Project #37616 - Journal entry

Journals will not be graded on spelling or grammar, and each entry should be about 2-3 paragraphs in length (that is, about 250-300 words, typed, double-spaced).

Entries will be graded based on quality of engagement with the topic.”


If you quote/reference a particular text or source you MUST provide an adequate reference to page, date, and author, and you MUST provide a Bibliography at the end of the journal.  The nature of these journals is such that I am looking for your ideas on these matters, NOT someone else’s ideas.  In this sense, must like with the short paper earlier in the term, These are reflection journals, not research papers. 

Here is what I’m looking for in terms of content/structure:


-Everything on ONE document (not a different document for each entry)


-Entries clearly separated by several spaces


-Date and question/issue clearly marked IN BOLD at the beginning of each new entry


-Discussion in 2-3 paragraphs (individual entries should be no less than 250 words each)


Entries should discuss the relevant question or issue and what they think about it. 



There are two general types of entry:


Type I:


Plagiarised material/obviously unacceptable stereotyping or incoherent rambling/does not engage in any way with the issue/spouts incoherencies/very difficult to follow/poorly constructed ideas/incoherent/obviously cobbled together at the last minute/large sections taken from sources with words simply changed around in a minor way/lazy, etc...dismissive of other points of view for no reason/etc...


Type II:


-engages with the issue in a way that shows that the student is really thinking about the question at hand/goes beyond obvious dichotomies and really tries to think about the issue from a balanced, more subtle perspective/clearly engages ideas from the readings in a way that shows depth of analysis and sustained thought/is aware of alternative answers to the same question and incorporates some of that into one’s own perspective/etc...


Type I entries will receive a 1 out of 2 (or 0 if plagiarized)

Type II entries will receive the full point for that entry


Some Example Entries:



Type I journal entry example (obviously this is problematic):


Only a clown thinks scienc tells us the whole truth about reality.  Everyone nows that things can’t always fit the receipies we disaster think fit into.  WE’re skin and bone, not stupid numbrs.  Winker is a dumdum.  According to Whateversler, Pinkler is a not smrt.  I’m they think they can’t tell us who is bosses!!!  Baskets and egss.  Only a dumdum can’t see that!  I know I’m write b/c I’m awesome.  Maybee Stinkler is right two?


Type II journal entry example (obviously one could do this in a million different ways):


Entry #1, July 8th:


Task: Read the Pinker-Wieseltier exchange in the New Republic and comment in your journal on who you think has the better argument.  Who do you agree with more [and explain why]?


                Although I think that both Pinker and Wieseltier make very good arguments in their respective work, I can’t help but agree with Wieseltier.  Pinker is probably right that much of the anti-science rhetoric arises from religious fundamentalism or out-of-work postmodernist angst.  However, I worry about any attempt to make one particular way of knowing the be-all-and-end-all.  I think this inevitably narrows our ability to perceive the truth of things.  I agree with Wieseltier that when we make science the only standard of real knowledge, we are cheapening our own evaluation of experience, and those parts of our lives that can only really be contextualized through fine arts or humanistic learning.  I also tend to agree that underneath all claims to consilience among the disciplines, there lurks a tyrannical attempt to reduce all human knowledge to terms that we already understand.  To think that science is the only way to get ‘real’ truth is analogous to thinking that English is the only ‘real’ language (and that all others are merely poor imitations).


                Clearly, science has an important and central place in our society today.  It is true that scientific knowledge has helped to overcome superstition and ignorance in some ways, and has allowed us to apply principles of nature in ways that help alleviate the human condition.  At the same time, like any other monoculture, putting all of one’s eggs into one basket is a recipe for disaster.  Frankly, there are things that I don’t want to ‘know’ scientifically (like love, faith, hope, etc...).  In fact, to approach those things at all is to fundamentally miss the point that we are not abstract laws but enfleshed people, living in a complex and interesting world.  I would side with mystery over reductionism any day, but I can also understand why some people would disagree with my opinion.




Type II entries are preferred to Type I entries J



Here are the journal entry topics (by date):


Thursday, July 3rdWatch the video by Adkins and comment in your journal on whether you agree or disagree with his view of science as truth [and explain why].


Thursday, July 10thRead the Pinker-Wieseltier exchange in the New Republic and comment in your journal on who you think has the better argument.  Who do you agree with more [and explain why].


Thursday, July 17thRead the article by Diamond.  In your journal discuss whether [and why] you agree or disagree with Jared Diamond’s assertion about agriculture.


Thursday, July 31st— Watch the Turkle video.  In your journal please make an entry which discusses whether social networking websites [such as Facebook] represent’ real’ community.  Has the advance in communication technologies enhanced human relationships?



Thursday, August 7th Read the debate between Kurzweil and Bill Joy.  In your journal please elaborate on whether you agree with Kurzweil’s assertion that we cannot refrain from technological development (and why!!).

Subject Science
Due By (Pacific Time) 08/13/2014 12:00 am
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