Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

jaferr's blog

jaferr's picture

Literature & Language

Throughout the history of literature, popular writings have helped to shape and form the structures and syntax of the modern languages that we know today.  Modern languages are constantly changing and evolving as a result of spoken or colloquial phrases being used in popular literature.  Through literature, these terms are spread and become familiar to the general population of speakers, and this can cause such drastic changes in the structure of a language that it may become unrecognizable after only a few centuries.  The two best and most dramatic examples of literature that has caused an evolution of the language in which it was written are the works of Shakespeare and Dante's Commedia.  Both Shakespeare and Dante, through their literature, dramatically changed the English and Itali
jaferr's picture

The Evolution of Ideas

jaferr's picture

Science as Story: Letting Go of Unquestioning Belief

One of the things that we have spent the most time discussing in this class in the past few weeks is the idea of viewing science as a story rather than absolute, indisputable truth.  In our first class meeting, we were asked whether we thought the Earth was flat or round.  The majority of the class seemed to agree with the story that the Earth was round, but when pressed to answer questions about the reasons why they believed that particular story, everyone who agreed with that story essentially said that they believed the Earth was round because that was what they had been taught by their teachers at a young age, and because that was the scientifically accepted story.  As far as we can see from our own obse

Syndicate content