The essay “The Tucson Zoo” by Lewis Thomas puts our scientific understanding in a poetic light – it uses science
to develop a theme. Focus your apply activity on the interesting paradox the writer presents in
the final sentence below:
Altruism, a jargon word for what used to be called love, is worse than weakness, it is sin, a
violation of nature. Be separate. Do not be a social animal. But this is a hard argument to make
convincingly when you have to depend on language to make it.
(Note: Rereading this passage in context will be necessary for developing your response.)
In less than 150 words, what does Thomas mean? What are the two conflicting ideas, and why
don’t they work together?