Proftrans Argument

Proftrans Argument - Argument150 The following is a letter...

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Unformatted text preview: Argument150 The following is a letter to the editor of an environmental magazine "The decline in the numbers of amphibians worldwide clearly indicates the global pollution of water and air. Two studies of amphibians in Yosemite National Park in California confirm my conclusion. In 1915 there were seven species of amphibians in the park, and there were abundant numbers of each species. However, in 1992 there were only four species of amphibians observed in the park, and the numbers of each species were drastically reduced. The decline in Yosemite has been blamed on the introduction of trout into the park's waters, which began in 1920 (trout are known to eat amphibian eggs). But the introduction of trout cannot be the real reason for the Yosemite decline because it does not explain the worldwide decline." Sample Essay In this argument, the writer of the letter concludes that global pollution of water and air has caused a decline in the number of amphibians worldwide. To support his or her conclusion, the writer cites the results of two studies, seventy-five years apart, that purportedly show that the number of amphibians in one park in California, Yosemite National Park, have drastically declined. Additionally, the writer casts aside a given reason for the decline, stating that the introduction of trout to the park (who are known to eat amphibian eggs) does not explain the worldwide decline in the number of amphibians. This argument defies simple logic and suffers from several critical fallacies. First of all, the argument is based on only two studies in one specific part of the world, Yosemite National Park in California. It is impossible to pinpoint a worldwide theory for the decline of amphibians based on any number of studies in only one specific location in the world - the specific varieties of amphibians, geographical conditions and other location specific variables prohibit such a sweeping generalization. One very specific location cannot be used as a model for all other locations, even within one particular country, let alone the entire world. The writer provides no evidenced whatsoever that links the Yosemite study with any purported effects anywhere else in the global environment. Secondly, the two separate studies were done seventy-five years apart. There is no evidence that the two studies were conducted in a similar manner over the same duration of time or even over the same exact areas of Yosemite National Park, or that the exact same study methods were used. For example, perhaps the first study lasted over an entire year and was conducted by twenty-five experts in amphibious biology, resulting in the finding of seven species of amphibians in abundant numbers. By contrast, perhaps the second study was conducted over a period of one week by a lone high school student as a school science project. The writer offers no basis on which to compare the two studies, leaving it open as to whether the two are truly comparable in their breadth, scope and expertise. comparable in their breadth, scope and expertise....
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This note was uploaded on 03/09/2011 for the course ECON 301 taught by Professor Fang during the Spring '11 term at SUNY Albany.

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Proftrans Argument - Argument150 The following is a letter...

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