Project for Chemistry

I choose this Dueling Document from my American Civ class for the Chemistry class because it shows the differing view points of science. We talked a little bit about the Silent Spring in Chemistry class and I found it fascinating, so I’ll be using this document for my ePortfolio.

Two Views of Science and Nature (pg. 856)

The dueling document I decided to read was the one between the critic Louis McLean

and Rachel Carson, the author of Silent Spring. I thought this dueling document was pretty

interesting because it reminded me of the Jungle and how quickly Roosevelt created the FDA

because of it. I don’t know if anything was created because of Silent Spring, but it was still

interesting to read. So for the who’s in these dueling documents it is Rachel Carson giving her

point of view on how we treat nature and how if we do not do something fast we will completely

destroy and unbalance ‘the fabric of nature’, the other point of view comes from a critic named

Louis McLean who was opposed to the publication of Silent Spring and said that there’s a dual

purpose as to why she is doing this: 1) to create the false impression that all businesses are

grasping and immoral, and 2) to reduce the use of agricultural chemicals in this country in

western Europe, that that our supply of food will be reduced to east-curtain parity.

So in the dueling document number 1, Rachel states that “the chemical barrage has been

hurled against the fabric of life-a fabric on the one hand delicate and destructible, on the other

miraculously thought and resilient, capable of striking back in unexpected ways.” And she also

says, and I completely agree with her, “The ‘control of nature’ is a phrase conceived in

arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that

nature exists for the convenience of man.” From what I understand she’s saying that we need to

reign in these thoughts that we can just use these harmful things on insects, that nothing bad or of

bad consequence will happen back, that we are at the top of the food chain and we control what

happens. If we continue to think like this, we will eventually destroy everything on this planet.

And so I agree with her that we need to control the poisons and watch what we are doing to our

planet.

As for the dueling document number 2, the critic Louis completely disagrees that Silent

Springs should be published. He said that she was only doing it for her benefit and that nothing

good will come from publishing this book. He also disagrees that the pesticides that they are

using are dangerous to the populace and basically says that she’s only attacking the chemical

industry for two reasons and two reasons only, as mentioned in the first paragraph. During this

time, and if I remember correctly, President Nixon wanted nothing to do with the Environmental

movement, he tried to distance himself from it, but eventually we got Earth Day in the 1970s.

But I do agree with Rachel that even though this is modern day for us, we still need to watch

what chemicals we use and make sure we try and balance everything out.

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