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Unit 1: Lesson 10

Reading Comprehension - Worked Examples

Inferences about views 1 | Science passage | The Sun

Watch a demonstration of one way to answer an Inferences about views question from a science passage on the LSAT. Created by Dave Travis.

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Video transcript

- [Instructor] The passage provides the strongest support for believing that some scientists, in the 1920s held, which one of the following views regarding Payne's interpretation of the spectroscopic data relating to the sun? Okay, so that's a big, long question. Let's try to focus on what exactly it is. It's a question that is about support for believing that some scientists, a group, in the 1920s held which of the following views. So it's the views of a group, and what are the views about, there about Payne's interpretation of the spectroscopic data relating to the sun. Okay, so if you recall, the main point of the entire passage was that scientists didn't accept Payne's claim about the composition of the sun. So, we can head up to the passage and see what we can hunt down about the views of the various groups mentioned, but this is a question that's asking to find support about a certain groups' views. And it's a fairly common question type. So let's go up and see what we can find beyond just remembering that most of the scientists believe that her interpretation of the spectroscopic data relating to the sun was actually just, ya know, wrong. So let's see if we can find any, we're gonna through the whole passage and see what kind of views are mentioned. So first we have, ya know, strong resistance among professional astronomers to her position, to her claim. So we're looking for generally a negative thing. We have another view here, we hear about the orthodox view about it being iron, the composition of the sun. If we're looking for other people who hold views, we have Lord Kelvin who's holding a view about or has an idea about how the sun is made of iron and how that iron could compress itself and make the sun hot. Let's look at what other views we have. In this paragraph we have preliminary examination of the spectroscopic data convinced Payne, 'cause this paragraph is about Payne's analysis of the spectroscopic data. So, okay, here we are, let's see. Most astronomers, at the time, dismissed Payne's interpretation. So we heard that, so we gotta make a minuses for most astronomers and some sought to explain it away simply by claiming that what she had examined was data about the sun's outer surface rather than its interior. So here's some, here's some astronomers and here most astronomers. Let's see what we can find in the choices that are gonna help us, cross them out or choose the right answer. So A, The methodology she used in analyzing the data was outdated and thus her findings were of doubtful validity. Okay, so we narrowed it a lot, most of the astronomers think that her findings are doubtful validity, but are they claiming that her methodology for analyzing the spectrographic data is outdated, I think the word outdated is what's making this choice, wrong. So let's go to B, her interpretation of the data was remarkably accurate and proved that the traditional interpretation of the data to be incorrect. Okay, remarkably accurate, that's a big double plus and we didn't hear a lot of big double pluses from any views in support of Payne's claim, so that's out. C, her findings are generally promising and warranted serious considera, warranted serious consideration, didn't hear generally promising. But no definitive assessment of them could be made without verification of certain details. Nobody is saying that her findings are generally promising, that's out. D, her interpretation of the data was not entirely ill founded, 'cause it was based on the spectrographic data, but the overall conclusions she drew from the data were wrong. Okay, so that's looking pretty good. Let's look at E, her interpretation and the overall conclusions she drew from it were correct. No, no, we don't hear any astronomers saying that they hold the view that she was correct. In fact if we look at D, the overall conclusions she drew from the data were wrong, yeah, we heard that some astronomers think that she must have just been looking at the surface of the sun, but really wasn't seeing any information about the interior of the sun and so she was basically wrong. So this is our answer, D.