Colloquial defunct speak

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The terms "sunrise" and "sunset" are examples of colloquial defunct speak, preserved culturally from ancient geocentric beliefs, namely in the phrase "sun rise", the sun does not technically "rise" upward in the sky, but rather the portion of the surface of the earth, wherein one is located, turns "towards" the sun; likewise, what we mean by "sun set", means that the surface of the earth, wherein one is located, rotates "away" from the sun.[1]

In terminology, colloquial defunct speak, "ignorant speak" or "dumb speak", refers to everyday language used by people, commonly or colloquially, which gets the idea across, e.g. “sun rise” / “sun set”, "when I die", "my self", or "selfish" genes, etc., but which are technically incorrect, from a modern scientific-based reality point of view.


Sun rise | Sun set

In 1453, when Nicolaus Copernicus published his On the Revolution of the Heavenly Orbs, children and adults "laughed" at his idea that “sun rise” and “sun set” do not exist; to cite one of many examples:

“There is mention of a certain new astrologer who wanted to prove that the earth moves and not the sky, the sun, and the moon. This would be as if somebody were riding on a cart or in a ship and imagined that he was standing still while the earth and the trees were moving.”
— Martin Luther (1539), “Comment during dinner meeting”, Jun

Presently, 560+ years later, children, at the age of eight (or 3rd grade) are taught, as a matter of fact, the Copernican view.[1]


In 1892, Karl Pearson, in his The Grammar of Science, cogently stated that the employment of the term “self”, as in self-determination or self-motion, is a violation of the principle of inertia, namely that “no physical corpuscle need be conceived as changing its motion except in the presence of other corpuscles”, and therefore, accordingly, the term "self" is defunct, as per the modern grammar of science.[2]


See main: Life terminology reform
A diagram was employed by Libb Thims in his 2016 lecture “Lotka’s Jabberwock: on the ‘Bio’ of BioPhysical Economics” as example of chemical perpetual motion used to make an origin of life argument.[1]

The issue of employing "inappropriate" terminology in respect to characterizing things as living or dead is very subtle to detect, particularly when it comes to animal-related movements. The comparative example can be seen in the 19th century objection to referring to springs as being "dead" when compressed, and "alive" when sprung open:

“The force expended in setting a body in motion is carried by the body itself, and exists with it and in it, throughout the whole course of its motion. This force possessed by moving bodies is termed by mechanical philosophers vis viva, or living force. The term may be deemed by some inappropriate, inasmuch as there is no life, properly speaking, in question; but it is useful, in order to distinguish the moving force from that which is stationary in its character, as the force of gravity. When, therefore, in the subsequent parts of this lecture I employ the term living force, you will understand that I simply mean the force of bodies in motion.”
James Joule (1847), “On Matter, Living Force, and Heat” [3]

In 1925, Alfred Lotka, in his opening "Regarding Definitions" chapter, of his Elements of Physical Biology, very-cogently told us that attempts to define "life" and or the "origin of life" in physical and chemical terms, was nothing but a hunt for a Jabberwock; at the end of which, however, he made no suggestions as to reform, merely stating that he would continue to employ these Jabberwocky terms out of a matter of convenience:

“We shall, wherever convenient, continue to employ the terms life, living organism, merely as a matter of convenience. This use of the terms does not imply or resuppose any precise distinction between living and non-living matter; it merely rests upon the fact that in most cases ordinarily met there is essentially universal agreement as to whether a portion of matter is to be classed in the first or in the second category.”
Alfred Lotka (1925), "Regarding Definitions" [4]

In 1938, Charles Sherrington, in his Man on His Nature, argued, in an extremely coherently manner, that from the point of view of modern chemistry and physics, we would be well-advised to divest, from our minds, our usage of “anthropisms[5] , such as "alive", in the explanation of things. This suggested was compounded, when in 1966 Francis Crick, in his Of Molecules and Men, in the wake of his neovitalism debates, concluded that we should "abandon" the term "alive".

On 23 Dec 2012, Libb Thims, in the wake of the defunct theory of life debate (2009-2012), began to outline a framework of life terminology reform (Ѻ), in respect to the defunct terms: life, alive, living, bio-, etc., and their antonyms, e.g. death, dead, die, abio-, etc.; what was formerly defined as being “alive”, e.g., became reclassified as the group of powered CHNOPS+ existives, thereby generally redefining the class of animate reproducing things: bacteria to humans.

Teleology | Chance

In 1973, Ernest Schoffeniels, in his Anti-Chance, gives a good overview of the misuse of both "chance" based language and "teleology" schemed ideas, at the chemical, zoological, and social level.

In 2007, Vicente Talanquer, following his dissectional analysis of the language employed in eight leading US college chemistry textbooks, found that the mindsets of many chemists are filled with subtle "teleological" explanations of chemical behavior, found particularly used in descriptions of the the second law, Le Chatelier's principle, and the octet rule (Abegg's rule); while much of his analysis is cogent; some of his "word phrasing" usage objections are quite subtle, and difficult to discern.

End matter

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Professor, Baby. (2020). Sunrise and Sunset: Effects of Planetary Motion: Space Science Book for 3rd Grade Children’s Astronomy and Space. Speedy Publishing.
  2. Self – Hmolpedia 2020.
  3. Joule, James. (1847). “On Matter, Living Force, and Heat”, Lecture at St. Ann’s Church Reading room; in: Manchester Courier newspaper, May 5 and 12; in The Scientific Papers, Volume 1 (pg. 266). The Physical Society, Great Britain.
  4. Regarding definitions - Hmolpedia 2020.
  5. Anthropism – Hmolpedia 2020.
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