Read through the questions below. Write a paragraph, 150 words minimum, in
response to one or more of the questions below that interest you. Use D2L's spell checker or your word processor software to spell check your paragraph. (The latter will give you a word count as well.) Proofread it
yourself too, because spell checkers don't catch everything. When you are satisfied,
post your completed paragraph in the Starting Assumptions forum for this week
at the D2L discussion board.
Respond to the Starting Assumptions posts of at least two other students. (If
you are the first or second person to post, you will have to check back later
to complete this part of the assignment).
- Just as you spell checked and proofread your original post, you should
do the same for your responses.
- Please respond to posts with 0 responses first; once every post has at least
one response, you are free to choose any post to respond to.
- When you respond, please use the name of the student you are responding
to. That is, say "Hi Jessica" or "Hi Paul" so that you
can get used to the names of the people in class. (You can find a list of
"real" names and preferred names posted on D2L).
- What constitutes a substantive response? This means that
you have read and thought about the original post, and that after some reflection,
you are extending one or more of the thoughts in the original post or offering
an additional perspective as you might in a good conversation. It is not enough
to say simply "nice job," "I liked that," "I think you're right about XXXX," "I disagree," etc. It is OK to disagree or agree,
but the goal is to thoughtfully add something else interesting and new related
to the content of the original post. At a minimum this should be at least
50 words, and 50-100 is preferable. Check out this page for more on the topic of good and bad responses.
After you have posted your paragraph and responded to two other students,
go to Desire2Learn and complete the Gradebook
Declaration for this week's Starting Assumptions assignment. (Do not declare that you have completed these assignments until AFTER you have made your posts. Your Gradebook
Declaration is subject to the Honor Code.)
Here is the text of the Desire2Learn Gradebook Declaration:
(3 points) I have posted my spell-checked, proofread Starting Assumptions
paragraph (150 words min.) at D2L.
(2 points) I have responded to the posts of at least two other students
(1 point per response; 50-100 words for each).
Here are the questions to get you started:
- What parts of your personality are because of genes, and what parts are
because of your environment?
- Do you think it is important for scientists to understand how genes and
environment contribute to traits such as sexual orientation, alcoholism,
mental illness, etc.?
- Have you heard of “eugenics”? What do you perceive as the dangers
of identifying the genetic underpinnings of disease?
- Technicians can screen a fetus for certain
disease genes and for sex. These techniques all involve a small risk of damaging the fetus. Do you feel parents should be able
to screen their future children for genetic diseases? What about just to learn the sex of the baby? Why or why not? What are the consequences of knowing this type of information?
- In vitro fertilization means fertilizing eggs in a laboratory, letting the fertilized eggs divide for a few days into pre-embryos, and implanting one or more pre-embryos into the mother's uterus. Before implantation, DNA technology allows a technician to remove one cell of a pre-embryo, test it for disease-causing genes, and discard the embryo if such a gene is detected. Only embryos without the disease are then implanted into the uterus. What is your reaction to that technology?
- Do you physically resemble your mom or your dad more? What about in terms
of your personality?
- What do you think of when you hear the word “mutation”?
- What are some traits you would like to know more about (in terms of their
inheritance)? Why do these traits interest you?
- If scientists find a gene that is associated with a personality trait like
aggression, do you think people will become more or less tolerant towards
people with that trait? Do you think it will lead to people to seek “cures”?
Should people start preventing the birth of people with that gene?
- People with Down’s syndrome have an extra copy of chromosome 21,
and they tend to have a lower IQ than people without Down’s syndrome.
Do you think we should put fewer resources into education for people with
Down’s syndrome? Why or why not?
Contemporary Issues in Biology -- BIOL 1003
Mariëlle H. Hoefnagels, Ph.D. © 2004-2012.
biology1003 at OU dot edu (at = @, dot =.)
July 31, 2012 11:18 PM