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rebeccafarber's picture

Hmm..We established in class

We established in class last week that there are two types of stories - the narrative and non-narrative, non-narratives being static and narratives changing over time. While finishing Mayr's What Evolution Is, I came to realize that his tone and structure classified him as the quintessential non-narrative story teller. That is, he relays the story of evolution in black and white terms, with no room for objections or for alternatives.
With all of this in mind, I find myself still frustrated. I am dissatisfied with the idea that evolution is a non-narrative story. It seems so paradoxical that what is defined as a series of changes is a story that stays the same. I don't understand why we can assume that this is the end of the line of evolution and that we are not going to become for future generations what are ancestors are to us now. How can we be so sure that this is it, that we have it all figured out, and that this story really is a non-narrative one? I am not implying that we are on our way to evolving into some new species in a few billion years, but I do not see how we can say that evolution stops at this point. Certainly Mayr does not wish to compromise his authority on evolution, and he knows a lot more than I do, hence why his stance is so black and white throughout the book. 
The mixture of personalities (or more appropriately, "readers") in our group discussion on Thursday emphasizes the importance of the self in analyzing a story. Was I really the only one who found the idea of humans evolving by spontaneity a comfort? The reader, then, is the ultimate receptor of the story, and it is up to him or her to give it meaning.


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