This glossary contains a vocabulary used by CPER concerning the overall site, regarding: meaning of scientific words, useful definitions, short explanations of some concepts, and references to reliable external sources of information on the Internet or on paper.
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Second Law of Thermodynamics
According to the second law of thermodynamics the entropy of an
isolated system never decreases. An isolated system will
spontaneously evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium, the
configuration with maximum entropy.
The idea of "irreversibility" is central to the understanding of
entropy. Most people have an intuitive understanding of
irreversibility (a dissipative process): if one watches a movie
of everyday life running forward and in reverse, it is easy to
distinguish between the two. The movie running in reverse shows
impossible things happening: water jumping out of a glass into a
pitcher above it, smoke going down a chimney, water "unmelting"
to form ice in a warm room, crashed cars reassembling themselves,
and so on.
Entropy as energy dispersal
Entropy can also be described in terms of "energy dispersal" and the "spreading of energy", while avoiding all mention of "disorder", "randomness" and "chaos". In this approach, the second law of thermodynamics is introduced as: "Energy spontaneously disperses from being localized to becoming spread out if it is not hindered from doing so."
This explanation can be used in the context of common experiences such as a rock falling, a hot frying pan cooling down, iron rusting, air leaving a punctured tyre and ice melting in a warm room. Entropy is then depicted as a sophisticated kind of "before and after" yardstick: Measuring how much energy is spread out over time as a result of a process such as heating a system, or how widely spread out the energy is after something happens in comparison with its previous state, in a process such as gas expansion or fluids mixing (at a constant temperature).
The equations are explored with reference to the common experiences, with emphasis that in chemistry the energy that entropy measures as dispersing is the internal energy of molecules.
The second law of thermodynamics, states that a closed system has entropy which may increase or otherwise remain constant. Chemical reactions cause changes in entropy and entropy plays an important role in determining in which direction a chemical reaction spontaneously proceeds.
Systems ecology and Negentropy
Nowadays, many biologists use the term 'entropy of an organism', or its antonym 'negentropy', as a measure of the structural order within an organism.
The term entropy was coined in 1865 by the German physicist Rudolf Clausius, who stated that: “The entropy of the universe tends to a maximum.”.
Unlike many other functions of state, entropy cannot be directly
observed but must be calculated. Entropy can be calculated for a
substance as the standard molar entropy from absolute zero
temperature (also known as absolute entropy).
The arrow of time
Entropy is the only quantity in the physical sciences that seems
to imply a particular direction of progress, sometimes called an
arrow of time. As time progresses, the second law of
thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system
never decreases (but rather will increase). Hence, from this
perspective, entropy measurement is thought of as a kind of clock
(an isolated system has low entopy in the past, and high entropy
in the future).
The term Entropy is derived from the Ancient Greek word
entropía (ἐντροπία) meaning “a turning
In biology, epigenetics is the study of cellular and physiological traits that are not caused by changes in the DNA sequence. Epigenetics describes the study of stable, long-term alterations in the transcriptional potential of a cell. Some of those alterations are heritable. Unlike simple genetics based on changes to the DNA sequence (the genotype), the changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype of epigenetics have other causes, thus use of the term epi-genetics.
The term also refers to the changes themselves: functionally relevant changes to the genome that do not involve a change in the nucleotide sequence. Examples of mechanisms that produce such changes are DNA methylation and histone modification, each of which alters how genes are expressed without altering the underlying DNA sequence. Gene expression can be controlled through the action of repressor proteins that attach to silencer regions of the DNA. These epigenetic changes may last through cell divisions for the duration of the cell's life, and may also last for multiple generations even though they do not involve changes in the underlying DNA sequence of the organism; instead, non-genetic factors cause the organism's genes to behave (or "express themselves") differently.
One example of an epigenetic change in eukaryotic biology is the process of cellular differentiation. During Morphogenesis, totipotent stem cells become the various pluripotent cell lines of the embryo, which in turn become fully differentiated cells. In other words, as a single fertilized egg cell – the zygote – continues to divide, the resulting daughter cells change into all the different cell types in an organism (including neurons, muscle cells, epithelium, endothelium of blood vessels, etc.) by activating some genes while inhibiting the expression of others.
The term Epigenetics is derived from the ancient Greek prefix epi (επί-) meaning "over, outside of, around, on top of" and the word genetics from genesis (γένεσις) meaning "origin", "source", or "birth".
Eugenics is also called Eugenetics.
Eugenics is the theory and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population. It is a social philosophy advocating the improvement of human genetic traits through the promotion of higher reproduction of people with desired traits (positive eugenics), and reduced reproduction of people with less-desired or undesired traits (negative eugenics).
CPER propagates the fundamental human right of Positive Intrinsic Eugenics (PIE), which belief is based on the following conditions:
Some examples of possible improved outcome (as perceived by the
procreating partners) of intrinsic positive 'breeding'
CPER's definition of PIE (within
Future evolution of mankind:
The term Eugenics is derived from the ancient Greek words eu- (εὖ), meaning "good/well", and -genes (γένος), meaning "born" or "race".
Biological Evolution is the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins. All life on Earth is descended from a last universal ancestor that lived approximately 3.8 billion years ago. Repeated speciation and the divergence of life can be inferred from shared sets of biochemical and morphological traits, or by shared DNA sequences. These homologous traits and sequences are more similar among species that share a more recent common ancestor, and can be used to reconstruct evolutionary histories, using both existing species and the fossil record. Existing patterns of biodiversity have been shaped both by speciation and by extinction.
Charles Darwin (12 Feb. 1809 – 19 Apr. 1882 †) was the first to formulate a scientific argument for the theory of evolution by means of natural selection. Evolution by natural selection is a process that is inferred from three facts about populations:
Thus, when members of a population die they are replaced by the
progeny of parents that were better adapted to survive and
reproduce in the environment in which natural selection took
place. This process creates and preserves traits that are
seemingly fitted for the functional roles they perform. Natural
selection is the only known cause of adaptation, but not the only
known cause of evolution. Other, non-adaptive causes of evolution
include mutation and genetic drift.
Members of CPER differ in their belief system about Biological Evolution from mainstream scientific agreements, in the following way: CPER acknowledges that, when an intelligent animal species emerges from millennial evolutional processes in nature, this species (at the moment: Human Being) can manipulate the outcome of evolutional tendencies. This way, the 'humanimal' starts giving accelerated direction to Progressive Evolution of its own life form, and eventually of future life in general.
The term Evolution is derived from the Latin word ēvolūtiō, meaning "unfolding" or "unrolling".