Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Prompts on Lewontin, Darwin, and Wilder

Prompts for Darwin, Lewontin, and Wilder

Requirement 1: Everyone must have a clear thesis statement in her first paragraph.

Requirement 2: Everyone must correctly use a semicolon at least once in his essay.

Prompt 1: Lewontin and the News

Go read some articles in popular but respectable sources which touch upon genetics (example: the science section of the New York Times). Either use Lewontin to make an article about the essay, or use the essay to make an argument about Lewontin. You especially need to show a good understanding of the relevant parts of Lewontin. Do not stop by using, for instance, Lewontin to show what is right or wrong or problematic in a particular article: show us why that matters. How does our understanding change by reading one through the other.

Prompt 2: Define “Nature” using Wilder and one other source

Your job is to offer and defend a useful definition of “Nature.” How do you think we should define nature? Why should we define it that way? You must use Wilder and at least one other source (you can use Abbey, Darwin, or Lewontin if you wish, or you can use research). Don’t just defend a vapid dictionary definition. You want to defend an idea which either emerges from within Wilder or in response to her.

Example: “Wilder shows us that we should understand nature as ‘That which culture destroys, replaces, then mourns.’ The concept is only necessary to fill a void.” (You might go on to argue that this is either a fine or intolerable condition to be in).

Example 2: “Wilder shows us that nature is predation, with humans as the apex predator. We need a world without nature, which would be a world without violence.”

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