Glossary – F


ƒ-stop (aka ƒ-number, focal ratio, relative aperture): the ratio of a lens’s focal length to the diameter of the entrance pupil. The ƒ-number is a measure of lens speed.

Facebook (2004–): an American online social-media service centered on sharing personal account profiles.

facilitated variation (aka positive selection): an adaptive change evoked via ecology.

fact: recall of an experienced event. Secondhand accounts are often taken as facts, thus introducing the issue of veracity, memory fallibility aside. The idea of fact as objective reality is laughable. See personal fact, social fact. Compare real.

“Facts are of not much use, considered as facts. They bewilder by their number and their apparent incoherency. Let them be digested into theory, however, and brought into mutual harmony, and it is another matter.” ~ English electrical engineer, physicist, and mathematician Oliver Heaviside

“What is perceived in pure awareness, unaffected by desire or fear, is fact.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

facultative parasitism: an organism that may resort to parasitism but does not rely upon its host for completion of its life cycle. Contrast obligate parasitism. Compare hemiparasitism.

faculty (psychology): an inborn or cultivated ability.

faculty psychology: the view of the mind as a collection of modules, or faculties.

Fahrenheit: an obsolete temperature scale, named after Daniel Fahrenheit, who suggested it in 1724. Fahrenheit is used only in Belize, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Palau, and the United States. The Fahrenheit scale was set upon 3 references: 1) a frozen mixture of water, ice, and salt (0°); 2) where water nominally freezes (32°); and 3) typical human body temperature in the mouth or under the armpit (96°). Water boils at 212° F. Conversion to Fahrenheit: [°F] = [K] × 95 − 459.67. Room temperature of 296 K is 73° F (23° C). See Celsius, Kelvin.

fairy cichlid (Neolamprologus brichardi): a cichlid endemic to the alkaline waters of Lake Tanganyika in East Africa.

fairy wasp (aka fairyfly): a parasitoid chalcid wasp in the family Mymaridae, found in tropical and temperate regions throughout the world; the smallest insect in the world.

fairywren: a family (Maluridae) of small, insectivorous passerines, with 15 species, endemic to Australia.

faith: belief in absence of fact.

fallacy: an error in reasoning.

false flag: a covert operation designed to deceive as to who carried out an attack. The term originated in naval warfare, where a belligerent would use a flag that was false to its true allegiance.

false memory: a memory which does not conform with actuality; remembering divergently from what actually happened.

false-consensus effect: a popular social phenomenon, where people believe that their own opinions, attitudes, and beliefs are more common than they actually are.

falsifiability (aka refutability): a statement (hypothesis or theory) which may be tested for validity through observation. The concept was introduced by Karl Popper in 1994 as a cornerstone of scientific epistemology. Statements which are not supported by falsifiability are pseudoscience.

falsify: to convey a fiction. See conceal, equivocate.

family (biological classification): a major biological group of shared morphological similarities. In the generally accepted taxonomy system, family is above genus and below order. For example, maple trees (family) are hardwoods (order), angiosperms (class), vascular plants (phylum), plants (kingdom). Pierre Magnol introduced family for plant groups in 1689, identifying 76 families. Carl Linnaeus incorporated family into his classification schema in 1751.

family (sociology): a group of people who extensively practice altruism and are committed to maintaining the group as a unit. See kinship system.

familism: a value system subordinating personal interests to those of the family. See collectivism. Contrast individualism.

fantasy: an imagining. Freud considered fantasy a defense mechanism.

Faraday wave (aka Faraday ripple): a nonlinear standing wave that appears on liquids enclosed in a vibrating receptacle; named after Michael Faraday.

fascicle: a small muscle bundle.

fascination: intense interest.

fascism: a form of radical authoritarian nationalism that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe, originating in Italy during World War 1. Economically, fascists favor state control of capitalism, with policies designed to achieve autarky (self-sufficiency).

fashion: a prevailing style of dress or custom in etiquette or socializing.

fast psychology: preference for immediate rewards over riskier, but potentially more profitable, behavior.

fasting: willing abstinence or reduction in consumption of food and possibly fluids, water excepted.

fat (chemistry): a broad group of compounds comprising carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen; a subgroup of lipids. See saturated fat, unsaturated fat.

fatty acid: a carboxylic acid with a long aliphatic tail (chain).

fauna (plural: faunas or faunae): animals (metazoa). Compare flora.

Faustian bargain: in the legend, Faust traded his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge. To strike a Faustian bargain is a willingness to sacrifice anything to satisfy a limitless desire for knowledge or power.

FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) (1908–): the US domestic intelligence and security service.

FDA (Food and Drug Administration) (1906–): the US federal agency responsible for the health and safety of ingestible products sold in the country. The FDA was established with the 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act. Its mandate expanded as processed foods with additives became more the norm, and as the food system became more consolidated and globalized. In its performance, the FDA is exemplary of (perhaps) well-intentioned government incompetence.

fear: an emotion of anticipating distress.

fecal bacteriotherapy (aka fecal microbiota transplantation): transplanting fecal microbes from one organism to another as a medical treatment.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC): the US federal corporation that provides deposit insurance to depositors in US banks. Created by the 1933 Banking Act to restore trust in the American banking system. More than 1/3rd of US banks failed in the Depression years before the FDIC’s creation, as bank runs were common.

federal funds rate (US): the interest rate at which depository institutions, such as banks and credit unions, lend reserve balances to each other overnight on an uncollateralized basis.

Federal Reserve (1913–): the central bank of the United States.

federalism: a federal system, where a nation is a union of states under a central government that is distinct from state governments.

feedforward: information conveyance about messages before they are sent.

feeling: a perceptual reaction that may develop into an emotion via emotive cognition. Compare emotion.

feldspar: a silicate-based mineral that makes up as much as 60% of the Earth’s crust.

felid (aka feline): an animal in the cat family (Felidae). Cats emerged ~25 MYA.

felsic: rocks, magma, and silicate materials enriched with aluminium, potassium, and/or sodium. Granite is the most common felsic mineral. Felsic is a portmanteau of “feldspar” and “silica.” Felsic rocks over 65% silica. Contrast mafic.

feminism: advocacy of socioeconomic equality between the genders.

femtometer (fm) (aka fmeometre): 10–15 of a meter.

fennel (Foeniculum vulgare): a hardy, perennial herb with a bulbous base, yellow flowers, and feathery leaves.

Fermat’s last theorem (aka Fermat’s conjecture): a 1637 number theory by Pierre de Fermat that no 3 positive integers (a, b, c) satisfy the equation an + bn = cn for any integer value of n greater than 2. The first successful proof was by Andrew Wiles in 1994.

Fermat’s principle (aka principle of least time): a 1658 optics principle by Pierre de Fermat that light always travels most efficiently: from one point to another in the least time.

fermentation (biochemistry) : a metabolic process by microbes and oxygen-starved muscle cells of converting sugar to alcohol, acids, and/or gases.

fermentation (biochemistry): a chemical process of breaking down molecules anaerobically. Glycolysis is a fermentation process.

fermentation (food): the transformation of food by bacteria, fungi, and the enzymes they produce.

fermion: a quantum of matter under quantum physics’ Standard Model; named after Enrico Fermi. Contrast boson.

fern (aka Pteridophyta): the first pteridophyte, emerging 360 mya.

Fernandina Island: the youngest and 3rd-largest Galápagos Island; named after King Ferdinand of Spain, who sponsored the voyages of Christopher Columbus.

Ferrel cell: an atmospheric circulation belt between 30° and 60° latitude. See Hadley cell and Polar cell. The Ferrel cell is named after William Ferrel, who explained in 1856 mid-latitude atmospheric circulation.

ferret: a mustelid.

ferromagnetism: the ability of a material to become a permanent magnet. Compare antiferromagnetism.

Fertile Crescent: the geographic area from the upper Nile River in Egypt through the Middle East to the Persian Gulf, including the regions of Mesopotamia and the Levant.

Ferula: a genus of flowering plants of 170 species in the carrot family, native to the Mediterranean region to central Asia, growing mostly in arid climates.

fetus: an unborn nascent vertebrate after passing through the earliest developmental stages, having attained its basic body structural plan. See embryo.

feudalism: a societal system prevalent in medieval Europe, with socioeconomic hierarchy based upon land holding. Feudalism usually emerged from decentralization or disintegration of an empire.

Fiat (1899 –): Italian automaker.

fiat money: a currency declared by a political authority to be legal tender.

fibrin: a white, insoluble, fibrous protein formed from fibrinogen which clots in the blood via thrombin but can be solubilized by certain enzymes (such as plasmin, pepsin, or trypsin).

fibrinogen: a glycoprotein that circulates in vertebrate blood.

fibroblast: a type of cell that synthesizes the structural framework (stroma) for animal tissues (extracellular matrix and collagen). Fibroblast plays a crucial role in wound healing.

fibroin: an insoluble protein comprising specifically layered amino acid sheets.

fiddler crab: a small semi-terrestrial crab of ~100 species with asymmetric claws. Fiddler crabs communicate via gestures.

Fidesz (1988–): a right-wing populist party which has dominated Hungarian politics since its landslide victory in 2010.

field: an energy associated with a spacetime point or region.

fig (aka common fig, Ficus carica): a dioecious tree or large shrub with a smooth white bark that produces an unusually structured fruit of the same name. There are ~850 species of trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytes, and hemiepiphytes in the Ficus genus.

fight-or-flight response (aka acute stress response): an autonomic physiological response to a perceived threat.

fignorance: fact ignorance. Compare pignorance. See ignorance.

figure-ground relationship: a perceptual distinction between an focal object and a diffuse background; a Gestalt concept.

filament (botany): the stalk with the anther at one end that comprises the stamen.

filefish (aka foolfish): a subtropical fish of 102 species in 27 genera that live in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Like triggerfish, their close relatives, filefish are rhomboid-shaped and display beautifully elaborate cryptic patterns.

film noir: a stylish crime melodrama, especially those emphasizing cynical and lustful attitudes.

filopodia: a slender cytoplasmic projection, employed for sensing, cell-to-cell interactions, and migration.

finalism: the belief that all events are determined by their goal.

finance: a monetary gyre; the pecuniary affairs of an entity (person, business, or state).

Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (US) (2009–2011): a commission legislatively created to “examine the causes of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States.”

financial cycle: the relative level of lending and investment in fixed capital. Compare business cycle.

fine-structure constant: the strength of electromagnetism.

fine-tuned universe: akin to the anthropic principle, the idea that the physical universe was composed to support life. Suggested and forwarded by Lawrence Henderson in 1913, Robert Dicke in 1961, Fred Hoyle in 1984, and John Gribbin and Martin Rees in 1989.

finch: a small to medium-sized songbird in the Fringillidae family the primarily eats seeds. Many birds in other families are commonly called finches.

fingerling: a small fish, typically used to characterize a developmental stage to becoming a larger fish.

fire: the process of rapid oxidation of a material in an exothermic (energy-releasing) chemical process termed combustion.

fire ant (aka red ant, ginger ant): a stinging ant in one of several species in the genus Solenopsis.

fire coral: a colonial marine organism that looks like coral but is more closely related to jellyfish and other stinging anemones.

fire piston: a handheld piston used to spark an ember within and so start a fire.

firefly: a winged beetle notable for its production of bioluminescence, commonly in the tail. 2,000 species are known, found in tropical and temperate zones, particularly marshlands and wet woods. A larva is a glowworm.

firmware: software that interfaces to hardware.

first law of thermodynamics: see 1st law of thermodynamics.

First World War: see World War 1.

first-past-the-post (election): a voting system in which the candidate who receives the most votes among a plurality wins.

fish: a gill-bearing, aquatic animal lacking limbs with digits. 32,000 species of fish are known. Most fish are endothermic.

fission (cytology): cell division into 2 (binary fission) or more (multiple fission) cells.

fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe): a unicellular eukaryote with rod-shaped cells which maintain their shape by growing exclusively through their cell tips; dividing via medial fission to produce 2 daughter cells of equal size.

fission-fusion sociality: a dynamic social group comprising a larger community with sub-groups, including families and close friendships. This awkward term refers to the dynamics of group fusion (merging), such as for sleeping together for safety, and fission (splitting up), such as foraging in small groups during the day. Various social animals have fission-fusion sociality, including fish (guppies), cetaceans (dolphins), ungulates (deer), elephants, most mammalian carnivores (lions, hyenas), and primates.

fitness (evolutionary biology): the relative ability to survive and reproduce.

flagellate: an organism or gamete with a whip-like organelle for propulsion.

flagellum (plural: flagella): a whip-like appendage protruding from a cell, employed for sensation and locomotion. Compare cilium.

flamingo: a wading bird in the Phoenicopteridae family, with 6 species.

Flanders: the Dutch-speaking northern part of Belgium.

flatworm (aka platyhelminth): a relatively simple unsegmented, bilateral (head and tail), soft-bodied worm. Flatworms have no specialized respiratory or circulatory organs. Their flatness lets oxygen and nutrients diffuse through them. Over half of the 15,000+ known flatworm species are parasitic. Compare roundworm.

flavonal: a flavonoid with a 3-hydroxyflavone backbone (signified by specific arrangement of oxygen and hydrogen).

flavonoid (aka bioflavonoid, (archaic) vitamin P): a class of plant secondary metabolite, used to color flowers, filter UV, and symbiotically fix nitrogen. There are over 6,000 flavonoids. Digested by humans, flavonoids act as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-microbial (bacterial, fungal, viral) and anti-cancer agent.

flavor (quantum mechanics): generic term for the qualities that distinguish the various quarks and leptons.

flea: a wingless, blood-sucking parasitic insect.

flicker fusion threshold (aka flicker fusion rate): the psychophysical frequency at which intermittent light stimulus is perceived as steady by a human.

floating point (number): computer representation of a real number without a fixed location for the decimal point.

flora (plural: florae or floras): plants. Compare fauna.

Flores: an island in the eastern half of Indonesia; one of the Lesser Sundra Islands.

floret: one of the small buds clustered together in a flower.

florigen: a plant signaling molecule that initiates flowering; also known as the protein flowering locus t (ft).

florin (1252–1533): a gold coin struck by the Republic of Florence of standard design and metal content (3.5368 grams of pure gold) during its entire time of coinage. In the 14th century 150 European states and city-states made their own copies of the florin. Whereas the gold content was constant, the monetary value of the florin in 1500 was 7 times that of its worth in 1252 when it was first struck (to equal the value of 1 lira in local currency).

flower (aka bloom, blossom): the reproductive structure of an angiosperm.

flower constancy: the practice of a foraging bee to specialize in harvesting from a certain flower species through a single trip or for days at a time.

fluid: a substance that deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress. Gases, plasmas, and liquids are fluids. Contrast solid.

fluid dynamics: the mechanics of fluid flow.

fluke (aka trematode): a parasitic flatworm.

fluoresce: reflect light at a different wavelength – typically longer – than that absorbed.

fluorine (F): the element with atomic number 9; molecularly diatomic (F2). At standard pressure, fluorine is a pale, yellow gas. With a –1 oxidation state, fluorine is the most electronegative element, and so a strong oxidant. Fluorine is the 13th most common element in Earth’s crust, naturally occurring as a fluoride ion. Fluorine is not essential biologically. The few organisms that employ fluorine in their biochemistry do so to make poisons.

fly: a small flying insect with a single pair of wings, adapted for aerial agility.

flycatcher: a perching bird (passerine) that darts out to capture insects on the wing.

focal length: a measure of the ability of an optical system to focus light. Focal length is used calculate magnification.

focal plane: the plane of principal focus.

fog: a low-lying cloud.

foliage: a mass of leaves as a plant feature.

folic acid (C19H19N7O6, aka vitamin M, vitamin B9): a water-soluble B vitamin essential in plants and animals for the synthesis of nucleic acids.

foliot: the earliest form of mechanical-clock escapement, comprising a crossbar with adjustable weights, for regulating the rate of oscillation of a verge or vertical spindle.

folivore: an animal that primarily eats leaves.

folkway: a traditional behavior that is a norm. Compare more.

follicle: an animal cell containing a cavity.

fomentation: instigation of riotous activity.

Food and Drug Administration: see FDA.

food chain: a hierarchy of organism consumption, from autotroph through herbivore(s) to predator(s).

food security: the absence of hunger.

food web: the energy production and consumption interrelations between biota in an ecosystem.

forage: search for food.

forage fish (aka prey fish, bait fish): small pelagic fish which are prey for larger predators.

foraminifera: a large phylum of amoeboid protists; among the most common marine plankton species.

force (physics) (aka interaction): an influence that causes a change in Nature. There are 5 known forces: coherence, strong (nuclear), weak (nuclear), electromagnetism, and gravity.

Ford Motor Company (1903–): American automobile manufacturer, founded by Henry Ford.

forebrain: the cerebrum.

Forelius pruinosus: a small ant fond of sweets and warm weather, endemic to the United States and Mexico. The catalpa tree hires F. pruinosus as bodyguards: oozing nectar on their branches when caterpillars come to gobble their leaves. The ants dispatch what they perceive as a potential rival to their food supply.

formaldehyde ((CH2O(H-CHO)) aka methanal): a naturally occurring organic compound that is a precursor to many other chemical compounds.

formic acid (CH2O2) (aka methanoic acid): a simple carboxylic acid, produced by ants and meliponines for defense. Formica is the Latin word for ant.

Formica polyctena: a eusocial northern European red wood ant with a distinctive caste system.

formose reaction: the formation of a sugar from formaldehyde; a portmanteau of formaldehyde and aldose.

Fortran (derived from Formula Translating System): a programming language developed by IBM 1954–1957 for scientific and engineering applications.

fossil fuel: a fuel formed from organic matter protractedly pressed and heated into various forms. Coal comprises ancient dead plants pressed into rock resemblance. Petroleum originates from archaic algae and zooplankton, turned into a viscous brew. Fossil fuels take tens of millions of years to form, and so, in their extraction, are nonrenewable resources. { Spokes 6 }

fossil fuel: a fuel formed from dead organisms. Coal, natural gas, and petroleum are fossil fuels. { Spokes other than 6 }

fougèrite (aka green rust (Fe2+4 Fe3+2(OH)12[CO3]·3H2O)): a naturally-occurring mineral.

fovea (aka fovea centralis): the spot of sharpest color vision in the human eye, by virtue of being packed with cone receptors, each with its own dedicated neuron. See foveola.

foveola: a 0.35 mm in diameter spot in the center of the human fovea, with the densest packing of cones in the retina, thereby affording the highest visual acuity.

Fox News (1996–): an American right-wing news television channel created by Rupert Murdoch.

fracking (hydraulic fracturing): the extraction of oil and gas via injection of high-pressure fluid into shale formations.

fractal: a set of scale-invariant, self-similar, iterative patterns.

fractional distillation: the separation of a chemical mixture into components (fractions), typically by heating.

fractional particle: a subatomic particle (e.g., electron) exhibiting dichotomous or incongruent properties.

fragmentation (biology): a form of asexual reproduction, where a new organism grows from a fragment of the parent. Some plants are capable of fragmentation.

Frailejón (aka Fraylejón): a daisy subshrub of 88 species in the Espeletia genus which lives in the páramo ecosystem.

framework (psychology): a conceptual scheme or system.

framing (psychology): perceiving a situation within a certain context or from a specific perspective.

framing effect: bias from the context in which a situation is considered, the bias typically involving personal gain or loss.

France: a nation in Western Europe that emerged as a political power in the Late Middle Ages. France has had an outsized influence on Western culture.

Francia (aka Kingdom of the Franks): the territory of the Franks from Late Antiquity into the Early Middle Ages; the geopolitical realm roughly corresponding to modern-day France.

Franconia: the region in south-central Germany where the Franks settled in the 6th century.

frankfish: (aka aba, African nightfish, Gymnarchus niloticus): a freshwater electric fish, endemic to African swamps and the edges of waterways with vegetation. Frankfish grow to 1.6 m and 19 kg.

frankpledge: a pledge by someone out of jail that he would be responsible for producing someone in jail to the court for trial, so that the accused may be released.

Franks: a confederation of Germanic tribes that occupied the Lower and Middle Rhine river valleys during the 3rd century. Some Frankish tribes raided Roman territory, while others joined Roman troops in Gaul.

Franklin’s gull (aka prairie rose gull, Leucophaeus pipixcan): a small migratory gull native to the western hemisphere.

free electron: an electron not bound to an atom.

free rider: an organism that gains a benefit without the usual effort or cost.

free surface: a coherent interface layer in a fluid owing to no parallel shear stress.

free will: the philosophic and theological idea that humans have the power of choice in their behaviors. The issue arose in context of God being omniscient (if God knows all, are people really free to choose?). A prominent feature of existentialism is the concept of free will as a curse. Jean-Paul Sartre spoke of individuals as “condemned to be free.” Free will is theologically denied by proponents of determinism.

free-tailed bat: a bat in the Molossidae family; typically robust and strong fliers with relatively long and narrow wings. The term free-tailed refers to their unusually long tail.

freedom (psychology, economics): the mental state of release from materialism. Contrast materialism.

freeloader fly (aka jackal fly): a small dark fly in the Milichiidae family that is a kleptoparasite of predatory invertebrates.

freezing: the physical process of a liquid turning into a solid.

freeloader fly (aka jackal fly): a small, dark fly in the Milichiidae family that is a kleptoparasite of predatory invertebrates.

French and Indian War (aka 7 Years’ War (the term used by Canadians and Europeans)) (1754–1763): the North American theater of the larger 7 Years’ War, where the British fought the French and various native (Indian) tribes.

(French) Wars of Religion (1562–1598): a series of 7 religiously-fueled wars that killed 2–4 million and resulted in granting the Huguenots a degree of political freedom.

French Revolution (1789–1799): a decade of social and political upheaval in France. Widely regarded as one of the most important events in political history, the French Revolution triggered the decline of theocracies and absolute monarchies around the world.

French Revolutionary Wars (1792–1802): a series of military conflicts between the French First Republic and several European monarchies.

frequency: the number of repetitious occurrences per time unit.

freshet: a stream of freshwater flowing to the sea.

frigatebird (aka pirate bird): a pelagic piscivore in the family Fregatidae, with food most often obtained on the wing. Frigatebirds occasionally rob other seabirds and snatch seabird chicks; behaviors which bestowed the family name.

frog: a largely carnivorous group of tailless amphibians with short, stout bodies. With ~5,000 species, frogs are one of the most diverse vertebrate orders. Most frogs live in tropical rainforests. Warty frogs tend to be termed toads. This is an informal convention, not based on evolutionary descent or taxonomy.

frog lung fluke (aka Haematoloechus medioplexus): a parasitic flatworm (trematode) that lives its adult life stage in the lungs of frogs.

frondose: bearing fronds.

frontal lobe: one of the 4 major lobes of the cerebral cortex in the mammalian brains. The frontal lobe is especially dopamine sensitive, handling reward, attention, short-term memory, motivation, and planning. See parietal lobe, temporal lobe, occipital lobe.

fructose (C6H12O6): a simple sugar found in fruit and honey, differing from glucose in having a ketonic rather aldehydic carbonyl group.

frugivore: an animal that prefers a fruit-based diet.

fruit (botany): a plant ovary containing seeds that is a sweet-tasting gift to animals by a flowering plant in a gambit to disseminate its progeny.

fruit fly: a fly in the Tephritidae family that primarily feeds on unripe or ripe fruit. Sometimes called a “true” fruit fly, as contrasted to vinegar flies that are also called “fruit flies.” Compare vinegar fly.

frustration: an emotive state of dissatisfaction arising from a thwarted desire.

frustum (geography): the volume of a solid cone or pyramid after slicing off the top on a plane parallel to the base.

fry: a recently hatched fish.

full-life hypothesis: a hypothesis by Ishi Nobu that all organisms may live natural “full” lives via rate-of-living related to lifespan.

fulling (aka tucking or walking): a step in wool cloth-making to clean the cloth and make it thicker.

fumarolic (vent): a hole in a volcanic region from which hot gases and vapors issue.

function (mathematics): a relation between a set of inputs and a set of outputs, originally idealized as how a varying quantity (codomain, dependent variable) depends upon another quantity (domain, independent variable(s)).

functional fixedness: considering an object usable only a certain way.

functional group (chemistry): the specific group of atoms within a molecule responsible for the molecule’s characteristic chemical reactions.

functionalism (psychology): the psychological philosophy that cognition and behavior afford adaptation to circumstances. Historically, functionalism was a response to structuralism.

functionalism (sociology): a vague sociological perspective which sees society as a complex system. Compare symbolic interactionism, conflictism.

fungiculture: culturing fungi for food.

fundamental attribution error (aka correspondence bias, attribution effect): the tendency to put undue emphasis on the internal dynamics of personality to explain someone else’s behavior in a given situation, rather than considering circumstance. Contrast actor-observer bias.

fundamentalism (religion): strict literalism to religious dogma and maintaining in-group and out-group distinctions.

fungivore: a fungus eater.

fungus (plural: fungi): a classification of eukaryotes that includes microorganisms such as yeast and molds, as well as macroscopic mushrooms.

funnel ant: a non-aggressive ant in the Aphaenogaster genus, with over 200 species found throughout much of the world, southern Africa and South America excepted. Much of funnel ants’ food comes from tended aphids that live on plant roots. Hence, they are rarely seen on the surface. The funnel-shaped openings they construct and employ are traps for arthropods, upon which they feed.

fur: the hair of animals, especially mammals.

fusion (physics): the energetic process of multiple atomic nuclei fusing.

future bias: a bias towards the sanguinity of events in the future, typically optimistic. See present bias.