Background and Suggestions for Taking Notes as you Read


George Cuvier is a little bit hard to read, but if you focus on the phrase "aerial impressions," and then read the dictionary entry for "impressions," you may be able to tell what particular technology he is relying upon as a conceptual model for thinking about how bats (which cannot see) tell where they are when they are flying.

Try to read the scientific essays critically rather than simply taking these scientists at their word. At the very moment that Griffin and Galambos conduct their experiments, echolocation is being discovered and employed as a tool in developing sonar and radar: do you think that they perhaps even decided what experiments to conduct because they thought that sonar and radar might be models for how bats "see" without eyes? Is Carson right to say that bats always knew about radar, or is radar just a model, a metaphor ("bats' capacity to sense where they are going = sonar")? Is it possible to imagine that we might develop another technology in the future that offers another possible model for how bats "see" when they fly?