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PHYLOGENY

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PHYLOGENY

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:35 pm

• phylogeny •


Pronunciation: fê-lah-jê-ni • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. The evolutionary development of a species, organism, or organ in an organism. 2. The history of the sociological development of a people or race.

Notes: Today's Good Word is a participant in a lively and long-standing debate in biology over recapitulation, the theory that ontogeny, the development of the embryo to a baby ready for birth, 'recapitulates' (reiterates) the stages of development of human phylogeny, the evolutionary development of humans from lower biological species. The adjective is phylogenetic and the adverb, phylogenetically.

In Play: Outside the phrase "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" and the discussion surrounding that claim, there would seem to be little use for today's Good Word. However, the clever conversationalist can always find new uses: "If Mel Inger isn't from another planet, he certainly is the product of a different phylogeny." And that doesn't even push the envelope like this one: "Did you ever notice how the ontology of Microsoft Windows XP recapitulates its phylogeny when it starts up, going from DOS through images of past versions to its current version?"

Word History: Today's Good Word was created from Greek phylon "race, class, phylum" + -geny, a reduction of genesis "origin, birth". Phylon is a derivation of Proto-Indo-European bheu "to be, live, grow" which developed into English be and Russian byt' "to be". Greek phylon is related to the -phyte in such words as neophyte "beginner, novice" from neos "new" + phytos "planted", from the verb phuein "to plant, grow". We have discussed the origin of the root geny in connection with genesis and other words. (The genesis of today's Good Word is a suggestion by Grogie in the Alpha Agora, where you can discuss this and other Good Words with other web-footed verbivores every day.)
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Re: PHYLOGENY

Postby MTC » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:31 am

If phylon is the Greek word for race, does that make Adam a "Phylon Pylon?"
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Re: PHYLOGENY

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:50 pm

Phylon Pylon?
Were you insulted by Doc's reference to a
'web-footed verbivore' ?
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: PHYLOGENY

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:11 pm

The robber barons of the gilded age were given pause, but not defeated, by the trust busting of my hero Teddy Roosevelt. They tried to justify their position in the economy by insisting they were the latest in the evolutionary chain. Phylogeny creates superiority. Darwin's survival of the fittest pattern saw its greatest application in the obvious superiority of the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and their ilk over us mere mortals. They called it social Darwinism. Some called it unbridled greed. To misquote Archie Bunker, “We could use a man like Teddy Roosovelt again.” I hope these remarks are not too political for this forum.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: PHYLOGENY

Postby MTC » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:10 am

Far from it, Philip.

The second sense of phylogeny is "2. The history of the sociological development of a people or race." That would include the history and development of corporations.

To all but the most obdurate Free Marketeer greed must have its limits. Equally clear, if corporations are permitted untrammelled growth, some will develop into monopolies that crush competition. Ironically, the Free Market carries the seeds of its own destruction. Without regulators to prune rampant growth the Free Market would fail. Call T.R. "The Great Gardener."
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