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    (Original post by mangotangochick)
    Mapping of the Human Genome has compared with putting a man on the moon

    Both the mapping of the human genome and the landing of the first man on the moon have proven to be significant milestones – not only in human achievement but also in opening doors to new possibilities. However, though it can be generally accepted that these milestones were significant, they differ in terms of their ethical debate and their contributions to society. [Opening doors to new possibilities = first steps taken for their respective fields, you can explore this perspective of the human genome leading to new discoveries and developments in the field of genetics.]

    Prior to the mapping of the human genome, conclusions and assumptions could only be made based on the outcomes of surface level observation. For example, a child would be predicted to have cystic fibrosis when born if both her parents had the disease, but the general understanding of the mechanism by which this was determined was lacking. In the same way, much of astronomy was based on theory, and it was difficult to verify conclusions made based on these theories prior to space exploration. [Could somehow tell that you're mentioning the benefits of genetics towards medicine, however, the link isn't really strong here. Could be more specific to how the understanding of genetics would result in the diagnosis of illnesses prior to the birth of the child.]

    In the same way that these areas of science have contributed to understanding, they have also been contributed to by the advent of technological advancements – there would be no escaping the atmosphere and similarly, no ‘escaping’ past surface level, and into the deeper workings of our genetics. In this way, both astronomy and genetic biology hold milestones for technological advancement in humans, and thus for many people, come as a source of pride in human achievement. [I like how you link the two together and use one as an analogy for the other. Clever! However, I feel it is quite irrelevant to bring up the contributions by technological advancements towards genetics and astronomy.]

    However, there are some discrepancies with the ethical implications of these subjects. Genetic biology raises new questions on ethics, due to the possibility of techniques such as gene editing, genetic screening and cloning, for example. Whilst the verification of genetic biology tends to the good of society and not for malicious purposes is under constant debate, it is generally accepted that space exploration contributes to the increasing knowledge and understanding of humankind. Thus, whilst human genome discussion may be regarded as taboo, many scientists are happy to discuss advancements in space exploration. This reluctance may hinder the advancement of genetics, whilst allowing space exploration to flourish. [You’re not exactly answering the question on how the reliance on genetics may be dangerous. You could bring up the point that reliance on genetics may lead to unforeseeable complications as this field is still relatively immature.]

    Although these events are similar, being both milestones of new understandings and markers for technological advancements, there are issues raised when it comes to the futures of their respective fields, where future development and attainment of understanding may be hindered by scientific taboo.

    384 Words
    I’m assuming that you are writing this essay with reference to this question:

    “Mapping the human genome has been compared with putting a man on the moon.” Michael Dexter.
    What do you understand by the statement above? Explain why the study of genetics could be helpful in medicine. Discuss the extent to which reliance on genetics may be dangerous?

    Therefore, my comments have all been steered towards answering those sub-questions. Although you have tried to touch bases with the sub-questions, the points raised seem quite irrelevant and not answering the question specifically. Maybe it would help if you could post the entire question here so that we know the specific questions that your essay is supposed to answer.
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    (Original post by BackLumbarJack)

    It is ridiculous to treat the living body as a mechanism.



    What does the above statement imply? Give examples that illustrate why it might



    sometimes be sensible to treat the body as a mechanism and others that illustrate the



    opposite. How might you resolve this apparent contradiction?



    One may deduce the statement as suggesting that, unlike a mechanism, the body is adaptive, possessing the capacity to respond to a diverse range of situations. This may be through hormonal changes or conscious thought- the statement deems comparing this to machinery injust. [Clear and concise introduction!]

    However, there does exist an innate nature of the body to act as a mechanism. This is evident when considering the interdependence of the various bodily systems, exemplified in the lymphatic and circulatory systems. During tissue fluid diffusion from capillaries to cells, excess fluid- unable to re-enter the capillary- is transported into the blood stream via lymphatic vessels. The mutual necessity of each mirrors that of cogs in a mechanical structure. [Another point that could be raised: Mechanisms are also made up of many singular parts which perform a certain function to aid in the bigger picture. This is clearly evident in how each and every organ in the body performs its own specific function, all working together to help the body to function as a whole.]

    In contrast, the body demonstrates qualities such as self-repair, evident in coagulation to form scabs, and regeneration- demonstrated through stem cells. Such properties appear inexplicable through classification as a mechanism, which limits the body to a repetitive and perpetual function. [The body, unlike a mechanism, is also able to react accordingly to different changes, no matter internal or external. This adaptability demonstrated in a human body is something that cannot be emulated by a mechanism which is only designed for a very specific function and nothing else.]

    What is clear is that the body may be considered both as a mechanism and not. This predicament may be circumnavigated through ceasing to limit the body to a single term; in its complexity, consideration as an amalgam of organ systems is far more justified. A single term such as mechanism does not address the profound intelligence unique only to humans. [Great conclusion!]

    I just realised this is way too short, even though I filled up the answer sheet. How is it for a first attempt? Thanks
    Personally, I feel that your essay, albeit short, has managed to answer all questions with clarity. You also demonstrated your knowledge via the examples provided. Your command of English is also commendable; the many phrases and words you use to vary the sentences make your essay an interesting read! Good attempt! Hoped my comments have helped!
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    Thank you for the feedback!
    The question did have subquestions talking about its benefits in medicine and what extent reliance may be dangerous - but I just noticed them now...
    I didn't see them beforehand so I just took a different spin on the essay
    :bricks:
    (Original post by yesplsnoty)
    I’m assuming that you are writing this essay with reference to this question:

    “Mapping the human genome has been compared with putting a man on the moon.” Michael Dexter.
    What do you understand by the statement above? Explain why the study of genetics could be helpful in medicine. Discuss the extent to which reliance on genetics may be dangerous?

    Therefore, my comments have all been steered towards answering those sub-questions. Although you have tried to touch bases with the sub-questions, the points raised seem quite irrelevant and not answering the question specifically. Maybe it would help if you could post the entire question here so that we know the specific questions that your essay is supposed to answer.
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    (Original post by yesplsnoty)
    Personally, I feel that your essay, albeit short, has managed to answer all questions with clarity. You also demonstrated your knowledge via the examples provided. Your command of English is also commendable; the many phrases and words you use to vary the sentences make your essay an interesting read! Good attempt! Hoped my comments have helped!
    thanks, I am going to work on decreasing my handwriting size and hopefully hit 300 + words in future responses.
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    Would anyone mind giving me feedback on my essay? Any thoughts on where I roughly stand in terms of the scoring would be greatly appreciated!
    I live in Ireland so have no one who understands the BMAT to ask for help, and assessing myself is fairly difficult...

    Science is not a follower of fashion nor of other social or cultural trends
    Explain what you think the statement means. Argue to the contrary. To what extent do you agree with the statement?

    The statement suggests that the changing nature of science, the exploration and questioning of the physical, material and living world and the evolution of how we undertake this is mutually exclusive of what is popular in mainstream society. It claims that it is independant of the factors which determine what is deemed as relevant or important in other aspects of our lives, but exists as its own entity.

    However, we could view the shift in what are viewed as priorities in scientific endeveurs and attitudes towards these as entirely in line with the movement of societal and cultural normals. In, for example, answering ethical questions, these trends exert a huge impact on the moral angles taken on subjects such as genetic engineering or DNA profiling. What was once seen as over-intrusive or overstepping the limits as to how we should intervene is quickly becoming normalised. This is similar to, for example, debates concerning abortion. As our society becomes one where religion is less influential, science allows us to perform procedures such as these. What science itself as an entity itself entails is changing, as we see trends where our society is becoming more informed and linked in with a former solely academic discipline. As trends in for example, increasing use of technology continue to rise, this goes as far as the branching of science into new sub-levels of study. Evidently, science is in fact hugely interconnected with societal and cultural trends.

    To me, thought the above seems apparent, as with the actual developing of said trends, before this shift, there will inevitably be a period of revolution, where science does not mirror that what is culturally accepted or popular in the general public. Thus, it, for a certain time, pushes against fashion. By extension, even this however supports the statement, as this uprising too occurs in societal trends. Thus, I am wholly in agreement with the statement.

    Thank you so much for any help!
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    Hiii,

    seems like I posted on the wrong thread,

    I'll attach my essay would really appreciate it if anyone could read over it and possibly give me feedback?

    Thank You,

    1 ‘You can resist an invading army; you cannot resist an idea whose time has come.’ (Victor Hugo)
    Explain the reasoning behind this statement. Argue that, on the contrary, any idea can be suppressed with sufficient force. What do you think gives power to an idea?
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    (Original post by Marina_P)
    Would anyone mind giving me feedback on my essay? Any thoughts on where I roughly stand in terms of the scoring would be greatly appreciated!
    I live in Ireland so have no one who understands the BMAT to ask for help, and assessing myself is fairly difficult...

    Science is not a follower of fashion nor of other social or cultural trends
    Explain what you think the statement means. Argue to the contrary. To what extent do you agree with the statement?

    The statement suggests that the changing nature of science, the exploration and questioning of the physical, material and living world and the evolution of how we undertake this is mutually exclusive of what is popular in mainstream society. It claims that it is independant of the factors which determine what is deemed as relevant or important in other aspects of our lives, but exists as its own entity. [Clear and concise introduction to answer the first sub question. However, I notice that you are lacking a "for" argument. Although it is not a requirement in any of the sub-questions, I still feel that it's good to touch bases with them. Provide simple examples and explanation to why it might be so. A point you can bring up is that science is ultimately the study of everything in the universe. Despite the changes happening in the world, science will be about the pursuit of truth.]

    However, we could view the shift in what are viewed as priorities in scientific endeveurs and attitudes towards these as entirely in line with the movement of societal and cultural normals. In, for example, answering ethical questions, these trends exert a huge impact on the moral angles taken on subjects such as genetic engineering or DNA profiling. What was once seen as over-intrusive or overstepping the limits as to how we should intervene is quickly becoming normalised. This is similar to, for example, debates concerning abortion. As our society becomes one where religion is less influential, science allows us to perform procedures such as these. What science itself as an entity itself entails is changing, as we see trends where our society is becoming more informed and linked in with a former solely academic discipline. As trends in for example, increasing use of technology continue to rise, this goes as far as the branching of science into new sub-levels of study. Evidently, science is in fact hugely interconnected with societal and cultural trends. [I really like the arguments brought up here! Multiple uses of examples to bring up various points. It's very good! ]

    To me, thought the above seems apparent, as with the actual developing of said trends, before this shift, there will inevitably be a period of revolution, where science does not mirror that what is culturally accepted or popular in the general public. Thus, it, for a certain time, pushes against fashion. By extension, even this however supports the statement, as this uprising too occurs in societal trends. Thus, I am wholly in agreement with the statement. [Your first sentence sounds a bit awkward, might want to break it up instead.Your conclusion sounds confusing though :/]

    Thank you so much for any help!
    Overall, I feel your essay has brought up valid and reasonable points which answer all the sub-questions. However, you lack an argument (even though it's not explicitly stated in any of the sub-questions, it's still advisable to squeeze in a point or two. The BMAT marking criteria mentions the "balanced consideration of the proposition and counter proposition" to warrant a 4 for content) and there are a few spelling mistakes and your sentence structure seems a bit off in your last paragraph. Personally, I would give it a 3.5A! Hopefully my comments helped and I wasn't being too harsh on you :/
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    (Original post by Jhus2)
    Hiii,

    seems like I posted on the wrong thread,

    I'll attach my essay would really appreciate it if anyone could read over it and possibly give me feedback?

    Thank You,

    1 ‘You can resist an invading army; you cannot resist an idea whose time has come.’ (Victor Hugo)
    Explain the reasoning behind this statement. Argue that, on the contrary, any idea can be suppressed with sufficient force. What do you think gives power to an idea?
    Generally, your essay is a bit short but it does address all the sub-questions. I think there might be value in defining what it means to be "an idea whose time has come". Perhaps being generally accepted by society or large-scale support among a certain group.

    Your example regarding war was interesting and would have been great had you not went on to talk about sanctions which appear to be unrelated to ideas.

    Communication skills while relevant could have been extrapolated to talk about how the strength of the conviction of proponents of ideas do play a part in how an idea can spread.

    Hope it helped!
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    (Original post by yesplsnoty)
    Would really appreciate if someone could give some comments for my essay below This essay is something that's out of my comfort zone and I forced myself to try it out so as to learn as much as possible! So please do pardon my work.

    "Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd." (Voltaire)
    Explain what this statement means. Argue to the contrary that to be certain about something is not necessarily absurd. To what extent do you agree with Voltaire?

    Voltaire is implying that being doubtful and not having enough knowledge about a certain subject is an undesirable state to be in. However, to say that one is completely sure of something would be a ridiculous claim to make as he believes it is not possible to prove something to be absolute.

    Being doubtful is an uncomfortable state to be in as you are not sure of yourself and hence are not confident. This hinders progress and might even lead to deterioration. Simple doubts about one's public speaking ability can lead to one not taking the first step to open up, whereas doubts on a certain drug might lead to a potential cure for a deadly disease to be forgotten. Hence, doubts are not desired as Voltaire suggests. Certainty, on the other hand, is a ridiculous idea in Voltaire's world. How can we be so sure that the red we see is actually red when others might perceive it to be orange or green? Although Voltaire's suggestion might seem to be a good argument at first glance, the converse can also be argued.

    It is true that doubts are undesired and uncomfortable. However, if taken with the correct attitude and guidance, it can prove to be a strong motivator and catalyst for success. Doubts are what drive the conventional scientist to do what he does - search for the objective truth in pursuit of the understanding of the universe. On the other hand, absolute truth is also not necessarily absurd because if there is enough proof, we will then be able to know for sure. This forms the basis for the scientific method as scientists are able to prove their hypotheses via trial and error and are able to show their results with confidence as enough proof has been gathered. The laws of nature and physics have been observed and proven to be true via such methods and have remained as infallible claims in the test of time.

    In conclusion, although Voltaire’s suggestion that doubts can be undesired is true in certain cases, they may sometimes also be valuable if used properly. Also, whether or not absolute truth can be claimed is dependent on the presence of evidence to prove these truths.
    Hi guys, anyone who's kind enough to help critique my work.
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    Can someone please provide some constructive criticism? Thank you in advance.

    There is money to be made from not curing disease.

    Explain what this statement means. Argue to the contrary. To what extent do you think money can be made from not curing diease.

    This statement means that a financial profit can be made when one refrains from finding a cure for a disease. If we consider common diseases such as cancer, the most common way to 'eliminate' the disease is to use chemotherapy. In countries where there is not a publicly finded health service such as the NHS, patients must pay significant amounts of money to receive such treatments. This generates a large income because the fact that chemostherapy isn't a cure fpor cancer means there is always a chance of relapse and thus more money can be generated as the process of treatment is repeated. In addition to this, patients must pay for medications to help them over-come the side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea which generates further profit. Moreover, if we consider charities such as Macmillan which rely on the absence of a cure for diseases such as cancer, since their aim is to find a cure for cancer, if a cure for this disease was found, the large donations cancer charities current;ly receive would come to an end, significantly reducing the profit made.

    On the contrary, money is not to be made from not finding a cure for disease. Diseases which have the capability of rapidly wiping out whole populations of animals means there is less livestock to be sold; this is very prominent in farms where animals are kept close together, enabling diseases to easily spread. Here, there is a loss money as all the money spent on feeding these organisms and sheltering them is not regained as a result of their death. To add to this, some diseases, if not most, can lead to additional health complications if they are not cured, and this can lead to increased costs of care and medication, which is far from proftable, especially under publicly funded health services such as the NHS.

    In conclusion, I belueve that there is not money to be made from not curing disease as it is in everyone's best interest to find a cure. The consequences of suffering from an incurable disease such as losing a job due to complex healthcare needs which can only be attended to in a clinical setting means there is an overall loss of money rather than gain.
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    (Original post by yesplsnoty)
    Overall, I feel your essay has brought up valid and reasonable points which answer all the sub-questions. However, you lack an argument (even though it's not explicitly stated in any of the sub-questions, it's still advisable to squeeze in a point or two. The BMAT marking criteria mentions the "balanced consideration of the proposition and counter proposition" to warrant a 4 for content) and there are a few spelling mistakes and your sentence structure seems a bit off in your last paragraph. Personally, I would give it a 3.5A! Hopefully my comments helped and I wasn't being too harsh on you :/
    Thank you! So should I put an argument for and against although it only says against? E.g. when I give my own opinion I could balance it first, then state which side I take?

    Not at all, much appreciated! I thought it was a lot worse to be honest! Thank you for the help!!
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    (Original post by yesplsnoty)
    Would really appreciate if someone could give some comments for my essay below This essay is something that's out of my comfort zone and I forced myself to try it out so as to learn as much as possible! So please do pardon my work.

    "Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd." (Voltaire)
    Explain what this statement means. Argue to the contrary that to be certain about something is not necessarily absurd. To what extent do you agree with Voltaire?

    Voltaire is implying that being doubtful and not having enough knowledge about a certain subject is an undesirable state to be in. However, to say that one is completely sure of something would be a ridiculous claim to make as he believes it is not possible to prove something to be absolute. Addressed first question concisely.

    Being doubtful is an uncomfortable state to be in as you are not sure of yourself and hence are not confident. This hinders progress and might even lead to deterioration. Simple doubts about one's public speaking ability can lead to one not taking the first step to open up, whereas doubts on a certain drug might lead to a potential cure for a deadly disease to be forgotten. Hence, doubts are not desired as Voltaire suggests. Certainty, on the other hand, is a ridiculous idea in Voltaire's world. How can we be so sure that the red we see is actually red when others might perceive it to be orange or green? Although Voltaire's suggestion might seem to be a good argument at first glance, the converse can also be argued. You're expanding on Voltaire's views and why he may be correct to have them, which goes towards answering the last question. But personally I would've changed the structure of the essay so that this goes at the end, as that may make it easier for the examiner to see exactly what part of the question you're answering. Additionally, could have talked about changing theories that are accepted as the absolute truth but are later invalidated.

    It is true that doubts are undesired and uncomfortable. However, if taken with the correct attitude and guidance, it can prove to be a strong motivator and catalyst for success. Doubts are what drive the conventional scientist to do what he does - search for the objective truth in pursuit of the understanding of the universe. On the other hand, absolute truth is also not necessarily absurd because if there is enough proof, we will then be able to know for sure. This forms the basis for the scientific method as scientists are able to prove their hypotheses via trial and error and are able to show their results with confidence as enough proof has been gathered. The laws of nature and physics have been observed and proven to be true via such methods and have remained as infallible claims in the test of time. Could also expand and discuss repeatability etc. You argued as to why doubt can be good, but also made sure to address the question as to why certainty isn't necessarily absurd. Could maybe include examples along with the last point, especially theories which have never been disputed (e.g. ideas about life and death)

    In conclusion, although Voltaire’s suggestion that doubts can be undesired is true in certain cases, they may sometimes also be valuable if used properly. Also, whether or not absolute truth can be claimed is dependent on the presence of evidence to prove these truths.
    Added comments above
    I thought it was a good essay overall. I recommended the structure change because I was told to lay it out as the questions were laid out, but it's clear you addressed all aspects of the question so shouldn't matter tbh
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    Another essay I've written, I would really appreciate some feedback. Thank you in advance.

    'The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease'. (Voltaire)
    Explain what this statement means. Argue to the contrary that medicine does in fact do more than amuse the patient. To what extent do you think Voltaire is correct?

    This statement argues that all one can do is amuse a patient from their sufferring while the body heals itself by its own accord - this implies that human intervention is unnecessary and that the body is able to deal with any disease that manifests within it. An example of this would be Influenze - this virus mutates so often that creating anti-vital drugs anually wouldn't be cost-effective and thus patients are told to rest for a few days whilst their immune system fights this foreign pathogen. In such a case, the doctor involved in this patient's care can do no more than amuse the patient.

    On the contrary, it can be argued that medicine does far more than amuse the patient. For example, if we consider mental healtrh problems such as depression and anxiety, where there is often no physical effect on the body, amusing the patient isn't sufficient as nature doesn't have anything physical to cure since psychological factors are involved. Dealing with depressiom and anxiety can mean offerring treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, where the patient speaks about the root of their problem, and the doctor re-assures them and attempts to find a solution. The use of drugs such as anti-depressants is often the case; however, if mental health conditions were left for nature to cure, no improvement would be observed and there would most likely be a deterioation in the health of the person involved. In addition to this, diseases such as cancer will simply get worse with time if there is no medical intervention - the tumour would proliferate and perhaps move to other organs around the body. The immune response is insufficient in dealing with cancer as it doesn't recognise the tumour as foreign. Surgical intervention is necessary in such a case to remove the tumour.

    In conclusion, I believe that whilst amusing the patient a patient if often necessary, in most cases medical intervention is required as the diseases cannot be dealt with the immune system entirely.
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    Hi, this is my first essay! I've done a few but since I don't study English as a mother tongue, it's hard to feel if it's on the right track. Thank you in advance!



    3 When treating an individual patient, a physician must also think of the wider society.

    Explain the reasoning behind this statement. Argue that a doctor should only consider the individual that he or she is treating at the time. With respect to medical treatment, to what extent can a patient’s interests differ from those of the wider population?


    The statement essentially means that a doctor must consider the impact of a treatment he gives to an individual patient on other people in the society. It implies that it is a doctor’s responsibility to consider the social implications of the treatment of their patient on other people in the same community or other communities. For example, when a doctor agrees to the euthanasia of a patient, being in favour of the sovereignty of an individual over their own mind and body, this decision might create pain for the patient’s family and even confusion and frustration for people who do not believe so out of religious or other reasons. A doctor should therefore be aware of the social controversy of some treatment methods and the possible influence their decisions have on the society, for the well-being of people other than the patient.



    However, a doctor’s most significant responsibility is to treat their patients and help them make decisions according to their interest. The will and health of the individual they are treating should come first, and weigh more when their decision does not befit the public opinion. A patient’s interests can differ from those of a wider population when the society is concerned about the potential harm of the patient’s decision, or when the individual’s decision clashes with other people’s values or beliefs. In these cases, a doctor must ensure that the patient’s decision will not cause further foreseeable harm to the society, and that the patient knows the potential consequences and social pressures. For instance, a doctor should treat a murderer without considering the harm caused by the patient, and a doctor should agree to an abortion if the woman is clearly not emotionally prepared to continue the pregnancy.



    In conclusion, it is inevitable that the medical treatment of an individual can have great impacts on the society. A doctor has the social responsibility to minimalize the harm done to the wider population by being fully aware of the consequences of the treatments. Nonetheless, to ‘think of’ the society is not to obey the general opinion of the public, and the interest of the individual can differ from the society’s when the safety or values of others is concerned. A doctor will need to take the interest of their patients as the priority and balance where possible.
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    Hi all! This is my first bmat essay and I'd really appreciate it if anyone could critique it since it's a bit hard to know where it went wrong. Thanks!!!

    2 “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” (Christopher Hitchens) Explain what you think Christopher Hitchens means. Argue to the contrary that some assertions do not require evidence. To what extent do you agree with the statement?

    This statement suggests that any assertion requires proof to be accepted as a truth in contrast to being substantiated by intuition or faith.

    However, this claim loses relevance in areas of knowledge concerned with subjective perception. Different individuals will react differently to art pieces. They may believe that an art piece is meaningful or artistically crafted while another person may disagree. Yet, both individuals assertions may be equally valid since it is impossible to objectively rate an art piece due to observers having different metrics of judgement or perceiving the same art in a diametrically opposed manner. A prime example of this would be contemporary art pieces. Picasso's cubanistic art which appear alien and distorted to some are revered as magnificent pieces by others, as evidenced by their prices at auctions. Thus, in these circumstances such different assertions are equally valid and do not require evidence nor can they be dismissed as they are intrinsically unique to the individual concerned.

    On the other hand, especially in the sciences, this statement appears to be largely self-evident as the sciences are concerned with deriving knowledge from observations of the natural environment or through conclusions from statistically significant data sets from controlled environments. Mendel's experiment in which he grew thousands of peas and observed their characteristics became the foundation for modern genetics. Thomas Morgan's famous experiment using fly's enabled him to assert the existence of linked genes. The structure of the cell membrane was continuously refined as new evidence, such as freeze fractured imaging, became available, allowing previous assertions to be dismissed. Even pharmaceutical drugs are only approved after rigourous testing through numerous phases before their assertion on the drugs efficacy and safety are accepted.

    Thus, it is important to recognise that the nature of the area of knowledge is important in determining the relevance of this sentence. In arts, where appreciation of pieces is inherently subjective and personal, assertions of the pieces desirability may be made on feelings rather than objective evidence. Sciences may necessitate objective evidence that can be independently verified before assertions are accepted or rejected. Perhaps an equally pertinent question would be what counts as valid evidence since there appears to be a degree of subjectivity in determining validity.
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    (Original post by try hard)
    Generally, your essay is a bit short but it does address all the sub-questions. I think there might be value in defining what it means to be "an idea whose time has come". Perhaps being generally accepted by society or large-scale support among a certain group.

    Your example regarding war was interesting and would have been great had you not went on to talk about sanctions which appear to be unrelated to ideas.

    Communication skills while relevant could have been extrapolated to talk about how the strength of the conviction of proponents of ideas do play a part in how an idea can spread.

    Hope it helped!
    Thanks
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    (Original post by Starched)
    Hi all! This is my first bmat essay and I'd really appreciate it if anyone could critique it since it's a bit hard to know where it went wrong. Thanks!!!

    2 “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” (Christopher Hitchens) Explain what you think Christopher Hitchens means. Argue to the contrary that some assertions do not require evidence. To what extent do you agree with the statement?

    This statement suggests that any assertion requires proof to be accepted as a truth in contrast to being substantiated by intuition or faith.

    However, this claim loses relevance in areas of knowledge concerned with subjective perception. Different individuals will react differently to art pieces. They may believe that an art piece is meaningful or artistically crafted while another person may disagree. Yet, both individuals assertions may be equally valid since it is impossible to objectively rate an art piece due to observers having different metrics of judgement or perceiving the same art in a diametrically opposed manner. A prime example of this would be contemporary art pieces. Picasso's cubanistic art which appear alien and distorted to some are revered as magnificent pieces by others, as evidenced by their prices at auctions. Thus, in these circumstances such different assertions are equally valid and do not require evidence nor can they be dismissed as they are intrinsically unique to the individual concerned.

    On the other hand, especially in the sciences, this statement appears to be largely self-evident as the sciences are concerned with deriving knowledge from observations of the natural environment or through conclusions from statistically significant data sets from controlled environments. Mendel's experiment in which he grew thousands of peas and observed their characteristics became the foundation for modern genetics. Thomas Morgan's famous experiment using fly's enabled him to assert the existence of linked genes. The structure of the cell membrane was continuously refined as new evidence, such as freeze fractured imaging, became available, allowing previous assertions to be dismissed. Even pharmaceutical drugs are only approved after rigourous testing through numerous phases before their assertion on the drugs efficacy and safety are accepted.

    Thus, it is important to recognise that the nature of the area of knowledge is important in determining the relevance of this sentence. In arts, where appreciation of pieces is inherently subjective and personal, assertions of the pieces desirability may be made on feelings rather than objective evidence. Sciences may necessitate objective evidence that can be independently verified before assertions are accepted or rejected. Perhaps an equally pertinent question would be what counts as valid evidence since there appears to be a degree of subjectivity in determining validity.
    Excellent essay, I cannot think of any improvements!
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    A specimen question I've done! Would appreciate any feedback. Stressing over S3 as UCL really likes the essays!

    It is ridiculous to treat the living body as a mechanism. Explain what this statement means. Argue to the contrary. To what extent do you think this apparent contradiction can be resolved? A mechanism can be defined as a set of parts that function together.

    his statement argues that, since the body is alive, defining it as a “mechanism” would be trivial, for fixing one “broken” aspect of a living body would not necessarily cause its function to return to normal, as it often would with a non-living mechanism.

    It could, however, be argued that the living body is in fact a mechanism. After all, mechanisms are often complex, finely-tuned set of parts which work collaboratively for a common purpose. Like an engine, the human body conducts hundreds of different processes to provide itself with energy and power. By this direct comparison, it is as much of a mechanism as the engine. Additionally, mechanisms require a finely-tuned synchronisation between their parts in order to allow for their correct function. In a human body, the slightest change in the time difference between contractions of the atria and the ventricles can cause various health problems in an individual. By directly tackling said problems the issues are resolved, alluding to the way mechanisms such as clocks are fixed.

    In my opinion, resolving this contradiction can be quite difficult. Many use the comparison of a living body to various non-living mechanisms for the purpose of simplicity and explanation. I do believe, however, that treating the body as a mechanism could be beneficial in initial stages of a diagnosis, where a general, non-specific cause of the issue needs to be identified. Once this initial stage has passed, it should be remembered that many different factors could contribute to the diagnosis, and different parts of the living body need to be treated in order to solve the issue – not just a single one. This is the extent to which this contradiction can be solved.
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    Does anyone mind giving me some feedback on this one? Thank you so much!
    It's the extreme sports question mentioned above quite a lot.

    The statement is based on the notion that people should know the potential consequences of participating in high risk activities and that any repurcussions are thus self-inflicted and should not be paid for using the taxpayer's money. Injuries sustained are avoidable and thus should be the individual's responsibility and not that of the country. One can go as far as suggesting that treating the harm that these extreme sports have led to facilitates such behaviour.

    There is, however, a flaw to this statement. A public service is for every member of a population and to discriminate and make decisions as to who is worthy of help is immoral and defeats the purpose of a health service. Even if someone can be deemed irresponsible, they still retain the same rights as everybody else including that to healthcare.

    It is also not logical to single out extreme sports. There are other behaviours which place a much greater strain on our health services such as lung cancers resulting from smoking or the increasing diseases resulting from obesity. These ailments can also be perceived to be self-inflicted. There is therefore no sense in denying the small cohort of people involved in extreme sports treatment. In fact, a significant amount of conditions have avoidable factors associated with them. This prompts a question of potential gain versus consequence. Even with extreme sports themselves, an outlet, these could be seen as positive for mental and physical health. We do not know what else we may face if people don't engage in such things.

    The statement, thus, justifies a change in attitudes not by excluding people or placing blame on individuals but in propelling us to reflect on our own responsibility in caring for our health. This change ought not to be negative or accusatory but empower people as to recognising the role they have in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This should be through education and awareness, not by creating a culture of blame, and this positive approach is far more likely to yield results in reducing pressure on our public health services.


    Thanks in advance for any feedback!
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    (Original post by Marina_P)
    Thank you! So should I put an argument for and against although it only says against? E.g. when I give my own opinion I could balance it first, then state which side I take?

    Not at all, much appreciated! I thought it was a lot worse to be honest! Thank you for the help!!
    Yup! I do think it balances your essay more if you address both "for" and "against" arguments. Normally what you can do would be to explain the statement (answering the first subquestion) and then immediately transit into stating the "for" arguments which can also act as an explanation for the statement. You can also have a completely separate paragraph for your "for" arguments. BUT, since it's not stated in the question, do not spend too much time/words on it.

    The method you mentioned is also possible!
 
 
 
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