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Because the Gelrica temple, which attracts thousands of tourists every month, was built using volcanic-composite rocks, its ruins are still fairly intact and in fair condition, considering their age. However, vibrations caused by the constant footsteps of visitors to the site are a major force behind the recent acceleration of its decomposition, significantly more damaging than acid rain and smog from the nearby metropolitan. There are currently no funds available to install protective systems at the site. Since the only funding for the ruins comes from entrance fees paid by visitors, the site's destruction seems inevitable.
The answer to which of the following would be most useful in evaluating the argument?
Although this may seem like a practical question, it is definitely not the most useful of the answer choices. Since there is no apparent source for the funding of the protective systems, planning the closing of the site does not seem relevant.
Answering this question would not help us check the author's conclusion. We are already told that no funds are available so even if the protective systems cost $5, we cannot assume that this sum can be paid.
The argument deals with the destruction of the current ruins. Firstly, even if the source is known, we cannot be sure if there are still usable rocks there. Secondly, even if similar rocks can be found, we cannot assume that the site can be rebuilt.
This question would not lead us to any useful information. We are told in the premises that the footsteps of the tourists are the major cause of the damage. The exact percentage of this damage is unimportant.
This question could determine if the author's prediction was right. If the site continued to accept tourists but was destroyed before it could collect enough money to pay for the protective systems, then the author would be right. However, if the site sustained only limited damage before it could raise the necessary funds for the systems, then it could be saved.