Encyclopedia of Biology
The Encyclopedia of Biology pulls together the specialized terminology that has found its way into the language of the biologist. It addresses the often duplicitous meanings in an easily understood, succinct fashion.
As each discipline has become more of a specialty, each has developed terms that serve as a shorthand for concepts within that discipline. On rare occasion, different disciplines develop the same term with radically different definitions. By indicating a discipline, the encyclopedia directs the reader to a definition relevant to the topic at hand. An example of this is the word genotype. Historically, this was a taxonomist’s term meaning “the type of the genus.” The genotype is important for classification and evolutionary studies. Subsequently, geneticists used genotype to refer to the genetic makeup of an organism. One needs to understand not only the meaning of words, but must also be able to put them in the context of the period in which they were written.
Don Rittner, Timothy L. McCabe
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