[General] demonstrated or proved

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Little Quack

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Hi everybody. :)

When dealing with my exercise, I encountered one question. :) May I ask you this now, please? :)

The scientific evidence does not enable us to say with certainty that mobile phones are categorically safe. On the other hand, current research has not yet ______ clear adverse effects associated with the prolonged use of mobile phones.

A. demonstrated
B. produced
C. proved
D. caused.

The key is A but could you tell me why not C, please? Please help me out. :) Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)
 

VivienneM

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"Proved" is too strong in this case. I don't think research is meant to, or is able to prove something beyond a shadow of doubt. It is to test a hypothesis -- that mobile phones are harmful, or that they are safe. "Demonstrated" is the right word here. Another word might be "indicated".
 

5jj

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I don't entirely agree with Vivienne; I think that research can prove hypotheses to be true. I would use 'demonstrated/indicated' in that sentence, but I don't reject 'proved'. I think it's a bad question.
 

Little Quack

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Hi :) Thank for your replies so much. :) But now I don't understand it much. :( Could you explain it to me clearer, please? :) Could you explain to me that why you would use 'demonstrated/ indicated' not 'proved', please? :) Well, this one is among the preparation questions for my college entrance exam. So I think it is quite tricky. :)
 

VivienneM

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The problem is, as 5jj has pointed out, that this is a bad question. Either "A" or "C" would be a possible, and correct, answer.

If I were reading an article about mobile phones on the front page of a tabloid newspaper, I would expect the sentence to read: "... current research has not yet demonstrated [or "indicated", or "shown"] clear adverse effects ...". I would assume it to be the sort of research that might be preliminary; not independent (i.e. funded by a mobile phone company); small-scale, and falling short of actual proof.

However, in different circumstances it would be "... current research has not yet proved clear adverse effects".

I think on balance, because the text that precedes the choice of answers indicates that this is a grey area, and not definite either way as things stand, it is safer to go with "demonstrated" rather than "proved".
 

Little Quack

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^^. I got it now. Thank you so much. It is kind of you to help me out. :) Thank for all replies so much. :) Have a nice day. :)
 
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