How shall we view our existence when we accept the realization that mankind is not the most important part of the universe? Will the wars that plague us, or the political hierarchies that control us, hold as much significance as they do now? For more than a thousand years, man has had the inkling that perhaps a greater force exists in the universe beside us. By about 520 BC, humans began observing that living organisms changed through the generations to become more suitably adapted to their environment; thus was spawned the idea of evolution. Early theories arose to describe this observed evolution of organisms, with notable contributions from the likes of Aristotle in 350 B.C. He studied marine animals and developed an epigenetic model of evolution. Further contributions, by others, would include systems for the classification of living things and developments in the fields of evolutionary biology and genetics. It wasn’t until Charles Darwin, however, that a viable mechanism for the evolution of living things was described. His theories marked the beginning of an era of scientific discovery, which has brought us to where we are today.

Document Type


Student Type


Department, Program, or Center

Department of English (CLA)


RIT – Main Campus

Publication Date



Twenty-Sixth Kearse Distinguished Lecture Award Recipient (2006)

Award in Literature

Faculty Sponsor: Lisa Hermsen

College: Liberal Arts

Course: Rhetoric of Science

Professor: Lisa Hermsen

The Kearse awards recognize students who have written the most outstanding research papers or projects in areas of study in the College of Liberal Arts. There is one faculty-nominated awardee from each COLA department. Henry J. and Mary Geirin Kearse, lifelong advocates of education, endowed the award.

Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2013.