GRE Argument Essay 46
It is known that in recent years, industrial pollution has caused the Earth’s ozone layer to thin, allowing an increase in the amount of ultraviolet radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface. At the same time, scientists have discovered, the population of a species of salamander that lays its eggs in mountain lakes has declined. Since ultraviolet radiation is known to be damaging to delicate tissues and since salamander eggs have no protective shells, it must be the case that the increase in ultraviolet radiation has damaged many salamander eggs and prevented them from hatching. This process will no doubt cause population declines in other species, just as it has in the salamander species.
In this argument, the author has mentioned that due to the increased industrial pollution, the Earth’s ozone layer has decreased and hence, more ultraviolet rays reach the Earth’s surface. The author further says that according to the discovery of scientists, the population of a species of Salamander, which stays in mountain lakes, has decreased. The author cites that the reason for decreased population of Salamander is ultraviolet rays, as these rays prevent the eggs of salamander from hatching. Hence, the same ultraviolet radiations will affect the population of other species also. There is no doubt that pollution is a problem and a cause for global warming. It has disturbed the habitats of many species and is a threat to the animal and plant kingdom. However, there are some logical flaws in the author’s argument. The reasons given by the author are not convincing.
First of all, the author has completely assumed that the cause of depletion of ozone layer is industry. This point itself is not correct. There are many other factors like increase in vehicular pollution, water pollution, air pollution etc. that cause pollution and are responsible for the decline in ozone layer of the Earth. Anyways, industries are normally built in the areas where there are no inhabitants. Hence, to assume that the cause of pollution is only industries is not correct.
Moreover, the author has not provided any evidence, which will prove the relation between the decline in the salamander population and the ultraviolet rays. The argument is completely based on the assumption that whatever damages happened were because of the thinning of the ozone layer, which is not worth consideration. The author has not considered studying the effect of ultraviolet radiations on salamander eggs. Hence, this reason of the author is not worth consideration.
Another reason, which the author has cited, is that salamander eggs have no protective shells and it must be the reason why the increase in ultraviolet radiation has damaged many salamander eggs. However, the author has ignored the fact that since the eggs are not protected by a shell, there is a possibility that some other species in the mountain lake has damaged the eggs. The author has not provided any data about the exact decline in the population of salamander.
Moreover, salamander is found in mountain lakes. It is also possible that their population is decreasing in mountain lakes but in other locations, the salamander population is increasing. The author should have considered all these factors before concluding the argument.
Although the author’s point that decline in the ozone layer is not good for the Earth’s atmosphere, is correct, we cannot take the author’s statement as it is that ultraviolet rays do not allow salamander eggs to hatch and hence, are responsible for the decline in salamander population. The author has not provided any evidence in his support. There is no data provided to set a relation between the study done by scientists and ultraviolet radiation. The author should have ruled out other possibilities like water pollution or some other species in mountain lakes damaging the eggs to strengthen his argument.