“Philosophy of the Biomedical Sciences”



The report will be based on a scientific article (from a scientific journal), chosen by each student. Your task is to summarize the scientific content, then to draw out the key philosophical issues.
Key finding
From the article by Stillman & Paganini (2015), most of the oceans in the globe are faced with a crisis arising from the increase in the atmospheric Pco₂. The increase in the atmospheric Pco₂ has led to a decline in Ph levels. The decrease in the Ph is often called the ocean acidification (OA). Simply this is the effect of the ocean becoming more acidic which has an impact on the ocean life both flora and fauna. Also, OA has both positive and negative effects on aquatic life (Stillman & Paganini, 2015).
Importance of the finding
This finding is interesting in the study of biochemical life in the oceans as it gives a chance for scientists to study the different variations. Most impressive is the scientists will be expected to explore the ocean life under normal conditions, and at OA conditions. Will ocean life adapt to the changes due to OA or not? If they adapt, what are the expected genetical and mutation changes expected for survival and if not, does this expose ocean life to extinction? These are some of the exhaustive questions emanating from the finding.
Positive feature
The main positive feature of the study is, due to OA; some of the species can change their genetical composition and mutate to adapt to the changes. For some of the species, due to change in their genetic structures, improved hybrid species are produced better than the generation which is existence at normal ocean conditions. For instance, some species live longer under OA conditions.
Negative feature
The negative impact of OA is despite some species being able to cope with the changes; a higher percentage of species is unable to deal with the changes in OA. This puts a high number of oceanic flora and fauna at an increased risk of extinction if nothing is done to control pollution and climatic changes which are the leading causes of variation in ph.
The negative impacts of OA are severe compared to the benefits of OA; hence, efforts should be put in place to raise the oceanic ph. This can only be achieved if humans reduce the rate at which they are polluting the environment. Mother Nature is the most destructive form of catastrophes, and people ignore the fact that natural calamities occur due to human interference of the natural ecosystem. Human beings are the agents of destruction or can make the environment better. Even though some species undergo mutation and produce robust offspring, the harmful effects that OA brings in the long term is not comparable to the benefit. Thus, people should conserve the environment for a better future for many generations to come.
Stillman, J. H., & Paganini, A. W. (2015). Biochemical adaptation to ocean acidification. Journal of Experimental Biology, 218(12), 1946-1955.

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Answer two of the following questions, and respond to at least one other student’s post afterward for a total of at least 400 words. This assignment is due by Sunday, August 25th, at 8:59PM.

1. In Chapter 4, Sternheimer discusses the concerns about technology raised by the communications scholar Neil Postman, who was fond of saying “technology giveth and taketh away.” What were Postman’s main concerns about technology’s impact on our ability to think? According to Sternheimer, in what ways was Postman “partly right”? Given that she was writing in 2013, does her argument (and/or Postman’s) hold up in 2018? In your mind, what has the internet age done to our critical thinking skills?

2. Discuss some of the scientific studies on television that have been conducted over the years. What were some of their key findings, and what seem to be some of their insights and limitations? Specifically, what links do these studies find between ADHD (and even autism) and television? Do we see similar issues surrounding internet access?

3. What problems does Sternheimer find with linking media to violence, and what approaches does she suggest as an alternative? What role might media play in making the public think that violence (and youth violence in particular) may be more common than it appears? Finally, what factors does Sternheimer suggest are better indicators for violence?

4. How has the media approached the relationship between violence and video games, particularly since the Columbine massacre in the 1990s? What issues does Sternheimer find with the argument that children are prone to imitating media violence? Finally, consider the following news report on a crime blamed on Grand Theft Auto. Is this another example of media hysteria surrounding video games, or do you believe such games require closer scrutiny?

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