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Stories & Evolution

After reading Mayr’s book the overall theme that I noticed was curiosity, curiosity of the scientists, the researchers and even us, the readers.  We all share something – the curiosity about where we came from and how we came to be what we are today.  This is similar to the curiosity that we explored in class when we read “On Beauty”, even though we did not know what the poem was about we were curious about what it mean and what the author was trying to say.  If we follow what Zadie Smith says in “Failing Better” we are striving to understand the self and the meaning that the writer embedded in their story.  It is in this same way that we explore evolution and all of its evidence; we are striving to understand meaning.


The third chapter in Mayer’s book got into the mechanics of evolution and how every organism builds off the organism that came before it.  I was especially interested in the part of the chapter on the prokaryotes and eukaryotes.  The prokaryotes replicate through lateral transfer, which is why it is hard to classify them and diagram their evolution (44).  These organisms basically take hunks of genetic information from other types of prokaryotes and transfer this new information in to their genetic code.  When I read this is reminded me of stories and their beginnings and development and the “mutations” of genres.  There are many different types of stores and many different classifications that we have labeled “genres.”  Although you may find a story that is purely one genre, it is much more likely that a story that you read with be the combination of several genres, and much like the prokaryotes it will be hard to try and classify this story or it beginnings.  Also, the prokaryotes acted as a stepping stone for the Eukaryotes.  The prokaryotes allowed for more developed and further evolved organisms to exist.  This is also much the same in stories.  Stories build off other stories and the very earliest stories paved the way for more developed stories to exist.


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