The Guilty Party

The Scarlet Letter is a wonderful and not so traditional example of the good versus evil theme. What makes this a unique instance of good versus evil is that either side could be considered either one. Hester could very easily have been deduced as evil, or the “bad guy,” as she was by the townspeople. That is, she was convicted of adultery, a horrible sin of the time. As for punishment, a sentence to wear a scarlet “A” upon her chest, it would hardly be considered a burden or extreme sentence in present day. Another sin that Hester committed was the fact that she never told who the father of her child, Pear, forcing her to be without a father. Hester’s silence also caused Dimmesdale to live in torture every day. Chillingsworth was also hurt by Hester’s act of adultery and because of her, his life was destroyed and the only thing he could do was seek revenge against the man who had been with her.
Hester’s child Pearl had to be raised by only one parent and that caused the child to be less disciplined and more outrageous making the townspeople more suspicious of who the child’s father was. It also caused the religious leaders to wonder about the religious stability of the child, and if there might be witchcraft involved, “The little baggage have witchcraft in her”(p112).

Hester also caused numerous a sleepless night for Dimmesdale. If Hester had just announced that Dimmesdale was the father he would have never have lived through all the guilt that she forced him into. Dimmesdale was a weak and frail man because of Hester’s silence.
Chillengsworth was pushed into a life of revenge and anguish since Hester had betrayed their marriage and Chillengsworth’s trust in her. She had turned Chillengsworth into a fiend, “I have already told thee what I am, a fiend!” (P169). Hester admitts to causing Chillengsworth into becoming the fiend as well.
The guilt rests solely on Hester Prynne for destroying not just her own life from this sin but also of many other people such as the minister Dimmesdale, the physician Chillengsworth, and her own daughter Pearl. Hester manipulated and destroyed Dimmesdale’s very life and caused Chillengsworth to degrade himself into living a life of revenge, she also caused Pearl to be shunned by society and to be looked down upon as if she was a demon. It is quite obvious who the true sinner is in this book and it is Hester Prynne.

TVs Affects On Children

Thesis Statement: Television plays a major role in the lives of Americans, but affects children the most.

I. Violence
A. Murder
B. Sex
C. Vulgarity
D. Suiside
II. Viewed by
A. Children
B. Teens
III. Used as babysitter
A. Hours
B. Reason
Today’s society is heavily influenced by television. The violence disrupts a child’s learning process and can alter the moral beliefs that an older person has. Children view more violence on Saturday mornings than any other time. The cartoons aimed at little children influence youngsters to mimic violent acts because their parents do not fully explain the effects of the stunts. It is pathetic that in such a technology based society, such a simple thing as television can have a negative effect on people.

Before Television, Americans followed simple laws, believed heavily in God, were honest, and never locked their doors because they felt safe and were happy to help someone in need. TV gradually turned us into the society we have today. We break laws as if there are no consequences, many people don’t believe in God, or even attend a religious service. We lock our houses, cars, and anything worth money, because we are scared of theft. We leave people in trouble to fend for themselves, we do not have the common courtesy to help anyone. (Wheeler 84) Liquor, drugs, sex, and suicide prematurely dazzle millions of people as they see it on TV. (Wheeler 23)
Violence has been entering Prime Time TV. John Grisham’s “The Client” as shown on CBS shows two corpses and two murders in on the first 15 minutes. (Silver 2) This goes to show that the average American child will have watched 8000 depictions of murder by the time they finish 6th grade. (Abelard 1) Abelard goes on to say, If you think wall to wall violence on TV has no effect, then why would manufacturers purchase 30 second blocks to advertise their products? (2) Mark Silver says “Raunchy family fare is nothing new.”(2) He also reports that sex is gingerly mentioned in the media. There is soap-opera sex, talk-show sex subjects, and many more sex crimes on the news. Children ages 10 to 16 were polled and say that the television is the true sex educator in our day. As many as six out of ten agree that sex on television urges peers their age to have sex at a younger age. (2)
Vulgarity also rules prime time. Many shows depict sexual situations and innuendoes throughout the whole show. Sexually frank programs such as “Beverly Hills 90210”, “Roseanne” and “Ellen” are targeted to adults, but are viewed by children. A Solution to this problem would be to shift their plots to being more realistic, and have morals, instead of the vulgar language heard. (Silver 1)
TV shows create serious problems but seem to resolve them in a half an hour time. It is impossible to do this in real life, but most children can not seem to grasp this concept. TV leads children to want quick solutions to tolerate frustration. Many turn to suicide, thinking that it is the quick solution for them. (Wheeler 34)
Before the 1950’s, parents monitored what their child’s surrounding was. After TV was introduced, it unlocked a door to an alien that dominated every home. The problem was that the parents did not remain in control. If they did a normal childhood could have taken place. (Wheeler21) Today, 99% of homes have a TV. More families own a TV than a phone. (Facts about Media Violence 1)
Due to violence on television, children become less sensitive to that pain and suffering of others or to become more aggressive to others. It also makes children more fearful to the world around them. (Abelard 1) Viewing habits of children observed for many decades deduced that violence on TV is associated with aggressive behavior, more than poverty, race, or parental behavior. It also reported that a TV show contains about 20 acts of violence an hour.

Abelard says that children ages 6 to 8 are in critical years, where they learn social behavior that will stay with them forever. (2) A follow up study of aggressive 8 year olds proved that these children grew up to be ever more aggressive 19 and 30 year olds. They had greater troubles in domestic abuse, and traffic tickets. (Abelard 3)
Violent commercials that advertise action figures or video games are targeted at young boys. (Swenson 3) In the point and shoot video games, also targeted at children, young boys get the same training as police officers and army recruiters. They are taught to laugh and cheer in response to violence and are also taught that killing is the right thing to do. (Media Watch Online 1)
It is a different story for teens. They do poorly in standardized tests. Because of their time consuming TV habits they find it hard to make comparisons, reach conclusions, for judgements or create
new ideas. When bored, teens tend to turn to hard drugs to take away boredom, because they viewed it on TV. Drugs offer a quick fix, which is what they saw other fictional characters on TV do. (Wheeler 33)
Good news in the fight to cut down TV watching time, college freshmen on average drop their TV watching time a week from 30 hours to around 20. But because of this their hours of listening to radios, CDs, and MTV increased.(Wheeler 34) This isn’t as good as a thing as researchers wanted though because music is “full of dangerous and violent messages”.(Wheeler 35) Wheeler finishes by saying that, music tends to negatively reinforce the principles that we were taught to live by.(34)
There are many reasons that children get so many hours of viewing. Working parents send children to a babysitter, who instead of wanting to watch the kid places him in front of a TV. Childcare centers are to often under staffed and preschoolers there are set in front of the TV till their parents return to pick them up. (Wheeler 22) All to often the TV or VCR represents an easy way to sidetrack an unwelcome responsibility.(Wheeler 23)
Parents also lack in their observation skills. They do not set limits on the time their children watch TV. (Children and TV Violence 1) Would you leave out graphic pictures on your tables so that your toddler can look over the pages? Then why wouldn’t you monitor the things they watch on TV? (Wheeler 23)
The violence, sexual content, and vulgarity that they see and hear on TV affect many people. We may not realize it until our two year old shouts out vulgarity and phrases that he heard on the Monday Night wrestling that his father or older brother watches, but the threat is always there. No other thing in history has had such a great influence on children, teens and adults. The generation now, compared to the one 50 years ago, has changed just from the technology presented to us. It is hard to imagine what the future will hold with such technological advances on equal to that of the TV.

Abelard. Children and Television Violence. 23 Oct 2000 < >
Children and TV Violence. 23 Oct 2000 <>
Facts about Media Violence and Effects on the American Family. 18 Oct 2000 <
Media Watch Online- Killer Entertainment. 18 Oct 2000 < >
Silver, Marc. Sex and Violence on TV. 22 Oct 2000 <>
Swenson, Gena. Violence on television: A class project surprised sociology student. 18 Oct 2000 < http:// Media/tvviol.html>
Wheeler, Joe L. Remote Controlled. Hagerstown: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1993.

Winn, Marie. The Plug-In Drug. New York: Viking Penguin Inc, 1985.

Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I
Were Queen Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great effective rulers? Were their reign’s
characterized as good or not so well? Disregarding the opinion of those who reigned
concurrently or historians today, these two ruled their country in a time of turmoil and
uncertainty! The world and the people within it were undergoing a major transition. New
lands were being discovered as well as major role-playing continents and countries were
changing status. Some losing power while others gained it. Queen Elizabeth I and
Catherine the Great ruled their country to the extent in which they were able and their
subjects allowed them to. Queen Elizabeth I of England was a remarkable ruler. Elizabeth
was born in 1533 to Henry VIII of England and took the throne in 1588 at the age of
twenty-five and reigned until 1603 when she passed away (Sowards, 28). Elizabeth was
the last of the Tudor Dynasty (Upshur, 465). Due to her father’s uncontrollable
hap-hazardous rule, Elizabeth, at only the age of twenty-five, was already faced with
dilemma within England. Henry VIII wanted a male to take over his throne so when he felt
his time was running out, Henry VIII needed to divorce his Queen at that time but the
Catholic Church doesn’t allow this. He separated from the church and brought England
with him. He turned England into a protestant nation. Needless to say people were
confused and had to make huge adjustments. At the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign there
was confusion. She was a firm Catholic however she made a compromise between the two
religions. Queen Elizabeth’s decision was due largely from the consent of her people
(Upshur, 465). However, Elizabeth knew that two religions would cause problems. “As
reestablished, the Anglican Church was protestant in it’s Theology, but much of it’s ritual
and ecclesiastical organization remained Catholic in form”(Upshur, 465). Elizabeth
believed that loyalty of her people would bring them together as well as the country. The
people were not forced by the state but by their own consciences. The people of England
saw Queen Elizabeth as compassionate as well as decisive. By allowing the people to
decide, Queen Elizabeth gained their trust and loyalty unlike her father before her. Queen
Elizabeth did not force the people but allowed them to decide on their own and for their
voices to be the deciding factor. In fact, “The greatest achievement in English history, the
“breaking the bonds of Rome”, and the establishment of spiritual independence, was
completed without bloodshed under Elizabeth’s auspices, and Elizabeth may have the
glory of the work”(Sowards, 37). The people of England were in no need of a government
that was more concerned about it more than it was for the people. Elizabeth was Queen
but she established good ties with parliament. England did not need the rule of a monarchy
that controlled strictly, took the people’s wealth, and taxed. By taxing the people
parliament could control the people (Upshur, 464). However, this was the exact opposite
of what Queen Elizabeth did. She was wealthy, however, she allowed the people of
England to have the opportunity to gain wealth. Without alienating public opinion, Queen
Elizabeth gained what she wanted. Queen Elizabeth’s policies coincided with the interests
of the people (Upshur, 465). Queen Elizabeth was active in foreign policy. The people of
England, her subjects, began to see new materials due to her intervention in foreign policy.

Furthermore, they began to obtain wealth. Elizabeth began trade with India and granted a
charter to the English East India Company (Upshur, 465). This opened the path for trade
as well as the ideas for others to strive to achieve goals, and to set higher standards. This
gave some morale to the people of England. “She also established relations with the rulers
of Russia and authorized the formation of the Muscovy company, the first in western
Europe to trade with Russia” (Upshur, 465). Queen Elizabeth was under the normal stress
of any ruler of that time. Or was she? “For thirty years she was perpetually a mark for
assassination, and her spirits were never affected, and she was never frightened into
cruelty (Sowards, 36). Elizabeth, opposite of past rulers, was trying to live down
England’s reputation as being a nation of war. Elizabeth negotiated as opposed to initiating
war (Sowards, 32). The Elizabethan Age was peaceful. The people of England may have
been used to traditional fighting, however, Elizabeth kept peace. Queen Elizabeth had a
desire for peace. She managed the nation of England well to sustain a peaceful “life” while
other countries fought wars, lost, and fell into succession. Queen Elizabeth was a peaceful
ruler, however, she did engage in on act of warfare. She is most famous for her dramatic
victory over the Spanish Armada during the summer of 1588 (Sowards, 25). “English
hostility to Spain was growing for a number of reasons: sympathy for the beleaguered
French Huguenots and the peasants of Holland locked in their own desperate struggle with
Phillip; the undeclared sea war with Spain that English privateers and pirates had already
been carrying on for a generation(Sowards, 26). There was no ground war and the
people of England never became unrested. Queen Elizabeth was patient and did not jump
into war with Spain. She fought on her own terms (Sowards, 38). This was a sign of a
smart ruler. This led to National importance for England. England became supreme on the
seas. English commerce increased to the Old World and colonies were formed in the New
World(Sowards, 33). Queen Elizabeth I was liked by her subjects because she was an
effective ruler. She brought effective government to the people through parliament. She
opened the opportunity for trade as well as the opportunity to gain wealth. Queen
Elizabeth I also set the precedent that all nations are not as powerful as they may appear
by defeating the Spanish Armada. This enabled other smaller countries to set sail in the
seas to gain wealth and explore new territory.


The Tyger
In the poem the tyger William Blake shows a lot of symbolism, imagery, and irony. He likes to explain to his audience how he writes with all the knowledge he knows. Reading this poem makes me think of how a person feels when he is taken advantage of at work. Like when ones work is difficult to cope with, suffering, and pain is all that is left. It seems to that in the end all the pain endured happens to what is left for this person and suffering is what hurts the most.

William Blake shows symbolism in this part of the poem, ” In the forest of the night,”. (line 2). This part shows that you can be trapped from your work or even your life. ” what immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?'” ( line 3-4). This part shows how much struggle he has in his life and all the pain he feels in his life. ” in what distant deeps or skies burnt the fire of thine eyes.” (line 5-6). He shows his emotions and how much anger that was built up in his heart. He feels like crying because he is frustrated. “What the hammer? What the chain”. ( line 13). This shows that his been treated like a slave and has endured what slaves endued like working on the rail roads.

“When the stars threw down their spears, and watered with their tears, (lines 17-8). Shows that he has mellowed down and is ready to accept all that has happen to him.

“Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the lamb make thee? “( lines 19-20).

He is talking to god and its bringing out his emotions. Asking for forgiveness and wants to be treated normal in his life.” Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright in the forest of the night,” ( lines 21-22). This phrase started in the beginning and ended at the end. Its because it’s the true meaning behind the whole poem no matter what you do or how hard you work there is always something that gonna take you down. throughout the poem I have seen a lot of Irony and symbolism. The parts that I chose from the poem brings out a lot of pain, suffering, hard work. Reading this poem makes me think a lot about life. Because it reminds me of how I feel sometimes when I am angry and bothered I feel sometimes.
Question myself sometimes and ask god for all the sins I may commit. That feeling all this anger in my heart really shows how the poem explains. I am truly thankful for what god has given to us and people all over are suffering and I understand the true meaning in life.

Role of Falstaff in Henry IV, Part One

Falstaff’s Role in Henry IV, Part One
Henry IV, Part One, has always been one of the most popular of Shakespeare’s plays, maybe because of Falstaff. Much of the early criticism I found concentrated on Falstaff and so
will I. This may begin in the eighteenth century with Samuel Johnson. For Johnson, the Prince is a “young man of great abilities and violent passions,” and Hotspur is a “rugged soldier,” but “Falstaff, unimitated, unimitable Falstaff, how shall I describe thee? Thou compound of sense and vice . . . a character loaded with faults, and with faults which produce contempt . . . a thief, a glutton, a coward, and a boaster, always ready to cheat the weak and prey upon the poor; to terrify the timorous and insult the defenceless . . . his wit is not of the splendid or ambitious kind, but consists in easy escapes and sallies of levity yet he is stained with no enormous or sanguinary crimes, so that his licentiousness is not so offensive but that it may be borne for his mirth.”
Johnson makes three assumptions in his reading of the play:
1. That Falstaff is the kind of character who invites a moral judgment mainly that he can answer to the charge of being a coward.

2. That you (the reader) can detach Falstaff’s frivolity from the play and it can exist for its own sake apart from the major theme of the drama.

3. That the play is really about the fate of the kingdom, and that you (the reader) do not connect Falstaff’s scenes with the main action. This means that the play has no real unity.

Starting with Johnson’s first assumption, I do agree with this. Any discussion of Falstaff is bound to include a judgement about his moral character. Is he a coward, a thief, a glutton? No one can deny that he is in fact a glutton and a thief. A coward is debatable. I choose to think he is. He is self centered and cares only for his own profit and enjoyment. He will protect himself at all costs including playing ” possum” if necessary to avoid injury. When he misuses the money intended to buy troops and weapons, he turns it into profit for himself. Once again, with no concern for anyone else, he potentially jeopardizes the troops, the battle and the kingdom with substandard men and materials while making money for himself. It makes the reader question, what kind of friend is he to Hal that he would misuse the trust that has been given him. All the easier for Hal to ultimately recognize that this is not the kind of person or people he wants to associate himself with, let alone approve of.

Johnson’s second assumption that you can detach Falstaff’s frivolity from the real drama is in fact true, but what would you have left? A less interesting, less amusing drama with only one main plot. Falstaff is of paramount importance to the sub-plot dealing with Hal’s decision between continuing his carefree life style or maturing into the role he is destined to play as a respected prince and later king. This story would be pretty dull if Hal didn’t have to choose between an entertaining life like Falstaff’s or an honorable one as a gallant warrior and respected leader.

Johnson’s last assumption that the “Falstaff” scenes have nothing to do with the main action is incorrect if you agree that this sub-plot is necessary for an engaging drama. In Act 2, Scene 4, after Hal says, while role playing as the King with Falstaff, “That villainous abominable misleader of youth, Falstaff, that old white-bearded Satan”. Falstaff, as Hal, tries to reason, “No, my good lord, banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Poins, but for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more valiant, being as he is old Jack Falstaff, banish not him thy Harry’s company, banish him not thy Harry’s company; banish plump Jack, and banish all the world”. Hal, again as the King, says, “I do, I will”. He indicates that after becoming king he would choose to rid the kingdom of people the likes of Falstaff. He is indicating that he has chosen the path for his life and made his own moral judgement on Falstaff. This scene and therefore Falstaff’s very being are significant to show Hal’s evolution into a “true” prince.

Falstaff’s character is necessary to Hal’s character development just as Hotspur’s temperament is necessary to his. Falstaff’s wit, humor and amusing antics are needed to develop Hal. He helps us relate to Hal and his decision. We know people of all types of character and personality in our lives. They influence our thinking and decisions. So it is also necessary for Hal.
Wether Falstaff is only a coward and glutton, or a person who has an “amusing” way of expressing his deeply felt personal and political beliefs is a matter of individual interpretation. I am not sure that it really matters as long as it contributes to Hal’s maturing process, and it does.

In conclusion, every age of man has and will continue to judge Falstaff’s role based on the morals and the thinking of the day. His frivolity is necessary to make the play amusing and interesting enough to hold the reader’s/viewer’s attention. However, that Falstaff’s scenes are needed should go without question leaving the critics and us only to debate his motivation and his tactics.

Category: English

Greek Architecture

Classical Greek Architecture is one of the most well known forms of architecture. It is broken down into three orders, the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The orders are determined by the way the capitol of the column is sculpted.
The Doric order, the oldest and simplest of the three orders, originated around 400 BC. It was developed by the Dorian Greeks and later modified by the Romans. Placed directly on the stylobate, the Doric column was about seven times as tall as its diameter, a ratio probably derived from the height of a man in relation to foot size. Fluted to provide visual depth and swelling to subtle convex curves, it rose to a capital, under an abacus, the square block that joined the architrave. Surmounting the columns was a Doric frieze of alternating triglyphs and metopes. They were intended to be sturdy and lacked elegant design.
The Ionic order originated along the coast of the Asia Minor. The Ionic is lighter than the Doric and more graceful, with a slender shaft about eleven times its diameter (approximately a womans height in proportion to the size of her foot. Its components are a tiered base, a delicate shaft with softer, spaced fluting, and a capital formed of paired scrolls (volutes) capped by a highly decorated abacus. Usually subdivided into three projecting bands, the Ionic architrave normally consists of a continuous sculptural frieze. The Ionic order was more popular in the eastern parts of Greece where there was an emphasis on elegance and ornamentation.

The Corinthian order is the most decorative and complicated of the three orders. It is also the last, not arriving until the middle of the fourth centenary, BC. Adored by the Romans, it is considerably more decorative, even opulent. Taller and more slender than the Ionic, its column culminates in an inverted bell shape encrusted with stylized acanthus leaves, an ingenious transition from a circular shaft to a rectangular architrave.

Like multiple layers of a cake, the columns consisted of stone drums that were roughed out in the quarry. After delivery to the site, the drums were fitted with metal pegs coated with lead to resist corrosion and stacked into columns. The assembled columns were then finished under the supervision of the architect, who personally controlled the entire project.

The Parthenon, built in honor of the Goddess Athena, is considered to be the greatest Doric temple ever built. It was constructed between 447 and 432 BC by the Greek sculptor Phidias and the Greek architects Ictenus and Callicrates. It is the largest temple in Greece. The Parthenon is called octo style because it has eight columns in the front and the back of it and is surrounded by a colonnade. Inside, it is constructed as most temples were. The central chamber, or cella, faced east, with a wood figure of Athena covered in gold and ivory in it. There was a porch, at the east end and a porch at the west end. At the back of the temple is a chamber called the Parthenon, or chamber of the Virgin, which was used as a treasury and held the sacrifices. This was a common layout among Greek temples. The Parthenon is made of beautiful white marble and contains 46 closely packed Doric columns. The excellent craftsmanship and design of the Parthenon makes it a masterpiece.
The Erechtheion, an Ionic temple, began construction in 421 BC and finished in 406 BC. The temple was made out of white Pentelic marble. It replaced the old Temple of Athena Polias. When it was built the architects and builders had to be careful not to make the Erechtheion more beautiful or bigger than the neighboring Parthenon. Instead, the Erechtheion complements the Parthenon nicely. The east porch was built in the Ionic style, as was the north.

The temple of Nike Athena was a small isolated Ionic temple near the Propylaia. It was created near 420 BC, during the Peloponnesian War. The Athenians worshiped Nike Athena in hopes of a victory over the Spartans and their enemies. The theme of victory is shown by the frieze running on the temple, of a victory over their enemies. The temple has a series of four short and sturdy Ionic columns in the front and back of the cella. The cella is the main room of the temple where the statue is kept. The temple looks the same from the front and the back. In having the same view from both sides, the temple served two purposes. It overlooked the city below, while it welcomed people from the back on the Acropolis. Each column rested on a three-stepped base, instead of the usual two-stepped one. It is thought that the short sturdy columns were built because of the lack of space, due to the massive neighboring monuments.

The Temple of Apollo at Bassae, in Arcadia, was begun in the fifth century BC. but probably not completed till the fourth. A notable feature of this temple is the use of all three Greek Orders. The Doric was used outside, and the Ionic and Corinthian were used within the temple. Most of the building is made of a hard, fine-grained gray limestone, but marble was used for the sculptures and the more decorative parts. The temple was built in honor of the Goddess of Sun.
Classic Greek architecture is reflected on modern day buildings such as the Lincoln Memorial, and the U.S treasury. The Lincoln Memorial uses the Doric order. Elements of Greek architecture can be found in many homes, capitol buildings and college campuses. With only one form and three modes of expression, the perfection of proportion and clarity of outline, subtlety of refinement, and visual appearance of solids and spaces in equilibrium, the Greek temple has never been surpassed. The elegance and beauty of Greek architecture will remain timeless and continue to be used through out history.

Is It Ethical To Sell Cigarettes

1. Ethically as we Americans have defined is not on the minds of these executives of the cigarette firms. Our society has made it ethically and legally wrong to sell cigarettes to a minor. These companies located in the United States adhere to the laws and ethical issues within our borders, so what is the difference when they practice these unethical business transactions in smaller countries. These smaller, less developed countries do not have the technology and understanding to disallow the sale of cigarettes to minors. These gigantic tobacco companies should follow the same practices in smaller countries as they do in their home country the U.S.

2. Yes, I believe giving free sample packs of cigarettes to minors in foreign countries to be some form of bribery. You need to ask yourself why are the free samples being distributed? Merely to get younger generations hooked, so these companies have a long time consumer. Bribery doesn’t always have to consist of money; this is a form of brainwashing in my opinion. By getting the younger, less intelligent population hooked early on cigarette’s, these companies have opened up a new market to extend their own profits. I’m sure the tobacco companies realize that a couple thousand free sample now is fine compared to the long term spending they will encounter from the individuals that get hooked.

3. No, they are not acting with social responsibility. Why or how could this be any bit of an ethical decision by the executives of the tobacco companies? These companies should believe and follow it’s moral set in the country it belongs and carry them into every business transaction that they make, whether it be in New York City or Mongolia. It is too bad that as a capitalistic society we lower ourselves below ethical lines just to earn a buck or two!
4. Yes, I believe this problem can be addressed and solved through education. The United States has introduced the Foreign Corrupt Act Policy to disallow any bribery in foreign Markets whether or not the country allows it, it is merely enough that you belong to The U.S. that you follow their ethically values wherever your business may go. We need to educate these countries and their youth about the bad problems derived from smoking before they get hooked. We weren’t aware of the initial effects smoking had on us, and this allowed it to be socially acceptable. If we had been made aware of all the issues from the get go, maybe smoking would not be tolerated at all in our country. I feel this is the only way to help other countries fight the war against money hungry tobacco companies. This would be a hard task, but slowly and surely it can only help!
The main issue of this case is whether or not is an ethical business practice to sell cigarettes to minors in other foreign countries. The main blockade is all the money that the gigantic tobacco firms have compared to the very little money and knowledge the foreign countries have to fight against this issue. If you are to specifically look at Argentina and realize that they get Twenty-two percent of their taxes from cigarette revenue, now what country wants to give up that kind of money coming in?
Solving this problem is going to be very costly and time consuming. Everyone, meaning lesser-developed countries, has to play catch to America. What we know and understand about cigarettes and the ways of the tobacco countries allow us to make decisions in an ethical manner, while these money hungry little countries will turn there heads to ensure money for their own economic growth.
1. Ethically as we Americans have defined is not on the minds of these executives of the cigarette firms. Our society has made it ethically and legally wrong to sell cigarettes to a minor. These companies located in the United States adhere to the laws and ethical issues within our borders, so what is the difference when they practice these unethical business transactions in smaller countries. These smaller, less developed countries do not have the technology and understanding to disallow the sale of cigarettes to minors. These gigantic tobacco companies should follow the same practices in smaller countries as they do in their home country the U.S.

2. Yes, I believe giving free sample packs of cigarettes to minors in foreign countries to be some form of bribery. You need to ask yourself why are the free samples being distributed? Merely to get younger generations hooked, so these companies have a long time consumer. Bribery doesn’t always have to consist of money; this is a form of brainwashing in my opinion. By getting the younger, less intelligent population hooked early on cigarette’s, these companies have opened up a new market to extend their own profits. I’m sure the tobacco companies realize that a couple thousand free sample now is fine compared to the long term spending they will encounter from the individuals that get hooked.

3. No, they are not acting with social responsibility. Why or how could this be any bit of an ethical decision by the executives of the tobacco companies? These companies should believe and follow it’s moral set in the country it belongs and carry them into every business transaction that they make, whether it be in New York City or Mongolia. It is too bad that as a capitalistic society we lower ourselves below ethical lines just to earn a buck or two!
4. Yes, I believe this problem can be addressed and solved through education. The United States has introduced the Foreign Corrupt Act Policy to disallow any bribery in foreign Markets whether or not the country allows it, it is merely enough that you belong to The U.S. that you follow their ethically values wherever your business may go. We need to educate these countries and their youth about the bad problems derived from smoking before they get hooked. We weren’t aware of the initial effects smoking had on us, and this allowed it to be socially acceptable. If we had been made aware of all the issues from the get go, maybe smoking would not be tolerated at all in our country. I feel this is the only way to help other countries fight the war against money hungry tobacco companies. This would be a hard task, but slowly and surely it can only help!
The main issue of this case is whether or not is an ethical business practice to sell cigarettes to minors in other foreign countries. The main blockade is all the money that the gigantic tobacco firms have compared to the very little money and knowledge the foreign countries have to fight against this issue. If you are to specifically look at Argentina and realize that they get Twenty-two percent of their taxes from cigarette revenue, now what country wants to give up that kind of money coming in?
Solving this problem is going to be very costly and time consuming. Everyone, meaning lesser-developed countries, has to play catch to America. What we know and understand about cigarettes and the ways of the tobacco countries allow us to make decisions in an ethical manner, while these money hungry little countries will turn there heads to ensure money for their own economic growth.
1. Ethically as we Americans have defined is not on the minds of these executives of the cigarette firms. Our society has made it ethically and legally wrong to sell cigarettes to a minor. These companies located in the United States adhere to the laws and ethical issues within our borders, so what is the difference when they practice these unethical business transactions in smaller countries. These smaller, less developed countries do not have the technology and understanding to disallow the sale of cigarettes to minors. These gigantic tobacco companies should follow the same practices in smaller countries as they do in their home country the U.S.

2. Yes, I believe giving free sample packs of cigarettes to minors in foreign countries to be some form of bribery. You need to ask yourself why are the free samples being distributed? Merely to get younger generations hooked, so these companies have a long time consumer. Bribery doesn’t always have to consist of money; this is a form of brainwashing in my opinion. By getting the younger, less intelligent population hooked early on cigarette’s, these companies have opened up a new market to extend their own profits. I’m sure the tobacco companies realize that a couple thousand free sample now is fine compared to the long term spending they will encounter from the individuals that get hooked.

3. No, they are not acting with social responsibility. Why or how could this be any bit of an ethical decision by the executives of the tobacco companies? These companies should believe and follow it’s moral set in the country it belongs and carry them into every business transaction that they make, whether it be in New York City or Mongolia. It is too bad that as a capitalistic society we lower ourselves below ethical lines just to earn a buck or two!
4. Yes, I believe this problem can be addressed and solved through education. The United States has introduced the Foreign Corrupt Act Policy to disallow any bribery in foreign Markets whether or not the country allows it, it is merely enough that you belong to The U.S. that you follow their ethically values wherever your business may go. We need to educate these countries and their youth about the bad problems derived from smoking before they get hooked. We weren’t aware of the initial effects smoking had on us, and this allowed it to be socially acceptable. If we had been made aware of all the issues from the get go, maybe smoking would not be tolerated at all in our country. I feel this is the only way to help other countries fight the war against money hungry tobacco companies. This would be a hard task, but slowly and surely it can only help!
The main issue of this case is whether or not is an ethical business practice to sell cigarettes to minors in other foreign countries. The main blockade is all the money that the gigantic tobacco firms have compared to the very little money and knowledge the foreign countries have to fight against this issue. If you are to specifically look at Argentina and realize that they get Twenty-two percent of their taxes from cigarette revenue, now what country wants to give up that kind of money coming in?
Solving this problem is going to be very costly and time consuming. Everyone, meaning lesser-developed countries, has to play catch to America. What we know and understand about cigarettes and the ways of the tobacco countries allow us to make decisions in an ethical manner, while these money hungry little countries will turn there heads to ensure money for their own economic growth.
Music Essays

Tele Education

1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of Tele-education Tele-education has a long
history beginning with systems like that for teaching children in Australian
Outback, the British Open University and other such organizations. These built
on the idea of correspondence courses where course materials are sent
periodically by post and augmented the experience with broadcasts either on
radio or on TV. The problem of student isolation was addressed partially through
techniques such as telephone access or two-way radio links with teachers. At the
end of 1980s, the vest majority of distance education throughout the worlds was
still primarily print-based. Technologies used for distance education are
evolving from primarily one-way technologies and applications such as
computer aided learning, computer based training and computer aided instruction,
to more two-way technologies and applications such as computer mediated
communications and computer conferencing systems for education. The significance
of two-way technologies is that they allow foe interaction between
participant and tutors, and perhaps even more significantly amongst participant
themselves. This development has allowed and in some senses force researches to
look more closely at the impact of educational environment, on the students
learning experience. In the future, it is expected that the
telecommunications-based technologies to become the primary means of delivery of
distance teaching. The reasons for this are as follows: ? a much wider
range of technologies are becoming more accessible to potential distance
education participants ? the costs of technological delivery are dropping
dramatically ? the technology is becoming easier to use for both tutors
and learners ? the technology is becoming more powerful pedagogically
? education centers will find it increasingly difficult to resist the
political and social pressures of the technological imperatives. 1.2 The
Emergence of Tele-education Radical changes in the computing infrastructure,
spurred by multimedia computing and communication, will do more than extend the
educational system, that is revolutionize it. Technological advances will make
classrooms mush more accessible and effective. Today, classroom education
dominates instruction from elementary school to graduate school. This method has
remained popular for a very long time and will probably persist as the most
common mode of education. However, classroom education has its problems, that is
the effectiveness decline with increase in the number of students per class.

Other pressures affect the instructors, many of whom are not experts in the
material they must teach, are not good performers in class, or simply are
not interested in teaching. The biggest limitation of the classroom instruction
is that a class meets at a particular time in a particular place. This
essentially requires all students and the instructors to collect in one spot for
their specified period. But with the emerging technology, these problems can be
overcome. 1.3 Reasons for studying Tele-education The current Tele-education
systems that have been applied in some countries are generally of multipoint
transmission technique. It is found that, this kind of transmission technique
having several problems or defects. Mostly, problems raised during the
application of the system. One of the significant problems raised is that, for
the multipoint transmission, the signals or information transmitted by the
sender do not completely received by the receiver. This problem is might be due
to error that occurs during the transmission of the signals or information.

Another problem is lag of transmission. For this case, the signals or
information transmitted do not arrive at all the receiver at the same time, for
example, the question raised by the lecturer might not received by the students
at the same time and this is not a good environment for Tele-education system.

Some receiver receives the signals earlier than the others and some later or
even not receives at all. Therefore, it is important to study the Tele-education
technology from time to time to overcome these problems so that the
Tele-education system could provide a more effective way of learning
environment. In order to have a lecture from, for example, a very famous
professor from other country would require him to come at our place. But the
amount of money spent for paying him to give lecture would be very expensive and
this also would cause troublesome for him. However, this problem can be solved
with Tele-education system in which the professor does not need to go anywhere
else to give his lecture. This would save a lot of expenses and time. Another
reason is that, in normal classes the learning process would not be very
effective if the number of students in a class is very big. This is because the
lecturer alone can not coordinate such a large class. With Tele-education
system, one lecturer could deliver his lecture to as many students as possible
effectively in a way that a large number of students from different sites having
the same lecture at once. 1.4 Purpose of Research The purpose of this research
is to study the current Tele-education system that has been applied in some
countries. This study covers the background of Tele-education; that is its
definition, the publications of Tele-education; that is any papers that discuss
about Tele-education as a whole, the performance of applied Tele-education, and
also the technology of Tele-education; that is its network architecture. But the
main purpose of this study is to understand the Tele-education system that have
been applied in another country and try to implement it in our country. 1.5
Acronyms ATM Asynchronous Transfer Mode CCITT Committee Consultatif
International Telegraphique et Telephonique CPE Customer Premises Equipment IP
Internet Protocol ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network ISO International
Standard Organization JAMES Joint ATM Experiment on European Services LAN Local
Area Network MAC Medium Access Control Mbone Multicast Backbone PC Personal
Computer POP Point-of-Presence PVC Permanent Virtual Channel QoS Quality of
Service RAT Robust Audio Tool SLIP Serial Line Internet Protocol TCP-IP
Transmission Control Protocol – Internet Protocol TES Tele-Educational Service
UI User Interface VIC Video Conferencing Tool VP Virtual Path VPN Virtual
Private Network VSD Virtual Student Desktop WAN Wide Area Network WWW World Wide
Web XC Cross Connect 2.0 METHOD OF INVESTIGATION Since Tele-education is a very
new technology that is popularly discussed today, it is quite difficult for me
to find any books that discuss about Tele-education from the library. Therefore,
the easiest and the fastest way to gather information relating this project is
via the Internet. I have surfed and found many interesting sites that discuss
about Tele-education. Besides surfing, I also have contacted several people who
are involved in this area, Tele-education, by e-mail . But unluckily, this does
not really help because most of them did not reply. Besides using the Internet,
I also get the information for this project from the IEEE Database at the
library of Universiti Telekom. 3.0 BACKGROUND STUDY 3.1 Definition of
Tele-education What is Tele-education? Before discussing about what
Tele-education means, lets look at what distance learning is. This is because
Tele-education and distance learning are very related to each other. Distance
learning is the acquisition of skills and knowledge through electronic
communications that allow student and instructor to be separate in either in
time or space. The to distance learning is asynchronous learning which can
be defined loosely as learning at different time. It is a highly flexible method
of training because the sender and receiver do not need to be synchronized in
space or time. But Tele-education is more than that of distance learning. In
Tele-education, not only asynchronous but synchronous learning is also made
possible. In other words, Tele-education is the evolution of distance learning.

As stated before, asynchronous learning environment is not real-time
environment. It is a self-study-based application and is accessed via the
Internet to a server. The requirement to the student is only an ordinary PC with
standard software and Internet access. This application is applicable for a
large amount of users who can access the course independent of each other. The
combination of the lecture-part, group-work-part, and self-study-part is another
type of Tele-education learning environment, which is synchronous learning. It
is a real-time environment. In this environment, students and lecturers can
interact with each other simultaneously. Tele-education use the technology of
video teleconferencing that allows two or more parties at different geographical
area to interact with each other or to have learning process together. But
people usually get confused whether video teleconferencing can be considered as
Tele-education as well. Tele-education is actually different with video
teleconferencing in a way that Tele-education usually involve a large number of
people as compared to video teleconferencing, that is, it is in video
teleconferencing many people use a single monitor to see other people at other
area but in Tele-education, students have their own monitor that can be used not
only to see their lecturer and colleagues but also to send and receive
educational materials. 3.2 Publications of Tele-education There are many papers
discussing about Tele-education. Most of these papers cover only the general or
overall scope of Tele-education. The area of discussion on Tele-education can be
summarized as the following: ? Tele-education service ? Content of
Tele-education ? Network architecture ? performance of
Tele-education ? operation and management of Tele-education For
Tele-education service, it describes about what multimedia tele-service and
hyper media service is, and how it can be integrated into Tele-education
service. It also describes about what Tele-education service facilitate. Content
of Tele-education describes about the style or mode of Tele-education system,
that is, what kind of education style used, and how the lecture notes or any
materials delivered to all the students. For network architecture, it describes
about the protocol used for the Tele-education system and its network
infrastructure. Performance of Tele-education covers the performance of service
of Tele-education and also the network performance. The description of these
performances is from the customer point of view. For the operation and
management of Tele-education, it describes about what should be taken into
consideration in order to provide a well managed Tele-education service. 3.3
Examples of Systems From the study of materials gathered, there are generally
three examples of Tele-education system that have been applied in the Europe and
Canada. Those examples are: ? Tele-education NB ? Delta ‘s Virtual
College ? ACTS Project AC052 (RACE Project Report) The purpose of looking
into these examples is to try to understand what kind of Tele-education system
is implemented, how Tele-education can be implemented, to know what are the
requirements to implement it, and what considerations should be taken into
consideration for implementing it. 3.3.1 Tele-education NB Tele-education NB is
implemented at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. The present physical
network consists of three independent networks that operate on telephone lines;
? Voice ? SMART 2000 computer teleconferencing ? Computer
Mediated Communications using NBNet The SMART 2000 bridge for computer software
sharing and audiographic teleconferencing is owned and operated by the
Tele-education NB. This is accessed by simple dial connections using ordinary
telephone lines. This allows for the computer monitor at each site to show
images created by users at the other sites. The software can be used like an
elaborate electronic blackboard, overhead projector, or slide projector. In
addition, it is being used for software sharing at multiple locations. Data
communications are transmitted over NBNet using a SLIP server which resides in a
user friendly simple menu front-end created by Tel-education NB to permit easy
access to NBNet and to facilities available. Students and teachers can access
NBNet for uploading and downloading assignments and other course materials. A
CD-ROM server is being set up at the central site and at the University of New
Brunswick library for permitting access to different databases. Tele-education
NB also supports an on-line learning center with a file server located at Mount
Allison University. Information of relevance distance education and the network
in particular can be accessed there. In Tele-education NB, a special listserv is
created for internal communications among different sites. As an integral part
of the province’s electronic information highway, Tele-education NB is
supporting the development of an open, distributed network, taking advantage of
media available. The most widely used delivery modes are audio teleconferencing
with SMART 2000, as well as videoconferencing. However, it is not limiting the
network to any one technology, or suite of technologies. It is actively
promoting experimentation and cooperation in the reception and delivery of
courses using other software and media. Tele-education NB placed routers in the
Community College Campus in each region, and other sites in regions that do not
have a college. Initially it operates using 56K connections and will move T1.

SMART 2000 runs not only on regular telephone lines but also on LANs and WANs
using Novell, TCP-IP and other telecommunication protocols. Tele-education NB
are now experimenting with synchronous transmissions using the TCP-IP protocol
on NBNet. The Picturetel videoconferencing units existing in province all are
CCITT compatible. Tele-education NB has provided the guidelines for selecting
appropriate technology for its network as follows: ? The network shall
experiment with different technologies and endeavor not to rely on any one
technology or any supplier. ? Existing equipment and distance education
sites in the province shall be integrated into the network wherever possible.

? The network shall establish computer teleconferencing and computer
conferencing links among the sites, including access to electronic information
highway and the Internet. ? Satellite delivery and reception capabilities
and upgrading of sites to PC-based videoconferencing will be investigated for
implementation in future. ? Other optional equipment may be placed in
sites at the request of users and institutions such as MACs and CD-ROMs.

? The network should be compatible as much as possible with other
provinces and regions. 3.3.2 DELTA’s Virtual College Delta’s Virtual College is
implemented in Denmark (Europe). It offers the opportunity for students to
participate in desktop Tele-education from their homes or offices. This concept
means that individual students participate in Tele-educational courses using a
desktop computer online connected to a course provider. The user interface is a
common Web browser, that is, Netscape Web-browser, extended with loosely
integrated audio and video tools. The educational environment applies the
metaphor of a virtual college. The idea is that students access DELTA’s virtual
college server when participating in a course. The user interface looks like the
plan of a college. From the college hallway, the student can enter different
rooms with different functions. Those rooms are: ? classrooms where
on-line lectures and presentation take place, ? group rooms where on-line
cooperative work takes place, ? studies where off-line study such as
self-study material, exercises, slides from previous lectures, supplementary
material and links to other sites on the Web take place, ? teacher
offices where it is furnished with course administration tools, ? tea
room where it is used for informal chat and social contact with fellow students
during break. The following figure, the “floor plan”, illustrates
those rooms: Figure 1 : The floor plan The goal of this virtual college is to
integrate different modes of teaching and learning. This includes synchronous
mode like on-line lectures and group exercises as well as asynchronous mode like
interactive self study, participation and threaded bill board conferences and
sharing of documents. The virtual college is run primarily in a local network
environment in order easily to monitor and control the students and technology.

Then, when there are several countries participate, each sites are connected by
the JAMES (Joint ATM Experiment on European Services) broadband network. 3.3.3
ACTS Project AC052 (RACE Project Report) This is a big project on
Tele-education. It covers the whole aspects that should be taken into
consideration for implementing Tele-education in Europe such as service aspects,
management aspects, network architecture, etc. In this project, there are
several trials have been done in order to obtain an effective Tele-education
system. The details of this will be discussed later throughout this report. 4.0
CONSIDERATIONS It is not easy to find materials or any papers reporting the
architecture of Tele-education. Most of the materials found are basically
discussing about the general idea on what Tele-education system is, for example
some papers discuss about the general system of a Tele-education service
offered, its advantages over current educational environment, etc. However, I
managed to find a very interesting material discussing about Tele-education as a
whole, that is the ACTS Project AC052 (RACE Report Project). Therefore, I choose
this report as my main reference in doing my study on Tele-education overall
system description covering the architecture. There are basically five main
topics that are going to be discussed in quite detail regarding the
Tele-education as a whole in this report. These main topics are: ?
Tele-education service ? Tele-education content ? Network
architecture of Tele-education system ? Performance of Tele-education
service ? Operation and management of Tele-education service 4.1
Tele-education Service The multimedia tele-service provides both core and
management services. The multimedia tele-services are briefly described as
Video/audio conferencing service, which based on the MBONE (Multicast Backbone)
tools VIC (video conferencing) and RAT (audio conferencing). Hypermedia service
allows access to be provided to hypermedia information stored on a WWW server.

The WebStore service is a managed WWW based multimedia document store, which
allows users to store and retrieve arbitrary documents (text, video, audio,
etc.), using the well-known interface of the WWW. The management of the WebStore
includes subscription, accounting and access control. A mapping between the
learning forms and the multimedia teleservices has resulted in a list of four
basic paradigms: a) Self-study ? Individual work with web based course
material including exercises and discovery/reference search. ? This
paradigm is supported by the hypermedia and WebStore services. b) Lecture
? Teacher to class presentation. ? Supported by the conferencing
and hypermedia services. c) Group work ? Discussions, exercises or
project work performed by the students in groups. This paradigm can also include
shared discovery/reference search. ? It is supported by conferencing,
hypermedia, and WebStore services. d) Consultation ? Student to tutor
consultation ? Supported by video/audio conferencing and hypermedia
services. In order to support these four paradigms the multimedia services are
integrated into a Tele-educational Services (TES) which provides both the core
service and the management service functionality. The core Tele-educational
service provides two user interfaces, one for the teacher and one for the
students. In Tele-educational service, each course, presented as part of
Tele-educational service, would involve the rendering and seamless integration
of audio, text, graphics/bitmaps and appropriate video segments, to suit the
presentation of the course material. An educational service would also
facilitate the interaction of course participants with one another in class
discussions, as well as with the course tutor. In this way, a course tutor can
guide debates on issues arising from course material and allow participants to
exchange views and share experience. This interaction is very important, as
participants need to be encouraged to learn both from the tutored course as well
as from each other’s practical experience. This forum of discussion also
supports the tutor in assessing feedback from the participants concerning the
comprehension, benefit and effectiveness of a course for participants. The
educational service could also facilitate access to simulation environments and
‘live systems’, which are parts of the participant’s course material. For
example, it could provide access to specific commercial database information,
which would be part of a Database Modeling course. In this way, access may be
gained to systems and information, which would otherwise not be available on the
participant’s site. Course could be taken when the participant’s work schedules
permitted. Similarly, participant/participant interaction could be scheduled
flexibly. An educational service can be seen as incorporating several
interaction (tele-services) and course presentation mechanism, for example,
multimedia presentation tools conferencing, e-mail or notice board systems. The
following is an example of service layer used in the ACTS Project AC052: Figure
2 : Service Layer In the ACTS Project AC052, there are two Tele-educational
courses offered as a trial of the management service. These courses are “
An Introduction to ATM ” and ” An Introduction to Relational Databases
and SQL “. 4.1.1 An Introduction to ATM The course includes both
synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods. The duration of the course is
three to four days with approximately three hours of teaching and studying each
day. The course consists of five lectures, three self study modules and three
group exercises with a follow-up discussion of the results. The different
modules and modes of the course are conducted in a Tele-educational environment
which includes course outline information, a database of participants with
pictures and CVs, a WWW billboard supporting off-line discussions, access to a
WebStore and a tea-room which participants can visit for informal chats. The
lectures are performed by using video/audio conference tools. A system was used
to show slides on the participants web-browsers. The self study modules
contained web pages with information to read and small built-in exercises. The
group exercises consist of a number of questions to be answered by the group and
returned to the teacher for correction afterwards. When the teacher has
corrected the answers they are discussed in a conference with all the
participants. In the first trial a shared editor was introduced for use in group
exercises. The shared editor is a tool for synchronous collaboration on smaller
texts, and is meant to complement the chat and whiteboard tools used in earlier
trials. An illustration of the new shared editor can be found below. In the
second trial, a new floorcontrol-system for use during lectures as well as a
complete new graphical design of the virtual learning environment was tested.

The floorcontrol system was used by the teacher during lectures, to determine
which students wanted to ask a question, and to mute or unmute the microphones
and video cameras accordingly. A new graphical design of the User Interface (UI)
was introduced, in an attempt to create an even more homogenous UI. The
floorplan metaphore was kept, but new images and controls where implemented
throughout the environment. 4.1.2 An Introduction to Relational Databases and
SQL This course covered the theoretical principles of relational database
technology as well as supporting the hands-on skills of using relational
database language (SQL). Students took the course over a three day period, for
two hours each day. At the beginning of the course a one hour lecture outlined
the objectives of the course and provided an introduction to the topics. The
educational content comprised of text, graphics, and animation and was divided
into four sections, consisting of a total of twenty one modules (a module
typically being 1-5 pages). The course was made available via the Prospect
Tele-educational environment. On accessing the course, a separate courseware
browser window was opened, called the Virtual Student Desktop (VSD). All student
interactions with the courseware are facilitated via this VSD. The
Tele-educational environment is also accessible by the student for conferencing
and synchronous interaction. The VSD is rendered as a set of WWW windows,
frames, tool bar and icons. All native WWW browser buttons are suppressed
(hidden) so as not to distract the user from the main goal of education. A tool
bar specially designed for educational use is provided by the VSD at the bottom
of the screen. From this tool bar the student is able to contact tutors or
fellow students (asynchronously), access external systems, as well as navigate
and interact with the educational course material. Figure 3 illustrates a page
from a module in the course, and shows the educational toolbar at the bottom of
the screen and an index of the topics dealt with by this particular module in
the course on the left hand side of the screen. Figure 3 : page from module in
the course Overall the course comprised several different types of information:
Administrative (i.e. how to use the course etc.); A database of (self contained)
modules; Indexes or Roadmaps of specific courses through various modules;
Evaluation Forms and a Case Study. The roadmaps were important as the modules
can be combined in several ways to satisfy the different requirements for
different student objectives. Each roadmap corresponds to different learning
objectives of the RDBMS course. Thus the roadmaps provide a means of re-using
existing modules with as little redundancy as possible of educational material
and administrative overhead. A significant feature of the system was to provide
direct access to a real commercial RDBMS via the same interface as the
educational course. The relational DBMS is seamlessly integrated into the
student educational desktop. Thus the tool bar offered by the VSD contains an
icon which allows students to issue SQL queries on a live database. The idea of
this is to deliberately blur the distinction between the educational environment
and the target systems. This encourages students to try out various
parts of the course before attempting a larger project. Another feature was the
ability of the student to store references to distinct locations in the course
material (bookmarks). Traditionally these are stored locally on the students
machine. However this has disadvantages as students rarely use the same machine
all the time. The VSD allows such bookmarks to be stored within the educational
service and are thus (privately) accessible to an individual student at any
time. Also if the student has logged off the course and logs back on, the VSD
allows him/her the ability to resume at his/her most recent position or restart
at the beginning. Various forms of on-line tutorials are embedded into the
course. True or False and Multiple Choice Questions are supported,
with automatic correction and notification of marks to the student. Form based
(short unstructured text style) answers are also facilitated in some tutorials.

In these cases the student answers are automatically delivered to course tutors
for subsequent correction. Also integrated into the course are evaluation forms
which, when completed, are automatically submitted and stored for later analysis
by course tutors. The VSD provides buttons to contact other class members or to
seek tutor assistance. Again, this is offered via WWW forms and integrated
transparently with an email delivery system. 4.2 Tele-education Content There
are several modes of educational interaction, which could be supported by a
virtual theatre/study room. These would include lecture presentation, course
material presentation and browsing, self-study, group work (shared
application/work, class discussions, group presentations), consultation
(tutor/participant, participant/participant), tutorial sessions, virtual coffee
room/virtual lounge, and continuous assessment. There are also some other form
of learning that have been identified. These forms of learning are: ?
Self learning ? delivery of formatted courses material for students own
study ? Lecture presentation ? a one-to-many presentation by the
tutor of course or organizational material. ? Exercises ? the
facility to perform exercises either in groups or individually ? Project
work ? the development of sizeable projects using software outside the
teaching environment. ? Discovery/Reference research ? ability to
locate and access background or supplemental learning material ?
Seminar/Class discussion groups ? many-to-many communication between
participants. ? Consultation ? private one-to-one communication
between participants. There is some overtap between these learning forms. For
example, exercises, project work, discovery/reference search can be part of the
self-learning form, but all of learning forms are listed here for completeness.

It has been pointed out that not only should the different modes of teaching be
supported in the Tele-educational environment but also the different styles of
learning adopted by the students need to be supported. So for instance students
who like to annotate their work or their course material should be facilitated
in doing so. This is very much in the spirit of hypertext origins of the WWW.

Another point raised is that multimedia activity in the virtual classroom should
be captured and associated with relevant course material. For instance, the
teachers comments on a particular slide could be captured with the slide in
question. Also the conversation of students working on group could also be
recorded and stored with the exercise. Course material could be presented as a
hyper-document with the participant capable of navigating through the document
or choosing the prescribed ordering of the presentation. In addition, the
participant could also be given access to the more traditional learning
material, for example, notes, books, etc. Course assignments could also be
electronically submitted to promote fast feedback on performance. An important
element of assignments and project work is the need to allow participants to
co-operate in groups. 4.3 Network Architecture of Tele-education System From the
application’s point of view, network operates as IP (Internet Protocol) network
routing both multicast and unicast IP packets. Connection from network level to
the Q-adapters managing the switches communicate via ISO stack over X.25 links,
but apart from this instances all network infrastructure is in support of IP
traffic. This network structure connects seven sites. The aim of the logical
network infrastructure is to provide stable network interconnections as well as
to be managed to some extent by the network management, and to provide a
working, broadband network infrastructure while also supporting an enterprise
model suitable for multi-domain environment. For the separate customer networks,
each sites posses of LANs of Ethernet, or mixed ATM/Ethernet LAN technologies.

For maximum efficiency of scarce international, broadband resources, only one
site in each countries (that taking part in Tele-education system) are
connected. The connection, internationally connected customer sites access the
public network ATM service via an ATM cross-connect (ATM XC) providing ATM
public network provider’s Point-of-Presence (POP) in each of relevant countries.

Each customer sites posses ATM Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) which is used
to interconnect ATM public network with local routers. For the connection within
the same country, it is performed via leased lines between routers at
internationally connected customer sites and sites not connected to ATM public
network provider. The ATM CPEs at internationally connected sites and routers at
all customer sites managed by VPN (Virtual Private Network) provider. It is
performed in concert with management of ATM public service by VPN provider to
provide Intranet style connectivity between hosts on customer site LANs. This
network is quite complicated because it connects seven sites in four countries
and consisting of the following core components: ? Four ATM LANs ?
Seven Ethernet based LANs ? Four ATM Cross Connects ? Eight static
IP routes ? Seven multicast routers ? Two 2 Mbps leased lines
? Ten International ATM links (virtual path) ? One basic rate ISDN
link The following is the figure of logical network infrastructure: Figure 4 :
Logical Network Infrastructure. The ATM infrastructure that represents ATM
public network provider consists of a single ATM XC at each internationally
connected sites. These XCs are interconnected by permanent VPs (Virtual Paths).

The ATM CPE at each site based on one or more Fore System ASX-200 switches. It
is employed as logically separate ATM LANs besides as providing ATM access
between public network and routers at each site. The following is the figure of
ATM configuration. Figure 5 : ATM Configuration. The IP configuration consists
of routers at each connected sites being connected by Permanent Virtual Channel
(PVC) running over VPs. The routing function at each site performed either by
dedicated hardware router or by workstations running routing daemon software.

Routing of multicast IP packets (used for multimedia conferencing applications)
is not fully supported by most current IP routers, therefore, routing performed
by multicast routing daemon (mrouteds) running on workstations. The mrouteds are
interconnected by unicast IP tunnels, which can be used to be routed via routers
together with all other unicast traffic. The IP tunnels between mrouted at
internationally connected sites used the second sets of VPs. This supports
partition of multicast traffic from other unicast traffic and thus enables
provision of more deterministic Quality of Service (QoS) for multimedia
conferencing application. For external infrastructure, the aim is to provide
international ATM links between IP routers at the customer sites. Parallel VPs
are used between each pair of sites; one for multicast routing and another one
for unicast routing. Figure 6 : The network configuration Reflecting the
contemporary trends in multimedia and information services, all software
communication is over IP, including management system traffic. For the network
infrastructures that are conducted at a single site, the requirement its network
is fairly simple, requiring simply Ethernet connection to support IP
communication between PCs and workstations. If the system includes the
management of connections over IP switches, then the network infrastructure
would include both a representative public network ATM cross connect and
customer premises network ATM work-group switch (a FORE systems ASX200). These
are connected and configured with multiple VPs to emulate a network with a
larger number of nodes. IP routing functions in this network are provided by the
SPARC workstations with ATM interface cards performing IP forwarding. The
following is the network configuration of this kind of network: Figure 7 :
Network configuration For this network configuration, the TES Customer is able
to request the set-up of a new connection to the TES provider. The TES provider
then requested the VPN provider to do likewise. The VPN provider made a request
to the Public Network Provider and Customer Premises Network Provider to ensure
that the end-to-end IP/ATM connection was in place for the TES Customer. This is
the goal for the configuration scenario. One of the most important on an ATM
network level management system is to provide end-to-end connectivity across
constituent ATM network element, and so support the connectivity provisioning
with fault management and quality of service features. Challenged by these
requirements, a system that is able to set up ATM Virtual Paths and to correlate
faulty conditions, determining how these fault effect the connectivity for each
end user has been built. The following is the Network infrastructure of this
system: Figure 8 : Network infrastructure The figure shows that all the network
equipment is connected to one Ethernet hub, that is, the hub that acts as a
backbone for one Public Network domain and two Customer Premises Networks. In
reality, this hub could be partitioned into a number of internets that are
inter-connected by routers, also known as the Internet. For the network that is
required to operate over six sites in four different countries, would require a
much more comprehensive network infrastructure. This infrastructure consisted of
an ATM VP service, leased lines, and the internal ATM and IP network
infrastructure. The following is the example of this network infrastructure :
Figure 9 : Network infrastructure 4.4 Performance of Tele-educational Service
4.4.1 Courses There were two courses, both aimed at students with above average
prior knowledge of computing and/or computer networks. The first, an
introduction to SQL, was a self-study course, consisting mainly of modules of
written text with assessments based on these. The second course, an introduction
to ATM, was led by a tutor and involved varied methods of delivery, including
lecture/seminar, individual study and group work. Students were therefore
expected to interact both with one another and with the tutor. This course, too,
included assessment modules. Both of the courses were offered over a three-day
period and students were expected to participate for three half days. Within
this time, those taking the SQL course was able to pace their own study. On the
ATM course, the students use of the different resources was timetabled and
directed by the tutor. Time was divided between events, such as lectures, at
which all students were expected to be present, and study time, during which
they would work through a series of modules, with assessment associated with
each one. 4.4.2 Students There were 16 students on the more interactive of the
two courses, the Introduction to ATM, and a similar number on the self-paced
study course, An Introduction to SQL. All the students appeared to be
experienced computer users. This has to be accepted as necessary in a trial such
as this , which takes place in the context of a research project which uses
leading edge technology, some of it is still being tested. The prototypical
nature of parts of the system may make unusual demands on the students, such as
imposing unexpected delays. Having students who appreciate the difficulties may
well be important. Having said this, it appeared that although they were
knowledgeable about computers, these students were not experts in networked
multimedia technology, and did need some initial training in the use of the
software. This was given prior to the start of the course. The courses were
clearly directed at this target group, as their titles suggest. The students
also stated that they had a genuine wish to learn the subjects being offered and
that this was a major motivating factor. They were also paid for their
participation, which may have helped improve their persistence when there were
technical hitches. 4.4.3 System The system used for the ATM course is described
here. Those taking the SQL course used only those parts suited to self study.

There are three main elements: audio, and video communications channels support
a Tele-education system built on a web-browser base, but with considerable
functionality added. The audio tool, rat, allows participants to receive and
transmit audio, to identify who is speaking, control the volume of incoming and
outgoing audio streams. Since this tool was developed as a research platform,
there are many extra features which the average end-user is not likely to use in
an application such as this one, for example, the facility to change the audio
encoding scheme. The tools basic functionality is easy to learn and use. The
video tool, vic, also offers functionality suitable for its use as a platform
for research into networked video. For the non-expert, however, the most
important features are that multiple users can send and receive video
simultaneously and that they can control some features of both display and
capture/transmission (image size and frame rate are two examples). Video images
can be displayed at various sizes from thumbnail image to CIF. Enlarging images
does, however, involve creating a new window for each one. Students access the
Tele-education system via a web browser and navigate within it using hypertext
links, buttons and active areas of images. Initial access is password protected
and the system supports the notion of groups and hence, presumably of multiple
classes and tutorial groups. The interface is based on the metaphor of an
educational institution, a building divided into rooms whose function most
students will be able to predict from their real-life experience of education:
classroom, tea room, hall, office, library and seminar room. Users are presented
with an aerial view of the layout, in which the rooms are labeled. They gain
access to a room by clicking on the appropriate part of this image. The
resulting window sometimes maintains the metaphor but is more often mainly
textual – a list of hypertext links, for example. Once “in” a room,
students have access to the resources they need for the part of the course they
are taking. As might be assumed from the description, the system is intended to
support a mixed mode of course delivery, including lectures, group discussions
and assignments, individual study, assessment with feedback. The existence of
the office implies that students can also access relevant course administrative
information. The Hall and tea rooms suggest that the intention is also to
support less formal, social interactions. 4.4.4 Positive Findings The courses
both seemed to be appropriate for the target group. Students reported that they
believed they had learned a considerable amount and felt they would retain the
important points. The pacing of the study also seemed successful. The tutor
clearly had a sense that this was a real class in a real institution and made
considerable efforts to generate a relaxed and positive atmosphere. Use of
students names, and greeting them as soon as they logged in, contributed to
this. This is no mean achievement, given the constraints. The tutor tended to
refer to the environment as if it were a real place, arranging with students,
for example, to “meet in the tea room” or telling them to “go to
the library”. Whether the students shared this perception is less clear.

This may be due to the short time available to become familiar with it. It would
be interesting to see whether the environment would become more “real”
to the students over a longer course. The room-based structure therefore seems
to have been successful. The metaphor seems to have been well chosen, since
students seemed to have appropriate expectations of each “room”. None
of them appeared to have difficulty navigating between different rooms.

Observation did show that some students had to scroll up and down repeatedly,
however, when they were working on individual study texts. This seemed
particularly to be the case where they found the material more difficult. Again,
there was no sign that they were unsure of where to go or had difficulty in
navigation. In terms of course delivery, the trial showed that students
experienced considerable variety in the ATM course (inevitably less so in the
SQL course). Not only this, but the tutor seemed able to exploit the flexibility
of the system and to direct the student to alternative areas of study from what
had been planned originally, if necessary. One of the problems with distance
education is that such flexibility can be harder to achieve than in a
face-to-face situation, so this is promising and an interesting result of having
different applications integrated in this way. It also has a pragmatic use:
given technical problems in one area, it was possible to shift students to
another activity quite easily. Interactivity, both structured and casual was
potentially considerable. The shared whiteboard used for group work was
perceived by students as a good feature. It seemed, however, that they did not
all realize at first that they could write and draw on it. Perhaps this should
be pointed out in the introductory sessions, or the whiteboard should be
accompanied by a short explanatory note. It would also be fair to say that this
was not a long enough trial to assess usability of this part of the system. In
the limited time it was also not easy for students to establish relationships.

The system and the way the tutor used it did encourage students to get to know
one another since, for example, one of the first activities for students was to
upload their CVs and pictures and to browse through those of other students. The
level of concentration appeared to be high. Naturally, as in a classroom, there
were moments when students attention moved away from the subject of study but
these were not frequent. Interestingly, they usually stayed at the workstation
but moved to another activity such as reading e-mail. The students observed
“live” appeared to maintain concentration despite considerable
background noise and other potential distractions. This is not a surprise, since
other computer-based teaching and learning trials have drawn similar conclusions
– but it is another promising feature. At best, the material with which the
students were engaged appeared well designed for delivery on a computer screen.

The information was “packaged” into manageable chunks and was visually
stimulating. Diagrams, colour and animation were used effectively, and the
layout was clear and appealing. As the next section suggests, however, not all
of the written material was so suitable for this method of presentation.

Feedback was given to students both by the tutor, during discussions (for the
ATM course), and as a result of assessments done at the end of each module.

Students appeared to take these assessments seriously and were observed to
return to the relevant part of the notes when unsure or when they had given an
incorrect answer. The scope of this evaluation did not extend to assessing the
course design or the assessment methods, but it is worth mentioning that the
regular assessment seems to have been a successful feature of the course.

Awareness of other students is something that is hard to achieve in distance
education. Interestingly, with the audio channel left open during private study
periods, it appeared that students experienced something similar to working in a
library with other students around them. They were able to hear conversations
and could have asked questions if they needed to. The potential disadvantage is
that the additional background noise might interfere with concentration. It
would probably be worth investigating whether the availability or otherwise of
the audio channel makes a difference to students. 4.5 Operation and Management
of Tele-education Service A vital element of any service is the reliability,
configurability and administration of that service. In order to ensure success
of an educational service from both the participants and tutors
perspectives, the delivered service must be well managed and monitored. It is
crucially important to realize the software and procedures necessary to manage
and deliver Tele-educational services over broadband networks. Four basic
principles for successful teaching in a virtual classroom environment have been
identified as ? media richness, ? interaction, ? timely
responsiveness and ? organization of materials. Media richness and
interaction mechanisms can be satisfied by the educational services described
earlier. The organization of course materials and the insurance of timely
response by systems, participants and tutors are goals of the management
service. During the delivery of a course, there is a significant mass of
material presented to participants as well as a high degree of interactive
responses amongst participants. Unless this mass of materials is organized and
interaction controlled, participants can become confused and disillusioned.

Proper maintenance and management of the dissemination of material must be put
in place to provide an effective learning environment. Segregation of material,
both between and within course modules should also be supported. The strategy of
participant-paced learning is important so as to ensure that the class
moves through the modules of a course together in order for the interactions to
be meaningful. Timely responsiveness has also been identified as a key
requirement for Tele-education. Thus access to course material, as well as other
participants and tutors, should be reliable and timely. To achieve successful
operation of the tele-educational service, participant (on-site) software should
be configurable for a wide range of computing environments. Also participation
of the class members should be manageable e.g. course registration, controlling
access to class discussions, automatic collection/distribution of assignments
and projects etc. The on-line management system should provide the range of
services as required by each course leader. 5.0 CONCLUSION Tele-education system
is a very new emerging technology. It has been applied in Europe and Canada, and
is still under study in order to improve it from time to time. From this
project, it is known that Tele-education is a revolution of distance learning in
which distance learning basically only provides asynchronous learning
environment. But Tele-education has improved it by providing both asynchronous
and synchronous learning environment. After studying all the materials found for
this material, it was found that Tele- education is not easy to implement. This
is because there are a lot of things need to be considered before implementing
such as what kind of network structures available, what kind of service can be
provided by network service provider, what is the most suitable network for
interconnection among the involved sites, etc. Another reason is that, after
implementing it, there need to have several trials on the service to look at its
efficiency which would take a long time. In general, it can be concluded that
Tele-education is becoming popular as the emerging of multimedia technology. Its
advantages that could overcome the problem in current learning environment also
has made it a preferable way of learning process. 6.0 REQUIRED EQUIPMENT AND
MATERIALS The following are the equipment or materials needed for the completion
of this project in third semester : a) Opnet software (Sun workstation) – used
to perform simulation b) TV Conferencing System with; i. ISDN Interface ii. H324
TV Conferencing Interface iii. Small TV camera iv. Speaker (stereo) ?
this is required for some experiment purposes on Tele-education system c)
Satellite System with; i. Antenna (2.6 m) ii. RF receiver (C-band) iii. 2 Mbps
TV conferencing Interface iv. ISDN (2B+D) Interface – Still under
study/discussion 7.0 SCHEDULE OF PLANNING (Timetable)
1 Krebs, A.M, “D21A – The Initial Requirement Analysis”, ACTS
Project AC052,
2 Jain, R, ” A Revolution In Education”, IEEE, 1997, pp. 1 3
Bison, T, “Distance Learning Is an Opportunity” , Circuit and Devices,
March 1997, pp. 41. 4 GammelGaard, A, “D21B – Final Requirement
Analysis”, ACTS Project AC052,
5 Nielsen, A.B, “D53A – Evaluation of the First Trial Phase”, ACTS
Project AC052,
6 Krebs, A.M, ” D53B – Evaluation of The Second Trial”, ACTS Project
7 Nielsen, A.B, “D51A -Operational Plan for First Trial”, ACTS
Project AC052,
8 Johansen, A, “D51B – Operational Plan for Trial 2”, ACTS Project

The Beak Of The Finch

The Beak of the Finch
The Bogus Logic of The Beak
People who have served in the Armed Forces may be familiar with the expression, “If you can’t dazzle then with your brilliance, baffle them with your baloney.” The Beak of the Finch uses such laughable logic, it is remarkable that anyone would believe it. The book does such a terrible job of presenting a case for evolution and history, that the only logical conclusion is that the book’s true intent is to disprove it.

Jonathan Weiner, The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time. New York:
Alfred A. Knopf, 1994. ISBN 0679400036.

“It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof.” –Thoreau, Walden
This book claims to be about evolution, centered in the location made famous by Charles Darwin, the Galapagos Islands. I read this book on the recommendation of a good friend who knows I am interested in birds and thought I might get something out of it. Indeed, the few parts of the book actually about the Gouldian Finches of the Galapagos Islands are fascinating. The book records in detail some of the trials the Dr. Peter Grant family endured in studying these birds on a hot volcanic rock. However, the writers and editors of the book avoid simple logic and put a spin on history that is misleading. The facts and logic presented in The Beak of the Finch really make the book’s author out to be a closet creationist.
It just so happened that at the same time I read this book, I was reading The Storm Petrel and the Owl of Athena by Louis Halle. Half of The Storm Petrel is on the bird life of the Shetland Islands, another isolated natural system. Halle, though an evolutionist, devotes a whole chapter on how the Shetlands and other islands conserve species. (Halle. 1970, 155ff.) Where species have changed their habits, it is most often due to adaptation to humanity. He compares the wild starlings, house sparrows, and rock doves found on the Shetlands with the more domesticated versions of these birds found on the continents–and to some degree even in the main village of the Shetlands. The island birds are more like their original wild forebears. I mention this now because it will come back to haunt us later.
Logical Fallacies
By the first thirty or so pages I had found two logical fallacies and at least one historical inaccuracy in The Beak of the Finch. The fallacies were significant. The historical point was minor, but could be misleading. The fallacies would continue through the book.
Page 10 says “Evolutionists are watching life evolve” on different islands. Well, not on the Shetlands, if Halle’s observations are accurate. One reason given is that islands are “a closed system.” I am not sure how closed any place on earth is any more; however, the Grants (the scientist couple doing the research reported by The Beak) were certainly careful to keep their little island as closed as possible. They washed themselves carefully, watched for any alien seeds they might bring, and so on. The great irony is that after twenty five years of observing, the net result is no change: Individual variation from year to year, surely, but nothing even remotely approaching one species turning into something else.
The Problem with Using Breeders for Analogies
Page 30 describes the “law of succession” (not plant or forest succession). This is adjunct to evolution. Is it truly a law? Can it be observed? Can it be repeated experimentally? Well, he says, Darwin showed that breeders can produce varieties of breeds of dogs and pigeons. Both Darwin and Weiner spend a lot of time on pigeons.
There are several problems with this. One, breeders are outside intelligent operators. They are not natural forces. Second, and what will prove to be most significant, they still breed pigeons. The pigeons never become another species, regardless of the exotic traits they display. They are still pigeons. Even Darwin backer Sir Charles Lyell noted, “There is no good evidence of spontaneous generation, and breeders know only too well that they cannot change one species into another.” (Ruse, 1979, 81)1
Now Darwin suggested that at some point perhaps species could become something else. He was speculating. He used pigeon fanciers as an analogy for the forces of nature. Page 30 says it was an analogy. There is a problem with using analogies for science. They can be useful to explain things, but analogy is not the scientific method (inductive reasoning). Darwin would write that “old Aristotle” was his “god.” (Loomis, 1943, xxxii) While Aristotle did write about logic, he mostly used analogy when observing nature. Here is one quick example: Winds shake the air, earthquakes shake the earth, therefore earthquakes are caused by underground winds. (Meteorology, 2.8.23ff) Whenever you argue from analogy, you must be certain that the two items being compared are truly comparable and that the similarity of one feature truly means a similarity in another.
We have a right to question whether pigeon breeders, or dog breeders, bean growers, etc. are behaving in a manner that nature does. We also must ask the question whether a visible similarity (Weiner’s definition of species) means common ancestry. I tell the story of when I caddied. There was another caddie who had red hair, a round face, and freckles like me. We were about the same height and had a similar build. Once when I was caddying, my golfer said to me, “I had your brother the last time I played golf.” Well, Chris Murphy was not my brother. We were not related at all. Just because we had some physical similarities did not mean we had a common ancestor. The argument by analogy continues for some time in the book. Yet these two questions about breeders and analogies are never addressed. The author also misses the obvious point–those fancy pigeons are still pigeons. This analogy hardly appears like a “law” of science.
Differences Among Individuals Not the Same as Transitional Forms
The book notes on page 40 that Darwin himself asked, “Why are there not transitional forms?” Darwin’s answer was that they had died off. The next question that follows logically is perhaps relevant here. Why are there not more fossils of transitional forms? That unanswerable question is why Niles Eldridge, Stephen Jay Gould, and others came up with the “punctuated equilibrium” theory (a.k.a. the “hopeful monster” theory) that there were sudden massive genetic changes which produced new species. Indeed, some fossils thought to be transitional have been proven otherwise. When I was in college we were taught that man evolved from Australopithecus. Now, if the Leakeys are to be believed, we find that Australopithecus and Homo were alive at the same time. The January 1998 issue of Scientific American describes an ongoing discussion of whether or not “Neanderthal Man” is a human ancestor. (Wong, 1998) Regular bird fossils have also been found at the same level as Archaeopteryx. As we shall see, the fossil record shows extinction rather than transition. And extinction is an argument against natural selection producing new species.
Time and time again the book tells of individual variation among finches. The average person would not notice these differences. The Grants noticed. Some of the subtle differences in bill thickness could mean the difference between survival and death. The Fortis finch, the main subject of the Grants’ study, with a slightly narrower bill had an advantage in good growing years because the more general bill could eat a variety of available seeds. One with a thicker bill would do better in dry seasons when the only available seeds were those survivors with thicker hulls that the smaller bill could not crack.
We note individual differences among humans, too. But just because there are individual differences does not mean that they evolve into something else. Individuals are just different. Let’s “celebrate diversity” and acknowledge individual differences.
Darwinism as Neither Proven Nor Scientific
Page 52 has another wild statement that challenges logic. “Darwin himself never tried to produce experimental confirmation of this particular point that individual variation led to changes into new species. It is at once extremely logical and extremely hard to prove.”
Hmm! I let that statement speak for itself. The author does not demonstrate the logic of it–probably not because it is hard, but because it is impossible. Perhaps, too, I am beginning to suspect that the author is not familiar with rules of logic.
Note two things about that statement. One, no experimentation. That means no scientific method. Therefore Darwin was not in the strict sense being scientific. Two, the logic on how natural selection causes new species is very difficult. In fact, the author does not even try to show it.
If There Is No Net Change, Doesn’t That Disprove Evolution?
For a number of pages in what is really the core of the book, the author describes how the Fortis Finches of the island specialize according to subtle differences in beak size during dry years. As a result, several strains appear. However, in wet years, the strains interbreed and the net result over a period of time is no change!
This, of course, is exactly the opposite of what the theory of evolution would predict. As a result, after about page 80 or 90, the rest of the book is devoted to a literary subterfuge to try to convince the reader otherwise in spite of the evidence. The kindest thing I can say is that the author is preaching to the converted. By page 81 the author says this is “evolution in action,” yet there is nothing about new species. The Gouldian Finches are still Gouldian Finches. Indeed the alternating natural forces keep them from changing. The author admits on page 106 that “reversals of fortune” are common. What does that mean? Change goes in various directions. Survivors in a recent generation can be more like a distant generation than the parental generation. What is the net result? No change, hence no evolution!
The author tells of the stratification of guppies according to the type of stream bed they are found in. Again, somehow this is supposed to show evolution, but instead it shows stabilization. The guppies are still guppies. There are individual variations, certainly, and some individuals have a better chance to survive in certain environments, but they do not become something else.
This demonstrates the “dirty secret” of natural selection. Natural selection is generally conservative. It preserves species, it does not make new ones. This has always been the scientific criticism of Darwin since he and Wallace first published their theories. The examples that The Beak of the Finch use really show the same thing–that natural selection is conservative. It does not speak of the origin of species as much as it does the preservation of species.
Darwin’s Logic in the First Half of His Title
Darwin’s book’s full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. If we look at the first clause of the title we can see that there are really three parts to Darwin’s logic. One is that species exist. Species are Darwin’s given. Second, Darwin tries to demonstrate that species adapt over time to changes in the environment. This is what he calls “natural selection.” Third, Darwin then tries to make the connection that these natural adaptations result in the formation of new, discrete species. Or as he put it in his title, species originate by means of this natural selection. There is also the uniformitarian implication that these changes are subtle and gradual and take a long time to have a visible effect. Hence, the earth is old, and Lyell’s “anti-diluvialism” or anti-catastrophism best explains the geological record. We will look at the second clause of the title later.
The Beak of the Finch is one of a number of studies which show that subtle changes within species can occur in just a few generations when environmental circumstances change. For the sake of argument we will call this “natural selection.” The next step in Darwin’s theory seems to be the most significant–that these changes will eventually result in new species. The results recorded in The Beak of the Finch appear to be saying just the opposite of this. The net change over time is nil or insignificant. And if there are any changes, they are conservative–they preserve the present species, they do not mutate the species into something else.
A Few More Questionable Quotations
I like this line on page 131: “The opposition to Darwinism arises, as Darwin himself observed, not from what reason dictates but from the limits of what the imagination can accept.” I will let that statement speak for itself. Reason and observation do not explain evolution. We can only imagine it. Is it unreasonable and imaginary?
Page 144 also states another problem. It explains that “Darwin’s thesis predicts the general absence of competition.” Yet the observations of the Grants in particular show lots of competition for space and food in the small island territory. In addition, the author explains, because there should be no competition, evolution will usually be unobserved! If it is unobserved then how do we know it happens? Science and the scientific method require observation.
At the very least, this means that Darwinian evolution will always be a theory. Indeed, after a quarter of a century on the Galapagos, the Grants’ evidence does demonstrate that actual evolution is not observed. Here the author is explaining why Darwinism cannot be proved, how the Grants’ observations show things that Darwin said would not happen, and yet the author still sounds like an advocate of Darwin. Doesn’t that sound like blind faith?
The Irrelevant Crossbill Experiment
Page 182 contains one experiment, but it has nothing to do with evolution. Perhaps its an example of analogy gone wild. The author describes experiments done with the bird known as a crossbill. Crossbills have crossed bills which enable them to reach into pine cones and extract the seeds. Someone took a group of crossbills and clipped the crossed portion of their bills so that they could no longer open pine cones. The birds could eat other seed put out for them. The bills grew back. Then they were able to eat pine seeds again. It makes sense, but does it have anything to do with evolution?
While it does show how bill shape determines a bird’s ability to eat certain foods, I still have not figured out what that has to do with evolution. There have been many other experiments where scientists removed or altered body parts of creatures. They could not function normally in most cases until that part grew back. All it tells us is that most body parts have a function. Perhaps it does illustrate the utility of bill structure, but there is nothing to do with heredity or genes in this one. The book states that this exercise with the crossbills refutes the anti-evolutionist book Darwin on Trial, but since the experiment has nothing to do with Darwinian heredity, it is impossible to see the relevance.
Ultimately, the author is stuck and he knows it. He wants to believe in evolution, yet all the evidence he has been presenting is really showing that natural selection is conservative. What can he do? Talk of finches, guppies, and crossbills: interesting but largely irrelevant.
Self-Contradiction and Laughable Logic
The author admits he is lost on page 192. This quotation sums up the shaky ground he has found himself on. The amazing illogic of it should be obvious even to a ten year old:
“Fortis has done a lot of evolving just to stay in place!”
As Shakespeare would say:
“That is hot ice and wondrous strange snow.” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 5.1.63)
I almost laughed out loud when I read that sentence. The finches changed so much that they didn’t change at all? Evolution is proven because it doesn’t happen?
A recent review in Scientific American complains that science in America on the decline because relativistic thinking has crept into science, that “science is a subjective human construction, like art or music.” (Morrison, 1997, 114) The article blames the influence of social science which does not take seriously “the ultimate importance of objective facts.” (Morrison, 1997, 117) Clearly, if the above passage reflects contemporary scientific thinking, then at least some of the blame is the responsibility of science itself, not just sociology.
I find it even more remarkable that a book which such nonsense as the above passage could win a nonfiction Pulitzer Prize. One of the three panelists which made the final selection is a writing teacher at a well-known technical university. Would he accept such stuff if one of his students wrote that in a paper? One of the other panelists is an editor of a well-known high-circulation magazine. Would she allow such thinking in an article that she edited? (“1995 Pulitzer Prizes,” 1997) Such a prize is usually given to the best in its field. If this is the best evolution can do, evolution is in sad shape. Even the old agnostic himself, T.H. Huxley, wrote:
“Science is simply common sense at its best; that is rigidly accurate in obervation and merciless to fllacy in logic.” (Gould, 16)
A few years ago in article in Natural History magazine, biogeographer and evolutionary apologist Jared Diamond wrote of a genetic study done of Jews. He noted that some genetic changes had taken place in the Jewish Diaspora of the last two thousand years in Europe. He also noted that some inherited traits such as fingerprints and certain blood antibodies had not changed. In many ways European Jews, in spite of their outward appearance, are genetically closer to Arabs in the Near East (where the Jews came from) than to Europeans with whom they have lived for two millennia or more. Diamond then very emphatically stated that this–along with the sainted peppered moths–proves that evolution is a fact his italics. (Diamond, 1993, 19) I am not sure how. After two thousand years and thousands of miles migrated, the genotypes of this population are still identifiable. Is it the same kind of logic–that they evolve by not changing?
I should really stop there. At first I thought the author just thought all his readers were dense. But I get the impression he really believes this stuff! One person I shared this with simply passed it off because Weiner was writing for a “popular audience.” Logic is not important for the mass of people? Is science the new priesthood which the “laity” must trust blindly? The aristocracy to which the serfs owe total allegiance?
“Natural Selection” Stabilizes, It Does Not Cause New Species
On page 227 the author even speaks of “stabilizing selection.” Ah! What is this? A scientific oxymoron? Not if you are a Darwinist. You see, that phrase illustrates precisely the main argument against Darwin from the beginning, before Huxley and Wilberforce turned the whole discussion into a sideshow. Natural selection stabilizes species, it does not change them.
The book even shares another little secret of evolution: “Evolutionists are forever dividing and subdividing into schismatic sects.” (231). This is what began to make me personally doubt evolution in college. The Anthropology, Biology, and Sociology classes all taught it, but they didn’t agree on much and even criticized the others’ interpretation of it. There was no common ground except a materialist bias. It did not strike me as very objective.
The author then describes a number of species with very short generations. Two that he focuses on are a type of fruit fly and the human intestinal bacteria. The most he can say about the fruit fly–introduced into areas where it was not native–is that it may be diverging into new species. (233) This is after he criticized the book Darwin on Trial for using the word may. (182) If it is good for the goose
Interestingly, the book documents one really long-term change among Gouldian Finches on page 240 and thereabouts. The Galapagos Islands are now densely populated in some places. Like the rock doves, house sparrows, and starlings of Eurasia and North America, they have adjusted to human habitation. They are learning to eat scraps and seeds from people. The various types of finches which before were distinguished by differences in bills are becoming “a hybrid swarm” in towns. They are changing, but this is not due to natural forces, but due to man–more like the pigeon fanciers. Even here, though, natural selection is working not to change the species, but preserve it. The various strains are coming together to survive. This is the same phenomenon Halle (1970) observed on the Shetlands as he compared the village starlings, sparrows, and rock doves with those in remote areas. This also is the same phenomenon observed among the Lake Victoria cichlids–traditionally seen as a model for evolution like the Galapagos finches. These fish display highly specialized races in this large but isolated African lake. Within ten years after the introductin of a predatory Nile perch species, we read that observers noticed “a kind of hybrid that seems to display a resistance to the perch.” (Trachtman, 119) This reviewer called this phenomenon an irony. Well, irony is wonderful in drama and literature–something unexpected happens. However, when an irony happens in a scientific model, it is time to re-examine that model.
The author refers in a few places to the peppered or speckled . I recall my high school text book used this to “prove” evolution. That text was first published in 1962 and was first American textbook at the high school level to present evolution as scientific fact. The moth was white with some dark morphs. It lived in white birches. As the industrial cities and white birches in England became more grimy, the dark morphs became predominant. That was in the 1960’s.
With anti-pollution laws, the cities today are less grimy, there is virtually no soot in the air and the birches are white again. So now, again, most of the moth morphs are white. This is clearly not evolution! They have gone back to what they were. And, indeed, they have always been speckled moths, whether white or black. (Just like people!) Again, if there is natural selection, it is conservative, preserving the species, not transforming it into something else.

New Evidence on the Peppered Moths
Since The Beak of the Finch came out, new evidence has emerged which appears to show that the Speckled Moth experiments were stacked. This is documented by M. E. N. Majerus in Melanism: Evolution in Action (Oxford, 1998). Majerus claims to believe in evolution, by the way. The moth experiments of Bernard Kettlewell in the 1950’s have not been verified by other observers. For one thing, neither morph of the moth spends any time on rocks or tree bark. Kettlewell’s associates admit that photographs were faked and moth specimens were glued onto a tree and photographed. This admission is comparable to the Piltdown Man hoax or W. E. LeGros Clark’s admission that he deiberately doctored his pictures of fossil primates to make them look like they were intermediate forms between apes and men.

Weimer can be forgiven for not knowing about the moth experiments, since this information came out after his book. However, this does not excuse his logic, even assuming the observations were valid. This moth business illlustrates not only poor logic but flawed scientific method. It appears as though the establishment will grasp at any straw uncritically when it has the appearance of supporting its world view. For reviews of this see Nature, 5 Nov. 1998, and Back to Genesis, Apr. 1999. See also Star Course, “Notes from Nature.”
The Second Part of Darwin’s Title
And, you know, that is precisely the language used by Darwin himself in the second part of the title of his Origin book: the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. What’s that word? Preservation. Here is a curious contradiction in the very title of the evolutionists’ holy writ. As we have seen, the first clause says that species originate via natural selection. The second clause says that races are preserved by the same process. They change without changing! So if I observe a species change, that proves evolution. If I see a species persevere, that is natural selection which also proves evolution. No wonder Weiner said Darwin’s logic was complicated! It is actually bogus logic. Can a statement and its negative can both be true at the same time? Even if both are “impossible” to observe?
More Problem Quotations
By page 280 the book describes people as causing their own genetic change: “We modified the hyoid bone.” Human evolution in the first person? HmmWhen I was a teenager I sure would have liked to have modified a few thing about my bone structure. Most teenagers would. I couldn’t. Could the author?
Page 284 “Species of finches cannot diversify on Cocos Island Pacific island owned by Costa Rica because the island is too small.” And I thought islands were “laboratories of evolution.” The island in the Galapagos archipelago that the Grants worked on was even smaller. Interestingly, this year a popular book on biology came out called The Song of the Dodo. One of its premises is that islands are laboratories of extinction, not evolution. While it is written from an evolutionary perspective, it admits that on islands, “speciation could be disregarded” as a factor in wildlife populations. (Quammen, 414)
Bacteria + Moths + Birds + Guppies + Flies = Preservation of the Species
The author tells of E. coli bacteria, the common human intestinal bacteria. These bacteria, we are told, have a generation that lasts about two hours. Strains appear and adjust due to environmental f…..actors. They change when a person gets a cold, comes in close contact with another person, or eats a certain food; and some strains develop resistance to antibiotics. These things, though, do not prove evolution. They demonstrate the opposite. Bacteria resistant to antibiotics or insects resistant to pesticides do not demonstrate evolution–they demonstrate that natural selection is conservative. They preserve the species; they do not change it into something else.
Similarly, those cotton-eating Heliothis moths which the book mentions are still eating cotton. They are still the same insect. Some individuals may resist insecticides, but this trait preserves the species, it does not change the creature into something else. And yet the author mocks the Bible-belt cotton farmers who disbelieve evolution. In fact, those farmers recognize perfectly well that the same kind of moth still eats their cotton.
The example of E. coli is an especially obvious refutation to evolution. With nearly six billion human laboratories carrying this bacteria on earth and with the bacteria reproducing every two hours, we would have the equivalent of millions of years of human or mammalian evolution observable just in our lifetime. Yet, while various strains of E. coli may appear or may become predominant in a certain environment, they do not become something else. They are still E. coli. Six billion people defecating every day, you’d think we’d notice if they had become something else!
The book lists a number of examples of natural selection in species: Gouldian Finches, guppies, cotton moths, fruit flies, sandpipers, (the crossbill experiment does not count since clipping bills does not change the genetic makeup of the population), speckled moths, and the very fecund E. coli. What do we observe over generations–in the case of E. coli, twelve per day? That the species do not change! Indeed, with the speckled moths, Gouldian finches, and bacteria at least, they will clearly revert to a past type. What does this show? It shows the precise opposite of what Darwin was attempting to prove. It shows that species do not change. Any individual variations which may be “selected” by nature preserve the species. The alternative is extinction. That is precisely what the fossil record and even the current natural record shows–not species changing into something else but species not changing and disappearing. In spite of a nearly a hundred and fifty years of Darwinistic indoctrination, when we think of “survival of the fittest,” we think of extinction, of the “unfit” that don’t survive. That is real. That is a fact. Change into another life form is still speculative at best.2
The Earliest Known Critique of Darwinism
A critique of Darwin and Wallace’s earliest publications on evolution (prior to The Origin) appeared in 1860 in an article in the Journal of the Geological Society of Dublin. This article notes that “the propagation of special varieties is simply a provision to guard against the destruction of the species by any, the least, change.”3 The only problem, the article said, with Darwin’s idea that the healthiest specimens of a group survive is “want of novelty.” (Brackman, 1980, 74) “If it means what it says, it is a truism; if it means anything more, it is contrary to fact.” (Brackman, 1980, 74)
Indeed, the only reason the article says that the publications of Darwin and Wallace were considered seriously at all is because of the social status of the Darwin family and the backing of publication by Lyell and Sir Joseph Hooker. “This speculation of Messrs. Darwin and Wallace would not be worthy of notice were it not for the weight of the authority of the names under whose auspices it has been brought forward.” (Brackman, 1980, 75) Darwin was from a prominent family and his wife from an even more prominent family. He and Wallace were published at the instigation of Lyell and Hooker. Both of these men were baronets and members of the Royal Society. Lyell, of course, had Principles of Geology to his credit. Hooker was a well-traveled botanist and curator of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
Perhaps this rebuttal to the Darwin-Wallace hypothesis did not receive more attention because it came from Dublin. It did not have the aristocratic or social pedigree that Darwin and his Royal Society friends had. Of course, today it would be politically incorrect to snub someone because of his or her nationality, but it is academically acceptable to ridicule another type of person, one with a status similar to the Irish in nineteenth century England. We see The Beak of the Finch do this.
Who Are Contemporary Equivalent of the Irish in America Today?
The author, of course, wants to sell books. He wants approval from the academic establishment. Twenty years ago Harper’s ran an article on natural selection being conservative. (Bethell, 1976)4 It did not sell. The prize-winning Beak of the Finch will sell. Especially since it does include the obligatory elitist slam at “fundamentalists.” It is clear the author does not know what the word means since the one specific example he uses of a “fundamentalist” is a Jehovah’s Witness. One of the seven fundamentals of a Christian fundamentalist is that Jesus is God. While the Jehovah’s witnesses do believe in a special Creator, they deny that He is Jesus.
The author quotes Peter Grant that Creationists “have the appearance of closed minds.” Dr. Grant then admits he does not know any. He can be forgiven for that because he has spent most of the last two and a half decades on a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean. He clearly is not aware of what has happened in American courts in the last twenty years. It has been the evolutionists who have effectively silenced the discussion of any opposition– not by logic, not by evidence, but by court order! If the creationists are closed-minded, then the evolutionists are censors.
The other ironic thing about that statement is that Dr. Grant himself may be the one with the closed mind. Here is all this evidence to show that natural selection does not make new species, and he can’t see it. Or maybe he can, he just is afraid of becoming an academic pariah. So he presents evidence refuting Darwinists all the while pretending he still is one. That is why I suspect that either Dr. Grant, the researcher, or Mr. Weiner, the author, is a closet creationist.
Why Did Darwin Drop Out?
While logic is the main problem of the book, there are two historical inaccuracies worthy of note in The Beak of the Finch. The author suggests that when Darwin left England for the Beagle that he was still a seminary student, and that it was the trip on the Beagle and reading Lyell’s Principles of Geology that changed him. If Darwin’s Autobiography is to be believed, that is not exactly what happened. Darwin dropped out of seminary because he no longer believed the Bible–the three things Darwin mentions specifically are the story of Noah, the Tower of Babel, and the doctrine eternal hell for the unbeliever.
Darwin’s father did not know what to do. His father is the one who sent him to seminary in the first place because being a minister seemed like a job that Charles was suited for. When Charles dropped out, his father recognized Charles’ interest in science, so he arranged for him to take the job a ship’s surgeon on the Beagle, where he could see some of the world and learn a suitable trade. One of Lyell’s original intentions was “to sink the diluvialists,” people who believed in the Genesis Flood and that that explained most geological sediments and fossils. (Gillispie, 1960, 299) It appears that Darwin and Lyell were kindred spirits since Darwin had admitted that the Genesis Flood was one of the teachings which kept him from Christianity.
The author’s misinformation on Darwin here is relatively minor. It perhaps suggests that the author wants his reader to convert from religious belief, too, but the detail itself is not that significant. Perhaps the author knows of evidence that I am unfamiliar with, though at least one other author interprets the account the way I do. (Gillispie, 1960, 348; cf. Darwin 1958, 85ff.) It really does not change the effect of the book much at all unless he is suggesting that Darwin is deceiving us in his autobiography. Indeed, one impression from reading Darwin’s autobiography is that even though he gradually changed from Christianity to universalism to deism to atheism, he remained a man of conscience.5
How The Beak Attempts to Rewrite History
The second historical misstatement in The Beak is downright misleading. In fact, it changes the whole nature of the argument of the book. It may show what really motivates many evolutionists. On page 298 the book claims that the idea that God designed the universe “no longer seemed compelling after Galileo and Newton discovered the celestial laws of motion.”
Where did Weiner come up with that idea? He clearly knows nothing about Newton and little about history. What did Newton devote his life to after he discovered and quantified the laws of motion? Theology! Most of his writings are theological. The order and design that he discovered led him to consider the One, as he put it, “who wound the watch.” Newton would write in his Principia:
This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being…This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of His dominion he is wont to be called Lord God pantokrator, Universal Ruler.(Newton, 1687, 369, 370)6
This God no longer “seemed compelling” to Newton? Certainly we are not talking about the same Isaac Newton as is quoted here! Let’s at least be honest!
The scientific revolution which resulted in the acceptance of the scientific method went hand in hand with the Reformation. It was not that God had become irrelevant–He had become more relevant. The Reformation emphasized that the God of the Bible had created the universe. The scientific method worked because God was a God of order, not confusion. We could do inductive experiments and make observations and the results would not be random. Why? Because the universe is orderly.
One could go on and detail the history of the period of Galileo and Newton–no time in European and American history before or since has the Christian religion been such a critical issue as the period between 1520 and 1789. Most of the wars and many political movements resulted from it or in reaction to it. English-speaking North America was settled in most places for religious reasons. One of the main motivations of the American Revolutionaries was resistance to England’s attempts to make a uniform state religion of the Anglican Church in the colonies. The concept of God was hardly irrelevant during this era!7
Who Was Behind the Attack on Galileo?
OK, some say, what about Galileo? He got in trouble with the Pope. Well, the Pope was one of the reasons for the Reformation. The Roman Church in the Middle Ages had adopted Aristotle as a model for science, and even for a lot of theology. Luther in particular was very critical of this.8 The Pope’s opposition to Galileo was Aristotelian. It was Aristotle who taught differently than Galileo. (The Bible doesn’t have word about the planet Jupiter or its moons…) The Reformation succeeded in knocking Aristotle’s influence down a few notches, in the area of science as well as theology. Galileo had to take the rap for using the scientific method just as Luther had to for emphasizing the Bible. But if it had not been Galileo, it probably would have been someone else who was using the scientific method who might have gotten into trouble with authorities.
It is also important to note that Galileo actually had the support of Pope Paul V and the Jesuits, but the faculty at the Universities of Padua and Pisa hated his experiments and anti-Aristotelian views. He was sentenced by Pope Urban VIII, but the charges which brought him before the pope were filed by academics.
It appeared that the church’s major sin was capitulating to the pressure from the scientific community and Galileo’s enemies. Only as a result from much pressure from the secular establishment and Aristotelian philosophers did the church side against Galileo. (Bergman, 1995)
Even a general reference source acknowledges that:
Since the full publication of Galileo’s trial documents in the 1870’s, entire responsibility for Galileo’s condemnation has customarily been placed on the Roman catholic church. This conceals the role of the philosophy professors who first persuaded theologians to link Galileo’s science with heresy. (Drake, 1996)
It was not the church that led Galileo’s inquisition, it was academia. Today academia uses the secular courts rather than the ecclesiastical ones, but the result is the same, to try to silence the scientific opposition.
Darwin, Aristotle, and Spontaneous Generation
This leads into Darwin. As I mentioned earlier, Darwin called himself a disciple of Aristotle. I speak of Aristotelian science–the science of analogy. That is what evolution is–analogous traits in various species come from a common ancestor. Keep in mind that The Origin of Species was published in 1859. Most of Pasteur’s work was done in the 1870’s and 1880’s .People did not know of the significance of microbes. It was still common, for example, to say that malaria was caused by bad air. That is what the word malaria means. (Cf. Thoreau, 1854, 132) Though there were some experiments disproving it, it would still be possible to find intelligent men like Darwin who believed with Aristotle in spontaneous generation. For example, if you read Walden, published in 1854, it appears that Thoreau did. (Cf. Thoreau, 1854, 325ff.) The Origin of Species is an example of latent Aristotelian science. Some well-meaning scientists are still trying to spontaneously generate life out of chemicals. (If it could be done, we should be able to take a cadaver–which already has the chemicals–and bring it to life. We can’t even do that…) By the nineteenth century, Aristotelian science was pretty much a historical relic. Darwin brought it back from the dead and it is an unreasonable, self-contradictory monster.
Concluding Observations
The Beak of the Finch purports to be a book about the observation of “evolution in our time.” The actual observations recorded in the book, however, demonstrate the absence of evolution among the finches of the Galapagos Islands and other species like the peppered and cotton moths, intestinal bacteria, guppies, and fruit flies. The book uses a number of self-contradictory statements which illustrate the shaky logical foundation of Darwinian evolution. The conclusion from the evidence is that “natural selection” serves to preserve species, not alter them into something else. There are also some historical inaccuracies, including one which tells much more about the mindset of evolutionists than about history. When examined carefully, The Beak of the Finch shows how fragile and illogical the dogma of Darwinian evolution is. Since this book won a prestigious prize, it must have been considered one of the better works on the subject. If this is as good as can be done for evolution, it will not be long before evolution goes the way of Aristotle’s geocentricism. The book at its root can only be taken seriously as an anti-evolutionist tract.
The prize-winning book The Beak of the Finch purports to be a book about the observation of “evolution in our time.” The actual observations recorded in the book, however, demonstrate the absence of evolution among the finches of the Galapagos Islands and other species mentioned by the book such as the peppered and cotton moths, intestinal bacteria, guppies, and fruit flies. The book uses a number of self-contradictory statements which illustrate the shaky logical foundation of Darwinian evolution. The conclusion from the evidence is that “natural selection” serves to preserve species, not alter them into something else. There are also some historical inaccuracies, including one which tells much more about the mindset of evolutionists than about history. When examined carefully, The Beak of the Finch shows how fragile and illogical the dogma of Darwinian evolution is.
1 There is a potential problem of logic worth investigating in Darwins application of Lyells uniformitarianism. The “principle” of uniformitarianism is that geologically things continue in a gradual manner without any significant change. Significant changes would suggest “diluvialism” or catastrophism. To Darwin this meant simply that the earth was quite old. But Lyell believed that he was being consistent in applying uniformitarianism to the organic as well as inorganic world by saying that species do not change. Such a change would be more akin to catastrophism. See McKinney, 1972, 33 and 34.
2 This problem was recently illustrated in an article in American Scientist:
There are, arguably, arguably some two to ten million species on Earth. The fossil record shows that most species survive between three and five million years. In that case, we ought to be seeing small but significant numbers of originations and extinctions every decade.

Keith Stewart Thompson, “Natural Selection and Evolution’s Smoking Gun,” American Scientist, Nov./Dec. 1997: 516.

3 A summary of the Dublin article is found in Brackman, 1980, 74 , 75. Quotation is from page 75. Interestingly, Darwin mentions this article in his Autobiography. He does not speak of the logic of the article or that it caused him to reflect or reconsider but simply that if he were to persuade anyone, the issue was one of propagation rather than of truth or logic. “This shows,” he said of it, “how necessary it is that any new view should be explained at considerable length in order to arouse public attention.” Darwin, 1958, 122. It appears that The Beak of the Finch tried to employ the same method, that is, repeat the idea “at considerable length” so that people will begin to believe it, regardless of the logic or interpretation of the evidence.
4 In this article T. H. Morgan says, “Selection, then, has not produced anything new, but only more of certain kinds of individuals. Evolution, however, means producing new things, not more of what already exists.” (Bethell, 1976, 74) This is actually the underlying message of The Beak of the Finch, too.
5This assessment was my own from reading the autobiographies of Lyell, Darwin, and Wallace. There is no suggestion of any unscrupulous action on the part of Darwin, and he appeared to behave in a scrupulous manner, though consistent with his beliefs. (For example, he refused to allow Karl Marx dedicate Das Kapital to him. He was an opponent to slavery, and though he was no longer a Christian, he gave money to a Christian missionary group whose activities he approved of.)
Having said all that, nowadays, others are not quite so charitable in describing Darwin’s behavior towards Wallace. See, for example, Peter Quammen, The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions, (New York: Scribner, 1996) 111ff. He details the work of a number of researchers which suggest Darwin plagiarized Wallace. Quammen writes, “Darwin had behaved weakly and selfishly at best.” (113)
Quammen’s book is also interesting in that, while it gives lip service to evolution, it emphasizes extinction, not adaptation. The biogeographic model that this book effectively presents is one of migration of species followed by isolation–the question of evolution is irrelevant. As he puts it, “Speciation could be disregarded.” (414)
6 This passage continues in a similar vein enumerating the attributes of God:
The true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful Being; and from his other perfections, that he is supreme or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity; he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. (Newton, 1687, 370)
This God hardly sounds like an irrelevant character!
A physics professor from California State University at Long Beach testified in a court case that Newton would not be recognized as a “credible scientist” if he “persisted in maintaining a creationist position as he did in Mathematica Principia.” (Vardiman, 1997) Who is “having the appearance of a closed mind”?
7The more I think about this, the more I am baffled. Even a cursory check of a high school European or American History text shows how important religion was in those three centuries or so. Even those who were opposed to religion (e.g., Voltaire) were very conscious of it and spent a lot of time and energy refuting it–and not because of any supposed scientific evidence. That really came with Huxley. I begin to wonder that the author, the publisher, many reviewers, and the Pulitzer committee can all be so ignorant of history. Is it deliberate? Are they all stupid or careless, or are they conscious that they are misinforming us? If they are honest and intelligent, then they must be anti-evolutionists trying to show how shaky the theory’s foundation is.
8 Luther’s strong words against Aristotelianism can be found in Martin Luther, To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, 1520, in Three Treatises, Philadelphia: Fortress, 1970, 92ff. (Proposition 25).
Note 186 on page 92 of this particular edition notes that Roger Bacon and Erasmus also criticized the emphasis on Aristotle in medieval education. Roger Bacon is usually credited with being the developer of the scientific method in the fourteenth century. A Franciscan monk, he spent between two and ten years in prison for heresy. The record is sketchy, but likely this was because of his non-Aristotelian and non-scholastic views. Though he remained a Catholic, Erasmus, a contemporary and sometime friend of Luther, called for reforms similar to Luther’s including more use of the Bible in the church.
Links may be subject to change, especially links to articles. Links from longer works are as close as possible to relevant material or quotations. Some on-line sources are different editions or translations from those used in this text so the wording may vary. Some on-line articles may be condensed.
Aristotle. c. 350. Meteorology. Trans. E. Webster. The Internet Classics Archive. 1997. (29 Dec. 1997).
Bergman, Jerry. 1995. “The Galileo Affair Continues.” Contra Mundum. 1997. (28 Dec. 1997).
Bethell, Tom. 1976. “Darwins Mistake.” Harper’s, Feb. 1976: 70-75.
Brackman, Arnold C. 1980. A Delicate Arrangement: The Strange Case of
Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. New York: Times Books.
Darwin, Charles. 1958. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin. Rpt.; New York:
W. W. Norton and Co., 1969. The date is not a mistake. Darwins heirs did not release his memoirs until 1958.
_______. 1859. The Origin of Species. 1997. (28 Dec. 1997).
Diamond, Jared. 1993. “Who Are the Jews?” Natural History, Nov. 1993: 12-19.
Drake, Stillman. 1996. “Galileo.” Microsoft Encarta, 1996 ed. CD-ROM.
Gillispie, Charles Coulston. 1960. The Edge of Objectivity. Princeton NJ:
Princeton Univ. Press.
Gould, Stephen Jay. 1993. “The First Unmasking of Nature.” Natural History: April 1993: 14, 16-21.
Halle, Louis J. 1970. The Storm Petrel and the Owl of Athena. Princeton NJ:
Princeton Univ. Press.
Loomis, Louis Ropes. 1943. Introduction. Aristotle. On Man in the Universe.

New York: Walter J. Black.
Luther, Martin. 1520. To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation. Trans.
Charles M. Jacobs and James Atkinson, 1966. Three Treatises. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1970.
See also
Majerus, M. E. N. 1998. Melanism: Evolution in Action. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.
McKinney, H. Lewis. 1972. Wallace and Natural Selection. New Haven CT:
Yale Univ. Press.
Morrison, Douglas R. O. 1997. “Bad Science, Bad Education.” Scientific
American, Nov. 1997: 114-118.
See also
Newton, Sir Isaac. 1687. Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.

Trans. Andrew Motte and Florian Cajori, 1939. Great Books of the Western World. Ed. Robert Maynard Hutchins. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952.
Quammen, Peter. The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of
Extinctions. New York: Scribner, 1996.
“The 1995 Pulitzer Prizes, General Nonfiction: Jurors.” 1997. The Pulitzer
Prizes. (28 Dec. 1997).
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Shakespeare, William. c. 1598. A Midsummer Nights Dream. Ed. Barbara A.

Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York: Washington Square Press, 1993.
See also
Thoreau, Henry David. 1854. Walden and Other Writings. Ed. Joseph Wood
Krutch. New York: Bantam, 1962.
See also for malaria reference and for chapter with references to spontaneous generation.
Trachtman, Paul. Book Reviews. Smithsonian, Aug. 1998: 118-121.

See also
Vardiman, Larry. 1997. “Newtons Approach to Science.” Impact, 296: i-iv.
See also
Wong, Kate. 1998. “Ancestral Quandary.” Scientific American, Jan. 1998: 30, 32.
See also


The daughter of an active feminist, Mary Woolstonecraft Shelley eloped with the famous poet Percy Bysshe Shelley at the age of 15, and after was continually and profoundly influenced by his words and writings. Her novel Frankenstein is named among the best written and most meaningful of the gothic works, and is one of the few still popularly read today. A precursor to the Romantic trend in art and intellect, gothic novels rejected of the precepts of order, balance, idealization, and rationality that typified Classicism in general and late 18th-century Neoclassicism in particular. The gothic tradition grew out of disillusionment with the Enlightenment and 18th-century rationalism and physical materialism. Romanticism as a whole emphasized the individual, the irrational, the imaginative, the spontaneous, the emotional, and the transcendental. Shelley herself defines “gothic” as a story “which would speak to the mysterious fears of our Nature, and would awaken thrilling horror–one to make the reader dread to look around, to curdle the blood and quicken the beatings of the heart.” By infusing moral and social concerns into the gothic style, Shelley achieves more than a simple horror story, however. The universal societal and psychoanalytical questions raised in Frankenstein secure its place in world literature and promise decades of similarly fashioned gothic writings.
As stated above, the gothic genre developed as a harsh reaction to the predominant Neoclassic ideals of the time; the emphasis shifted from the whole to the solitary, and from society to nature. The “Graveyard Poets,” one of whom is Thomas Gray, are attributed with having ushered in the new philosophy and are often termed “Pre-Romantics.” Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” has all the elements of the gothic: graves, overtones of death, a rural setting, and a desire for return to a more simplistic, natural time. Simultaneously, Jean-Jacques Rousseau preached a similar creed which presented society as evil, and called for a “natural state of man.” Shelley was schooled in both writers, and took their words to heart. In 1776 and 1789 Revolutions swept America and France, indicating that the Neoclassic ideals were not as stable as was previously thought. News of these revolutions infected the English with fears about similar occurrences in their own country, and much of this trepidation is manifested through devices such as the senseless mob violence in Frankenstein.
Mary Shelley took fragments of histories and a legend surrounding the castle Frankenstein (which she may or may not have visited) she had heard and developed them into her novel. The castle was once inhabited by a doctor Conrad Dipple, an alchemist who claimed to have the elixir of life, and was known for graverobbing and signing his name “Frankenstiena.” She came across this information while vacationing with her husband and Lord Byron in Geneva in the summer of 1816. Mary writes in notes for an edition of her late husband’s poetry that they read that summer the New Testament, Paradise Lost, Spenser’s Faery Queene, Montaigne’s Essays, and Aeschylus’ Prometheus, among numerous others (The Complete Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley 575). One evening the three, along with Dr. John Polidori and Mary’s stepsister, Claire Clairmont, were trapped in Byron’s castle as a storm raged outside. For a change from reading Coleridge’s vampiric poem “Christabel,” Byron suggested a ghost story competition. Out of this competition came Polidori’s “The Vampyre,” Byron’s “Manfred,” and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the idea for which came to her in a nightmare.
The setting under which the story was devised was perfect for the story itself; Frankenstein takes place in the Swiss Alps and in Ingolstadt, where Victor Frankenstein is schooled and creates his monster. The novel swims in gloom and decadent expanses of castle and lecture hall, and all the confrontation scenes between Victor and his creation take place in harsh natural settings such as the cliffs and the ice floes. This reinforces Shelley’s belief in both the destructive and beautiful properties inherent in nature, and heightens the conflict between the two characters.
The setting, in turn, helps create the mood which permeates the novel. The tone is melancholy, and has an almost destructive sense about it. Due to the instability of the entire society, and Victor in particular, the mood shifts much like the emotions of a manic-depressive would; Victor seems wholly disconsolate yet notices flashes of beauty, such as in the spring during which he recovered with Clerval’s assistance. The tone also reveals the social prejudices of the time during the scenes in which the monster is attacked though he has done nothing to provoke such action. This mob mentality is used to illustrate the dangers of a society thinking as a whole; one mistake, and all is lost. The attacks are depicted violently and seem almost mechanical as one shout of fear and misunderstanding leads to an uncontrollable mass of angry bodies without any real reason for their ire. The truly frightening aspect of the mob scenes is the fact that no one questions the purpose behind the attack, but simply follows.
The story makes use of a frame, a structure typical of the genre. The events are retold from a first-person narrative to a secondary audience who is unfamiliar with the happenings. This allows justification of expository information and also allows the audience (now the narrator) to voice thematic and moral assumptions derived from the content of the tale. Frankenstein begins as a seaman’s journal, but, upon the beginning of Victor’s experience, drops almost entirely the presence of Robert Walton (the seaman) and presents the tale through the Doctor’s eyes. Walton is necessary for practical reasons as well: since Frankenstein dies, there must be someone to relate his life, and it would be unfeasible for the story to be told through a personal journal for the simple fact that Frankenstein had more important things to do than keep a diary.
Shelley drew from two Classical sources, Ovid’s Metamorphosis and John Milton’s Paradise Lost, for the creation of Frankenstein. From Metamorphosis came the Prometheus legend, which appears in the subtitle “The Modern Prometheus.” One of the Titans in Greek mythology, Prometheus returned fire from Mount Olympus to the humans after it had been taken from them by Zeus, and so was imprisoned on a peak where an eagle each day ate his liver, which grew again each morning. The Prometheus legend applies to Frankenstein in the instance of Victor, who obtains forbidden knowledge (that which humans should not have, like the fire) and then is punished for its misuse, however unintentional.
Adam and Eve’s “Fall from Grace,” as related in Milton’s epic poem, is very similar to the Prometheus legend, but with obvious Christian overtones. Victor Frankenstein is the ignorant humans in the Garden who are overcome by the temptation of the snake’s (Satan’s) poisoned fruit of forbidden knowledge. Victor truly believes his efforts will help humanity, and “A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me” (Shelley 52). In the end, however, nature refuses his sway over its secrets and hands him an abomination; his failure is absolute and he suffers dearly his grand illusions. He has “fallen,” and all he holds in his heart is destroyed as a result of his seemingly benevolent search for things beyond his capacity and place.
Percy Shelley was a devout atheist (if such a thing is possible), and he doubtless challenged the validity of Mary’s proper Christian upbringing. Despite his abhorrence for organised religion, both Shelleys read Paradise Lost twice for its literature between 1816 and the publishing of Frankenstein in 1818, and the influence of Milton is obvious. On the title page Shelley quotes Milton,
Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
To mould me Man, did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me?
Paradise Lost, X, 743-45
In the context of her novel, the passage reads as the monster questioning Victor, to whom he gives scornful god-like attributes. Victor’s irresponsibility in creating the innocent being from severed corpses and then refusing him and leaving him to die speaks of a distant, uncaring god whose qualities mirror Satan’s more closely than Christ’s. Shelley’s novel is a clear message warning the unbridled destructive power of aggravated Nature, and the realms into which man should not meddle.
Just as Victor’s character is a composite of Adam’s, God’s, and Satan’s attributes, the monster is faced with the same confusion of identity. This quality stems from Shelley’s concern over the identity of her society as a whole, which was slowly disintegrating into smaller hostile factions. Paradise Lost is one of the works from which the monster masters language (another being Frankenstein’s journal, which fans his rage), and so he becomes learned in Christianity. The monster, being of above-average stature and strength, also displays a highly intellectual and logical power of reasoning. He extends his personal condition into the novel and declares, “Like Adam, I was apparently united by no other link to any other human beingI was wretched, helpless, and alone. Many times I considered Satan as the fitter emblem of my condition” (Shelley 135-136).
The monster, while conceived of the discarded parts of criminals, was originally quite kind and sought only companionship, one of the primary quests of man. God saw this and bestowed Eve upon Adam. His unnaturally born and unlearned character served as a foil for the misguided and overly scientific Frankenstein. However, after a string of unfounded and brutal refusals by both his maker and society, his once benevolent character turns to anger and the pursuit of revenge. The creature tells Frankenstein that, “The fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone” (Shelley 240). Since he is rejected as another “Adam,” the monster assumes the role of Satan, where at least he is able to vent and does get some attention and respect. His rationale is that, “if I cannot inspire love, I will cause fearif I have no ties and affections, hatred and vice must be my portion” (Shelley 125-126). Denied of love and companionship, the monster reasons that the only option left him is its opposite: evil and destruction.
Like Satan, the monster is effectively isolated from society due to the perception of him as hostile and evil, and this only serves to increase his hostility. Well before he had committed a single act against society, they fled from him or pursued him with weapons and cries. He saved a young girl from drowning and was shot; he helped a destitute family through a winter they would not have survived and, when he finally amasses the courage to reveal himself to them, they beat him and chase him from their land. He relates that Felix (the young man of the family) “struck me violently with a stick. I could have torn him limb from limbBut my heart sank within me as with bitter sickness, and I refrained” (Shelley 117). Even when attacked the monster is too upset by this refusal of his company to defend himself; companionship and understanding are of primary and singular importance to him. After several such disheartening failures, the creature resigns himself to a solitary life and devotes his energies towards the destruction of his absentee creator. Had he been accepted by only one individual, he might have endured the hostility of all others.
The theme of man’s fall from grace is attributed to the sin of pride and the danger of delusions of grandeur. If man would accept and remain confined to his place in the scheme of life, nature would do as should be done, and man could live in harmony. The balance between the natural world and the newly industrialised, scientific world of man is delicate and unstable. Shelley believes that scientific advances must be employed with extreme caution, and man must never forget his roots.
Another struggle between poles is the ubiquitous battle between darkness and light. Metaphorically, darkness seeps into the light of knowledge much like the ever-present gloom in the gothic atmosphere. This ignorant darkness threatens “progress” and knowledge, but is natural and permanent; never will light overcome darkness, but the opposite is plausible. Occasional flashes of light, such as Victor’s discovery of the secret of life, are quickly obscured by the unforgiving and impenetrable blackness of nature.
This impossibility of the permanence of scientific knowledge (which is the most dynamic branch of knowledge) questions the validity of a society based upon reason in a natural, malevolent world. The gothic is based upon the realisation that the former intellectual structures were collapsing, and Shelley is doubtful of the coming of a newer, better philosophy. The cycle of philosophies is again drifting towards nature as the key to harmonious and godly life, and Frankenstein illustrates the triumph of nature over science.
Frankenstein’s monster is the embodiment of science and reason twisted to reality by the whims of Nature under which he was schooled. Science unleashed and unmonitored (as all science ultimately becomes) offers far more serious consequences than nature itself could ever inflict upon man. More than a caution on the dangers of science, Frankenstein calls for a united band of tolerant and democratic individuals to comprise the new culture. Ironically, the monster embodies this ideal: “If any being felt emotions of benevolence towards me, I should return them a hundred fold; for that one creature’s sake, I would make peace with the whole kind” (Shelley 125). The monster wishes for peace and understanding while Frankenstein himself is caught in a web of reason and intellectualism; the creature is the embodiment of nature while Victor serves as an illustration of the failing Neoclassic philosophies.
The violence of this breaking social structure manifests itself with a distaste for the aristocracy (symbolically, the castles) and their comfort in their abused powers. Romanticism places importance on the individual and on democracy, denouncing hierarchical and inherited rule. The mob mentality and general loss of identity is derived directly from the disintegration of such a long-standing system; the culture is drowned in a torrent of questions and confusion. Finally, the omnipotence of nature again overrides the futile attempts of man at order and reason.
Though Frankenstein is said to have marked the end of the gothic period in 18th century literature, its model still is emulated and admired. The novel had great influence upon the middle and late Romantic works, such as Percy Bysshe Shelley’s drama Prometheus Unbound of 1819. Among the characteristic attitudes of Romanticism was a deepened appreciation of the beauties of nature, an exaltation of emotion over reason and of the senses over intellect, a focus on man’s passions and inner struggles. The movement also emphasized imagination as a gateway to transcendent experience and spiritual truth, an interest in the medieval era, and a predilection for the mysterious and the monstrous. These attributes evolved directly from the gothic genre, but became more refined and less grotesque in the process. The Victorian era saw a resurgence in the ghost story, though their style tends to be more subliminal and domesticated than the blatantly evil tone of the gothic. American Romanticism had its base in this period of English literature as well. Poe’s “Ligea” and “Fall of the House of Usher” and Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” use many gothic conventions and themes, such as the ominous tone, dream-like or surreal sequences, and warnings about interdependency and the manipulation of one’s mind.
The gothic novel revolves as part of the literary cycle, periodically returning for a brief period in the public’s eye and then again disappearing into obscure circles of its few disciples. In this scientific age, the gothic is viewed as being overly sentimental, predictable, and implausible. As the ages change, readers, like Victor, are forced to “exchange chimeras of boundless grandeur” which the gothic inspires for “realities of little worth” (Shelley 46). The gothic, the fantastic, is a necessary balance for logic and reason as much as light is to dark, and good to evil. Without one, the other is undefined and therefore has no purpose in its existence. Frankenstein will live on as a brilliant insight into both the political environment of the 18th century and the eternal condition of man as an extension of nature.
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