4 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. Some good men, and even of respectable information, consider the learned sciences as useless acquirements; some think that they do not better the condition of men;

      This statement reminded me greatly of the Evolution Engagement class I am currently in. The class began with an introduction to Charles Darwin's life, his theories of evolution, his contemporary theorists, and also the social implications of his "On the Origins of Species." One major implication we briefly discussed was its contradiction to religious beliefs in creation. By directly opposing God's creation belief, many religious individuals feared that the details of Darwin's work would discredit the church and thus society and people's morals would go backwards instead of progress forwards. Although Charles Darwin's theory wasn't published for around 30 years after the publication of the Rock Fish Gap Report, there were other theories in the early 19C about evolution prior to Darwin's, such as Lamarckism. The skepticism of "some good men" that the learned sciences "do not better the condition of men" could have their roots in the rising tension between science and religion.

  2. Nov 2017
    1. To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express & preserve his ideas, his contracts & accounts in writing.

      The University of Virginia strongly enforces this objective today and has continuously made changes to the curriculum in order to ensure this founding idea is upheld. Beginning in fall of 2017, first-year students (except Echols scholars) were no longer able to exempt themselves from the first writing requirement, as they had been able to do in past years. Although I am not sure the exact reason for this recent change, I am currently in a first writing requirement class and can speak on its relevance to upholding this objective. In my class, we have learned how to join the critical conversation about certain topics, either by agreeing, disagreeing, or adding to a scholar's argument. It has helped me be able to voice my opinion and express my ideas in a sophisticated, comprehendible manner. It is important that the University continues to want its students to have this foundation because strong writing is an important skill for almost all careers.

  3. Oct 2017
    1. Indeed we need look back only half a century, to times which many now living remember well, and see the wonderful advances in the sciences & arts which have been made within that period.

      The Industrial Revolution, which began in America in the late eighteenth century and continued throughout the nineteenth century, was the transitional period from agrarian and rural societies to industrialized urban centers. Some of the wonderful advances that the founders could have been referring to are the steam engines, cotton gins, steam boats, batteries, vaccinations like small pox, steam locomotives, photographs, etc. Living through these major advancements and experiencing the change from farms to factories first hand could explain why one of the objectives of the university was to “To harmonize & promote the interests of agriculture, manufactures & commerce.” The founders wanted the university to support America’s roots in agriculture while simultaneously being on the forefront of invention and industrialization for America’s future.

    2. Ideology is the doctrine of thought

      After taking the Debating Islams engagement with Professor Al-Rahim, I understand why the University’s founders wanted there to be a study of ideology. Through this class’s analysis of the ideology of political Islam, or Islamism, I have come to see the potentially dangerous power and pull certain ideologies can have over peoples' minds and actions. The problem with ideologies is that often times they have deep intellectual and moral roots which compel people to feel virtuous and righteous by way of them and this leads to close-mindedness and intolerance of other views of the world and the way it should work. Close-mindedness and intolerance can quickly escalate into violence, war and hate, so it is vital that universities teach students about such doctrines of thought. Although currently UVA does not have a specific ideology major or minor, the school does a great job incorporating ideology into a diverse range of disciplines like religion, history, anthropology, political science, etc., and now the engagements of the new curriculum.