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Jen's picture

On Mayr and Words...

I think the ideas brought up so far about Mayr are very interesting, especially with respect to Mayr's assertion that the story of evolution is the "truth." I keep wondering, what was he doing with this this statement? It definitely grabs my attention, and makes me pay attention to his argument. Also, as is mentioned above, it defnitely seems like Mayr is trying to manipulate his audience with these words. Yet, at the same time, this persuasive technique does not work on me. When I read this line, I was very surprised. All through high school I was taught that evolution was a theory. I was also presented with all the evidence of evolution that scientists have thus far found, and therefore concluded that it was a very plausible theory. Yet, I never thought of it as the absolute truth. After reading Mayr, I still don't, and I'm very surprised that Mayr presents his story of evolution as absolute truth, because it seems a bit naive to me, and even unstudied. Mayr is a scientist and a scholar, and it seems to me that most scientists and scholars have more complex and sophisticated ideas about "absolute truth," other than there is one, that has been scientifically proven, the end. Therefore, with this one statement that evolution is absolute truth, Mayr discredits himself in my eyes. Later, he redeems himself, as he presents a very thorough and convincing case for evolution, but initially, he just makes me laugh in disbelief.

***More to come later about social darwinism....

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