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The online laboratory for NAI Seniors's study of George Eliot's Middlemarch.

USC English 452 Radical Victorians Collaboration Masterpost

By 12:01 PM


Reading Victorian Novels in Community: 
USC NAI/English 425 Partnership
{an experiment in collaborative literary discovery}

Posts under this event:

Science and Literature

Microscopic Fictions: Close Reading Seminars

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8 comments

  1. I've learn so much from Professor Griffiths' lecture and getting to know where creativity comes from. Darwin was horrible student in which he had dropped put twice and had took an adventure sailing the seas and that is when he finally decided what he wanted to be. This is how science and literature are able to be in the same category, because Darwin was always able to "diagnose a problem, and tends to find the solution". This is very important because before starting something you would want to be able to find a specific area on where you would like to start and by doing little things to that one thing may have led you to something completely different. The letter that Emma wrote to Darwin was very powerful in my opinion, because Darwin was trying to figure out all these neat things for his book that involved the science part and he had found that more believable then god in which had hurt his wife very much. This is important because Emma loves Darwin so much that she would be hurt if he doesn't believe in god sooner or later because if not he'll go to hell and they wouldn't be together forever as she wanted.I also like to point out on how there is a difference between Gods words and Gods work, because gods words are from the bible while gods work is involved in nature and how you are able to create different types of animals or many more involving nature and it is a beautiful gift. Creativity comes from drawing new connections between unexpected fields, and this is important because it takes time to develop something amazing or even to discover something wonderful, because it takes more than one ideas to create something amazing.

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  2. Professor Griffith’s lecture vastly expanded my prior, diminutive knowledge about Darwin’s life and ideologies. Prior to my attendance at his lecture, I only knew the basis of Darwin’s philosophies in relation to evolution and natural selection. I believe that all the small details professor Griffith provided were essential to not only understanding Darwin’s theories, but also his true intentions. The way Darwin incorporated Paley’s clock/universe analogy to explicate the idea of natural selection and domesticity not only further developed that idea itself but also illustrate that his intentions behind his philosophies were not to refute or invalidate the idea of a divine creator. The same way an intricately designed watch has a creator, life, which is far more complex also has a creator. Although, Darwin did not personally believe in God and believed that natural selection/evolution was the creator, he did not want to strip others of their faith. This analogy could support both the idea of a divine creator or Mother Nature as the creator. We see this unravel in his response to Emma’s, his wife, letter. In his response to Emma’s letter, he laments his loss in faith and shows his desire for his old religious conviction, which he can unfortunately no longer obtain. This illustrates that Darwin’s goal was not to refute or invalidate the idea of a creator. Professor Griffith allowed to me to view Darwin from a different perspective. This lecture left me to wonder if Darwin was more afraid about his theory being right, or his theory being wrong. I also noticed a bit of familiarity, in terms of the both the high school and college class: both classes were dealing with literary elements and their effects on the reader.
    Maggie Marroquin Period 1

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  3. I really enjoyed professor Griffiths class on Darwin and learned a lot about how social sciences work together with naturalistic sciences. I was amazed at Darwins in capability to finish medical school or the religious school he attended. Being a scientist at the time was not seem as a norm, rather it was looked upon as a hobby. I was astonished at Darwins selection to pursue a career in what he found most interesting. He dedicated more than 20 years of his life to the origins of species and broke through with many new discoveries. He used birds to prove and examine his theory for example, he was a pigeon fancier. He was also a pigeon fancier comparing the evolution of the domestic pigeon and adaptations to a new ambiant. Some questions I have are, is the college environment always close and linked with a small amount of students? And, is the college academic setting parallel or different from high School?
    -Christopher Canenguez Period 1

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    1. Also I noticed that the college ambient differs from our current one. Does cultural diversity play a big role on how students learn? And does it have to do with the intimidation of being in a room with other cultures? Overall the experience was extraordinary and gave us a taste of what to expect in a small college environment.

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  4. Professor Griffith's class was very fascinating and piqued my interest, as I love to learn about science, and Darwin's theory being one that I support very strongly. The background behind the theory was a very interesting thing to learn, as well as the further expanding of the theory and how he moderated it to fit to the society's beliefs of that time. I feel like his greatest accomplishment in doing so would be his watch analogy. It claims that the same way something as intricate and finely designed as a watch has a creator, nature itself, which is even more perplexing and enthralling, must also have a creator that is above human capacities. This way, he was able to encompass both theology and science into one. By doing so, he assured that very religious people wouldn't negate his claims completely. By saying that God had a hand in evolution, he allowed people apart from scientists to actually assess his theory. Another example of incorporating religion with science, was when he personified nature with the pronoun "she" and added verbs to it to give it life. In doing so, he alludes to the sense of there being a Mother Nature, or in other words, a kind of spirit that drove things to follow a certain path, rather than men themselves.
    Some questions I have would be: How different would the scientific impact have been during Darwin's time period have been, if religion didn't play such a big role in the way people viewed life? Would there have been more contributions to expanding Darwin's theory, allowing for a more deeper knowledge of the theory today?
    Alexa Vasquez period 1

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  5. Professor Griffith's class was very fascinating and piqued my interest, as I love to learn about science, and Darwin's theory being one that I support very strongly. The background behind the theory was a very interesting thing to learn, as well as the further expanding of the theory and how he moderated it to fit to the society's beliefs of that time. I feel like his greatest accomplishment in doing so would be his watch analogy. It claims that the same way something as intricate and finely designed as a watch has a creator, nature itself, which is even more perplexing and enthralling, must also have a creator that is above human capacities. This way, he was able to encompass both theology and science into one. By doing so, he assured that very religious people wouldn't negate his claims completely. By saying that God had a hand in evolution, he allowed people apart from scientists to actually assess his theory. Another example of incorporating religion with science, was when he personified nature with the pronoun "she" and added verbs to it to give it life. In doing so, he alludes to the sense of there being a Mother Nature, or in other words, a kind of spirit that drove things to follow a certain path, rather than men themselves.
    Some questions I have would be: How different would the scientific impact have been during Darwin's time period have been, if religion didn't play such a big role in the way people viewed life? Would there have been more contributions to expanding Darwin's theory, allowing for a more deeper knowledge of the theory today?
    -Alexa Vasquez Period 1 Group 2

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  6. Professor Griffith’s lecture brought many aha moments for me but the one thought that was in the back of my mind throughout his lecture was where does creativity come from. Professor Griffiths answer was that creativity comes from the connection between unexpected fields. I learned that Charles Darwin wasn’t interested in school and by the time he was twenty three he dropped out of college twice but to him, that wasn’t a barrier. His trip around the world for the next five years of his life were the start of something amazing for him. Darwin spent twenty years on his theory of natural selection and was referred to as the “Gentle Radical”.Darwin didn’t force his theory on anyone, not even his wife who had to leave his side because of his beliefs. She couldn’t be with him and she writes how she feels in a letter to him and he responds with how he has cried over what was said in the letter. He didn’t write back to her he just wrote it on the same letter and knew that when he died, she would see it. Darwin went against his own beliefs and his society at the time, he lost his wife because of it.I started to think how his beliefs impacted the lives of people around him and how long it took for people to try and understand his theory.Throughout his career he was able to connect literature and science together, and that is creativity.

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