Question Batch

Motive: 

(How) does Darwinism conflict with the importance of “becoming with”? 

(How) does Darwinism relate to the importance of “becoming with”? 

How does Darwinism extend the idea of “becoming with”?

 

 

Your essay should answer the main question, “How does ‘Darwinism not Neodarwinism’ operate rhetorically?” To answer this effectively, start with some more specific questions. Examples:

 

Topic:

“Darwin’s evolution” (45). 

Why do Margulis and Sagan discuss “evolution” despite Darwin never using the term?

How is “differential survival” related “natural selection”? (The main topic of this passage)

How are individuals excluded from their community because of the lack of biotic potential? How does biotic potential interfere with natural selection? 

 

Context: 

“In short, much of the modern evolutionist’s terminology should be abandoned” (51).

How does the author use real life examples to respond to modern evolutionists’ idea of neodarwinism? 

What influence does the historical context of Darwin’s theory of evolution, generally, have on Margulis and Sagan’s argument? 

How does the (framing) context of “Darwin’s Evolution” (45) suggest readers should interpret this later section? 

 

How does the terminology describing the passage help reflect the difference between darwinism and neodarwinism? 

 

Margulis and Sagan stated that “as more of Earth became covered with more life, life did expand, but whether it progressed is “questionable” (23), would this statement s persuade the reader that if “our” progression is questionable is would also mean that we instead have regressed? 

 

Audience: 

What audience would this form of writing appeal to the most? What reading habits do the authors anticipate/do they have? How much background knowledge about biology (or related topics?) do the authors assume of their readers? 

What factors indirectly influence the audience’s perception of evolution (as described/suggested by M and D)?

Does the author expect the reader to know about biology or is the intention to teach them? 

 

Author: 

How do the authors’ identities as darwinists affect their argument? 

How does their rejection of the nonscientific terminology show their position in the discourse on evolutionary theory? 

How does this chapter explain who the authors are, how they see themselves in the field/discourse, what matters to them, what is at stake in the positions they take, and so on? 

Why do the authors specify a strict difference between social and non-social animals?

 

Purpose:

 “Evolution, the study of changes of life through time, is largely the tracking of the origin of species” (5). What purpose do Margulis and Sagan have to accentuate the idea of all of us having a “strong sense of species”? Why does it matter that we all have a strong sense of species? What purpose do Margulis and Sagan have in pointing this out? How does this develop their argument? 

 

In the text,  Acquiring Genomes, authors Margulis and Sagan question life progression. What is the purpose of asking this question towards the end of the text and how does it connect to the reading as a whole?

 

What is the purpose of Margulis and Sagan  rhetorically questioning, ” Would not society be better served, then, if we adopted symbiotic metaphors instead of competitive ones? (17)” towards the audience?

 

Why do the authors specify a strict difference between social and non-social animals?

 

What is the purpose of Margulis and Sagan to state that the words “competition” and “cooperation” “has no obvious place in the scientific dialogue”?

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