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Unit 1: Lesson 10

Reading Comprehension - Worked Examples

Inferences about views 3 | 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] It can be inferred from information in the passage that scientists who tries to explain away Payne's findings by claiming that she had misconstrued the relevance of her data assumed which one of the following to be true? Okay, so we're trying to find out information about those scientist who tries to explain away Payne's findings. When they said that she had misconstrued the relevance of her data, what did they think? What must they have thought was true? And we can figure that out by just looking at that closely and just trying to remember what it was that those people said. So let's scroll up and have a look. I think it was up here. Most astronomers at the time dismissed Payne's interpretation and some ... These are the ones we're talking about ... 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 those scientists are saying oh ya, you know there is hydrogen and there is helium but that's probably just the sun's outer surface and that's different from what's in the interior which must not be what you're looking at. So let's go back and find that answer cause that seems pretty straight forward. Okay, so what did they think? What did they assume? What did those people assume to be true? "A" it is impossible to generate heat through nuclear fusion. That feels a little bit off topic, let's keep looking. The inside of the sun is not of the same composition as its outer surface. Okay that looks really good. Basically if they say, look you're looking at the surface of the sun, not the inside, then that's basically what "B" says. On test day you could just circle that answer and move on but let's look at the others just to see how they disqualify themselves. "C" the sun contained insufficient hydrogen to have warmed Earth for billions of years. Okay, so again that's another thing that I'd say it's just off topic and then just cross it out. "D" Payne's preconceptions about the iron hypothesis biased her analysis of spectroscopic data. Okay well, you know they might have said that but that isn't the most straight forward way to interpret what those scientists said, which was that there are ... You were seeing the surface of the sun, not the inside. We're looking for an answer that makes that distinction and "B" again looks great. "D" sounds good, all these choices sound good. They're written to sound interesting, to sound possible. But if you know what you're looking for you're in a much better position to keep the blinders on and not be distracted by choices that look tempting because they sound so smart or sound so interesting. So let's look at "E" also. Spectroscopy will not detect the presence of iron if the iron is in an object as far away from Earth as the sun is. So again it's not related to what we're looking for. So let's just try to block these ideas out and then look again at our choice and understand that, yes that has to be the right answer. And that's without giving the other choices too much benefit of the doubt. You gotta trust yourself and stick with what you know and what you think it must mean when those scientist that we're talking about are the people who said ... Let's look again, they're the ones who said ... They claimed, what she had examined was data about the sun's outer surface rather than its interior. This is the source of our answer. It is well supported, the answer is "B".