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Evolution in the mind of others?

the.believer's picture

 For my final presentation last Thursday, I showed an interview clip with a Haverford College Chemistry major. My thoughts before conducting this interview was to compare how I view evolution now and how someone outside the class would. I asked him five questions which were questions we had pondered and discussed aloud in class.

Questions Asked

1. What are the first 3 words that come into mind when u think of evolution?


2. Give your short story of evolution incorporating those three words.
3. Since you're living in the midst of this change, how are you responding to or contributing to this?
4. Do you think the force (such as natural selection) driving evolution is random or directed?


5. What common grounds and differences are there between evolution of science vs. literature?


As a science major, the interviewee used very scientific terms in describing evolution whereas in class, we have applied the term evolution to culture and literature. When asked whether evolution is random or directed, the interviewee stated "directed, of course! natural selection implies a directionality". I then asked him whether he saw an randomness in the process and he disagreed. Furthermore, when asked to describe the evolution in science and literature, he used the terms, "I never thought about it" and "not sure". Given our discussions in class, I feel that I have come a long way since January. And to a certain extent, I can see myself giving very similar answers if these questions were posed to me before entering the course. It may be an interesting idea to have students fill out a questionnaire on the first day of class and allow them to compare the answers during the last week of class.


hannahgisele's picture

Nice idea

I think the questionnaire idea is great. It would be a way of showing our evolution in a completely new way. We grew not only in terms of our familiarity and comprehension of these gargantuan, philosophical ideas; but also in relation to our beliefs and opinions, and such an exercise would really display that growth. Serendip partially covered this, but I'm intrigued by the thought of answering the same question every week. It would surely feel monotonous, but would also force each student to look for new answers and to be innovative. In a way, they would be teaching themselves about the meaning in an effort to find new definitions and applications for the same concept.

themword's picture

I would probably have

I would probably have answered the questions the same way before entering the class, and I'm not even a science major. I think this may say something about people who have not studied evolution. How do you think he would have answered the questions if he had taken this course? I think filling out a questionnaire at the beginning and end of the class would be a very good idea. I think that it would show me how much i learned. I actually believe, even though we did not talk much about biological evolution per se, that I almost know more about it than I did before. Perhaps he would learn more about literature, and see how it can be applied to areas outside of science.

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