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Identifying evaluation in writing

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Below is an extract from an essay written on the 'flood hypothesis' essay question considered earlier. In this extract, the student provides evaluation of the views of one flood proponent - Walter Brown.

Essay extract

[1] The first premise in Brown's argument can be summarised thus: archaeological evidence confirms the existence of Noah's Ark. [2] As evidence, Brown provides a list of so-called 'categories' including reports of the Ark's existence; reports of the Ark protruding from ice on Mt. Ararat and the reported existence of photographs showing the Ark protruding from ice.

[3] On closer analysis however, we can see that this premise is flawed. [4] If, for the sake of argument, we wanted to express Brown's 'categories' scientifically, we might say that person A saw something sticking out of the ice on Mt Ararat. [5] A explained the existence of this something by saying that it was Noah's Ark. This would be A's hypothesis. [6] Now the crux of the issue is did A test this hypothesis? Not according to Brown's account, hence A's belief does not constitute scientific evidence. [7] By this reasoning, none of Brown's categories offers scientific proof, and we can say that they certainly don't entail the existence of Noah's Ark.

Read the extract. What position does the student adopt? Does she support or reject Brown's argument?

What reasons does the student give for this position?

Check your answers

Walter Brown argues that there is scientific evidence for a worldwide flood. What is your assessment of the alleged evidence? Do you think that Schadewald's arguments provide compelling objections to the flood hypothesis?
  1. The student is assessing Brown's premise - that archaeological evidence confirms the existence of Noah's Ark. She rejects this premise.
  2. The student argues that the truth of this premise has not been established, and thus she suggests has the status of a hypothesis only. The point is well argued.
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