As our class made its way through the term, our evolution as a class mirrored our own personal evolution, as well as the evolution of the stories we read. We began the year reading On The Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin, then moved into Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, by Daniel Dennett, then Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman, and finally, we finished the year with The Sorrows of an American, by Siri Hustvedt. The books that would be used in a class specifically called “The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories” were chosen with great purpose. Each book mirrors a stage in biological evolution, and if we can create foils out of the books and the evolutionary stages, we can delve deeper into the meanings of these books.
After reading Darwin’s ideas and Dennett’s responses to Darwin’s ideas, I became increasingly interested in their views on mathematics. As a potential math major, I am already a bit more in tune than others may be to the way math is applied to the situations in the books, and I am beginning to look at math in a different light. I believe a large point of this class is to provide a stepping-stone in allowing our minds to be able to perceive our world in multiple ways. Every student in this class views the world in our own way, based on our past experiences and on our personalities. We are a group of individuals and because of that, our perceptions are individual and unique to ourselves only. This idea makes me wonder what the world looks like from one of my classmate’s eyes.
In this paper, I will make a preliminary argument that we, humans, are living outcasts in our world, and that perhaps we are the pushing force of recent and modern evolution. Because humans subconsciously facilitate the growth and development of our own preferences, in order to improve our interest and satisfaction in the world around us, we have changed the natural evolution of our earth.