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Evolution of Thought Through Topic Variation

Evolution of Thought Through Topic Variation

Throughout the journey of the course, many of our stories and story telling strategies have evolved.  In just the four short months we have been together, the class has managed to write four papers and prepare a presentation based on knowledge gained from the course.  The topics for the papers and presentation have all been open ended, based loosely upon the section of the course that we were in at the time.  All students were give opportunities to write about whatever they pleased.  Except for the first paper, when students were given the opportunity to share what topic they would like to write about, individual paper topics were not discussed.  The lack of the discussion gave the class full range to write what their hearts desired and not be influenced by the topic picked by a peer.

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Literary Evolution in a Biblical Perspective

Literary Evolution in a Biblical Perspective

"Biological evolution is but part of the application of the evolutionary concept," (Calverton 520). Since Darwin's description of evolution as a process of change in biological systems, the word evolution has been applied to many subjects. V. F. Calverton describes modern thinking about history, philosophy, religion, and literature as a result of the process of evolution described by Darwin. Calverton explains in his article about literary evolution and social forces that "in almost every phase of thought, be it purely logical or experimental, man has learned to think in terms of the evolutionary concept," (Calverton 520). This is especially true in analyzing the work that embodies the culmination of literature and religion, the Bible. Evolution is commonly thought to be in competition with religion, especially that of Christianity. However, not even Christianity has been able to escape Darwin and his revolutionaries. The construction and generativity of the Bible demonstrate the ability for literature to be both a product and a source of evolution.

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Birthing Process Forces Cultural Evolution in Humans

Birthing Process Forces Cultural Evolution in Humans

 

            Most anthropologists and sociologists believe that cultural evolution exists and that “human beings have natural social tendencies and that particular human social behaviors have non-genetic causes and dynamics,” (sociocultural).  This type of cultural and social evolution is termed sociocultural evolution and it describes how “cultures and societies have developed over time,” (sociocultural).  The jump from ordinary biological evolution to cultural evolution is not a far leap; biological and cultural evolution are often intertwined.  The birthing process, as it evolved from monkeys to humans, is an example of how biological evolution and cultural evolution are linked.  Childbirth in humans is an extremely difficult and dangerous process that is a result of human bipedalism and encephalization.  Birthing difficulties forced cooperation among humans, resulting in the formation of social interactions and the beginning of culture among early humans.  Thus, the beginnings of cultural evolution were an indirect result of the biological evolution of bipedalism and encephalization.

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Recapitulation: Evidence For or Against Evolution?

Recapitulation: Evidence For or Against Evolution?

The idea that embryos of different organisms look similar is not foreign. Anyone in an introductory biology, anatomy, or embryology class knows that chicken embryos are almost identical to the embryos of humans. Embryological development in different organisms diverges from other organisms at different stages in correlation with the complexity of the organisms. For example, human embryos and rabbit embryos diverge at a later time in development than the embryos of humans and fish. This idea was first described by K. E. von Baer (1792-1876) in his biogenetic law that stated that earlier stages of embryonic development of higher organisms resemble those organisms lower on the scale of nature (Pittendrigh 352). It was Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (1834-1919) who coined the phrase “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,” adapting von Baer’s ideas of the scale of nature to that of evolution. “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” was a commonly used phrase to explain the evidence supporting evolution. Ontogeny is “the complete developmental history of the individual organism,” and phylogeny is defined as “the complete evolutionary history of a group of organisms,” (Villee 697, 699). Thus, this phase means that the evolutionary history of a group of organisms is repeated during the developmental history of an individual organism of that group. This idea is also known as recapitulation. Recapitulation is a disputed topic used by pro-evolutionists as evidence for evolution and as against by the opposition. The story behind evolution and recapitulation is not as black and white as these suggest. I believe there is a middle ground in which recapitulation neither proves nor refutes evolution.

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