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rebecca farber's picture

The reading in Mayr caused

The reading in Mayr caused me to explore the constancy of change, and how variations in the Earth stay consistent throughout time. Mayr mentioned seasons, days transforming to nights, the movements of tectonic plates, variations in climates, severities of winters, and even the fluctuations of the economy as certain changes the Earth will undergo without question. Certainly the notion that “the only thing that is constant is change” is not revolutionary, but when applied to the cycle of evolution, I cannot help but become more drawn to my belief that our existence is due to a series of changes that took place over time, as delineated by Darwin and those who followed.

I am no science major. While I have some experience with balancing chemical equations and some knowledge of a cellular unit, I will choose a dictionary over a microscope any day of the week. Linking evolution, then, to literary stories seems to be a way to integrate two very distinct topics and making sense of them both. We examined in class how stories develop from a cultural crack – perhaps, for example, that the meaning of a written work has been swayed by the author’s own personal biases, background, and experience. And in the spirit of relating stories and evolution, we looked at this cultural crack when examining the loopier version of the scientific method: what causes people to observe what they observe. What threw me off is the fact that we are not looking for right answers; instead, the importance lies in being wrong and exploring all of our options. Last week, Professor Grobstein demonstrated that he was getting shocked. If he shifted his position to the left, he was correct in his assessment that he would no longer be shocked. However, millions of other possibilities existed; he would never be one hundred percent correct, but rather, less wrong than he was before.

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