June 2013 LSAT, LR1, Q3 dietary habits

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project Mollie Murphy was in my April and May 2013 LSAT classes, and I watched her go from a 150 to a 162. I still have no idea what her ceiling is”¦ students usually level off at a certain point, but with Mollie all I've seen is up. I hope she doesn't settle for a mediocre LSAT score, because it appears as if she's on the way to the top of the scale.

Guest blogger: Mollie Murphy

Hey Ya'll-

My name is Mollie, and though I have been thinking about it for a long time, I decided it was time to go to law school just a few weeks before starting Nathan's class. I work with children and I'm non-profit junkie, which means that writing and talking about my feelings are my top two skills in life. Thus, studying for the LSAT was like opening an entirely new chapter in my brain. Thanks to long hours, and Nathan's help, however, I am getting much better, and enjoying myself more than I thought I would.

The argument is just stating facts, who ate what, who had what in their bodies, etc. until the conclusion comes along. The important point here is to understand what the conclusion is saying about the relationship between galactose and cancer. A carcinogen is a substance that causes cancer, so the argument is saying that people with cancer can't process galactose because they don't have enough of a specific enzyme, and (ready to jump?) this means that eating too much galactose is will cause cancer? WHAT?

This is stupid. The speaker really jumped off the cliff here. He/she jumped to causation from some lightly correlated information that has no known timeline. For all we know, the group in question could have contracted cancer before their enzyme levels dropped. Since it's a Weaken question, we should look for an answer that argues with the speaker's causation claim.

A: Comprehensive dietary reports of everyone in the study are irrelevant because the conclusion focuses exclusively on the relationship of galactose and cancer. Sure, if you were studying cancer in a lab you would gather all the data possible about your control and treatment groups, but we're not policing for the scientific method here, we're tracking argumentative logic, and the habits of all participants is not something that the conclusion is making claims about.

B: Making a recommendation about what people should eat is just way too many steps ahead of what this argument even begins to explain. Plus, this answer choice didn't even mention cancer, which is what the conclusion is talking about. No one is required to make any kind of recommendations based on any of the premises. There is just no way.

C: This is a trick, but not a very good one. The argument only focused on the galactose, the enzyme, and cancer, whether or not there are other substances that cause cancer doesn't matter, because the conclusion, again, focuses on the relationship between cancer and galactose. Even though there are other carcinogenic materials out there, pointing that out does not help disprove the conclusion in the context of this argument.

D: Yep. Given a list of complicated variables, and some correlations in the data, assuming causation in the conclusion was unfounded and stupid. Giving an example of another plausible causal relationship really puts a dent in the conclusion.

E: I mean, it would possibly be helpful if the argument went into fuller detail about the results of the study, but knowing that information still couldn't fathomably prove without a reasonable doubt that excess galactose causes cancer! D is the answer.

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends! --nathan

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project