discussion 1 join



  • The board is a chance for you to express your own opinions and personalities, so you can go off in different directions, as long as you’re clearly responding to the topic.
  • Do NOT attach a separate document with your typed comments. Instead, write/reply directly in the thread.
  • Always title your post with the name of the article or a brief summary of its content, so people know at a glance your focus (e.g., World’s oldest calendar, Hunter-gatherer diet, “My attempt at a syllogism,” “My reaction to Satyricon,” etc.).
  • Feel free to post articles, images, etc. I might award extra points to clever and relevant links, and I’ve given a couple of examples in the slides that follow Stonehenge in the slideshow. But please – no tired memes or tweets, and absolutely nothing cruel or off-color.


  • Before you start writing, you’re expected to read all topics, which are testable on the exam.
  • You get an initial 5 points for writing a post on-topic (as opposed to chatting about your love life, your favorite bands, etc.). You get a further 10 points for writing a coherent and reflective consideration of the chosen topic. This initial post must be at least 200 words and must include a word count at the end.
  • You get 5 points each for responses (at least 50 words each) to two other students posts, one of which must be on a different article/subject that your own initial post. That way you’re always discussing at least two different topics.
  • You should be sympathetic to and interested in what your peers have to say, and it should be clear from your response that you’ve read the article(s) in question. Frivolous, dishonest, or obviously undeveloped responses will earn No Credit.
  • You will lose points for any missing, off-topic, or poorly developed elements (initial post/peer response/peer response). Otherwise, follow the directions and you’ll get the points: it’s Either/Or!
  • I want everyone to feel their opinions are respected and equally valid (whether you consider yourself a “good” writer or not), so as long as you do this to my satisfaction, you’ll get full credit.

Module 1:

  • Using the questions below as a jump-off point, respond to one of these assigned readings (200 words minimum) and then to at least two other students posts, one of which must be on a different reading. At least 300 words total are expected (be sure to add word count).
  • REMINDER: all readings are assigned and testable on the exam, whether or not you write on them as your D-Board response.

Option 1: World’s Oldest Calendar: What circumstances does Vince Gaffney suggest in the interview that might have prompted or encouraged the development of such early technology and cooperation? Does it seem plausible to you, and why (or why not)? Explain. 1.8: World’s Oldest Calendar (READ / VIEW)

Option 2: How We Grew So Big: What impression does the article give of the lives of our hunter-gatherer ancestors? How has our technology superseded (outdistanced) our biology in the modern world? 1.5: Michael Lemonick & Bryan Walsh – How We Grew So Big (READ)

Option 3: Composer’s Neanderthal Recreation: What do we learn about the Neanderthals from the BBC article? Cite two key details, at least. What’s your reaction to Simon Thorne’s creation? Is it music to you, and what makes it so — or not? Finally, is there some kind of story being performed, and what do you think it’s conveying? 1.6: Simon Thorne – Neanderthal (READ / LISTEN)