, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 46-52
Date: 21 Nov 2007

Evolution as Fact, Theory, and Path

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With its vocabulary of hundreds of thousands of words, one might expect English to boast a surplus of ways to express different concepts. Indeed, there are many well-known examples of multiple descriptors for the same item or idea, often one or more from the Germanic and others from the Latinate roots of modern English. In addition to the diversity resulting from a history of linguistic hybridization, English has a tendency to assimilate words from other languages and to include the de novo creation of terms as the need arises. Thus, most technically complex professions exhibit a plethora of neologisms and jargon that can be all but impenetrable to nonexperts. Science is certainly no exception in this regard.

However, when it comes to some of the most fundamental concepts in science, there is a dearth of unambiguous terminology. Worse still, words with relatively clear meanings in the vernacular are employed with very different definitions in science, a phenomenon that great ...