Unraveling Reality {55}

Glossary

~ : approximately.

4D (aka spacetime): the 4 dimensions of everyday experience: 3 of space (3D) + 1 of time. See HD and ED.

A

absurdism (philosophy): the inherent conflict between the human wont to find meaning and value, and the inability to truly do so.

ΛCDM (Lambda cold dark matter) model: the current standard cosmological model, positing a 13.82 bya Big Bang based upon the first observable light; physics-defying cosmic inflation; the disproven claim of a homogeneous and isotropic universe; and with cosmic expansion presently accelerating. ΛCDM is false on multiple fronts.

actuality: the world experienced sensorially. Contrast reality.

adaptation (evolutionary biology): the teleological process of adjusting to ecological circumstance.

adaptive immune system (aka acquired immune system): the portion of the immune system that learns to recognize specific pathogens. Compare innate immune system.

aesthetics (aka esthetics): the branch of philosophy concerned with beauty.

aether (aka ether, quintessence): a long-presumed ethereal substance that pervades empty space; eventually abandoned by physicists in the early 20th century after a futile search.

affect (psychology): emotion.

affect heuristic: decision-making via affect.

alchemy: the study of matter transmutation, which evolved into chemistry.

alga (plural: algae): a eukaryotic protist, usually unicellular or colonial, that photosynthesize via chloroplasts.

algorithm: a step-by-step procedure, often employed for mathematical problems. Compare heuristic.

Allāh: the Islamic God.

alpha particle: 2 protons and 2 neutrons bound together into a particle identical to a helium nucleus. Comprising the equivalent of doubly charged helium atoms (stripped of 2 electrons), alpha particles are a relatively slow-moving particulate radiation (alpha decay).

altricial: animals that are relatively immature and immobile at birth or hatching, and so require parental care. Many mammals are altricial. Contrast precocial.

Alzheimer’s disease: an incurable degenerative disease leading to dementia. Symptoms advance to confusion, irritability, mood swings, trouble with language, and memory loss.

Amazon molly (Poecilia formosa): a small (5.5 cm) freshwater fish native to Mexico and southeast Texas which reproduces via gynogenesis.

amino acid: an organic molecule comprising a carboxylic acid group, an amine group, and a side chain specific to the specific amino acid. The key elements in amino acids are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, with other elements found in the side chain.

amoeba (plural: amoebas or amoebae): a protozoan with flexible form.

amplitude: the height of a wave.

analyze: to ascertain and separate an entity (material or abstract) into constituent parts or elements; to determine essential features. Contrast synthesize.

angiosperm: a flowering plant, descended from gymnosperms. Angiosperms arose 245 mya, incorporating several innovations, including leaves, pollen, flowers, and fruit.

anglerfish: an order of teleost (ray-finned) fishes, so-named for the fleshy growth from their heads which acts as a lure.

animal: a kingdom of eukaryotic heterotrophs. Most animals are motile. The other kingdoms of eukaryotes are fungi, plants, and protists.

animism: the doctrine that that there is no separation between the physical and spiritual world, and that a vital energetic force is inherent in all of Nature. Contrast vitalism.

antelope: an even-toed ungulate native to Africa and Eurasia.

anthropology: the study of human cultures and societies.

antiferromagnetism: the material state where the magnetic moments of atoms or molecules align in a regular pattern of neighboring electron spins pointing in opposite directions. Compare ferromagnetism.

antimatter: antiparticle matter. Matter encountering antimatter results in their mutual annihilation.

antiparticle: the electromagnetically opposite partner to a subatomic matter particle. For instance, the positron is the antimatter equivalent of the electron.

apatite: a group of phosphate minerals.

ape (aka great ape): a tailless primate; not a monkey.

arborescent (botany): a plant with wood; a treelike plant. See herbaceous.

archaea: the robust and versatile group of prokaryotes from which eukaryotes arose. Typically gregarious, archaea are commonly mutualists or commensals. No archaeal pathogens or parasites are known.

archipelago (aka island chain): a clustered group of islands.

arthropod: an invertebrate with an exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed appendages. Arachnids, crustaceans, and insects are arthropods. There are presently at least 6 million different arthropods.

Asperger syndrome (aka Asperger’s): a high-functioning form of autism, where cognitive, social, and language skills may seem on par with normal people. Individuals with Asperger’s may have good memory but may struggle with abstractions. An absorbing interest in a special subject is typical of Asperger syndrome. Many use language oddly when they speak: the very thing that prompted the profiling of such people by Hans Asperger in 1943.

astrocyte (aka astroglial cell): a star-shaped glial cell in the brain and spinal cord.

Atlantic silverside (aka spearing in the northeast US; Menidia menidia): a small (15 cm) fish on the eastern seaboard of North America.

atom: the smallest particle of an element, comprising at the simplest a proton and an electron (hydrogen).

ATP (adenosine triphosphate): the universal molecule for cellular energy storage and intracellular energy transfer.

Australasia: a region of Oceania comprising New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and neighboring islands.

autism: an intelligence system developmental disorder characterized by impaired communication and social interaction, and restricted and repetitive behavior. See Asperger’s.

autophagy (aka autophagocytosis, macroautophagy): the breakdown and recycling of cellular components for cleanliness and nutritional reasons.

autopoiesis: a dynamic of self-sustaining activity; a system capable of maintaining and reproducing itself. A biological cell maintaining itself is an example of autopoiesis. Compare homeostasis.

autotroph: an organism makes its own food. Autotrophs are lithotrophs or photoautotrophs. Lithotrophs consume electrons from inorganic chemicals for energy. Phototrophs take light as their primary energy source. Contrast heterotroph.

avian: relating to birds.

axiom: an assumed self-evident truth requiring no proof.

awareness: the quality of being conscious in the present moment. See consciousness.

B

B cell: a lymphocyte of the adaptive immune system that makes antibodies against antigens. Compare T cell.

bacteria (singular: bacterium): a taxonomic domain of single-celled prokaryotes, abundant in most ecosystems. Bacteria play vital roles in various facets of the biosphere.

bark beetle: a beetle of 220 genera and 6,000 species that reproduces in the inner bark of trees.

baryon: a composite particle of ordinary matter: protons and neutrons, which each consist of 3 quarks.

BCE (acronym for Before the Common Era): the era before the supposed birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Year zero is unused. Dates before 1 ce (common era) are indicated as BCE. CE dates are typically not denoted.

bear: a large, carnivorous mammal, widespread throughout the world, mostly in the northern hemisphere. There are only 8 extant species of bears.

beauty: qualities which excite pleasure.

beetle: an order of insect (Coleoptera) with wings and shell-like body protection.

belief: a habit of the mind to axiomatically treat ideas as true; confidence in abstractions as real.

Bell’s theorem: a 1964 theorem by John Stewart Bell that quantum mechanics must necessarily violate either the principle of locality or counterfactual definiteness. Bell held that locality is violated and counterfactual definiteness applies.

beryllium (Be): the element with atomic number 4; a relatively rare element. Within the cores of stars, beryllium is typically fused to create heavier elements. Beryllium only naturally occurs combined with other elements: in minerals, notably beryl (aquamarine, emerald).

Bible, The: a collection of ancient texts held sacred in Judaism and Christianity.

Big Bang: the hypothesis that the universe began with an initial energetic cosmic explosion from a dense, hot state of singularity. That this universe started with a Big Bang ~14 bya is a myth. The universe is much older. See cosmic inflation.

biofilm: a colony of prokaryotes encased in a stabilizing polymer matrix; commonly known as slime.

bioelement: a planetary ecological element. The bioelements include the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biota.

biology: the science of life.

biome: an area where organisms live with similar conditions, both geographically and climatically.

biomechanics: biological mechanics; the study of the structure and function of biological systems by means of physical mechanisms.

biota: the organisms in an environment.

bird: a class of feathered, bipedal, endothermic, egg-laying vertebrates. Birds descended from maniraptoran theropod dinosaurs. 10,000 living species are known.

black body: an idealized opaque/non-reflective object which absorbs all incident electromagnetic radiation. The term was coined by Gustav Kirchhoff in 1862.

black-body radiation: an electromagnetic radiation about a black body. Black-body radiation has a specific spectrum and intensity that depends only on the temperature of the body.

black hole: an infinitely dense celestial void that draws in matter and light, rendering the singularity black.

bliss: the feeling of joyful contentment which emanates from connection with Ĉonsciousness. Bliss is symptomatic of enlightenment. Compare happiness.

blood: an animal body fluid employed to transport nutrients to and waste products from cells.

bone: a rigid organ and gland that serves as an endoskeleton in vertebrates.

bonobo (Pan paniscus): a peaceable ape, closely related to the chimpanzee and human species. Bonobos have a matriarchal society. Bonobos are notably fond of sexual behaviors.

Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC): a coherent state of matter for a dilute gas of weakly interacting bosons cooled near 0 Kelvin. BEC exhibits extraordinary quantum mechanical properties at a macroscopic scale. Named after Satyendra Bose and Albert Einstein, who predicted this matter state in 1924.

boson: a quantum that carries a fundamental force according to quantum physics’ Standard Model; named after Satyendra Bose. Contrast fermion.

botany: the study of plants.

bower: an attractive architectural display.

bowerbird: a medium-sized passerine, of 20 species, found in the Pacific region. Male bowerbirds construct elaborate bowers to attract and seduce mates.

Bragg peak: the apex of ionizing radiation; named after its 1903 discoverer, William Henry Bragg.

brane: a string-theory construct of an hd membrane.

braneworld: a physical model using branes. Braneworld models are extensions from earlier M-theory and D-brane models.

Bronze Age (roughly 3300–1300 bce): the middle period of the three-age system, noted for the metallurgical production of bronze; the Stone Age preceded, the Iron Age followed.

Buddhism: an offshoot religion of Hinduism, founded upon the teachings of Buddha.

BYA: billions of years ago. by as an acronym for “billion years” is deprecated in modern geophysics, in favor of Ga, shorthand for gigaannum; go figure.

C

C4 plant: a plant that produces oxaloacetic acid, with 4 carbon atoms, as its 1st-stage photosynthetic product.

cactus (plural: cactuses or cacti): a spiny succulent perennial of over 2,000 species in ~175 genera.

Caenorhabditis elegans: a free-living (non-parasitic), transparent, soil-dwelling roundworm (nematode), ~1 mm in length.

calcium (Ca): the element with atomic number 20. Calcium is a soft, gray, alkaline earth metal.

calcium carbonate (CaCO3): a common compound in rocks, and the main ingredient of pearls and animal shells, including egg shells and in marine organisms.

calcium phosphate: a family of minerals with calcium ions (Ca2+) coupled with phosphate anions. Calcium phosphates are employed in many organisms.

Cambrian (542–485 mya): the 1st period of 6 in the Palaeozoic era, when the fossil record evidences a vast proliferation of complex life. The name derives from Latin for the area in Wales where the best Cambrian rocks in Britain are exposed.

Cameroon: a country on the mid-west coast of Africa.

capitalism: an economic system based upon private ownership of resources and their exploitation for exclusive profit.

carbon (C): the element with atomic number 6; an extremely friendly element, with 4 electrons available to form covalent bonds. Life is based upon molecules made with a carbon backbone.

carbon dioxide (CO2): a colorless gas. Plants breathe CO2; animals exhale it.

Carboniferous (359–299 mya): a period during the Palaeozoic era, following the Devonian period and preceding the Permian. Vast forests covered the land. Their demise produced the coal beds after which the period is named. Amphibians were dominant. Arthropods were ubiquitous.

catalyst: a substance (molecule) that causes a change in rate of a chemical reaction by lowering the energy necessary to effect a reaction.

categorize (aka classify): to arrange or organize via criteria.

category: a group of related concepts.

causality (aka (noun) cause and effect, (adjective) cause-and-effect): the idea that one phenomenon provokes a succeeding phenomenon. Contrast correlation.

cause (verb) (physics): to effect; to bring about.

CE (acronym for Common Era): denoted years after the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. See BCE.

cell (biology): the basic physical unit of living organisms.

cell division: eukaryotic cell replication.

cephalopod: a class of marine animals in the mollusk phylum, including squid, octopuses, cuttlefish, and nautilus, among the over 800 extant species.

cerebellum: the region of the brain instrumental in balance and motor control.

chameleon: a distinctive and highly specialized clade of Old World lizards, with over 200 species. Many can change color at will.

Chasmagnathus granulatus: a small (0.2–3.7 cm), intertidal burrowing crab that fears and despises seagulls.

chemistry: the study of matter, especially chemical reactions.

chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes): a medium-sized ape, closely related to bonobos and humans.

China: the largest country in east Asia, with the world’s greatest population: 1.42 billion people in 2019. Over 90% of China’s people live in the eastern half of the country, which has most of the major cities and nearly all arable land. China has one of the oldest extant civilizations.

chlorophyll: the green biomolecule in cyanobacteria and the chloroplasts of algae and plants that absorbs light for photosynthesis.

chloroplast: the photosynthetic organelle (plastid) found in algae and plant cells.

Christianity: a religion based upon hero worship of Jesus of Nazareth as the supposed son of God.

chromosome: an elaborately coiled package of genetic material within a eukaryotic cell.

cilium (plural: cilia): a hair-like protuberance from a cell, employed for sensory perception and/or locomotion (motile cilia). Flagella and motile cilia comprise a group of organelles termed undulipodia. Compare flagellum.

clade: a group of biological taxa that includes all descendants of a common ancestor.

cladism (evolutionary biology): categorization based upon shared characteristics.

cognition: the process of understanding, involving both awareness and judgment. Compare mentation.

coherence: the intelligent interaction behind Nature. Like Ĉonsciousness, coherence localizes.

coherence consciousness: the 6th state of consciousness, with awareness of the unity of Nature. Compare enlightenment, realization.

collagen: the main structural protein used for connective tissues in animals. Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals.

Collective: people who follow their biological urges as natural imperative. The Collective are slaves to their minds. As believers in matterism and in taking existence at face value, the Collective are naïve realists.

compose: to form the substance of.

compound (chemistry): a combination of elements bonded into a molecule.

concept: an abstract construct involving discriminatory categorization.

conceptualize, conceptualization: mentally resolving perceptions into a concept.

cone cell: a photoreceptor cell type in animals responsible for color vision, so-called for the cell’s conical shape.

confirmation bias: the tendency to search for, interpret, and prioritize information in a way that confirms a held hypothesis or belief.

conscious: thoughts, emotions, and desires of which one is aware. Compare subconscious.

consciousness: the platform for awareness in an individual life constituent, such as a protein, cell, or organism. The 4 nominal states of human consciousness are awake, asleep, dreaming, and transcendence. The 3 elevated states of consciousness are enlightenment, coherence consciousness, and realization. A person may be in multiple states of consciousness simultaneously (enlightenment is essentially the sustained state of transcendence while awake). Compare Ĉonsciousness.

Ĉonsciousness: the unified field of consciousness. Ĉonsciousness naturally localizes into individualized consciousnesses. Compare consciousness.

conspecific: of the same species. Contrast interspecific.

continent: a gigantic landmass, 7 of which are currently extant on Earth: Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

continued-influence effect: the tendency to believe previously learned misinformation even after learning of its falsity. The continued-influence effect is one aspect of confirmation bias.

convergent evolution (aka parallel evolution): the independent evolution of similar traits in organisms of different clades.

Cooper pair: 2 fermions, typically electrons, tightly bound together (entangled) via a phonon. Named after Leon Cooper, who first described the phenomenon in 1956.

coral: a colonial marine invertebrate comprising numerous identical polyps.

correlation: the fact that multiple phenomena coincide. Contrast causality.

cosmic inflation: a myth about the early cosmos, claiming that the universe had a near-instantaneous massive inflation 3×10–36 seconds after the onset of the Big Bang. Cosmic inflation outrageously violates physics as understood.

cosmogony: a conjecture about the origin of the universe.

cosmological principle: the false axiom that the distribution of matter in the universe is homogeneous and isotropic when viewed on a large-enough scale.

cosmology: the study of the universe.

counterfactual: contrary to facts.

counterfactual (physics): values which could have been measured but were not. This is distinct from normal usage of the term.

counterfactual definiteness (CFD): a theory that phenomena are consistent in repeatability, based upon probability. CFD is related to quantum mechanics and the uncertainty principle, regarding locality and entanglement. The validity of CFD was under consideration in Bell’s theorem.

crab: a 10-footed (decapoda) crustacean, typically with a thick exoskeleton and a pair of claws on its front legs.

crustacean: a large group of arthropods, including barnacles, krill, crabs, crayfish, shrimp, and lobster. There are at least 67,000 species, ranging from 0.1 mm to 3.8 meters in size. Most crustaceans are aquatic, but some, such as woodlice, are terrestrial.

crystal: a solid characterized by an orderly, repeating 3d pattern. A lattice is a typical crystalline pattern.

curse of knowledge: the cognitive bias of assuming that others know what one knows. The curse of knowledge is revealed when someone, such as a teacher, presents inscrutable information, mistakenly presuming that the listener has the background needed to understand what is being presented.

cuttlefish: a cephalopod marine animal. Cuttlefish are mollusks, not fish.

cyanobacteria: photosynthetic eubacteria; often called blue-green algae, though they are not in the same group as algae.

cyclic cosmology: a model that posits the universe as eternal. The cyclic model supposes a multiverse.

cytokine: a group of small proteins critical to cell signaling.

cytology: the study of living cells.

D

D-brane: a higher-dimensional (hd) cosmological membrane.

damselfish: a ~250-species family of mostly marine fish. Many reside among tropical coral reefs. Damselfish are deep-bodied and usually have forked tails. Many are brightly colored. Damselfish are lively, quick, and are typically aggressively territorial.

Dark Ages: the 5th–10th centuries in Europe; the early Middle Ages, following the fall of the Roman Empire. Coined by Francesco Petrarch in the 1330s, the term is generally disparaged by contemporary historians for its negative overtone; yet its aptness cannot be denied.

dark energy: an aberration in ΛCDM of a hypothetical energy that permeates 3d space, exerting negative pressure, thus tending to accelerate the expansion of the universe.

dark matter: a discredited hypothetical matter that supposedly exists extra-dimensionally (ed), lending only gravitational distortion to experiential 3d space. Despite extensive search, no evidence of dark matter has been found. Contrast baryon, light matter.

Darwinism (aka natural selection): the disproven hypothesis of Charles Darwin that evolution transpires only over millions of years by random rearrangements of matter that create species which endure or are eliminated via competition with other species (“natural selection” via “survival of the fittest”).

“Natural Selection almost inevitably cause much Extinction of the less improved forms of life.” ~ Charles Darwin

deduction (logic): the method of inferring a conclusion about particulars from general principles. Contrast induction.

Dehnel phenomenon: the shrinkage in shrews and least weasels of body size – including brain and other major organs – for the winter, and subsequent size recovery in spring; discovered by August Dehnel in 1949.

desire: mental want. See motivation.

determinism: belief in cause and effect, from which emanates the doctrine that all facts and events exemplify natural laws.

diffraction: the bending of energy waves around obstacles; wave fronts that modulate when passing on the edge of an opaque object, causing a redistribution of energy within the front.

diploid: a cell having 2 sets of chromosomes. Most eukaryotes are diploid: 2 sets, 1 from each parent, typically twined through sexual reproduction. Humans are diploid. Compare haploid.

Dirac equation: a relativistic quantum-mechanical wave equation that characterizes the spin of fermions; created by Paul Dirac in 1928.

Dirac fermion: a fermion with mass and charge; named after Paul Dirac. Ordinary matter is made of Dirac fermions. Compare Weyl fermion, Majorana fermion.

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid (C5H10O4)): a double-stranded molecular chain that serves as a physical storage medium for basic templates to build bioproducts. DNA is supposed the molecular-level carrier of genetic inheritance. See RNA.

dopamine (C8H11NO2): a hormone and neurotransmitter, associated in mammals with reward-motivated behavior.

Doppler shift (aka Doppler effect): a change in observed frequency relative to the source of a generated wave; proposed by Christian Doppler in 1842.

dorsal fin: a fin, typically located on the backs of various unrelated aquatic vertebrates, which helps stabilize the animal.

dualism: the metaphysical belief that reality is bifurcated between the physical and the mental (or spiritual). Contrast monism.

E

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.

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

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.

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

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

ectotherm: an animal species without internal means to maintain thermal homeostasis. Ectothermic species, 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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

electron: a negatively charged fermion.

electron diffraction: reference to the wave nature of electrons.

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

embryo: an early stage of development in multicellular diploid eukaryotes (e.g., plants and animals that sexually reproduce).

emergence: the way that complexity arises from a multiplicity of simple interactions. More elementally, emergence refers to actuality becoming phenomenal on a moment-by-moment (Plank time) basis.

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

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

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.

endocrine gland: a ductless animal gland that secretes hormones directly into the bloodstream, thereby regulating a body function.

endocrine system: a messaging system using hormones.

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

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.

energy (physics): the idea of an immaterial force acting upon or producing 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.

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.

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.

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

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

environment: a designated spatial region or conceptual realm.

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

epidemiology: the study of health and disease in populations.

epidermis: the outermost layer of cells (in animals, the skin).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

evolvability: the capacity for adaptive evolution.

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

experience: a conceptualized event.

extra dimensions (ED): the dimensions beyond the 4 (4D) that we experience (time & 3D space). See HD.

extra dimensions: see ED.

F

fact: recall of an experienced event. Compare real.

faith: belief in absence of fact.

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.

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

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

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

fern: a successful pteridophyte that arose 360 mya.

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

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

fignorance: fact ignorance. Compare pignorance. See ignorance.

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

fine-structure constant: the strength of electromagnetism.

first law of thermodynamics: the theory that the total energy in an isolated system is immutable: that energy can be neither created nor destroyed in a closed system.

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

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

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

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

fly: a small flying insect with a single pair of wings.

fomentation: instigation of riotous activity.

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.

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

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.

frequency: the number of repetitious occurrences per time unit.

fruit: a sweet-tasting gift by a flowering plant in a gambit to disseminate its seeds.

fruit fly: a fly that primarily feeds on unripe or ripe fruit.

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

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

G

galactic web: the interconnection of galaxies via gravitational and energetic filaments.

galaxy: via a massive black hole, a gravitationally bound cluster of star systems and stellar remnants, swirling in an interstellar mixture of gas and dust.

gallfly (aka gall wasp): a small wasp of ~1,300 species of wasps, named after the galls they induce on plants for larval development. The larvae of most gall wasps develop in plant galls which they induce. Oak is the wood of choice for many gall wasps.

gamete: a cell or cell nucleus that undergoes sexual fusion to form a zygote. In animals, gametes are eggs and sperm cells. Plant germ cells produce ovules and pollen.

gauge boson: a quantum force carrier.

gene: the idea that nucleic acids provide instructions for producing an organic molecule, typically a protein. Genes do not exist; they are merely a construal. The actuality of genetics is more intricate than supposed by matterist geneticists, as heritable bioproduct information is stored energetically, with organic molecules as illusory material substrates. See egene.

general relativity: a geometric physical theory that treats gravity as a property of spacetime, based upon the mass of objects; proposed by Albert Einstein in 1915. Gravity distorts 4D spacetime extra-dimensionally under general relativity.

genetics: the study of heredity and variation in life forms at the molecular level. The 4 major subdisciplines of genetics are transmission genetics (heredity), molecular genetics (chemistry), population genetics (traits in populations), and epigenetics (influences of living on inheritance).

genome: the (idea of the) entire set of genes within an organism. Like genes, a genome is merely a concept, not phenomenal.

genus (plural: genera): a category of organisms, more generic than species.

germline cell: the line (sequence) of cells that may be passed to offspring. Contrast soma.

ghost crab: a crab common on tropical and subtropical beaches, named for its nocturnality and generally pale coloration. Ghost crabs have one claw larger than the other, thick and elongated eyestalks, and a boxy body.

ghost field: a field that affects the mass of a boson via interactions with other bosons and fermions. Ghost fields are necessary to maintain mathematical consistency in quantum physics’ Standard Model. Ghost fields are conventionally construed solely as a mathematical device, and considered nonexistent, despite their being the origin of virtual particles, which are presumed to exist.

Gitterwelt: a lattice world imagined by Werner Heisenberg in 1930. Gitterwelt exists in specific crystalline structures.

gland: a group of cells in an animal that synthesizes substances for release inside or on the body.

glia: the predominant cell type in animal brains. Neurons (nerve cells) support glial cells via their interfaces outside the brain.

gluon: the boson that porters the strong force: holding quarks together, making hadrons.

God: the myth of an immortal supreme being who is omniscient and typically omnipotent, albeit often inexplicably reserved in exercising such power in moral ways comprehensible to mere mortals. The concept of God is object orientation run amok: one of many delusions construed by believing in what is conceived as contrasted to actuality, and what reasonably may be inferred from known facts.

Gödel’s incompleteness theorems: 2 mathematical logic theorems about the inherent limits of any mathematical system, published by Kurt Gödel in 1931. The 1st theorem states that all truths about the arithmetic of natural numbers cannot be proven. The 2nd theorem, extending from the 1st, shows that a mathematical system cannot demonstrate its own consistency.

In 1921, David Hilbert proposed a solution to a known crisis in mathematics. Early attempts to formalize the foundations of math had been found to have inconsistencies and paradoxes. Hilbert’s proposal was to ground all existing theories to a finite, complete set of axioms, and then prove that these axioms are consistent. Hilbert’s program, as it came to be known, went swimmingly well until Gödel drowned it with his incompleteness theorems.

goldenrod: an angiosperm in the Solidago genus, with 100–200 species; most are herbaceous and found in North America.

goose (plural: geese): a large waterfowl. Some other birds have “goose” as part of their names. Distantly related birds include the generally larger swans and smaller ducks.

graviton: the hypothetical boson of gravity.

gravity: an entropic spacetime distortion caused by mass.

ground state: the lowest energy state of a quantum-mechanical system.

guppy (aka million fish, rainbow fish, Poecilia reticulate): a freshwater tropical fish native to northeast South America.

gynogenesis: a form of asexual reproduction related to parthenogenesis, but with the requirement that an egg be stimulated by presence of sperm – without incorporating the sperm’s genetic material – in order to develop.

gyre: a conceptual framework treating a physical system as a dynamic vortex. A gyre is characterized by its structure, qualities, thermodynamics, and interactions. See tensor.

H

Hamilton’s principle: the principle that the dynamics of a physical system are determined via variation in the Lagrangian function, which contains all information about the system and the forces acting upon the system. Originally formulated for classical mechanics by William Rowan Hamilton in 1833. Hamilton’s principle also applies to classical fields (e.g., electromagnetism, gravity), and is relevant to quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, and criticality theories.

haploid: a cell having 1 set of chromosomes. Compare diploid.

hartebeest (aka kongoni): an African antelope.

HD (holistic dimensionality): the totality of cosmic dimensions. HD refers to the universe having more than 4 dimensions (4D = 3 spatial dimensions and 1 time vector). HD = 4D + ED, where ED = extra (spatial) dimensions.

hedonia: happiness from pleasure. Contrast eudaimonia.

Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle: see uncertainty principle.

heliocentrism: the theory that the Sun is the center of the solar system, around which planets orbit, including Earth.

helium (He): the chemical element with atomic number 2; a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, monatomic gas. Helium is the 2nd lightest and 2nd most abundant element, behind hydrogen.

herbaceous: an angiosperm that has leaves and stems which die down to the ground at the end of the growing season. Herbaceous plants have no persistent woody stem above ground. Contrast arborescent.

heredity (genetics): inheritance of traits from one generation of life form to the next.

hermaphrodite: an organism with both female and male reproductive organs.

heterotroph: an organism that cannot make its own food. All animals are heterotrophs. Compare autotroph.

heuristic (psychology): a simple, efficient rule employed to form judgments, solve problems, or make decisions. Compare algorithm. See affect heuristic.

Higgs field: the field that imparts mass to all particles.

Higgs mechanism: the continuous process whereby gauge bosons acquire mass via spontaneous symmetry breaking. The Higgs mechanism exemplifies the basic mechanism by which Nature is composed: universal fields localizing, with local fields quantizing into particulate form. The exposition of Ĉonsciousness works the same way: from universal field to local quanta.

Hinduism: the dominant religion of India. Hinduism is based upon a compilation of diverse texts, the earliest of which date to the 7th century bce, though most are later (late bce). Such diversity means that Hinduism is an umbrella term, housing numerous religious offshoots.

Hiroshima (Japan): a city on the southern part of Honshu, Japan’s largest island. Hiroshima was the target for the first nuclear holocaust, when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on it on 6 August 1945.

hole (physics): a conceptual absence of an electron in an environment where electrons are abundant. An electron excited into a higher state leaves a hole in former, less energetic state.

holism: the idea that systems and their properties should be viewed holistically (from the perspective of being a whole), not just as a collection of components. Contrast reductionism. See synergy.

homogeneous: the same at all locations. Compare isotropic.

hominin: the hypothesized clade that descended into humans.

honeybee: a bee in 7 of 20,000 species of bees, in a subset of the genus Apis; best known for making honey via foraged pollen collection.

horizontal gene transfer: sharing of genetic material between organisms. In contrast, vertical gene exchange is gene transfer from parent to offspring.

hormone: an organic compound intended for long-distance intercellular communication; from the Greek word for impetus.

hornwort: a non-vascular plant of 100–150 species, found worldwide in damp or humid locales.

human: a bipedal, largely furless mammal in the Homo genus.

hydrogen (H): the chemical element with atomic number 1, constituting in its simplest form a single proton and solitary electron (protium, 1H); the lightest element, and the most abundant chemical in the universe, comprising 75% of cosmic baryonic mass. Hydrogen plays an important role in acid-base chemistry. Hydrogen is a proton donor in many reactions between soluble molecules.

hyena: a dog-like carnivorous mammal, endemic to Africa.

hylozoism: the hypothesis that all matter is in some sense alive.

hyperuniformity: regularity in density fluctuations in a many-body system. Disordered structures at small scales which possess a “hidden order” at larger scales are hyperuniform.

hypothesis: a guess gussied up in scientific garb. Under the scientific method, hypotheses are ripe for falsifiability testing. Compare theory.

I

ichthyology: the study of fishes.

idea: the representation of a concept.

idealism (aka subjective idealism, empirical idealism): the monistic epistemology that all of life’s experiences, and what can be known of reality, are entirely within the mind. Compare neutral monism. See energyism.

ignorance: a state of unknowing. There are 2 types of ignorance: fact-ignorance (fignorance) and perspective-ignorance (pignorance). Fignorance is not knowing the salient facts of a subject. Pignorance arises from incognizance of reality.

illusion: mistaken perception; something deceptive by a false impression.

illusion of knowledge: someone thinking that they know more than they do.

Impatiens frithii: a small, inconspicuous epiphyte when not displaying its bright red flowers; endemic to Cameroon.

induction (logic): the method of inferring a generalized conclusion from particulars. Contrast deduction.

inductivism: the traditional scientific method of evolutionary theory formation via fact accumulation; stated by Francis Bacon in 1620, who proposed incrementally (in terms of scale) proposing natural laws to generalize observed patterns. Disconfirmed laws are discarded.

In 1740, David Hume noted limitations in using experience to infer causality. 1st is the illogic of enumerative induction: unrestricted generalization from specific instances to all such events. 2nd is the presumptiveness of conclusively stating a universal law, since observation is only of a sequence of perceived events, not cause and effect. Nonetheless, Hume accepted the empirical sciences as inevitably inductive.

Alarmed by Hume, Immanuel Kant posited rationalism as favored by Descartes and by Spinoza. Kant noted that the mind serves to bridge the human experience with the actual world, with the mind creating space, time, and substance. With this, Kant trashed the naïve realism of science as only tracing appearances (phenomena), not unveiling reality (noumena). Compare falsifiability.

inertia: resistance to a change of motion.

inertial reference frame: a frame of reference that describes time and space uniformly (homogeneously and isotopically), and in a time-independent manner. Conceptually, the physics of a system in an inertial frame that is self-contained, with no external causes.

influence (noun): the act of producing an effect indirectly.

influence (verb): to affect or alter, typically by indirect or intangible means.

influenza (aka the flu): an infectious disease caused by an RNA-based influenza virus.

information: an esteemed apprehension of an order among concepts.

innate immune system: the non-learning portion of the immune system. Compare adaptive immune system.

intelligence: an attribution for behaving appropriately; the process of gathering and analyzing information.

interaction (physics): see force.

interspecies: between species. Contrast conspecific.

introspection (aka metacognition): awareness of cognition; (the capability of) reflectively examining one’s own thoughts and feelings. Compare mindfulness.

intuition: direct apprehension. Contrast phenomenon.

invertebrate: an animal that is not a vertebrate.

ion: an electrically charged particle, atom, or molecule.

ionization: the energetic process of converting an atom or molecule into an ion.

iridescence: a play of lustrous, changing color.

iridophore: an iridescent chromatophore; a light-reflecting pigmented cell.

Islam (religion) (aka Muhammadanism): the religious system founded by Muhammad and informed by the Koran, with the basic principle of absolute submission to the god Allāh.

Islam (sociology): the societies predominantly practicing Islamic religion.

isotope: a variant of a chemical species. Isotopes vary by number of neutrons in the nucleus.

isotropic: the same in all directions. Compare homogeneous.

J

Jupiter: the 5th planet from the Sun within the solar system; a gas giant 2.5 times the mass of all other planets in the system. Jupiter has 63 moons, 1 more than Saturn.

K

kelp: a large seaweed (brown algae), of which there are ~30 genera. Kelp often form dense forests which support a variety of marine animals.

killifish: a family of small fish, abundantly found in fresh or brackish waters in the Americas, and to a lesser extent in southern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and southeast Asia. There are some 1270 species of killifish.

kinematics: often referred to as the geometry of motion, kinematics is a branch of classical mechanics that describes the motions of bodies and systems without considering the forces that cause movement.

know: to directly perceive, and thereupon understand; to recognize the meaning of a concept.

knowledge: cognition of facts or principles about Nature. Compare knowlet, omniscience.

knowlet: cognition of some subject matter. Compare knowledge.

L

Lagrangian: the mathematical function of Lagrangian mechanics.

Lagrangian mechanics: a 1788 reformulation of classical mechanics by Joseph-Louis Lagrange.

Laplace’s demon: the hypothesis that existence would be utterly predictable (deterministic) to an intellect that was omniscient; posited by Pierre-Simon Laplace in 1814.

lattice (chemistry): a repetitive arrangement of atoms.

lattice (mathematic): symmetrical order within a set.

lattice (physics): a repetitively arranged (lattice-like) physical model.

learning: the process of constructing a conceptual framework.

length contraction: a moving observer perceiving the length of an object decreasing.

liana: a woody vine, rooted in the soil, that climbs trees to the canopy.

life: anything capable of perceiving its environment.

life-history variable: a trait or aspect of an organism’s existence related to others; often viewed comparatively, as a trade-off with other, mutually exclusive possibilities.

light: electromagnetic radiation visible to the human eye, at a wavelength between 380–740 nanometers.

light matter: ordinary matter. Contrast dark matter.

light-year: how far light travels in a year at light-speed (as fast as light can travel); the standard unit used to express astronomical distances. A light-year is ~9.461 trillion kilometers.

lithosphere: the outermost shell of a rocky planet. Earth’s lithosphere comprises its crust and upper mantle: the portions that behave elastically over geological expanses of time.

locality: the idea that an object can only be directly influenced by its immediate surroundings. Contrast nonlocality.

localization (physics): the process of locally confining or effecting a result from a universal field.

logic: the process of chaining concepts together – from a premise to a conclusion (inference) – in a way that the linkages may be agreeable (especially to others, else socially considered illogic).

logos: Heraclitus’ term for Ĉonsciousness. See Tao.

logical positivism: see neopositivism.

love: adoration of a concept.

lymph: the clear interstitial (extracellular) fluid that surrounds cells in vertebrates.

lymph node (aka lymph gland): an organ that filters and distributes lymph.

lymphatic system: a vertebrate circulatory system for lymph. The lymphatic system helps maintain fluid balance and assists in bodily defense (immune system).

M

M-theory (physics): a physical theory that extends string theory into HD branes, postulating 11-dimensional spacetime.

Macaronesia: 4 archipelagos in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Europe and northwest Africa.

macrocephaly: an abnormally large head, only sometimes pathological.

macrobe: non-microbial life; any organism not requiring a microscope to be seen. Contrast microbe.

macromolecule: a large compound molecule, commonly created by polymerization of smaller subunits into polymer chains or 3d shapes. Nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids are macromolecules.

magnetism: a class of physical phenomena where atoms or molecules react from the influence of a magnetic field, which causes attraction or repulsion to nearby matter that is magnetically charged. Magnetism is a facet of electromagnetism. See ferromagnetism, antiferromagnetism.

Majorana fermion: a fermion that is massless and chargeless, named after Ettore Majorana. Compare Dirac fermion, Weyl fermion.

mammal: a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals, characterized by endothermy, hair, and females with mammary glands.

manifestation: an outward, perceptible expression of Nature. Compare phenomenon.

mantis shrimp (aka stomatopod): a worldwide marine crustacean of around 400 species, typically solitary and aggressive. Mantis shrimp sport powerful claws which can spear, stun, or dismember prey. The ancient Assyrians called mantis shrimp “sea locusts.”

many-body theory: a physics theory which models a system characterized by a plethora of interacting particles.

mass (classical physics): a measure of inertia. Contrast weight.

mass (quantum mechanics): the energy level at which an elemental quantum may make an observable appearance.

mathematics: the systematic treatment of relations between symbolic entities.

matter (physics): something with mass, constructed of fermions. See energy.

matterism (aka (philosophical) materialism): the monistic belief that reality is made of matter. Matterism supposes that the mind is a figment of something substantial. Contrast energyism.

measles: a highly contagious viral disease, as it may infect through the air, with symptoms developing 7–10 days after infection.

mechanics: the branch of physics concerned with the actions of forces on bodies, and with motion.

meditation: a practice intended to achieve a transcendental state of consciousness. Yoga is intended as a physical form of meditation.

megapode (aka incubator bird): a stocky, chickenish bird with a small head and large feet, endemic to Australasia.

meiosis: the special cell division for sexual reproduction, producing germline gametes. Meiosis also refers to the cell division process for making spores. Compare mitosis.

meiotic drive: manipulation during meiosis by a chromosome to become part of a gamete.

mentalizing: see mind perception.

mentation: mental activity.

metaphysics: philosophy concerned with first principles, including ontology and epistemology.

metabolism: cellular chemical reactions which provide energy for vital processes.

methylation: an epigenetic mechanism that stifles or inactivates a gene by attaching methyl groups to nucleobases.

Mexican tetra (aka blind cave fish, blind tetra, Astyanax mexicanus): a pinkish-white, freshwater fish, native to rivers in Texas and eastern Mexico, that grows to 12 cm.

microbe: a microorganism, too tiny to be seen without a microscope; often a single-celled prokaryote. Microbes include archaea, bacteria, and fungi. Contrast macrobe.

microbiome: the endosymbiotic, microbial community that comprises every eukaryotic organism, especially multicellular eukaryotes. Commensal prokaryotic inhabitants are essential to eukaryotic life.

microfibril (botany): a fine fibril consisting of glycoproteins and cellulose. Plant cell walls comprise microfibrils.

mind: an intangible organ for symbolic processing.

mind-body: the mind and body as an integral life form.

mind-body problem: the unsolvable inquiry into the functional interface between the intangible mind and the physical body.

mind perception (aka mentalizing): inferring the mental state of another being, typically another person. See theory of mind.

mitochondrion: an organelle that acts as a cell’s power plant, generating a supply of ATP.

mitosis: the eukaryotic cell division process. Compare meiosis.

monism: the metaphysical doctrine that there is a singular reality, either matterism or energyism. Contrast dualism.

morality: the differentiation between right and wrong based upon fairness. The philosophy of morality is ethics. A moral code is a creed of morality.

morphology: the form and structure of an organism or other system. Compare physiology.

mosquito: a family of small, midge-like flies. The females of most mosquito species are blood suckers.

moss: a phylum of 12,000 species of small, soft, non-vascular plants that usually grow in clumps, typically 1–10 cm tall, though a few are larger. Moss form peat in their afterlife.

motivation: a stimulus that causes an organism to behave in a certain way. See desire.

multiverse: the idea that a multitude of universes eternally exist on a vast hd canvas. Many multiverse models are nonsensical in mistaking wonky math for possible reality (e.g., parallel universes). See cyclic cosmology.

murre (aka guillemot (UK), turr (Canada)): a seabird found on northern coasts.

mutation: a change in a DNA sequence.

mysticism: the doctrine that knowledge of ultimate reality may be subjectively intuited.

N

naïve empiricism: the belief that knowledge can only be gained through empirical examination of Nature.

naïve realism (aka direct realism, commonsense realism, scientific realism): the belief that actuality as perceived is reality.

nanostructure: a structure engineered at the nanometer scale.

nattermind: the involuntary part of the mind that acts as an independent agent. Contrast willmind.

natural number (aka counting number): a number in the set of numbers {1, 2, 3, …}.

natural philosophy: the study of Nature from a holistic perspective; the common methodology of comprehending Nature until the 17th century, before modern science barged in with its strictly empirical scientific method. See natural science. Contrast science.

natural science: natural philosophy coupled to the scientific method.

natural selection: a meaningless term acclaiming Darwinism, popular among religious evolutionary biologists who should know better. See Darwinism.

Nature: the exhibition of existence.

nature (of): the essence or basic constitution (of something).

neonate: a newborn offspring.

neopositivism (aka logical positivism): the idea that there are no valid ideas; that only empirically verifiable observations can be considered cognitively meaningful. Influenced by early-20th-century physics field theories, and under sway of Austrian physicist Ernst Mach, neopositivism arose among Viennese intellectuals in the 1920s. Rejecting metaphysics, neopositivism’s central creed is that only empirical facts form valid knowledge. See verificationism. Contrast panpsychism.

neuron (aka nerve cell): an electrically excitable intercellular signaling cell as part of the nervous system, employed for sensory or motor communication. Functionally, neurons are managed by glia.

neutral monism (aka neumonism): the immaterial epistemology that the essence of existence is neither material nor mental, but energetic. Compare idealism.

neutron: a subatomic particle at home in the nucleus of an atom. Lacking an electromagnetic charge, neutrons act as a peacemaker in holding feisty protons together in an atomic nucleus. See proton.

NF-ĸB (nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells): a family of proteins which control DNA transcription, regulate cell response to stress, and ultimately, determine cell survival.

nonlocality: entanglement of objects at some distance from each other. Contrast locality.

noumenon: outside of existence. In Western philosophy, a noumenon is beyond perception, as contrasted to phenomena.

nucleic acid: a large biomolecule (biopolymer) essential to life, discovered by Friedrich Miescher in 1869. DNA and RNA are nucleic acids.

nucleon: a subatomic particle in an atomic nucleus. Each atomic nucleus has 1 or more nucleons. Protons and neutrons are the 2 known nucleons.

nucleosynthesis: the process of stars creating atomic nuclei from preexisting nucleons (protons and neutrons).

nucleotide: an individual structural unit of nucleic acids. A nucleotide is a nucleobase packaged with sugar and phosphate groups, held together by ester bonds.

nucleus (physics) (plural: nuclei): the central core of an atom, comprising protons and neutrons (nucleons).

O

object: something manifest as cohesive matter.

objectivity: the idea that Nature and reality are independent of consciousness. Contrast showtivity.

octopus (plural: octopuses, octopi, or octopodes): a cephalopod with a soft body and 8 limbs, of over 300 species.

odorant: an odorous substance.

olfaction (aka oflactics): the act or sense of smell.

olfactory bulb: a vertebrate neural bundle involved with smell.

omniscience: having complete knowledge.

ontology: metaphysics concerning the nature of Nature.

oogenesis (aka ovogenesis): the differentiation of an ovum (egg cell) into a cell which may become a zygote.

organ (biology) (aka viscus): a collection of interconnected tissues dedicated to a common function.

organelle: a subunit within a eukaryotic cell that has a specialized function. Organelles are membrane-bound.

organic: related to living organisms; from a chemistry viewpoint: a complex molecular structure based upon a carbon backbone.

organism: a life form; an animated organic structure.

outcrossing (aka outbreeding): introducing unrelated genes into a breeding line. Outcrossing promotes genetic diversity.

ovum (egg): the female reproductive cell (gamete) in oogamous organisms. Oogamy is the familiar form of sexual reproduction.

oxygen (O): the element with atomic number 8; a highly reactive nonmetallic element that readily forms compounds (notably oxides) with almost all other elements. Oxygen is the 3rd most common element in the universe.

P

paleoanthropology: the study of hominins from physical evidence. Paleoanthropology combines paleontology and anthropology.

paleontology: the study of prehistoric life.

panpsychism: the idea that a consciousness and mind is inherent in all things. Panpsychism is one of the oldest philosophical theories, and was the prevailing orthodoxy until the mid-20th century, when supplanted by neopositivism. Compare hylozoism, animism.

parachute plant (aka fountain flower, umbrella plant, Ceropegia sandersonii): a flowering plant native to Mozambique, South Africa, and Swaziland.

paradigm: a construed pattern, often used as a framework for perception.

parrot: an uncommonly intelligent bird of 86 genera and 372 species, found in many tropical and subtropical biomes, with the greatest diversity is in Australasia and South America.

parthenogenesis: asexual reproduction where an unfertilized egg cell nonetheless develops into an embryo. Sperm or pollen may trigger embryonic development without making a genetic contribution. See gynogenesis.

particle (physics): a point in spacetime, typically used to ascribe a quantum-sized field. Contrast wave.

passerine (bird): a bird in the Passeriformes order, comprising over half of all bird species (over 5,000 identified species in over 110 families). One of the most diverse terrestrial vertebrate orders, around twice that of the large mammal order: rodents. Passerines include most perching birds, such as sparrows, wrens, finches, tits, and corvids. Birds that sing are passerine.

pathogen: an infectious agent, commonly called a germ; a microorganism that causes diseases in its host, including certain viruses, bacteria, fungi, and prions.

Pauli exclusion principle: a theoretical requirement that 2 fermions cannot occupy the same space simultaneously; formulated by Wolfgang Pauli in 1925.

peptide: a short chain of amino acids: 2 to 50 or so. A longer chain is properly termed a protein.

perceive, perception: mentally integrating sensory input (sensation) using memory. Perception is a 3-stage process: 1) turn a sensation into a symbolic representation, 2) identify sensed symbols using memory and categorization, then 3) derive the meaning of the identified symbols, especially regarding affinity or avoidance. See conceptualization.

periodic table of elements: a tabular display of atomic species (chemical elements), presented in increasing order of their atomic number (number of protons), with columns (groups) and rows (periods) based upon electron configuration.

phantom limb: the sensation in animals that a missing limb is still attached. Phantom sensations are experienced in many body parts, including lost eyes and extracted teeth.

phenomenal: known through perception. Contrast intuition.

phenomenon: a perceptible event. Contrast noumenon.

phenotype: the composite visible traits of an organism: physical, physiological, and behavioral.

pheromone: a secreted or excreted hormone employed as a communication signal.

philology: the study of language in historical texts.

philosophy: a set of consistent definitions pertaining to a system which yields a hierarchical construal. The term philosophy derives from the ancient Greek for “love of wisdom.” There are 3 branches of philosophy: natural, moral, and metaphysical. Natural philosophy, which evolved into science, concerns Nature. Moral philosophy deals with the principles of ethics. Metaphysics considers first principles, such as ontology, and is intimately connected with epistemology.

phloem: tissue that distributes sugar-laden sap among a plant. Compare xylem.

phonon: a collective excitation of interacting quanta, characterized by a vibrational mode.

phosphorus (P): the element with atomic number 15; as a mineral, always maximally oxidized. A component of RNA, DNA, ATP, and other biocompounds, phosphorus is essential to life.

photoelectric effect: a body’s emission of charged particles (photoelectrons or ions) upon absorbing electromagnetic radiation.

photoelectron: an electron emitted from an object via the photoelectric effect.

photon: a hypothetical bosonic particle of light; more properly, a packet of light energy, as light exhibits both particulate and wave appearances. Though photons supposedly do not interact with each other, they somehow porter the force of electromagnetism.

photosynthesis: (an organism) converting sunlight into energy.

phototroph: an organism that can turn light energy into metabolic chemical energy.

phototropism: a natural tendency for light to be an orienting stimulus.

physical chemistry (aka physiochemistry): the study of particulate phenomena in chemical systems; in other words, the study of physics in chemistry.

physical model: a typically geometric or algebraic mathematical model yielding a mathematical description of the embodied phenomena.

physical theory: an explanation of relationships between various measurable phenomena. A physical theory may include a model of physical events (i.e., a physical model).

physics: the natural science of matter and its patterns of motion, with the intent of understanding how the universe behaves.

physiochemistry: see physical chemistry.

physiology: the physical structures and biomechanics of an organism.

pignorance (perspective-ignorance): a wrong worldview from not knowing the nature of existence. Compare fignorance. See ignorance, naïve realism.

pilot wave theory: the deterministic theory that there is an inherent wave/particle duality for every elementary particle; proposed by Louis de Broglie in 1927. Contrast uncertainty principle.

placebo: a simulated medical treatment intended to inspire the recipient, thereby provoking the placebo effect of working to relieve or even cure the targeted affliction. The term placebo originated with an old Latin word for “I shall please.” In medieval times, a placebo opened the Catholic Vespers for the Dead, which were sung by hired mourners for a funeral; sycophants who wept crocodile tears on behalf of the family. This gave placebo the odious meaning of a toady. The term took its medical context in the early 19th century, when placebos were remorsefully employed. Placebos’ efficacy gradually transformed their moral worth.

Planck constant (aka Planck’s constant, Plank’s action quantum): a physical constant reflecting the size of energy quanta in quantum field theory. Planck’s constant states the proportionality between the momentum and quantum wavelength of every subatomic particle. The relation between the energy and frequency of quanta is the Planck relation.

Planck length: the minimal theoretical limit to spatial distance; a measure derived from Newton’s gravitational constant, the speed of light in a vacuum (c), and Planck’s constant. Planck length is 1.616199 x 10–35 meters.

Planck mass: the theoretical amount of mass in a sphere with a radius Planck length, with a density of 1093 g/cm3.

Planck time: the theoretical limit of temporal measurement; the time required for light in a vacuum to travel a single Planck length. At 5.391 x 10–44 seconds, Planck time is the shortest sprint imaginable.

Planck unit: a system of natural units used in physics, particularly Planck length and Planck time.

plant: a kingdom of eukaryotic autotrophs, including mosses, ferns, conifers, and flowering plants (angiosperms).

plasma: an ionized gas; one of the 4 fundamental states of matter, the others being gas, liquid, and solid.

pluralistic ignorance: a social phenomenon where most members of a group do not believe what they consider to be the majority outlook or belief of the group.

plutonium (Pu): the element with atomic number 94; a silvery-gray metal that tarnishes when oxidized, much like nickel. Plutonium is the heaviest primordial element.

polar body: a small haploid cell formed concomitantly as an egg cell during oogenesis, but which generally cannot be fertilized.

polarization (optics): a state of light in which the radiation exhibits distinct properties in different directions.

positron: the antimatter equivalent of the electron.

pre-adaptation: a by-product of adaptation that is later adaptively employed. Pre-adaptations are a fundamental mechanism of evolvability.

precocial: animal species with relatively mature and mobile young from the moment of birth or hatching. Many, though not all, arthropods, fish, amphibians, and reptiles are precocial. Contrast altricial.

precocious knowledge: inborn knowledge. Precocious knowledge is a telltale of energyism, as it cannot be explained via materiality.

prickly pear cactus: a cactus in the genus Opuntia, native to the Americas.

primary metabolite: a compound produced by a plant that is essential to its survival. Compare secondary metabolite.

primate: a mammal order containing prosimians (neither monkey nor ape) and simians (monkeys and apes).

prime number: a natural number greater than 1 that cannot be formed by multiplying 2 smaller natural numbers.

principle (philosophy of science): a conceptual construct explaining some countenance of Nature.

prokaryote: an organism that lacks a cell nucleus or other membrane-bound organelles. Archaea and bacteria are prokaryotes. While prokaryotes are single-celled, most can form stable, aggregate communities, such as a biofilm. Compare eukaryote.

protein: a single, long, linear polymer chain of amino acids that typically takes a folded structure.

protist: a catchall kingdom of eukaryotic organisms that includes algae and amoeba.

proton: a positively charged hadron that is a constituent of every atomic nucleus. The simplest hydrogen atom comprises a proton nucleus with a single electron orbiting about it. See neutron.

protozoan (plural: protozoa): a single-celled, typically microscopic heterotroph. Protozoa live in aqueous environments and soil. They occupy a range of trophic levels. Protozoa are called animal-like protists because they subsist on other organisms.

pteridophyte: a vascular plant that reproduces and disperses via spores, producing neither flowers nor seeds.

Q

quantum (physics) (plural: quanta): an infinitesimal chunk of ripple in a localized energy field that appears as a particle.

quantum effect: a physical 4D effect reflecting hd dynamics. Entanglement is a quantum effect.

quantum field theory (QFT) (aka quantum theory, quantum mechanics): a theoretical framework explaining subatomic interactions from a particle perspective.

quantum foam: the characterization of an energetic ground state as a froth of virtual particles continually perturbed by ghost fields.

quantum mechanics: see quantum field theory.

quantum tunneling: a particle overcoming its 4d classical confines to move itself through an hd wormhole. The practical size limit of transistors is set by quantum tunneling, as electrons could bypass the carved path in a too-small transistor.

quasar: a cosmic energy source caused by the spin-off of a black hole.

quasiparticle: an emergent approximation of fermionic behavior. Localized subatomic energies which mimic bosons are termed collective excitations.

quorum-sensing: decision-making in a decentralized network.

R

radiation (physics): a process of traveling electromagnetic waves; also used for a similar sojourn of subatomic particles.

radiative zone (cosmology): the middle of 3 layers in a star’s interior, where core-produced radiation skitters about before eventually being emitted through the upper layer as light and heat.

radioactivity: a subatomic process of losing energy.

ragworm (Hediste diversicolor): a polychaete (segmented) worm that lives in burrows at beaches and estuaries on the northeast Atlantic coast. A ragworm may grow to 10 cm. Ragworms practice agriculture in their burrows.

random (adjective): the idea that a system lacks order.

rare-male effect (aka negative frequency-dependent selection): the process in which the evolutionary fitness of a trait goes up as its relative abundance goes down.

rational (psychology): agreeable to reason, good sense, and sound judgment.

rationalism: the philosophic belief that reason is the source and arbiter of knowledge.

“All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.” ~ Immanuel Kant

real: that which is, as contrasted to what manifests. See truth.

reality: that which necessarily is, phenomenal or noumenonal. Contrast actuality.

realization (aka unity consciousness): an enlightened state of consciousness with an abiding experience of the unicity of Nature. Compare enlightenment, coherence consciousness.

red-toothed shrew (aka long-tailed shrew): a common shrew in the genus Sorex with over 140 species, native to Eurasia and North America.

reductionism: the absurd idea that a complex dynamic phenomenon can be understood by analyzing and ascertaining its constituent elements. Reductionism requires that the something can never be more than the sum of its parts. Reductionists explain biological processes in the same way that chemists and physicists interpret inanimate matter. In adhering to empirical cause and effect, reductionism is a tool of matterism. See synergy. Contrast holism.

reflection (physics): a change in direction for an energy wavefront between 2 different media so that the wavefront returns into the medium from which it originated. Contrast refraction.

refraction: energy wave deflection due to passing from one medium into another, each medium having a distinct velocity. Contrast reflection.

relativity (physics): the idea that there is an inertial reference frame. See general relativity, special relativity.

relativity of simultaneity (physics): the idea that simultaneity is not absolute, instead depending upon an observer’s frame of reference.

religion: a belief system encompassing the nature of the universe and life, commonly belied by facts. Religions are frequently faith-based and typically dogmatic. Religions usually involve supernatural agents (gods). Compare natural philosophy. Contrast science.

retina: the light-sensitive layer of tissue lining the inner surface of the eye.

ribosome: the cellular factory for synthesizing proteins from peptide pieces.

Rig Veda (~1500–1200 bce): an Indo-Aryan collection of 1,028 hymns and 10,600 verses in Sanskrit; 1 of the 4 canonical Vedas which form the basis of Hinduism. The other Vedas are Athar, Sama, and Yajur.

risk sensitivity: the capability of an organism to discriminate between stable and unstable environments.

RNA (ribonucleic acid (C5H10O5)): a macromolecule comprising a long chain of nucleotides. RNA & DNA differ by their sugar (ribose versus deoxyribose (a ribose lacking an oxygen atom)). RNA & DNA also differ by 1 nucleobase: whereas RNA uses uracil (U), DNA employs thymine (T). See DNA.

rodent: an order of mammals characterized by constantly growing incisors that must be kept short by gnawing. ~40% of mammal species are rodents: 2,227 known species.

roundworm (aka nematode): a worm in one of the most diverse phyla, with an estimated 100,000 species. Over 28,000 species are known, of which over 16,000 are parasitic. Unlike earlier-evolved cnidarians (jelly-like marine animals) and flatworms, nematodes have tubular digestive systems, with openings at both ends.

S

Sahara desert ant (Cataglyphis fortis): an ant endemic to the salt pans of Tunisia.

saltation (biology): a sudden evolutionary change from one generation of organism to the next.

saprotroph: an organism that consumes decaying organic matter. Compare autotroph, heterotroph.

schizophrenia: a mental disorder characterized by short attention span, disorientation, and mistaking unreality for actuality, including hallucinations.

science: the study of Nature from a strictly empirical standpoint. William Whewell coined the term scientist in 1840. Contrast natural philosophy.

scientific method: a set of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring knowledge, ostensibly involving careful observation before guessing what is going on, which is known as forming a theory. Guessing prior to intensive observation is making a hypothesis.

Scientific Revolution (1543–1687): a label by historians to ascribe the era in which modern science emerged. The 1543 posthumous publication of Copernicus’ essay on heliocentrism is commonly cited as the start date, and Newton’s 1687 publication of Principia (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy) considered its completion.

seagull: a medium to large seabird, usually white or gray.

seaweed: a macroscopic, multicellular, benthic marine alga, either green, red, or brown, of ~12,000 species.

secondary metabolite: a specialty compound produced by a plant for ecological purposes. Compare primary metabolite.

self-esteem (aka self-worth, self-regard, self-respect): individual emotive assessment of one’s own quality.

sensate, sensation: receiving stimuli from sensory organs for collation and interpretation via perception.

septin: a family of cytoskeleton (cell membrane) proteins which perform a variety of cell management tasks. Different septins form protein complexes with each other.

Serengeti: a grassland plain ecosystem in Africa.

shared subjectivity: the principle that shared subjective perceptions creates an illusion of objectivity via showtivity.

shear-thinning liquid: a liquid with non-Newtonian behavior, in which viscosity lessens under shear strain. Shear-thinning liquids are typically polymers, not pure liquids with low molecular mass.

showtivity: the seeming objectivity of Nature via a shared experiential platform provided by Ĉonsciousness and coherence as an ordering principle for the perception of Nature.

shrew: a small mammal that resembles a mole. Shrews are on all major tropical and temperate land masses except New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand.

side chain (often designated as R): a defining component of an amino acid, specific to the amino acid to which it belongs.

sine wave (aka sinusoidal wave): a mathematical waveform with a smooth periodic oscillation measured by the distance between adjacent peaks or troughs (wavelength).

sleepwalking (aka somnambulism, noctambulism): a sleep disorder of combined sleep and wakefulness, where people asleep perform activities usually done only while awake.

snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus): a species of flowering plant native to the Mediterranean region.

sociality: general affinity toward others, especially conspecifics.

solid: a substance with structural rigidity. Crystals and glasses are solids. Contrast fluid.

solipsism: the irrefutable argument that only the self can be proven to exist, universally ignored.

soliton (aka solitary wave): a self-reinforcing solitary wave that maintains its shape as it travels through a medium at a constant speed.

soma (somatic cell): a cell forming the body of a multicellular eukaryote. Contrast germline.

soul: individual consciousness; the part of an organism capable of passively witnessing its own mentation (introspection); more transcendentally, the perpetual essence of a life form.

space: a boundless, non-Euclidean extent as filler for celestial bodies, which are invariably in motion.

spacetime: a treatment of space and time via unified dimensionality.

special relativity: a physical theory of measurement proposed by Albert Einstein in 1905 and since validated empirically: that the speed of light provides an inertial frame of reference. Special relativity has numerous consequences beyond uniform motion being relative, including relativity of simultaneity, time dilation, and length contraction. See relativity, general relativity.

speciation: the process of species formation.

species (biology): a physically or genetically distinct population of organisms.

species (chemistry): chemically identical molecular entities with distinct interaction characteristics, typified by different ionization or lack thereof.

sperm: a male reproductive cell. Compare egg.

spin (quantum physics): the mathematically hypothesized internal rotation of a subatomic particle; a form of intrinsic angular momentum. Each particle type has specific spin. In quantum physics’ Standard Model, only the Higgs boson is presumed without spin.

spontaneous symmetry breaking: a mathematical concept where the manifestation of a symmetrical system shows a tangible result, which breaks symmetry merely by actualization. The system may remain symmetrical (hidden symmetry), but its outputs never are, as symmetry has to be broken for any manifestation.

“spooky action at a distance”: Einstein’s dismissive term for entanglement.

stamen (aka androecium androecium): the (male) pollen-producing organ in a flower. The stamen has a stalk (filament) and an anther that contains pollen (microsporangia). See stigma.

Standard Model (quantum physics): a quantum field theory focused on fundamental subatomic quanta and their interactions. The Standard Model is known to be incomplete.

star: a massive, luminous sphere of plasma held together by gravity.

statistical mechanics: the study of the average behaviors of a mechanical system where the system is uncertain; a branch of theoretical physics using probability theory. Modeling irreversible processes driven by imbalances is termed non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. Such processes include chemical reactions, thermodynamics, and particle flows.

stigma (botany): the (female) portion of a flower that receives pollen during pollination. A pollen grain germinates on the stigma, which is often sticky. The tube-like style connects the stigma to the ovary. See stamen.

stoma (plural: stomata): a plant pore.

stopping power (physics): the retarding force acting upon charged particles from interaction with matter, resulting in loss of energy.

stria (plural: striae): a narrow furrow, stripe, streak, or ridge.

striation: employment of striae in a parallel arrangement.

string (physics): a 1-dimensional subatomic particle under string theory.

string theory: a theoretical attempt to reconcile quantum field theory with general relativity by characterizing quanta through their vibrational quality.

strong force: the force binding quarks and antiquarks to make hadrons, as well the nuclear force gripping protons and neutrons together in atomic nuclei. Compare weak force.

subconscious (aka unconscious): mentation that one is not aware of (not conscious of); below the threshold of awareness. Compare conscious.

Sun: the star at the center of the solar system, with a diameter of 1,392,000 km.

sunbird: a small, slender, Old World passerine, usually with a downward-curving bill.

sundew: a parasitic plant in the genus Drosera, of which there are at least 194 species. All sundews lure, capture, and digest insects via adhesive-tipped glands on stalks grown out of leaf surfaces. The ingested insects compensate for the poor mineral nutrition of the soil in which sundews live.

sunflower (Helianthus annuus): an annual native to the Americas. Sunflowers are notable for their large flowering head.

shared subjectivity: the principle that the illusion of objectivity is achieved via showtivity.

showtivity: the seeming objectivity of Nature via a shared experiential platform provided by Ĉonsciousness and coherence as an ordering principle for the perception of Nature.

superconductivity: zero electrical resistance, resulting from electrons overcoming their mutual repulsion and pairing up, creating a coherent, frictionless flow.

supernatural: beyond Nature.

supernova (plural: supernovae or supernovas): a large star in its final death throe, which manifests as a massive explosion of energy and matter.

supersymmetry (SUSY): a unifying field hypothesis for fermions and bosons, bringing together all quantum particles as components of a single master superfield. SUSY lacks essential evidentiary foundation, as requisite partner particles have not been found.

suspended animation: the slowing or stopping of life processes without terminating life.

sutra: a focal meditation technique.

symbiosis: 2 dissimilar organisms in continual interaction, often in a mutually beneficial association (mutualism).

sympathetic nervous system: the part of the autonomic nervous system involved with stress regulation (homeostasis).

synergy: an interaction of elements which, in combination, produces a total effect greater than the sum of individual contributions. Contrast reductionism.

synthesize: to form (a material or abstraction) by combining parts or elements. Contrast analyze.

system: an assemblage of interdependent or interacting constituent concepts that form a whole.

T

T cell: a lymphocyte of the adaptive immune system that kills or assists killing pathogens. Compare B cell.

Tao: Lao Tzu’s term for Ĉonsciousness. See logos.

Taoism: a Chinese religious tradition emphasizing living in harmony with Nature and the ineffable Tao. Taoism dates at least to the 4th century bce, and to the legendary Lao Tzu.

tardigrade (aka water bear): a hardy, 0.5-mm-long, aquatic animal of over 1,150 species, found in most ecosystems.

tarsal (insects): the distal part of the leg, analogous to the foot.

tautology: repetition of an idea.

taxon (plural: taxa): a classification of organisms.

tectonics: processes related to the movement and deformation of the Earth’s crust.

tectonic plate: a sizeable chunk of the lithosphere, including some of Earth’s crust, capable of movement.

teleology (evolutionary biology): the theory that adaptation is goal oriented.

teleology (philosophy): the doctrine that final causes (ends or purposes) exist. Socrates, Plato, and Kant argued in favor of teleology.

telomere: a protective region of repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of a chromosome copy.

tensor: a geometric object describing linear relations between other geometric entities (vectors, scalars, tensors). A tensor is a geometric entity particularly entangled with other tensors. Tensors are a tautology of entanglement.

tensor network: a network of tensors.

testosterone (C19H28O2): a steroid hormone found in reptiles, birds, and mammals; the primary male sex hormone.

theory: fact-based explanation about the relations between concepts. See physical theory.

theory of mind: the cognitive ability to attribute mental states to oneself and others. See mind perception.

thermodynamics: the branch of physics concerned with the dynamics of heat and temperature, and their relation to energy and work.

time: the idea that there is a temporal vector comprising past, present, and future.

time dilation: that concept that time itself is relative to the motion of an observer.

Tonian (1,000–720 mya): the 1st period of the Neoproterozoic era.

transcendence: the state of consciousness where the mind is quiet while the body is resting but receptive to stimuli.

Transcendental Meditation® (TM): a meditation technique popularized by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. TM employs a mantra as a mental vehicle to facilitate transcendence.

transcription: the process of producing an RNA copy from a DNA gene sequence. Transcription is an early, major stage of DNA expression.

transpiration: normal release of water by plants.

tree of life (biology): a metaphor for categorizing organisms by evolutionary descent, used by Charles Darwin in 1872, though the term has ancient philosophic roots.

truth: conformity with reality. Compare theory.

U

ultraviolet: the 10–400 nm band of the electromagnetic spectrum, shorter than visible light but longer than X-rays.

ultraviolet catastrophe: a late 19th-century classical-physics prediction contravened by black-body radiation. Classical physics predicts that a black body in thermal equilibrium will emit energy equally across all wavelengths (which it does not) and emit more energy as radiation frequency upon it increases, to infinity (which contradicts the thermodynamic law of the conservation of energy).

uncertainty principle: the principle that subatomic quanta are inherently probabilistic in their activity: a measurement may yield only an approximation of either a quantum’s position or its momentum, but not both simultaneously; an intrinsic property of Nature, not a measurement incapacity; proposed by Werner Heisenberg in 1926 and controversial ever since.

ungulate: a group of mammals which use the tips of their toes, typically hoofed, to sustain body weight while moving. Ungulates include the horse, cattle, bison, camel, goat, pig, sheep, donkey, deer, tapir, antelope, gazelle, giraffe, camel, rhino, and hippo. Even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla) bear their weight equally between the 3rd and 4th toes. Odd-toed ungulates (Perissodactyla), which have an odd number of toes on their rear feet, bear weight on their 3rd toe.

universal common ancestor: the notion that life arose from a single life form.

universe (aka cosmos): a presumed self-contained repository of energy – a characterization for which there is no evidence, and which quantum theory disclaims. This universe has ~4 trillion galaxies – half are light (with visible stars), half dark.

uranium (U): the element with atomic number 92; a silvery-white metal that is weakly radioactive because all its isotopes are unstable. The decay of uranium, thorium, and postassium-40 are a main source of heat in Earth’s mantle.

V

vaccinia: a large, complex, enveloped virus in the poxvirus family (which includes smallpox).

vacuole: a membrane-bound organelle present in all plant and fungal cells, and some protist, bacterial, and animal cells.

vacuum: the idea of empty space. Vacuum has been shown not to exist at the quantum level. See vacuum energy.

vacuum energy: the underlying energy of 4d empty space. Vacuum energy is the ground state from which 4d virtual particles arise. Vacuum energy is an hd phenomenon.

vascular: a life form with vessels to carry fluids; commonly used to identify land plants: vascular plants (aka tracheophytes).

vegetable: any plant whose fruit, seeds, or parts are used as food by humans; also used to refer to the edible portion of such a plant.

Venus fly trap (Dionaea muscipula): a carnivorous plant native to the subtropical wetlands of the US east coast.

verificationism (aka verification principle): the epistemological doctrine that only verifiable facts are meaningful. See empiricism, neopositivism.

vertebrate: an animal with a backbone and spinal column. Contrast invertebrate.

vibration: a periodic oscillation about an equilibrium.

virtual particle: a hypothesized hd quantum that significantly affects the properties of 4d quanta. Virtual particles supposedly pop in and out of 4d as a manifestation of vacuum energy: a phase shift in appearance between 4d and ed. See ghost field.

virus: an obligate parasite that infects all other life forms.

vision: the sense of sight through light.

vitalism (biology): the doctrine that there is a vital energy specific to living organisms, distinct from chemical and physical forces; a fact generally rejected by modern scientists.

vitalism (natural philosophy): the doctrine that life is essentially distinct from inanimate matter. Contrast animism.

W

wave (physics): a mathematical characterization of a field. Contrast particle.

wave/particle duality: the idea that an object simultaneously possesses the properties of a wave and a particle.

wavelength: the spatial period of a sine wave; commonly used as a statistical measure of the energy of a waveform, which is mathematically the product of a wave’s frequency and amplitude.

weak force: the nuclear force that changes one variety of matter into another; responsible, inter alia, for radioactive decay. Compare strong force.

weight: the force that gravitation exerts upon an object, equal to the mass (m) of the object times the local acceleration of gravity (g): W = m x g. With constant gravitational acceleration, weight and mass correspond, hence the easy confusion between the two.

Weyl fermion: a massless, but charged, fermion; named after Hermann Weyl. Compare Dirac fermion, Majorana fermion.

wildebeest (aka gnu): an antelope, native to Africa, in the family of even-toed ungulates. There are 2 gnu: black and blue. The blue wildebeest remained in its original range, and so is little changed from its ancestors. Black wildebeest adapted to the open grassland habitat that ranges south of where blue wildebeest live.

willmind: volitional mentation. Contrast nattermind.

work (physics): energy in transit; the product of an energetic force applied to matter.

worldview (aka Weltanschauung): a cognitive orientation toward life and Nature.

wormhole: a shortcut in spacetime, allowing entanglement.

X

X chromosome: one of the sex-determining chromosomes in mammals and some other organisms. The other sex-determining chromosome is termed Y.

xylem: plant tissue employed to transport water up a plant. Compare phloem.

Z

Zeno effect (aka Turing paradox): a static quantum state created by continuous observation.

zygodactyly: an arrangement of digits in chameleons and some birds, with 2 toes facing forward (digit 2 & 3), and 2 backward (digits 1 & 4). In birds, zygodactyly is most common in arboreal species, particularly those that clamber through foliage or climb tree trunks. Parrots, woodpeckers, cuckoos, roadrunners, and some owls are zygodactyls.

zygote: a cell formed by the union of 2 gametes.