2019-01-22T12:42:53+00:00 Assignments

Topic: Metaphors and Analogies Helpful in Understanding Scientific Concepts

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Topic: Metaphors and Analogies Helpful in Understanding Scientific Concepts


Page 1: Read topic: Do you think metaphors and analogies are helpful in terms of understanding scientific concepts, or not? What would be some examples?
Then my response to topic: There’s no doubt that in the field of the hard sciences, understanding a concept or the subject is very daunting. This is more particular in the case of the laymen who have little-to-no background knowledge of the subject matter. Just like any field of knowledge, the natural sciences have its own esoteric language. Add this fact to the diverse fields of the natural sciences and it’s no doubt that anyone can get lost. 
However, there’s a method to circumvent this problem, and that’s to use ‘simpler’ and ‘less-esoteric’ terms in trying to deliver the message to the laymen. In trying to do this, one can use analogies and metaphors to deliver this to the larger audience while retaining the same level of conversational obscurity inside and within the intellectual circles only. As an example, medical doctors can use analogies and metaphors in trying to discuss to the patient his own disease. If a patient is diagnosed with Huntington’s some doctors might explain this disease by saying that the patient will eventually lose control over his own self in the future, rather than explaining the how’s and that what’s of the disease. Another importance of using these figures of speech in discussing a patient’s illness to him/her is that it can be used to make any acute disease “less depressing”.
Then 2 peers response to topic: 
Peer 1: 
A scientific concept is a scientific theory or law that explains why and how a natural event or process occurs. Theories of this nature can be quite complex, often defined by extensive formulas or equations to describe natural phenomena. Metaphors and analogies can be substituted to simplify scientific terminology for maximum comprehension. This is critical in terms of understanding scientific concepts. Some common examples are explanations of black holes. Sure, I could go in to a three hour lecture explaining the physics of a gravitational force so strong that essentially nothing can escape. However, to simplify the effects of a black hole, I can compare it`s behavior to that of a strong vacuum, sucking every particle of matter and light in space. While scientific reasoning is absolutely essential, simplistic views such as this paints a straightforward picture.
Explaining the effects of radio waves can be defined in metaphorical terms as well. Scientifically speaking, radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency that travel long distance for communication, blah, blah, boring. In simpler terms, radio waves are like ripples in a pond. A stronger signal results in shorter ripples, moving at a faster rate. Understanding this in the most basic of terms simplifies even the most complex of scientific concepts.
Peer 2: 
Figurative language like metaphors and analogies can go a long way in helping lay people make sense of scientific concepts as described by Houp et al (2002) when discussing the advantages of using figurative language in technical writing. By drawing comparisons to subjects or topics more broadly understood by the general population, the significance of scientific concepts can be better understood by a populace whose extent of scientific knowledge is nowhere near as vast as that possessed by the researchers and rhetoricians of scientific information. Enabling a broader audience to understand the significance of scientific concepts will ultimately lead to a greater acceptance of these concepts and increased notoriety and subsequent funding for the originators of such concepts.
A good example of using metaphors and analogies in scientific concepts is when first describing the states of matter to elementary school children. Matter is described as consisting of particles, which are tiny balls of energy. When in the form of a gas, these energy balls have a loose affiliation, occasionally colliding with each other as they travel around freely unless trapped within a container. As a liquid these energy balls have a closer affiliation with each other, colliding more frequently and weakly bonding to one another, but still relatively easily separated unless put in a container. The energy balls in solids are strongly bonded to each other, colliding at a high velocity, maintaining form without the need of a container, and not easily separated.
What you WRITE: Tell what you like and agree with for each peer, and but be sure that it extends your classmate`s comment in some way. Please keep separate.
Page 2: Do the same instructions as above but for this topic: Should popular culture be used to educate people about scientific concepts? Why or why not? What example can you think of to support your points?
I do believe that popular culture should be used for more productive things like increasing the masses’ understanding of the whole world. I believe that by using social media and current trends in disseminating knowledge would have a big impact on everyone since it’s easier to comprehend as compared to reading scientific journals and academic reports. Furthermore, the use of popular media can also provide a greater avenue for everyone to be in the know. As I can see from popular social networking sites, many of this knowledge are made available to everyone just like any other mundane things like celebrity news and gossips. Also, most of these are even made ‘more interesting’ through the use of ‘Pathos’, or an appeal to one’s emotions.
However, I also think that this trend has its own flip-sides. Because of the anonymity and diversity of information that is made available to everyone, anyone can also use this as an avenue to spread false news and knowledge. In this case, even the natural sciences are not spared. An example of one of the greatest medical rumor that spread through the net is that “shaving makes hair grow faster”. This rumor spread easily since many people would like to grow beards a lot faster. Yes, I know that this is not as serious as compared to others, but still, this can prove how easily a false information can spread through the use of popular culture. Despite this pessimism, I still believe that popular culture should still be used educate people about scientific concepts since the benefits greatly outweigh the cons.
peer 1: It’s hard to say whether popular culture should be used to educate people about scientific concepts. I think that it could be used to educate people, but I also feel that the intended messages can be highly misconstrued. Take, for example, the movie The Island as discussed in the PowerPoint supplement for this learning module: Anyone who has seen the movie should be able to recognize that the intended purpose was not to glamorize the idea of cloning people as a means of harvesting organs to extend the life of clients, but rather to depict that these clones were actually people with a desire to live and be free themselves. If nothing else, the film condemned the idea of cloning someone for the sole purpose of harvesting organs. Yet, somehow the approval for organ harvesting from cloned individuals actually gained popularity after the release of the film. This just goes to show that how the general public will interpret scientific concepts in popular culture may not be what those presenting such concepts had in mind when initially conveying their ideas. I would say that those presenting scientific concepts in popular culture should be more mindful about the messages they are sending so as not to be misinterpreted, but I thought the message in The Island was pretty clear, yet it still didn’t seem to sway public the way it was supposed to.
peer 2: 
I don`t believe the entities that make up popular culture should be seen as a reliable way to "educate" people about scientific concepts. My apprehension probably stems from my belief that Hollywood, the catalyst for all things popular culture, either has a story to tell or something to sell. Many times that story or item has an agenda behind it and that agenda is not typically versed in scientific discourse. I believe that popular culture can be used to bring awareness to issues and dilemmas but as far as teaching and providing an unbiased view on scientific concepts - I have my doubts. This also extends to many of our "news" outlets.
One example is from the lecture PowerPoint and that evil clone stereotype written into stories. They have a story to tell and to get people to watch and stick around for commercials. They don`t have a responsibility to anyone to tell the truth as far as scientific concepts. This is a bit irresponsible as it can persuade a viewer to believe something about cloning that is not true. How many times have you overheard someone repeating something they heard on TV or read online that you knew was obviously wrong or even disinformation?
It is up to each individual to seek answers to their questions and to think critically about all things. There is a reason that our research in higher education is done from a peer reviewed standpoint. We want information to be vetted by professionals and experts in their respective fields. We want our information and science to be insightful and true to the best the researchers abilities and presented based on its own merits.
The role of popular culture in our society is to entertain I don`t have any confidence in the entities that make up popular culture to present scientific concepts in a responsible way.
page 3: Think of a pseudoscience, or a pseudoscience aspect of a science, such as what is presented as a cure for a medical problem. Describe it. You might consider describing how it is presented on the Internet, and you could include a web site to support your description. What advice would you give someone who wants to become scientifically literate on this issue? Where could they go for better information on this issue, so as make better choices regarding it?
Page 4: Find a video that shows a public intellectual or public scientist such as Bill Nye or Neil deGrasse Tyson engaging in debate on an issue. Describe the issue and the debate. Do you think the public intellectual/scientist successful or not? Why?
Make sure 3 and 4 are at least 200 words each. 


Creative Writing Student: Professor: Institution: Course title: Date: Are metaphors and analogies helpful in understanding scientific concepts? A metaphor is a part of speech that describes one thing being used to imply another thing. An analogy is a comparison of the similarities of two concepts.The use ofmetaphors are very important as it enhances understanding of complex scientific theories and principles. Response from peer 1 also proves the benefits of using metaphors and analogies in the learning process among students. Indeed, scientific concepts, principles, and phenomena can be challenging to understand by the students who have no knowledge of the subject matter. When using an analogy, for example, in primary and secondary schools, it would help the learners to understand new concepts that are presented in class by recalling the knowledge they are already mastered or become familiar with. Considering a chemistry concept, a strong electrolyte can be compared to a leader who shares all that he or she has to empower more people while a weak electrolyte as a person who is a miser, empowers only very few people.For example, in understanding the concept of thrombus or infection, the scientific concepts is that the condition where blood clots in one of the blood vessels obstructing the free flow of blood, this may result


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