Re: School Discussion

Gerold Firl (
5 Nov 1996 20:38:39 GMT

In article <>, Susan Whitney <> writes:

|> Help! I am piloting a program in a Middle school where highly able
|> Science students read and discuss a wide variety of Science related
|> essays. Gould and Lewis Thomas immediately came to mind. Any
|> suggestions for appealing and discussible articles?

Human sociobiology always gets the kids excited; works on this
newsgroup. I'm not sure about articles, but you could try excerpts
from e. o. wilson _sociobiology_ or _on human nature_; dawkins _the
selfish gene_, _blind watchmaker_, or _the extended phenotype_; jared
diamond _the third chimpanzee_; or barash _the whisperings within_.
Any of those should get some discussion going. You could contrast with
the anti-sociobiology polemics of gould and lewontin, and if you
really want to get to the fringe of philosophy-of-science type issues,
scientific american had a short interview/profile of feyerabend a
couple of years ago.

Two other books which I think would be interesting are freeman dyson's
_infinite in all directions_, and a book called _cosmic ecology_
(can't remember the author offhand - a caltech astronomer), both of
which look at big-picture issues ranging from the living cell to the
origin of the universe.

William Calvin has written a number of wonderful books about the
evolution of human intelligence; he has them all availible on his
website. _The river that runs uphill_ is organized around a grand
canyon rafting trip, where calvin muses on time and evolution as the
river cuts through successive strata. Combine those essays with a
geologic map of the grand canyon (availible in a big format, like 3'
by 5' from the park association); could be fun.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf