Glossary – E


e: the mathematical constant that is the base of the natural logarithm.

E = mc2: an equivalence of energy and mass, embodying the concept that the mass of an object is a measure of its energy content; formulated by Albert Einstein in 1905.

E. (Escherichia) coli: a rod-shaped enterobacteria commonly found in the lower intestine of endothermic organisms. E. coli normally colonize an infant’s gut within 40 hours of birth, delivered by food, water, or mere handling. E. coli has long been a model organism in microbiology studies; one of the first organisms to have its entire genome sequenced, in 1977.

ear canal (aka external auditory meatus): the tube running from the outer ear to the middle ear.

eagle: a large, powerful bird of prey in the Accipitridae family.

eardrum (aka tympanic membrane): the thin, cone-shaped membrane that separates the external ear from the middle ear.

early modern humans (EMH): humans of the Upper Paleolithic.

Earth: the 3rd planet from the Sun; the densest and 5th-largest.

earthworm: a tubular segmented worm in the Annelida phylum, with worldwide distribution, commonly found in soil. An earthworm breathes through its skin. An earthworm’s digestive system runs the length of its body.

earwig: an insect with cerci (forceps-like pincers on their abdomen) and membranous wings folded under short, rarely-used forewings. There are ~2,000 species in 12 families.

earworm: a song or melody that sticks in the mind.

East India Company (EIC) (1600–1708): a British company established to pursue trade with the East Indies, but which ended up dealing mainly on the Indian subcontinent and with the Qing dynasty in China.

East Indies: a historical term for the lands of south and southeast Asia, from India to Malaysia. Late 15th-century Portuguese began using the term Indies to refer to what was later called the East Indies, as contrasted to the West Indies (the Americas).

Eastern Orthodox Church (aka Orthodox Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, Orthodoxy): the Catholic church established in Constantinople when the city was founded in 324. The Orthodoxy split from the Roman Catholic church in ~1054. The Orthodoxy does not have a pope. It has instead ecumenical councils to interpret the scriptures, with a patriarch as 1st among equals.

eBay (1995–): American e-commerce company, best known for its online auction service.

ecdysis: the process of molting an outer layer. Invertebrates in the clade Ecdysozoa molt various cuticles. Snakes shed their keratin skin.

Ecdysozoa: the group of animals with exoskeletons or tough outer skin, including arthropods and nematodes.

echinoderm: a phylum of marine invertebrates comprising 7,000 species, including sea stars, sea urchins, sand dollars, and sea cucumbers. Echinoderms live at every ocean depth.

Echis (aka saw-scaled vipers, carpet vipers): a genus of venomous vipers found in dry biomes from Africa to India and Sri Lanka. All 8 species have a distinctive threat display of stridulation.

echolocation (aka bionsonar): sensation via echoes of self-emitted ultrasonic sounds.

ecology: an interactive interface; patterns of relations among entities; as a subdiscipline of biology, patterns of interrelations between life forms (e.g., cells, organisms) and their environment (including other organisms); more broadly, the relations between bioelements.

eclosion: the act of hatching from an egg (by a larva) or emerging from a pupal case (by an adult).

econometrics: problem solving via statistical and mathematical techniques.

economic: the idea that items and altruistic behaviors are goods and services respectively, as part of a materialist value system.

economic system: an overarching characterization of how an economy works. See economy.

economics: the study of desirous materialism; the study of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, and of the material well-being of humans.

economies of scale: cost advantages that accrue to due to size, level of output, or scale of operation, with cost per unit of output generally declining with greater production.

Economist, The (1843–): London-based economics magazine favoring capitalist economic liberalism.

economy (economics): a societal economic organization. There are 3 main economic systems: traditional, command, and market. A traditional economy is tribal, with scant surplus. A command economy is a planned economy, typically under centralized control. A market economy is, ostensibly, a disorganized free-for-all.

ecosystem: the community of biota in a biome, and the abiotic (non-living) elements within the area.

ectomorph: a somatype of a gracile and typically tall build. Compare mesomorph, endomorph.

ectoparasite: an external parasite. Contrast endoparasite.

ectotherm: an animal without internal means to maintain thermal homeostasis. Ectotherms, such as reptiles, practice behaviors to regulate body temperature, like lying in the Sun to warm themselves. Commonly misnamed cold-blooded, ectotherms’ blood is just as warm as endotherms. Compare endotherm.

ed: extra dimensions (or extra dimensionality); the dimensions of existence beyond those that are perceptible and measurable. See 4d and hd.

edaphosaur: a family of large herbivorous synapsids. See caseid.

Eden Foods: the oldest natural and organic food company in North America and the largest independent manufacturer of dry grocery organic foods.

edentulism: evolutionary loss of teeth.

Ediacaran (635–542 mya): the 3rd and last period of the Neoproterozoic era, preceding the Cambrian period. The name derives from the Ediacara Hills in Australia, where the first fossils of the period were found by Reg Sprigg in 1946.

Edo Period (1603–1867): the period when Japan was ruled by the Tokugawa Shogunate. The Edo period was characterized by socioeconomic stability, refinement of the arts and its popular enjoyment, sustainable forest management and an isolationist foreign policy.

EDVAC (an acronym for Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer) : a binary, stored-program computer; proposed in August 1944, development started in April 1946, and completed in August 1949.

eel: an elongated fish in the order Anguilliformes, with 20 families, 111 genera, and around 800 species. Most eels are predatory, living in the shallows of the sea, burrowing, or hiding among rocks. Most eel species are nocturnal. Only 1 family of eels inhabit freshwater (Anguillidae). Even these freshwater eels return to the sea to spawn.

effector molecule: a regulatory molecule that binds to a protein and alters the protein’s activity.

efferocytosis: the process where macrophages remove dying/dead cells and recycle cell components when possible.

efficient market hypothesis: the argument that asset prices fully reflect all available information. A direct implication is that it is impossible to consistently “beat the market” (profit more than other traders).

egalitarianism: belief in the equality of all people, especially in the political, social, and/or economic spheres.

egene: (the idea of) an energetic hereditary unit which conveys all the information needed to create a trait or biological effect. Nucleic acids alone cannot explain heredity. Compare gene.

egenetics: (the idea of) intelligence represented by nuclei acids and associated molecules.

egg: an organic vessel in which an embryo first begins development. See sperm.

ego: Sigmund Freud’s term for the rational part of the psyche. Compare id, superego. See ramind.

egocentrism (developmental psychology): the inability to differentiate between oneself and others, particularly regarding perspectives on the world.

egoism: considering oneself most important, with little or no regard for others. Contrast altruism.

egret: a white or buff colored bird, often preferring watery areas, practically synonymous with heron.

Egypt: a nation in the northeast corner of Africa. One of the world’s most ancient states, arising in the 10th millennium BCE. { Spokes 6 }

Egypt: a Mediterranean country in Northeastern Africa with a semi-presidential political system established after a revolution in 2011. { Spokes 7 }

Egyptian (civilization) (3150–30 BCE): an ancient civilization in Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower Nile.

Egyptian cotton leafworm (aka African cotton leafworm, Mediterranean brocade, Spodoptera littoralis): a noctuid (owlet) moth native to Africa and Mediterranean Europe.

eigenstate: a measured state of an object with quantifiable characteristics, such as position and momentum. The state must be measurable and have a definite value (eigenvalue).

Eighty Years’ War: see 80 Years’ War.

Einstellung effect: examining a new situation or problem through a predisposed mind-set. See mental set.

El Niño: a quasi-periodic climate pattern that forms in the tropical Pacific Ocean, roughly every 5 years. The most notable facets are the warm ocean surface current in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean, coupled with high surface air pressure in the western Pacific. El Niño is Spanish for “the little boy,” an oblique reference to Christ as a child, specifically referring to the ocean warming in the Pacific near South America, usually noticed around Christmas.

La Niña (“little girl”) is the opposite oscillation extreme: cold water and low air pressure. Contrary to El Niño, La Niña lacks religious connotation. La Niña commonly causes drought in the western Pacific and southeastern United States, flooding in northern South America, and mild wet summers in northern North America.

elaiosome: a fleshy structure attached to some seeds that typically contains nutritious lipids and proteins, as an inducement for ant seed dispersal. See myrmecochory.

elapid: a family of ~300 species of venomous snakes, characterized by short fangs fixed at the front of the upper jaw.

Elasmosaurus: a genus of extremely long-necked plesiosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous.

elater: a hygroscopic cell or cell structure that responsively changes shape with humidity variation.

electoral college: a set of electors who elect a candidate to a political office. Electoral colleges originated with early Germanic law, for election of the German king, and with the Catholic Church. The US employs an electoral college to indirectly elect its president, with electors representing the 50 states and the federal District of Columbia, roughly based upon popular vote.

electric dipole moment (EDM): a measure of electrical polarity by measuring the separation between negative and positive charges.

electric fish: a fish that can generate an electric field (electrogenic). A fish that can detect electric fields is electroreceptive. Most electric fish are also electroreceptive. Electric fish are found in the sea, and in freshwater rivers of South America and Africa. Sharks, rays, and catfishes are electroreceptive, but cannot generate an electric field.

electron microscope: a high-powered microscope that employs accelerated electrons for illumination; capable of 10 million times magnification and resolution better than 50 picometers (5 x 10–13 m). In contrast, the best light microscopes resolve to 200 nm (2 x 10–11), with magnification below 2,000 times.

electric potential (aka electric field potential, electrostatic potential): the amount of work needed to move a positive charge inside a field without creating acceleration.

electrical resistance: a measure of opposition to flow of an electric current. See conductor and resistor.

electrodynamics: the branch of classical physics studying the interactions between electric charges and currents.

electrolyte: a substance that releases ions when dissolved in water. Salts, acids, and bases are electrolytes.

electromagnetic induction: producing a potential difference – voltage – across a conductor exposed to a varying magnetic field.

electromagnetic radiation (EMR): energy emitted and absorbed by charged particles. EMR exhibits wavelike behavior as it traverses space.

electromagnetic spectrum: a continuum of increasing energy intensity, from longer wavelengths to shorter.

electromagnetism: one of the fundamental physics forces, affecting particles that are electrically charged. Except for gravity, electromagnetism is the ambient physical interaction responsible for practically all phenomena encountered in everyday life.

electron: a negatively charged fermion. An electron hypothetically has 1/1836 the mass of a proton when at rest, but an electron is never at rest.

electron acceptor: an atom or molecule that accepts electrons.

electron cloud: the cumulative electron shells of an atom.

electron diffraction: reference to the wave nature of electrons.

electron microscope: a high-powered microscope that employs accelerated electrons for illumination; capable of 10 million times magnification and resolution better than 50 picometers (5 x 10–13 m). In contrast, the best light microscopes resolve to 200 nm (2 x 10–11), with magnification below 2,000 times.

Electron Mining (1991–1994): the small American software company that developed OOPC.

electron orbital: the orbit of an electron about an atomic nucleus. See shell.

electron pair (aka Lewis pair): 2 electrons which occupy the same molecular orbital but have opposite spins. Suggested by Gilbert Lewis in 1916.

electron transfer: the donation of an electron from one atom to another.

electron transport chain: an electron transfer by coupling an electron donor and electron acceptor, with a transfer of hydrons across a membrane. For an electron transport chain to function, allowing electrons to pass through, an exogenous electron acceptor must be present at the end of the chain. Cell respiration requires an electron transport chain.

electron volt (eV): an energy measurement unit. 1 eV is the energy that an electron gains in passing through an electric field with a potential difference of 1 volt.

electronegativity: the measure of a chemical species to take electrons; electroaffinity would be a more accurate term. Contrast electropositivity.

electropositivity: the measure of a chemical species to donate electrons; electrocharity would be better. Contrast electronegativity.

electrostatics: the branch of physics studying electric charges at rest.

electroweak force: a quantum field theory uniting the electromagnetic and weak forces.

electrum: a natural, pale yellow alloy of gold and silver.

elegance (mathematics): an attribution to a physical model that is relatively simple and mathematically cogent.

element (chemistry): a species of atoms with the same number of protons in their nuclei.

elementary charge: the electric charge of a proton or electron.

elementary particle: a subatomic particle that has supposedly no constituents, even though they do: virtual particles. Elementary particles are the supposed bottom-up building blocks of the cosmos, and, by their continuous 4d/ed interaction, comprise an interface between observable (4d) manifestation and actual (hd) existence. See hd.

Elements of Physiology (1883–1840): a landmark work on human and comparative anatomy by Johannes Peter Müller.

elephant: a large terrestrial mammal native to Africa and India.

elephant hawkmoth (Deilephila elpenor): a large moth found in the British Isles, and across Europe and Asia all the way to Japan. Elephant hawkmoths have trichromatic color vision, and excellent scotopic (night) vision.

elephant seal: a large oceangoing seal. Elephant seals spend 80% of their lives in the ocean. They can hold their breath for longer (100 minutes) and dive deeper (1,550 meters) than any other noncetacean mammal.

elephant yam (aka konjac, devil’s tongue, voodoo lily, snake palm): a plant in the genus Amorphophallus, endemic from Indonesia to tropical eastern Asia, including Japan and China. Konnyaku (yam cake) is a food made from the root.

Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata): a fast-growing coral that resembles elk antlers; one of the most important reef-building corals in the Caribbean Sea.

elliptic geometry: a geometry in which Euclid’s parallel postulate (of parallel lines) does not hold. See Riemannian geometry.

elm: a northern hemisphere tree in the Ulmus genus.

elytron (plural: elytra; aka shard): the hardened forewing of beetles and a few true bugs.

embarrassed: anxiously self-conscious.

embryo: an early stage of development in multicellular diploid eukaryotes.

embryogenesis: the process by which an embryo develops.

embryonic diapause (aka delayed implantation): a reproductive strategy employed by ~100 different mammals, where implantation of an embryo into the uterus is willfully delayed. Rodents, marsupials, mustelids, sea otters, and bears practice delayed implantation.

embryophyte: a land plant, including mosses, liverworts, ferns, and other seedless plants (pteridophytes), gymnosperms, and angiosperms.

emergence: the way that complexity arises from a multiplicity of simple interactions. The idea of emergence has been around at least since Aristotle, who expressed that the totality of reality is greater than the sum of its parts (a non-reductionist sentiment). More elementally, emergence refers to actuality becoming phenomenal on a moment-by-moment (Plank time) basis.

Emery’s Rule: a 1909 observation by Carlo Emery that insect social parasites select as victims closely related organisms.

eminent domain: the power of the state to take private property for public use, commonly with compensation to the owner.

emochemical: an organic compound active in an organism experiencing an emotion.

emotion: a feeling evolved by cognition into a sustained mental state.

emotional bias: a bias emanating from affect.

emotional complex: a complex of associated emotions relating to certain thoughts, objects, actions, events, or situations which invoke specific mental or behavioral patterns. Compare psychological complex.

emotional intelligence: is the ability to monitor, contemplate, and manage emotions.

emotional logic: rationalization of emotive states. Compare reason.

emotive cognition: appraisal of the ambiance of a situation based upon one’s empathic temperament and experience.

empathy: an imaginative projection of another’s mental state.

empathy gap: an underestimation of the influence of visceral (affective) states on preference or behavior.

emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri): the largest and heaviest penguin, endemic to Antarctica.

empirical: derived from experience.

empiricism (epistemology): the presumption that knowledge derives solely from sensory experience.

empiricism (philosophy of science): the belief that Nature may be entirely explained by physical forces.

emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae): the largest Australian bird and 2nd only to the ostrich. Like ostriches, emu are flightless. Emu have incredibly strong legs.

encapsulation (software): making modular data or program structures. See object.

Enceladus: the 6th largest of Saturn’s 62 moons.

encephalopathy: (a general term for) a brain disease.

encyst: to become enclosed in a cyst.

end-of-history illusion: the psychological illusion that one has experienced significant personal growth to the present, but that growth process will not continue as fruitfully into the future.

endemic: restricted to a circumscribed environment or area, such as an island. Compare indigenous, native.

endocannabinoid: a vertebrate neurotransmitter that activates cannabinoid receptors.

endocarp: the inner layer of a pericarp when a fruit has 2 or more layers.

endocrine: a secretion from a gland into the circulatory system. Many endocrines are hormones.

endocrine gland: a ductless animal gland that secretes hormones directly into the bloodstream, thereby regulating a body function. Endocrine glands include adrenal, pineal, hypothalamus, pituitary, and thyroid, along with various glands for the digestive system (stomach, duodenum, liver, kidney, pancreas), and reproductive system (ovary, testes, uterus, placenta (when pregnant)). Contrast exocrine gland.

endocrine signaling: intercellular communication over a long distance. Compare paracrine signaling, juxtacrine signaling.

endocrine system: a messaging system using hormones, including glands. Contrast exocrine system.

endocytosis: the cellular process of absorbing macromolecules, such as proteins, by engulfing them. All cells employ endocytosis. Contrast exocytosis.

endodermis: the inner tissue layer in some land plants.

endogamy (sociology): marriage within a specific group as required by custom or law. Contrast exogamy.

endogenous (biology): originating within an organism. Contrast exogenous.

endogenous retrovirus: a transposable element that resembles a retrovirus.

endolith: an organism that lives sheltered inside rock, coral, or animal shell.

endolithic: living within or deeply penetrating stony surfaces.

endomorph: a somatype of a wide, rotund, and typically short build. Compare ectomorph, mesomorph.

endomycorrhiza: where a fungus symbiotically colonizes a host plant’s root cells. Contrast ectomycorrhiza.

endonym (aka autonym): an internal name for a geographical place, people, language, or dialect. By contrast, an exonym (xenonym) is an external geographical name. For example, “Germany” is an English-language exonym, whereas “Deutschland” is the endonym for that European country.

endoparasite: a parasite residing within a host. Contrast ectoparasite.

endophyte: a plant endosymbiont.

endoplasmic reticulum (ER): an organelle connected to the nuclear membrane; a membranous network of sac-like structures (cisternae) held together by the cytoskeleton. ER plays a role in various functions, including carbohydrate metabolism, lipid synthesis, glycoprotein production, and cell membrane manufacture. ER assists mitochondrial division and replication.

endoreduplication: replication of a cell’s nuclear genome without cell division. Endoreduplication is common in plants, whereas limited to certain cell types in animals.

endorheic basin: a closed drainage basin: no outflow to another body of water.

endorphin (portmanteau of endogenous morphine): a mammalian endogenous opioid neuropeptide produced to relieve pain.

endoskeleton: an internal animal support structure composed of mineralized tissue, such as bone. Vertebrates have an endoskeleton. Contrast exoskeleton.

endosperm: the tissue inside an angiosperm seed that provides nutrition to a growing embryo until it can establish roots.

endosymbiont: an organism living within another organism, forming a mutually advantageous arrangement.

endothelium (plural: endothelia): the thin layer of cells that lines the interior surfaces of blood and lymphatic vessels.

endotherm: an animal with internal means to maintain thermal homeostasis. Birds and mammals are endotherms. Endothermy raises an animal’s metabolic needs compared to ectothermic animals. Compare ectotherm.

endothermic reaction: a chemical reaction that absorbs thermal energy. Contrast exothermic reaction.

endowment effect (aka divestiture aversion): sentimental attachment to objects beyond their economic worth.

energy (physics): the idea of an immaterial force acting upon or producing matter. Energy is characterized relatively and by type (how it affects matter). Energy manifests only through its effect on matter. Though the foundational construct of existence, energy itself does not exist. As matter is made of energy, this fact tidily proves energyism.

energy drink: a beverage with an artificially high level of stimulants, especially caffeine.

energy landscape: a set of possible conformations, with each potential spatial position (conformation) having an associated energy level.

energyism (aka (philosophical) immaterialism): the monistic doctrine that Nature is a figment of the mind. Energyism differentiates between actuality and reality. Whereas actuality is phenomenal, reality has a noumenal substrate, emergently spawning a shared actuality (showtivity) via a unified Ĉonsciousness. See idealism, neutral monism. Contrast matterism.

engine (heat): a machine that transforms a portion of the thermal energy entering it into mechanical power.

engineering: the practical application of science. See technology.

England: a country in the British Isles until 1707, now part of the United Kingdom.

English Civil War (1642–1651): a series of armed conflicts between factions respectively advocating despotism and parliamentary government. The monarchy survived, albeit checked by parliament.

ENIAC (an acronym for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer): the first electronic general-purpose computer. Construction began in 1943 and was completed in 1946.

enlightened absolutism: a form of monarchy inspired by the Enlightenment, whereby despots declared a fondness for rationality, which tended to translate into religious toleration, relatively free speech (albeit not against the monarchy), private property rights, and fostering education, the arts, and science. The controversial concept was delineated by German historian Wilhelm Roscher in 1847. Reflecting current political thought, enlightened absolutists held that royal power derived not by divine right, but from social contract theory which obliged a ruler to govern wisely. Several 18th century European rulers are associated with the notion, including Frederick II of Prussia; Louis XVI of France; Catherine II of Russia; Joseph I of Portugal; Carlos III of Spain; Frederick VI of Denmark; Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor of Austria; Gustav III of Sweden; and Maria Theresa, ruler of the Habsburg domains (Austria, Hungary, Croatia, et cetera).

enlightenment (aka quietude or quiet consciousness): the state of consciousness with clarity of mind via transcendence. In enlightenment there is intrinsic contentment, accompanied by an eminently sensible perspective on life (and death). Compare coherence consciousness, realization.

Enlightenment (cultural period): see Age of Enlightenment.

Enron (1985–2001): American energy, commodities, and services conglomerate which went under via massive management fraud.

entail: to transmit, confer, or assign.

entail (legal): limiting the inheritance of real estate to a specific line of heirs.

entanglement (physics): distinct phenomena behaving synchronously. Entanglement defies locality.

enteric nervous system (aka intrinsic nervous system): the part of the autonomic nervous system associated with digestion. See parasympathetic nervous system and sympathetic nervous system.

enterobacteria: a large family of bacteria that make their living inside eukaryotes, either symbiotically or as a pathogen.

enterotype: an ecosystem of gut flora. See Bacteroides, Ruminococcus, and Prevotella.

enterovirus: a genus of single-stranded RNA viruses, so-named because their transmission route is through the intestine (enteric being intestinal).

entertainment: stimulation from experience not wholly expected.

enthalpy: a thermodynamic system property, equal to internal energy plus the product of the system’s pressure and volume.

entheogen: an ingested plant or synthesized compound employed in a spiritual context.

entomology: the study of insects.

entomopathogen: an insect-killing pathogen.

entropy (physics, particularly thermodynamics) : the tendency of energy to dissipate and equilibrate; a measure of thermal energy unavailable for work; introduced by Rudolf Clausius in 1850. An entropic interaction is one where energy is locally lost. Gravity is entropic.

environment: a designated spatial region or conceptual realm.

environmental economics: the study of externalities of production.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): the US federal government agency responsible for protecting human health and the environment from the externalities of corporate excess. The EPA was created by President Richard Nixon in 1970 by executive order.

envirotype: the ecological influences on an organism and typical organism interactions with the environment.

envy: resentment of a perceived advantage that someone else has. Compare jealousy.

enzymatic: (an) enzyme catalyzed or inhibited (reaction).

enzyme: a protein that facilitates the activities of other proteins or substrates. Enzymes typically act as catalysts.

eocyte (aka Crenarchaeota): the kingdom of Archaea from which eukaryotes evolved.

Eodromaeus (~232 mya): an early saurischian dinosaur.

eon (geology): a duration in the geological time scale, half a billion years or more; longer than an era.

Eoraptor (~231 mya): one of the earliest dinosaurs, a herrerasaurid.

eosinophil: a type of white blood cell, responsible for combating infections and parasites. 1–6% of white blood cells are eosinophils.

EPA: see Environmental Protection Agency.

epeiric: a shallow inland sea that covers central areas of continents during periods of high sea level.

ependymocyte (aka ependymal cell): a glial cell that lines the ventricular system, regulating the production and circulation of cerebrospinal fluid.

Ephedra: an evolutionarily isolated genus of low, straggling, or climbing gymnospermous desert shrubs.

Ephedra sinica: a gymnosperm shrub that is used as a traditional Chinese medicine for a variety of ailments. Other Ephedra species were used medicinally by Native Americans.

Epicureanism: the philosophy of Epicurus–that pleasure and pain are the metrics of good and evil.

epidemiology: the study of diseases in populations, particularly their incidence and prevalence.

epidermis: the outermost tissue layer of a plant or animal (in animals, the skin).

epiallele: the idea of an allele loaded with epigenetic information, affording divergence from straightforward gene expression.

epigenetics: (the study of) gene regulation and physical heredity mechanisms without changing the structure of the DNA involved – that is, without genetic mutation.

epigenome: the conceptual sum of instructions in a cell affecting access and expression of genes.

epigenotype: the epigenetic constitution of a cell or organism.

epiglottis: a flap of elastic cartilage tissue in the throat, attached to the larynx, that guards the trachea (breathing tube) from food, which the epiglottis directs down the esophagus (food tube).

equity (finance): the difference between value of assets and cost of liabilities.

epilithon (bacteria): aquatic transformation.

epiparasite (aka hyperparasite): a parasite of a parasite.

epiphenomenalism: the matterist belief that mentation is a physiologically generated phenomenon.

epiphyte: a plant that grows harmlessly on another plant, typically a tree. Epiphytes grow on other plants for physical support.

epipubic bone: a pair of bones projecting forward from the pelvic bones of modern marsupials and most non-placental fossil mammals.

episodic memory (aka flashbulb memory): an autobiographical memory of a specific event, typically of significant emotional import. Contrast semantic memory, topographical memory.

epistemology: the study of knowledge, including its origin, nature, methods, and limits.

epithelium (plural: epithelia): 1 of the 4 primary animal tissue types. Epithelial tissues line the surfaces and cavities of bodily structures and form many glands. Epithelial tissue does not have blood vessels, instead receiving nourishment from underlying connective tissue via an extracellular matrix (basement membrane). Epithelial cells secrete, selectively absorb, protect, and transport. See also muscle, connective tissue, and intelligence (tissue).

epitoky: the process in marine bristle worms of a sexually immature worm (an atoke) transforming into sexual maturity (an epitoke).

epoch (geology): a duration in the geological time scale, tens of millions of years; shorter than a period, longer than an age.

equation (mathematics): an expression or model, typically algebraic, asserting equality between at least 2 quantities.

equid: an odd-toed (perissodactyl) ungulate in the Equidae family, with horses, asses, and zebras extant.

equifinality: the principle that an end state may be reached in an open system via numerous potential avenues. In psychology, equifinality refers to how divergent experiences early in life may lead to similar outcomes; commonly used to refer to child trauma and abuse that leads to psychological disorders in adulthood.

equity (sociology, politics): fairness.

equivalence principle: following Galileo’s conception, Albert Einstein’s proposition regarding apparent acceleration: that there is no way to distinguish the effects of acceleration (inertial mass) from the effects of gravity (gravitational mass).

equivocate: to use ambiguous expressions to prevaricate. See falsify, conceal.

epoch (geology): a duration in the geological time scale, tens of millions of years; shorter than a period, longer than an age.

era (geology): a duration in the geological time scale, several hundred million years; shorter than an eon, longer than a period.

ergot: a fungus of 50 species in the genus Claviceps.

ergotamine (C33H35N5O5): an ergot alkaloid that acts as a vasoconstrictor; used to treat migraine headaches; structurally similar to several neurotransmitters.

erythrocyte (aka red blood cell): a vertebrate blood cell that transports oxygen.

Erythropsidinium: a genus of marine dinoflagellates (unicellular eukaryotes with tails).

escapement: a mechanism for regulating mechanical motion.

esophagus (aka gullet): a vertebrate organ that is a muscular tube through which food passes from the pharynx to the Escherichia coli: see E. coli.

esotericism (esoterism): ideas outside the mainstream of Collective thought.

essential amino acid: an amino acid necessary for health that cannot be synthesized by the human body and so must be obtained via diet.

essential fatty acid: a fatty acid necessary for human health that cannot be synthesized by the body, and so must be obtained in the diet. Only 2 fatty acids are known to be essential for humans: α-linoleic and linoleic.

essential oil: a colloquial term for any of various volatile aromatic compounds produced by plants.

estate system: an economic and political system of control of societal resources by an elite group.

ester: an organic compound comprising a carbonyl adjacent to an ether; an organic compound produced by a reaction between an acid and an alcohol, with the elimination of a molecule of water.

ether: a class of organic compounds characterized by an oxygen atom bonded to 2 carbon atoms (C–O–C). { Spokes 6 }

estrogen: a group of female animal sex hormones.

estrus (aka in heat): sexual receptivity in a female.

Etruscan civilization: the culture of ancient Italy in the regions roughly corresponding to Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Lazio, from 800 BCE until Roman times.

estuary: a partly enclosed coastal body of water connected to the sea which has at least 1 river or stream flowing into it.

ethane (C2H6): a colorless, odorless gas, isolated on an industrial scale from natural gas, and as a by-product of petroleum refining. Ethane’s chief employment is as a feedstock for ethylene production. Ethylene is widely used in the chemical industry.

ethanol (CH3CH2OH; aka ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, alcohol, spirits): the principal alcohol in alcoholic beverages. { Spokes 4 }

ethanol (C2H5OH; aka ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol): a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid with a slight chemical odor. Ethanol is used as an antiseptic, a solvent, and a fuel. Ethanol is produced both from petroleum, though the hydration of ethylene (C2H4), and by biomass via fermentation. { Spokes 6 }

ether: a class of organic compounds characterized by an oxygen atom bonded to 2 carbon atoms (C–O–C).

ethics (aka moral philosophy): the branch of philosophy systemizing the distinction between right and wrong behavior; a system of moral principles.

ethnocentrism: judging another culture solely by the standards and values of one’s own culture; coined by Ludwig Gumplowicz in 1879 and subsequently popularized by William Sumner.

ethnicity: affiliation with a culture. Compare race.

ethnography: the study of culture.

ethnomethodology: the study of how people make sense of everyday life.

ethology: the study of animal behavior, often with an eye toward evolutionary implications.

ethylene (C2H4 or H2C=CH2): a hydrocarbon; the simplest alkene.

etiology: the origin or cause of a disease; the study of the causes of diseases.

Euclidian geometry: a mathematical system limited to 3D, attributed to Euclid. Euclidian geometry has a small set of axioms from which theorems can be deduced. The 5th axiom (the parallel postulate) was found independent of the first 4 in the 19th century. Its breakage led to non-Euclidian geometry.

eudaimonia: satisfaction in finding meaning or fulfilling a purpose. Contrast hedonia.

eucalyptol (C10H18O): a colorless liquid terpene, produced by eucalyptus trees for pest control.

eucalyptus: a diverse genus (Eucalyptus) of flowering trees and shrubs in the myrtle family comprising over 700 species. Eucalyptus dominate the tree flora of Australia.

eudicot (aka eudicotledon, tricolpate, Eudicotidae): a clade of flowering plants with pollen grains having 3 colpi (grooves) paralleling the polar axis. Eudicots and monocots are the 2 largest clades of angiosperms, constituting over 70% of flowering plants.

eudicot: an evolutionary advance of dicots that arose 115 MYA and numerically became the dominant dicot form.

Eugenia: a genus of angiosperms in the myrtle family. The fruit of E. nesiotica has anti-parasite properties.

eugenics: beliefs and practices aimed at improving the genetic quality of humans.

Euglena: a genus of unicellular flagellate protists.

eukaryote: an organism with cell structures (organelles) separated by membranes. Multicellular life is eukaryotic. Compare prokaryote.

Euler Beta function: an equation used to characterize scattering amplitude; employed in string theory.

Euparkeria (245–230 mya): a reptilian genus that presaged dinosaurs.

euphorbia: a tropical plant in the genus Euphorbiaceae.

euphoria: a state of intense happiness and self-confidence. Contrast dysphoria.

euphotic zone: the layer of water with sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis.

Euplotes: a genus of single-celled, transparent, ciliate, freshwater and marine protozoan.

Eurasia: the continental landmass of Europe and Asia, including Borneo and other nearby islands. Compare Australasia.

European Coal and Steel Community (1952–2002): a European supranational organization ostensibly aimed at sharing resources for steelmaking, but ultimately aimed at European union.

European earwig (aka common earwig, Forficula auricularia): a flattish, brown, nocturnal earwig that grows to 12–15 mm long, native to the temperate regions of Europe, western Asia, and North Africa, and in North America, where it was introduced by humans in 1907. An omnivore, the common earwig is considered a pest, owing to the damage it may do to crops, its frightening appearance, foul odor, and its too-frequent household appearances, where an earwig may find comfortable crevices and tasty foodstuffs. See earwig.

European robin (aka robin, robin redbreast, Erithacus rubecula): an insectivorous Old World flycatcher native to Europe, northwestern Asia, and North Africa. See robin.

European toad (aka common toad, Bufo bufo): a common toad found throughout most of Europe, excepting islands, in part of northwest Asia, and a small region of northwest Africa.

European turtle beetle (Amphotis marginata): a highwayman of the shining black ant.

eusocial: an animal species that has: 1) overlapping generations; 2) cooperative care of the young; and 3) reproductive division of labor. Contrast presocial.

eusocialism: a totalitarian, egalitarian polity.

Eustachian tube (aka auditory tube, pharyngotympanic tube): the tube in the middle ear that extends to the pharynx; named after the 16th-century anatomist Bartolomeo Eustachi.

eutely: an organism with a fixed number of somatic cells upon reaching maturity, with the exact number a constant for any eutelic species. Development proceeds via cell division until maturity, whereupon growth transpires only by cell enlargement (hypertrophy). Nematodes are eutelic.

Eutheria: the placental mammal clade that arose ~161 MYA. Eutherians lack epipubic bones, allowing for an expanding abdomen during pregnancy.

euthermia: normal body temperature. Compare hypothermia.

eutrophication: the process by which a body of water becomes enriched with dissolved nutrients that stimulate the growth of microbial aquatic life, which typically results in depleting the oxygen dissolved in the water.

euthermia: normal body temperature. Compare hypothermia.

eV: see electron volt.

evaporation: conversion of water into vapor.

evapotranspiration: soil moisture loss from evaporation and plant transpiration.

evening primrose (aka suncups, sundrops): an herbaceous angiosperm native to the Americas, in the Oenothera genus, with 145 species.

evening primrose (aka willowherb): an angiosperm of ~650 species in 17 genera in the Onagraceae family, including herbs, shrubs, and trees residing in every biome from boreal to tropical.

event: a perceived process with an outcome.

event horizon: a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer. An event horizon is typically portrayed as the “point of no return” into a black hole.

Everglades: the tropical wetlands in southern Florida.

evergreen: a plant with green leaves year-round.

evil: a moral wrong; wickedness.

evil eye: a curse cast by a malevolent glare, usually given to a person unaware. Dating to antiquity, many cultures believe the evil eye can cause misfortune. Talismans created to protect against the evil eye are also often called “evil eyes.”

evo-devo: an informal term for evolutionary developmental biology.

evolution (evolutionary biology): the process of adaptation, most apparently seen as a distinctive change across successive generations of a population.

evolutionary biology: the subfield of biology concerned with the organic processes of evolution.

evolutionary psychology: the view that innate animal psychological traits are evolved adaptations.

evolutionary fitness: a measure of success in populations of organisms staying alive across generations.

evolvability: the capacity for adaptive evolution.

ex vivo (Latin for “out of the living”): something which takes place outside an organism. Contrast in vivo.

exaptation: a pre-adaptation. Elisabeth Vrba and Stephen Jay Gould coined exaptation to avoid the teleological implications of pre-adaptation. See pre-adaptation.

executive function (aka cognitive control): a mental process necessary to control behavior. Executive functions develop during childhood and change as life progresses.

executive system (aka cognitive control): a hypothesized system in psychology for management of cognitive processes, including working memory, reasoning, problem-solving, decisions, and planning.

exocarp (aka epicarp): the outermost layer of a fruit pericarp.

exocrine gland: a gland of the exocrine system that secretes it essential product via a duct. Sweat, saliva and mammary glands are exemplary. The liver also acts as an exocrine gland (bile ducts).

exocrine system: a system of glands that secrete their products via ducts. Contrast endocrine system.

exogamy: the custom of marrying outside the immediate social group.

exorcism: the exiling of evil spirits.

experience (noun): a conceptualized event.

existence: corporeality, including both matter and energy. See actuality, manifestation, Nature, phenomenon.

existential: grounded in experience; empirical.

existentialism: the philosophic opinion that individual experience is important in defining meaning, beyond the physical sciences; popular in continental Europe from 1930 to the mid-20th century. Søren Kierkegaard is generally considered the first existentialist philosopher, though he did not use the term. Jean-Paul Sartre was the quintessential existentialist.

exocytosis: the cellular process of secreting proteins outside the cell. Contrast endocytosis.

exogamy (sociology) (aka outbreeding): marriage outside a specific group as required by custom or law. Contrast endogamy.

exogenous (biology): originating outside an organism. Contrast endogenous.

exon: a polynucleotide sequence in a nucleic acid that codes for protein synthesis. An exon is copied and spliced together with other such sequences to form messenger RNA. Compare intron.

exoskeleton: an external skeleton. Arthropods have exoskeletons. Contrast endoskeleton.

exosome: a saucer-shaped vesicle, produced by most eukaryotic cells for intercellular communication.

exosphere: the outermost layer of the atmosphere, reaching halfway to the Moon (190,000 km).

exothermic reaction: a chemical reaction that releases thermal energy. Contrast endothermic reaction.

expect: to think that a certain event will occur. See anticipate.

expectation: awaiting an event or outcome considered at least likely if not certain. See anticipate.

expected value (mathematics): the average, or mean, from a large statistical sample or many repetitious experimental results.

experience (noun): a conceptualized event.

exponent (mathematics) (aka power): how many times to use a number in a multiplication.

exponentiation: the raising of a number to a given power.

expression (mathematics) (aka function): a finite combination of symbols within a mathematical context.

Expressionism: a modernist movement of painting and poetry which originated in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Expressionism’s defining motif was to present the world from a subjective perspective.

expressive leader (aka socioemotional leader): a leader who keeps up morale. Contrast instrumental leader.

expressivity halo: the phenomena of judging rapport positively because someone is emotively expressive.

extein: the portion of a protein receiving an intron. See intein.

extensive property: a physical property of a system that depends upon system size or materiality. Examples include mass and volume. Contrast intensive property.

external fertilization: a form of fertilization by which a sperm unites with an egg cell external to the bodies of the reproducing individuals. Contrast internal fertilization, where a female is inseminated via copulation.

externality (economics): an unintended by-product of making something. Waste and pollution are exemplary externalities.

extinction: the demise of a species. See background extinction, mass extinction.

extinction event: a period of mass extinction.

extracellular matrix (ECM): a biological matrix composed of different glycosylated proteins that create attachment bases for cells, holding tissue together without direct contact between neighboring cells. Glycocalyx is a common ECM.

extraversion (aka extroversion): the state of being with predominant interest outside one’s own mental self. Contrast introversion.

extremophile: an organism that thrives in an environment adverse to most life. See acidophile, alkaliphile, anaerobe, barophile, halophile, hyperthermophile, osmophile, piezophile, psychrophile, thermoacidophile, thermophile, xerophile. The preceding is an exemplary, but incomplete listing of extremophile types.

extra dimensions: see ED.

extrinsic motivation: socially-infused desire. Contrast intrinsic motivation. See mimetic desire.

exudate: exuded matter. Tree gum or sap is an exemplary exudate.

exudativore: an organism that eats exudate.

Exxon Valdez: an oil tanker, owned by Exxon Shipping Company, which struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on 24 March 1989, and spilled 40 million liters of oil. In the aftermath, Alaska tried to legally shield itself from future spills, but otherwise, nothing was done by governments to prevent further such mishaps. The lamed ship was towed to San Diego, California, refurbished and renamed, setting off again in June 1990 and worked until August 2012, when it was beached in Alang, India and dismantled.

eye: an organ of vision.

eye contact: 2 people looking into each other’s eyes. Compare gazing.

eyelash mite: a mite in the Demodex genus that resides on humans. Other Demodex mites live on other mammals.