Friday, May 10, 2013

The Tangled Bank

Looking at this famous passage written by Darwin over 100 years ago we can still ponder the depth of meaning he perceived in a humble landscape. Learning contemplatively is one of great challenges we face. Whatever the setting or the subject, I think it is worth it to keep Darwin's words in mind. 

It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. . .There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This passage makes sense to us because it explains the environment of the bank and includes pictures that make it easier for us to imagine what it looks like. Darwin is observing and documenting throughout the passage the life forms and overall environment of the bank. He uses analysis to explain natural laws. He abstractly mentions art through beautiful evolution that is taking place in this habitat. This connects to the process of aesthetics by mentioning the various visual delights present at the bank. If we were to add anything to this passage it would be more pictures of the beautiful life forms to help us enhance our perception of the bank.

    Sammy Nassif
    Alli Armstrong
    Meg Shepro
    Alana Rockoff

  3. Yes, the posts make sense to us because the author does an eloquent job of explaining what he is trying to say, while at the same time being descriptive and poetic. Darwin is trying to get across to us the beauty that can be found in such a small and concentrated ecosystem. Darwin tells us to look at how statuesque the landscape is and has us look at it for its beauty and not just what is happening on a scientific level. If we could add something to the post to help connect the abstract and articulate, we would add visuals of the abstract concepts that Darwin discusses like the laws acting around us.

    Jake Paul
    Andrew Zaky

  4. The posts are both easily understood, and written in a coherent fashion. The posts are trying to get across that things are easily categorized by simplistic language. Both post showcases there are different way of observing, documenting and analyzing. They approach the idea that art and science connect because they are easily comparable because of the environment they are set in. They relate to aesthetics because they are both means of aesthetic expression. They are connections between the “abstract” and the “articulate”, but we would like to add as a writer the before and after affects of the viewers upon these stimuli.

    Allison Brennan
    Sofia Yohannes
    Lauren Jiron
    Samantha Kirshon

  5. The post makes sense because the author uses very descriptive language and pictures to establish his argument. They ‘re trying to convey that something very complex as a whole can break down into very simple units or beings. This article relates to the ideas of the course because it begins with the author’s observations and then breaks down into the analysis of the objects observed. The way that the author describes the scene is a scientific approach to a very artistic and beautiful natural scene. We would add more differences to the article. The author does a great job stating how all the parts of nature are connected and similar, but we would discuss how each part of nature is also very different and individual.

    Chris Falco, Annie Holcombe, Ava Burnes, Sophie Turk, Madison Grando, Rachel Oleck

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  7. The first article made sense because you can always find chaos in nature and paintings, but you can’t always find silence in them. The second article made sense because he observed multiple times to get his observations into a cohesive whole. They are trying to say that you have to look at something several times in order to pick up everything you need to understand about the phenomena and come to the right conclusions. They relate to the goals because he spent a lot of time coming up with thoughtful observations of what he saw and documented them well with vivid descriptions and a clear connection to how we view art and science and the purpose of doing so. They relate to aesthetics because everyone has his/ her own way of interpreting what they view; they may see it through an artistic lens or a scientific lens.

    Grace Alessi
    Leah Weigel
    Rachel Sears
James Warren
    Danielle Yoseloff
    Grace Bowden
    Cassandra Floch
    Nicole Dardy