Metaphors in Action

Assignment 1: Bats

Read through George Cuvier's explanation of bats. He describes how bats navigate through space, despite being blind, based on the concept of "aerial impressions." Look at the definition of "impression" in the O.E.D. What particular technology is mentioned in that definition of the word, a technology that Cuvier could and would have known about in 1827?

Answers:

a) Print
b) Radar
c) Sonar

 

Assignment 2: Bats

Read through Rachel Carlson's essay on bats in Readers' Digest. She is summarizing and explaining the research done by Griffin and Galambos. Around the same time as this research, several new technologies were invented, as you can tell by looking at the definitions of radar, sonar, and echolocation. Carlson describes bats' ability to carefully navigate through the world of objects (despite being unable to see): what technology is she using as a metaphor or model for her explanation?

Answers:

a) Print
b) Radar
c) Sonar
d ) None of the above

 

Assignment 3: Bats

 

How has our understanding of bats has changed since 1827 when Cuvier first wrote his animal textbook? Do scientists use metaphors / models based on technology to explain animal behavior?

If you answer "no" to that question,
click here.

If technology changes, does or could that change affect the way we understand animal behavior that we don't understand?

 

 

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