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GMAT Question of the Day – 17/1/2021

QUESTION

A large pharmaceutical company has recently developed an antibiotic that has been shown to be highly effective at treating a variety of infections. The drug is obtained from the scales of the rare tutu fish, which is only found in the wild living in the reefs off Sando Island in the South Pacific. Since it takes the scales from 1,000 fish to make a single kilogram of the antibiotic, it follows that continued production of the drug will lead to the extinction of the tutu fish.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

ANSWER SELECTION

(C) The inhabitants of Sando Island regard the meat of the tutu fish as a delicacy.

ANSWER EXPLANATION

The words “most seriously weakens” indicate that this is a Weaken question. The correct choice will make it less likely that the conclusion follows from the stated evidence.

The conclusion of the argument is easy to spot since the author uses the phrase “it follows that.” The author believes the tutu fish will become extinct if production of the drug made from its scales continues. The evidence is that the fish is rare and that 1,000 are required to make a single kilogram of the new antibiotic.

The central assumption here is that the fish cannot reproduce fast enough to avoid extinction. A weakener will attack the author’s assumption. It will suggest how the tutu fish can reproduce fast enough to avoid extinction, even with continued drug production.

(D) attacks the author’s assumption and is therefore correct. If the tutu fish can be bred successfully in captivity and cultivated on fish farms, their extinction can be avoided.

(A), (B), and (E) are are all irrelevant to the argument. It does not matter that the antibiotic is available only by prescription, that the fish is expensive, or that Sando Island is difficult to reach. The argument is only concerned with the threat to the fish should drug production be continued, despite any of the factors mentioned in these three choices.

(C) presents a different threat to the fish. The argument is only concerned with the threat posed by production of the drug.

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