Cremisi's picture

Legit Evolution

 After I had asked whether the words “ain’t” or “snuck” were actually words, my third grade teacher told me to look them up in the dictionary. She said that if I found them, they were words. If not, then they were improper. Simple as that. Is this, however, an incorrect way at viewing words? Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1755, was the very first comprehensive (as comprehensive as we are aware of) compilation of words in the English language. The commencement of the dictionary helped to shape the world of literature, professional publications, and writing. The dictionary, upon its every-decade renewal, deems words as useful and true if they are included within its published and meticulously edited pages.

AnnaP's picture

Teaching evolution evolutionarily

In continuing to explore other folks’ papers for The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories, I stumbled across bee27’s webpaper, which (much like my paper) talks about how Darwin’s model of evolution can apply to education. bee27 writes:

“Freire complements Darwin's ideas of breaking free of the educational mold, suggesting a shifted focus to viewing our children as students, and as participants in their own education, and not merely inactive vessels for other people's knowledge. Through On the Origin of the Species, Darwin's radical and therefore extremely significant ideas are like a call to action for science education.”

OrganizedKhaos's picture

Memes and sleep

 Dennett caught my attention when he discussed what we as humans saw as the point of life. A life of exploring, learning new things is not exactly the way Mother Nature sees it. Instead he mentions that,  "a life of sleep is as good a life as any other and in many regards better --- certainly cheaper --- than most (p.340). Now that I believe is a great motto to live by considering the lack of attention many of my peers seem to pay to the subject of sleep. Wouldn't be interesting if our bodies worked similarly to bears and other mammals that hibernate all winter? Now that would be an interesting experiment, could we sleep through winter? what kinds of changes would our bodies go through?

OrganizedKhaos's picture

Lost in This World

I must admit that evolution is no easy task to conquer. I would like to now place Darwin right up on the pedestal with Albert Einstein and other great geniuses. Why wasn't he there before? I am not sure, maybe my gut reactions and morals were holding me back from holding him to such esteem but after attempting to piece together a course syllabus on evolution I found that the subject is not only complex but never ending. It pours into other disciplines and weaves its way into society and popular culture. I can see how some people can find great excitement from such a theory because, I feel like there's so many questions that still need to be answered and so many answers that still need to be understood. I think I might have a crush on evolutionary theory.

Sarah Schnellbacher's picture

The Stagnation of Evolution through Standardization

I am currently enrolled in an interdisciplinary biology and English course at Bryn Mawr College titled “The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories” in which my classmates and I have begun to explore the process of evolutionary thought and applying this perspective to our own lives. Recently during a class discussion we were asked to define “evolutionary theory”. Though we all had a general notion of what evolutionary theory is, everyone in the course found it difficult to produce a dictionary definition that accurately could encompass the many aspects of evolution into a set of short and sweet sentences without steering into the taboo “survival of the fittest”.

AnnaP's picture

Disciplinary vs. Interdisciplinary (and other tricky dualities...)

Yesterday in Prof. Dalke's discussion section, we talked about whether it was more effective to conceive of our eduction in terms of defined, separate disciplines or in terms of an interdisciplinary approach. We seemed to have a very difficult time coming up with an answer; some people, for instance, thought that we have the responsibility to teach people about "social Darwinism" (and the ways in which Darwin's theories have been co-opted) in a biology class, and others felt that that should be the territory of a history class.