Thursday, January 29, 2009



Being in disagreement has never been this fun.

From normal scientific reporting, we shifted to the Asian parliamentary debate, modified slightly to accommodate the needs of the class (MBB 197: Special Topics in Molecular Biology).

This was a brainchild of Dr. Jay Lazaro who—I can't stress this enough—transformed the class into what feels like a courtroom full of tension, argumentation, and fun. The series of debates we've had so far has been a learning experience. It taught us to see errors in logic, to evaluate arguments objectively, and to follow the dynamism that envelopes the intellectual interaction.

The fun part is that nobody is exempted—even the most reserved in class. It's exciting to hear my classmates sound so stern, overflowing with conviction at the points they're raising.

Among the more interesting topics discussed so far were:
  • Which is worse: an invasive species or a new virus that destroys it? (Our group debated on this).
  • In times of conflict, it is best to trust in fossil records alone. (The counter-argument was the use of molecular clocks for dating).
  • The bacterial flagellum arose because of Intelligent Design. (The counter-argument: the theory of evolution).
The participants would usually dress up in corporate attires—long-sleeves, slacks, skirts, and closed shoes. Prepared with their points, they would come up the stage, with hands shaking for the first few minutes, and with a look of victory at the end.

Our group is debating again next week, this time concerning whether RNA is the first genetic material. Joe Poblete, who's from the opposing group, jokingly said, "Lance, beware—we have strong arguments."

I replied, "Joe, watch out—we have strong personalities."

This is going to be fun.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doc Jay's so cool! We absolutely looooved having him in 110. :D

Thu Jan 29, 08:06:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Lance said...

We're having a blast in his class ourselves.

Fri Jan 30, 12:02:00 AM GMT+8  

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