I hope you're not tired of reading it, because I'm not going to stop saying it: You must argue with the speaker, and you must try to predict these answers in advance. The arguments are largely bullshit, and your job is always to figure out why they are bullshit. You must cultivate an adversarial attitude. Put a chip on your shoulder, and try your best to disagree with the speaker. On question #9 in Section 3 of the June 2007 LSAT, the naturalist concludes that the Tasmanian Tiger is extinct. The evidence to support this assertion is as follows: 1) The Tasmanian Tiger's natural habitat has been taken over by sheep farming, and the Tiger has been systematically eliminated from this area. 2) Naturalists have found no hard evidence of the Tiger's survival. That's the evidence in support of "the Tiger is extinct." The argument then acknowledges, but dismisses, some "alleged sightings" of the Tiger that have been reported, but not confirmed to the naturalist's satisfaction. (Obviously, these sightings go precisely against the Naturalist's conclusion.)
Why is the argument bullshit? Well, for one thing--and this is will almost certainly be related to the eventual correct answer, no matter what type of question this turns out to be--couldn't the Tiger have moved to a different habitat? The argument basically says "Because Curt Schilling went bankrupt making video games, and has now been evicted from his house (this hasn't actually happened yet, but I can dream), Curt Schilling is therefore dead." Now, as much as I wish Curt Schilling were dead--I have always hated that blowhard, and his downfall pleases me greatly--the fact that we can't find him at his house doesn't mean he is dead.
What does this have to do with the Tasmanian Tiger? Am I babbling, or did I just answer the question? Let's see.
Which one of the following is an assumption on which the naturalist's argument depends?
Yeah, too easy. My dumbass example has assumed that if Curt Schilling isn't at home, then Curt Schilling is dead. Our dumbass naturalist has assumed that if the Tasmanian Tiger isn't in its natural habitat, then the Tasmanian Tiger is extinct. Are you picking up what I'm laying down?
A) Not what I'm looking for. When I have such a strong prediction, I'll quickly dismiss all other answers, looking for the one that's perfect.
B) Also not what I'm looking for.
C) Also not what I'm looking for.
D) Yeah, exactly. If Curt Schilling has moved from his mansion into a van down by the river, then he can still be alive. If the Tasmanian Tiger has moved from its natural habitat into Curt Schilling's foreclosed mansion, then the Tasmanian Tiger might not be extinct. This is a perfect answer.
E) Not what I'm looking for.
Our answer is D. If you'd like to make a case for A, B, C, or E... feel free to email me! I'd be happy to tell you specifically why each one of them is not the answer. But I honestly wouldn't waste time on the real test trying to figure out what's wrong with each of them. We knew why the argument was bullshit, and D points it out. Simple as that.