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BIOL 351- Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 40 pages long!)Premium

40 pages84 viewsSpring 2018

Department
Biology
Course Code
BIOL 351
Professor
Beaulieu
Study Guide
Midterm

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UVic
BIOL 351
Midterm EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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#1: Seeing Reason
A: Introduction
1. The state of contemporary public and political debate has begun to concern
journalists, academics, politicians and large parts of the general public.
- I’m Right and You’re an Idiot
by James Hoggan w/ Grania Litwin
- Became interested in science through climate change
2. Signs of ill health in public debate
- Extreme polarization → something that seems to have increased in recent
years
- Polarization among members of the US Congress → liberal democrats vs
conservative republicans between Senate and House (ADA score)
- Until the 1980s, there were liberal republicans and conservative
democrats but in recent years as extremely divided to opposite
spectrums
-Consequences of polarization → two different spectrums
- Appeals to emotion; usually negative
- Personal abuse → internet comments
- Social media shaming
B: Causes
1. Domination of political ideology
2. Identification of oneself with one’s beliefs
- The closer one identifies oneself with one’s beliefs, the more resistant those
beliefs are to change, even in the face of evidence.
3. Tribalism, group consciousness
- The need to mould one’s views, making them acceptable to a group one belongs
to, is the enemy of rationality, individual thought and individual conscience.
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4. Internet siloing and filter bubbles
- Express certain interest on internet and it caters to your interest
- Links to things with your beliefs
5. Scientific illiteracy and innumeracy
- The relationship between scientific illiteracy and the rejection of science,
however, is not as simple as you might think.
- For democrats: the better a person’s scientific education the more they are
to accept climate change
- For the republicans it is opposite!
- This comes down to: if he you have a pre-decided conclusion in your
mind, the more you know about science the more you will find info against
science. → “An open mind is an empty mind”.
- “History is a race between education and catastrophe”. HG Wells
6. Private organizations and dark money disinformation campaigns
- Pass- through organizations
- Private organizations that funnel money to groups below public radar
- 2003-2009; 558 million was funneled through climate denial groups →
related to the oil industry
7. Ease of unedited, unreviewed communication
- Can post anything you want online → i.e. if you have a blog, no one edits what
you’ve written before you post it
C. Attitudes, Fallacies and Practices
1. Self-flattery
- Vast majority of people overestimate their accuracy
2. Motivated reasoning
- Motivated reasoning is fact-collection and argument that is driven by an assumed
conclusion.
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