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Course: LSAT (DEPRECATED) > Unit 1

Lesson 10: Reading Comprehension - Worked Examples

Inferences about views 2 | Science passage | The Sun

Watch a demonstration of one way to answer a question from a science passage on the LSAT that asks you to make inferences about a view that is represented in a passage. Created by Dave Travis.

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Video transcript

- [Instructor] Based on the information in the passage, it can be inferred that the author holds which one of the following views? Okay, so this is an inference question. This isn't about what's in the passage or summing up what a section of the passage is there for, what it's purpose or function is. This is about trying to figure out what the author is thinking. We can't really predict this, we know that the author is really celebrating the fact that, celebrating's too strong of a word, but it's definitely positive about Cecelia Payne's contribution to this area, of the discovery of what the sun is made of and that she was kind of an unsung hero of that time in research. Her colleagues didn't believe her, for whatever reason. But it's generally positive, so with views questions, it helps to kind of have a sense you're looking for something, you know, positive. Let's start looking at the choices. The fact that Payne's research findings were not found convincing by many of her contemporaries was not due to any major mistake in her scientific reasoning. That sounds pretty good, let's see the others. Previous to Payne, interpreters of the spectroscopic data had deliberately disregarded data that suggested the sun contained some hydrogen. No, this is really negative, the author doesn't hold any really kind of negative views about anybody, it's just stating the facts. We don't know that there is criminal negligence or criminal intent, so B is not right. The "iron" hypothesis would not have been accepted for so long were it not for the prominence and prestige of Lord Kelvin. Again, I don't know, Lord Kelvin was mentioned, but there's no, the author seems pretty agnostic about "Oh, you know, it was his fault, you know, "it was his prominence and prestige that made everybody "accept the 'iron' hypothesis." That's really a bridge too far, that would be using our imagination too much and there's no reason for us to think that. D, the resistance to her findings that Payne encountered among professional astronomers is uncharacteristic of the way science generally operates. Again, if this question, if this choice were right, it would be, you know, something about the author feeling, you know, having made a statement of, like, "that isn't the way science usually is." There are no statements along those lines, you know, in the entire passage, so that's not the answer. E, the discovery of nuclear fusion might have been delayed by several decades if Payne had not determined that the sun consists mainly of hydrogen and helium. And, again, we don't know that, you know, the author thinks "Oh, it would've been delayed, you know, we credit Payne "with finally the timeline on which nuclear fusion "was finally discovered and accepted as a thing." This is not in the passage. So, we have pretty good grounds to go with A here. Let's look at it again. The fact that Payne's research findings were not found convincing, okay, we definitely know that the passage is about that, by many of her contemporaries was not due to any major mistake in her scientific reasoning. Okay, so for this to be right, all we need to know is that the author thinks "yeah she was right all along." There is no mistake, so here's our answer, A.