect, but notice that the author says we can only determine a probability, that all evidence is probability and not certainty. The author does not seem inclined to believe in one or the other, but rather admit strength of evidence towards one or the other.

B is indeed the better answer, as it is in line with how the author treats conclusions stemming from evidence. I do agree though, C is phrased with an awful lot of overlap and wouldn't be an entirely bad answer, since the concept of prior knowledge or what 'believe' means in this context isn't defined entirely clearly in the passage or stem. On real AAMC questions, these kinds of 'best answer' choices are very rare to usually even non-existent - meaning every wrong answer on an AAMC CARS question will have a significant flaw, although that flaw may require critical and detailed understanding.
pkwy22
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Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:15 pm

Re: CARS 108 Book Section 8, Passage 5, Question 27

Post by pkwy22 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:31 pm

Thank you for your reply!
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