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Day 4 1/31/11 GIST Class Summary

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Notes for DAY 4: GIST 1/31/11 Class Summary

On week when posting class notes, we don’t have to post additionally.

Also when mentioning peer comments in our posts, Include usernames.


 Remember Names- go around room, say your name and a nonphysical word describing yourself

Discussion of Posts

Hilary G: my post was about evolutionary psychology and the human constant drive to extend selves through nonbiological means

Hilary_Brashear: was thinking about human development and their access to technology not being natural if everyone doesn’t have a fair share of it (is concerned with the social/economic aspect)

Merlin: scaffolding – similar to the process of socialization? Zone of proximal development= difference between what a child is capable of regardless of external aid (their parents) versus scaffolding (where parents help)

Jlebouvier: are parents then a form of technology?

Merlin: yes, they’re a parallel concept.

Tangerines: post has link to scaffolding and this suggests that as humans, we are willing to redefine old ideas than brainstorm new ones.

Discussion of Roughgarden

(AD= Anne Dalke, LM=Liz McCormack)

AD: How was it making the transition from Clark and Haraway to Roughgarden?

Student Response: it seemed more like a science text

AD: Was it accessible?

Student Response: 1) yes, because of definitions and author’s ability to present data and anthropomorphize. 2) yes- but was skeptical b/c of her agenda, she seemed defensive but with a good cause 3) had to keep a critical eye when reading

AD: How does Roughgarden connect/ disconnect from Clark and Haraway?

Connect: characterization, binary/ categorization and the need to question it

AD: How familiar is this story?

Riki- given biology training, this is pretty useful and descriptive.

AD: What’s Roughgarden’s argument?

Student Response: 1) Darwin’s argument isn’t universal, she suggests “social selection” 2) the difference between Roughgarden and Darwin is that Darwin reported what he saw fit in the world (was selective) and Roughgarden purports to argue against binaries

AD: Do we trust Roughgarden more or less since she discusses her being transgender and attending the gay pride parade?

Student Response: 1) as long as her data is accurate and authentic, how she identifies doesn’t matter, but some people may believe her more because of her act of transparency to build trust.

LM: Are her colleagues doing poor science?


p. 3 “Each academic space discriminates against diversity and needs to take refresher courses to relearn primary data”


See Class Day Post for Discussion of geniality, variation

shin1068111: comments on p.14 > evolutionary biological variation is a good thing if the game is for the survival of the fittest.

“variation is the driving force of evolution.”

p.23 men/ women as social categories, it’s important for biologists/ academia to recognize this

check out the link below for specific quotes referred to above


Break into small groups, to apply these questions to the categories of
1) male and female sexes (defined, p. 23f)
2) masculine and feminine genders (defined, p. 26f)
3) gay and straight sexualities (function of homosexuality, p. 155f)
4) male and female homosexuality (genital geometry, p. 157f)
5) transgender and cisgendered peoples (transgender experience, p. 263f)
6) intersex and nonintersexed conditions ("nor intersexes," p. 299f).

What uses have these categories served? 
Can they still serve?
What damage have they done?
Do we want to continue to use/replace/get rid of them?

Bring the above conversation back to the large group (on Wednesday)




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