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 .
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.
Heights and Lengths and Areas of Rectangles.pdf
Human Evolutionary Exceptionalism.pdf
Natural Selection is the Only Engine of Evolution.pdf
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.