Biology

For this extra credit assignment, students will read short essays from the book, This Idea Must Die: Scientific Theories that are Blocking Progress edited by John Brockman in 2014.

Each year, Edge.com, a forum for thought advancement, poses a new question to exceptional scholars from various disciplines. In 2014, Laurie Santos, a professor of psychology at Yale University, posed the question, “What scientific idea is ready for retirement?” The prompt spurred 175 essays written by scholars ranging in expertise in fields such as anthropology, statistics, biology, computer science, philosophy and countless more. Below are 6 selected essays.

For this assignment, you may choose up to 4 essays to read and respond to. While the maximum number of essays you may respond to is 4, you may choose to only respond to 1, 2, or 3. In your responses, make sure you include what idea the author argues must die, why the idea must die, and how this idea is relevant to the field of biological anthropology by citing specific examples you have learned about in course material.

Download the assignment template  here

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Here are the selected essays to choose from. Take a look at all of them and select your favorites or the articles that caught your attention most.

Anthropocentricity.pdf

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Essentialism.pdf

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Heights and Lengths and Areas of Rectangles.pdf

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Human Evolutionary Exceptionalism.pdf

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Natural Selection is the Only Engine of Evolution.pdf

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Race.pdf

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Urvogel.pdf

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Each response will be worth 5 points, for a total of up to 20 points of extra credit. These extra credit points may be applied to an exam grade of your choice. At the top of the document you will submit, there is a space for you to indicate which exam you would like the points to be applied. While the choice is up to you, keep in mind that Exam 3 is worth the most toward your overall grade, meaning it will have the greatest impact on your grade. I will allow an excess of 100 points for an exam grade, so if, for example, you earned a 90 on Exam 3 and received all 20 extra credit points, your final score would be 110. If you choose to apply the extra credit to Exam 3, I will add those points in on Sunday, June 24th after everybody has taken the exam.

The assignment will be due at 11:59pm on June 20.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Kylie for help!

Extra Credit (1)

Extra Credit (1)
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEssay 1: Idea that must die
1.0 pts

Full Marks

Student fully describes the idea that must die

0.5 pts

Half Marks

Student partially describes the idea that must die, or the description is too short to accurately describe the full scope of the argument

0.0 pts

No Marks

Student does not answer this question for this esay

1.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEssay 1: Evidence and why idea must die
1.0 pts

Full Marks

Student fully describes the author’s argument about why the idea must die and lists the evidence the author provides to support his/her claim

0.5 pts

Half Marks

Student only describes the author’s argument OR only describes the evidence provided

0.0 pts

No Marks

Student does not answer the second question for this essay

1.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEssay 1: Relation to BioAnth and course material
3.0 pts

Full Marks

Student relates the essay to the field of biological anthropology and provides 2 examples to support their answer

2.0 pts

Student addresses only 2 of the three aspects of the third question

1.0 pts

Student only addresses one aspect of the third question

0.0 pts

No Marks

Student does not address the third question

3.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEssay 2: Idea that must die
1.0 pts

Full Marks

Student fully describes the idea that must die

0.5 pts

Half Marks

Student partially describes the idea that must die, or the description is too short to accurately describe the full scope of the argument

0.0 pts

No Marks

Student does not answer this question for this esay

1.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEssay 2: Evidence and why idea must die
1.0 pts

Full Marks

Student fully describes the author’s argument about why the idea must die and lists the evidence the author provides to support his/her claim

0.5 pts

Half Marks

Student only describes the author’s argument OR only describes the evidence provided

0.0 pts

No Marks

Student does not answer the second question for this essay

1.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEssay 2: Relation to BioAnth and course material
3.0 pts

Full Marks

Student relates the essay to the field of biological anthropology and provides 2 examples to support their answer

2.0 pts

Student addresses only 2 of the three aspects of the third question

1.0 pts

Student only addresses one aspect of the third question

0.0 pts

No Marks

Student does not address the third question

3.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEssay 3: Idea that must die
1.0 pts

Full Marks

Student fully describes the idea that must die

0.5 pts

Half Marks

Student partially describes the idea that must die, or the description is too short to accurately describe the full scope of the argument

0.0 pts

No Marks

Student does not answer this question for this esay

1.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEssay 3: Evidence and why idea must die
1.0 pts

Full Marks

Student fully describes the author’s argument about why the idea must die and lists the evidence the author provides to support his/her claim

0.5 pts

Half Marks

Student only describes the author’s argument OR only describes the evidence provided

0.0 pts

No Marks

Student does not answer the second question for this essay

1.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEssay 3: Relation to BioAnth and course material
3.0 pts

Full Marks

Student relates the essay to the field of biological anthropology and provides 2 examples to support their answer

2.0 pts

Student addresses only 2 of the three aspects of the third question

1.0 pts

Student only addresses one aspect of the third question

0.0 pts

No Marks

Student does not address the third question

3.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEssay 4: Idea that must die
1.0 pts

Full Marks

Student fully describes the idea that must die

0.5 pts

Half Marks

Student partially describes the idea that must die, or the description is too short to accurately describe the full scope of the argument

0.0 pts

No Marks

Student does not answer this question for this esay

1.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEssay 4: Evidence and why idea must die
1.0 pts

Full Marks

Student fully describes the author’s argument about why the idea must die and lists the evidence the author provides to support his/her claim

0.5 pts

Half Marks

Student only describes the author’s argument OR only describes the evidence provided

0.0 pts

No Marks

Student does not answer the second question for this essay

1.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEssay 4: Relation to BioAnth and course material
3.0 pts

Full Marks

Student relates the essay to the field of biological anthropology and provides 2 examples to support their answer

2.0 pts

Student addresses only 2 of the three aspects of the third question

1.0 pts

Student only addresses one aspect of the third question

0.0 pts

No Marks

Student does not address the third question

3.0 pts
Total Points: 20.0

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