This is a living dictionary and it welcomes comments from all


Download 3.31 Mb.
Size3.31 Mb.
1   ...   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   ...   59


COOPERATION: A mutually helpful interaction essential in all living communities which when not embraced in human communities typically results in conflict and destructive competition for resources. (See BRAINSTORMING, COMPROMISE, CONSENSUS, TEAMWORK). (IP)

COPYRIGHT: Copyright protection applies to eight categories of works: literary; musical; dramatic; pantomime and choreographic; pictorial, graphic and sculptural; motion pictures and audio-visual work; sound recording; and computer programs. Copyright protects the expression of an idea, not the idea itself. (DM)

CORAL: Coral is a colonial animal which is formed from the symbiotic relationship of single-celled dinoflagellate algae (zooxanthellae) with coral polyps (class Anthozoa, phylum Cnidaria). The polyps exchange phosphates and nitrates for carbohydrates in the process of skeleton building. (See CNIDARIA, CORAL BLEACHING, CORAL REEF) (MP)

CORAL BLEACHING: A devastating condition which has spread alarmingly in recent years and now affects large regions of Earth’s coral reef systems, coral bleaching occurs when the zooxanthellae evacuate the coral skeleton, leaving the animal dead and whitened. Coral bleaching is correlated with increased temperature, implicating global warming as a possible cause. Coral bleaching is a process which destroys the very habitat upon which whole ecologies depend. (See CORAL) (MP)

CORAL REEF: A habitat which provides for one of the largest biodiversities of any other, coral reefs are perhaps the underwater equivalent of tropical rainforests. Also found mostly in tropical and subtropical zones, coral reefs tend to form in less than 100m depth and greater than 18oC temperature. An atoll is a coral island, often a ring of reef with a lagoon. Coral reefs are dynamic systems with high biodiversity, productivity and complexity, even in a nutrient-poor environment. They are giant living platforms of interlaced corals and the complex ecological community that comes along with them. Coral reefs are fragile, and currently threatened by coral bleaching, sediment/fertilizer runoff, commercial fishing trawlers, over-fishing, oil exploration, pest species like the crown-of-thorns starfish, anchor damage, development and mass tourism. (See CORAL, CORAL BLEACHING, GREAT BARRIER REEF, SUPER-ORGANISM) (MP)

CORNUCOPIANS are individuals who believe human population control is not needed. Originated from cornu copiae or horn of plenty (after the goat Amalthea by which Zeus was suckled). (IP)

CORONAS meaning "crown" are colored rings which appear around the moon or sun when seen through thin clouds consisting of water droplets. They are produced by diffraction and are more common with the moon because the sun’s brightness may make it difficult to see the effect (see GREEN FLASH, HALOES, MIRAGES, RAINBOWS). (IP)

CORRELATION: Relationship between two variables. A correlation coefficient shows how closely two sets of data are related. If the relationship between the two sets of data is perfect and positive, then the correlation coefficient is 1.0. If, for example, an extra 1 cm of height always meant that a person was 600 g heavier, then the correlation coefficient between heights and masses among people would be 1.0. If the relationship between two sets of data is inverse, then the correlation coefficient is negative. A perfect, inverse relationship has a correlation coefficient of -1.0. When there is no relationship between two sets of data the correlation coefficient is close to 0 and does not differ significantly from it. Correlation does not imply CAUSATION (q.v.). (MR) (See CAUSATION)

CORROBORATE: A hypothesis is corroborated if it is subjected to an experimental test which cannot manage to falsify it. (See FALSIFICATION) (MP)

CORROBOREE: It is said that the word is the English version of the Australian Aboriginal

term "carib-berie" or ceremony ritualized in song and dance. Traditionally, corroborrees re-enacted the Dreamtime or Creation stories and were also activated for sacred, law education or war-like purposes. Aboriginal cultures have an oral tradition where stories (often past from one generation to the next for thousands of years) are used to educate about traditional law, folk lore, spirituality and gender-specific matters (see Mens’s Business & Women’s Business). Nowadays the oral medium continues to triumph in modern theater, song and dance and give expression, often in strongly political terms, to Aboriginal history and experience inspired from their perspective (see AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL). 2. In general usage for any large and noisy Australian celebration. (IP)

CORTISOL: A glucocorticoid steroid hormone produced naturally by the cortex of the adrenal gland and also synthesized for pharmacological use. Cortisol and its synthetic derivatives; such as cortisone (also called prednilosone), are most potent anti-inflammatory agents that can effectively treat asthma attacks and reduce joint inflammation. When injected directly into joints, bursae or tendon sheaths the drug, since it does not enter the general circulation, is less likely to cause multiple toxic effects compared to oral administration. Treatments for asthma, which are typically delivered in aerosols (puffers or inhalers) containing corticosteroids such as cortisone, are drugs that relax (bronchodilate) airways. Asthma is more common in Australia and New Zealand than anywhere else in the world. It is thought to be provoked by external allergens such as pollen, dust, certain foods, emotional crises and excessive cold or exercise. (See ADRENAL GLANDS, ASPIRIN). (IP)

COSMETIC SURGERY: (Greek kosmesis 'adornment'). The improvement of the outward appearance of parts of the body. A distinction can be made between cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery where the former, typically, refers to minor reconstruction of cutaneous or underlying tissues performed to improve or correct a structural defect. This is usually done under local anesthetic. Plastic (from the Greek plassein 'to mold') surgery, on the other hand, applies to the alteration, replacement or restoration of visible parts of the body in order to correct a major structural or cosmetic defect. In these operations the surgeon may, typically, resort to tissue grafting (most commonly skin grafts) or employ inert material that can be molded into the required shape (mammoplasty or breast implants, for example). Reconstructive plastic surgery is routinely performed to correct birth defects (cleft lip and palate, for example) and to repair structures destroyed by trauma. (See COSMETICS). (DM, IP)

COSMETICS: (Greek kosmein 'to adorn'). The preparations used to enhance the appearance of skin or for emphasizing the features of the face or the shape of the finger-tips and so on. Face powder made of powdered rice or semolina, or of chemical compounds has been widely used for giving the face a smooth, mat surface. Kohl is used for shading the eyelids in order to make the eyes appear bigger, henna for staining hair, fingers and toes. Rouge for coloring cheeks and rouge paste (lipstick) for reddening the lips and varnish for finger and toenails. Since antiquity, the human animal has re-designed the body to enhance beauty for aesthetic augmentation and for heightened sexual excitement. (See COSMETIC SURGERY). (IP)

COSMIC RADIATION: High-energy particles with extreme penetration power capable of passing through many meters of lead. Cosmic rays originate in outer space and are distinguished as primary which impinge on the Earth's atmosphere and secondary which are produced within the atmosphere, or the Earth itself, from collisions between the primary radiation and atmospheric atoms. (See RADIATION, RADIOACTIVITY). (IP)

COSMOGONY: Pre-scientific, mythological, folkloric and religious explanations of the nature and genesis of the universe. (See COSMOLOGY) (MP)

COSMOLOGY: The scientific and philosophical study of the cosmos; the observable universe and the universe as a whole. (See ASTRONOMY, ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOGONY) (MP)


COUNSELLING: Provision of help, support of every kind (e.g. Moral, mental, spiritual) to a person in need e.g. Disease stricken. (See also GENETIC COUNSELING). (JA)

COURTESAN: 1. (Italian: cortigiana 'woman of the court') a court mistress or woman who provided companionship and/or sexual services for a member of the wealthy aristocracy, usually on a long-term basis, in return for financial support and a place to live 2. generally a 'high-class' prostitute (see MISTRESS). (IP)

COVENANT: A solemn agreement between two or more parties. A binding, enduring relationship characterized by mutual fidelity and trust. (DM)

CPR: Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation.


CRACK OR CRACK COCAINE: The street names of a highly addictive form of cocaine which is smoked. It’s made by baking a mixture of crystalline cocaine with baking powder and water until it is hard, then its broken up into smaller pieces which are smoked for their stimulating effect. The name evolved from the distinctive 'cracking" sound the hard substance makes when broken or smoked and gave rise to terms such as crackhead (a user of crack), crack houses (houses where crack is prepared or sold), crack pipe (the home-made device in which crack is smoked) and crack wars (associated violence with the drug). Addicted women give birth, often prematurely, to intrauterine growth retarded infants (crack babies) commonly with brain damage and other developmental disorders (See ADDICTION, COCAINE COCAINE BABIES, HYDROCHLORIDE). (IP)


CREATIONISM: The idea that God created the world, sometimes also identified with the idea that God created each species separately. Some people think that creationism conflicts with the idea that the world has always existed, but there is no contradiction in the idea that a God who has always existed has always been creating the world. Some people think that Darwinist evolutionary theory conflicts with creationism, but there is no contradiction in the idea that God created the world with laws of the sort described in Darwinist evolutionary theory. (See ORIGIN OF LIFE).

Fundamental Christian creationists have often objected to Darwin, just as the Catholic Church condemned Galileo for his acceptance of the Copernican heliocentric theory in astronomy. This was because Christians often insisted on a literal interpretation Of the Bible. But Jews, who since Talmudic times have been accustomed to metaphorical interpretations of Biblical texts, had no theological problems either with Galileo or Darwin. Darwin reported that an article in Hebrew claimed that the doctrine of The Origin of Species matches the Biblical account of creation. Rabbi Avraham Itzhak Kook, the great rabbi and philosopher of modern Israel, had a philosophy very congenial to Darwinism. (See ORIGIN OF LIFE) (FL)

CREATIVITY: Valid originality. (MR)

CREEL SURVEY: A creel is a basket or trap for holding fish, so a creel survey is a technique for estimating fishing effort by interviewing fishers and surveying their catch. (See SUSTAINABLE FISHING) (MP)

CREMATION: Burning of the human body and reducing it to ashes. This practice was in effect in Europe already in the Stone Age. In Mycenean Greece (10 century bce), it was an important part of Greek funeral ceremonies. Cremation was widely practiced in the Roman Empire, but was avoided by the Jewish and Christian communities, because the practice was seen as pagan. It was also avoided by Zoroastrians because it was seen as polluting the fire. (See TOWER OF SILENCE) In Asia, cremation is an important part of Hindu and Buddhist funerals, and has been practiced since ancient times. (AG)

CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB DISEASE (CJD) a fatal encephalopathy caused by a prion first documented by German neurologists Hans Creutzfeldt (1885-1964) and Alfons Jakob (1884-1931). The formation of dementia-inducing plaques in the brain of infected individuals causes a progressive decline in cognition and motor function and, ultimately, death within a year of commencement of symptoms. The prion is thought to be a human variant of mad cow disease. There are well documented cases of cross-infection in patients who have developed the disease iatrogenically following corneal transplantation or hormonal treatments, such as fertility drugs or growth hormone, processed from infected human pituitary-derived preparations. The true extent of spread in the human population is unknown because of the disease’s extended 15-40 year incubation period (see BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY and PRIONS). (IP)

CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: A term used since the Nuremberg Trials, international war crimes recognized as 'Crimes Against Humanity' (Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 1998) are known acts as part of widespread or systematic aggression towards any civilian population which include: a) murder, b) extermination, c) enslavement, d) deportation or forcible transfer, e) imprisonment, f) torture, g) rape or enforced prostitution, pregnancy or sterilization, h) group persecution on grounds of politics, race, nationality, ethnicity, culture, religion or gender, i) enforced disappearance, j) the crime of apartheid, and k) other similarly inhumane acts causing great suffering or serious mental or physical injury. (See GENOCIDE, INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT, JUST WAR THEORY, NUREMBERG TRIALS, WAR CRIMES) (MP)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE .Leads to the wider issue of social justice - the idea of equality at the starting line like equality of opportunity which has always been built into certain progressive, liberal views of the world that wishes to believe in the overwhelming importance of the environment in determinism. (IP)

CRITICAL MASS: 1. The minimum quantity of fissile material required for a nuclear chain reaction. (See CHAIN REACTION, NUCLEAR WEAPONS) 2. The minimum amount of people with shared understanding or needs to tip the balance and instigate change. (See THRESHOLD, FEEDBACK) 3. A large cyclist gathering and rally promoting bicycle safety, road access for bikes and pollution-free transport, the monthly ‘Critical Mass’ is a self-organizing community campaign, a bit like ‘Reclaim the Streets’ for pedestrians. The critical mass of cyclists or pedestrians simply block off roads at their allocated time and take over the streets of a certain area. (See BICYCLE TRANSPORT, RECLAIM THE STREETS) (MP)

CRITICAL NATURAL CAPITAL: Natural capital and environmental assets essential to the functioning of the life support services supplied by ecosystems. These non-substitutable components of the global environment must be conserved for human survival and wellbeing. Human uses and values are ultimately dependent upon the primary values of ecological systems. Biogeochemical cycles, keystone species and the ozone layer are examples of critical natural capital. (See NATURAL CAPITAL) (MP)

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED: A species or other taxon which is at extreme risk of becoming extinct in the wild in the immediate future. This may be indicated by any of the following measures: a) a previous or projected population reduction of at least 80% over whichever is longer of a period of 10 years or three generations, b) extent of occurrence less than 100 km2 or area of occupancy less than 10 km2, along with population decline, fragmentation or extreme fluctuations, c) population less than 250 mature individuals with continuing decline, d) population less than 50 mature individuals, or e) probability of extinction in the wild estimated at 50% over the longer of 10 years or three generations. (See ENDANGERED SPECIES, EXTINCTION, GHOST SPECIES, VULNERABLE SPECIES) (MP)


CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY: A cross-sectional study or survey examines the range across a broad subject at a certain time, compared to a longitudinal study which is across several time intervals. (See LONGITUDINAL STUDY) (MP)

CROSSING OVER: The breaking during meiosis of one maternal and one paternal chromosome, the exchanging of corresponding sections of DNA, and the rejoining of the chromosomes. (DM+GK)

CRYOBIOLOGY: (Greek: kryos 'cold') Refers to the technology of freezing and thawing of biological tissues, particularly of gametes (sperm and oocytes) and embryos. Although the deep freezing of sperm was developed early in the 1900s, the successful freezing and thawing of oocytes and embryos is a relatively new technology. The first successful freezing and thawing of mouse embryos was reported independently in 1972 by David Whittingham and Ian Wilmut and paved the way for the first human frozen embryo born in 1983 in The Netherlands, and the second in Australia in 1984. (Greek kryos cold) (See CRYOPRESERVATION). (IP)

CRYOGEN: (Greek: kryos 'cold' + genein 'to produce') A chemical such as dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) that induces freezing which is commonly used to destroy diseased tissue without injuring the adjacent structures as used in cryosurgery (Greek kryos hidden + genein to produce) (see CRYOBIOLOGY and CRYOPRESERVATION). (IP)

CRYOGENICS: The science of producing very low temperatures, as well as the applications, phenomena and technology pertaining to those temperatures. Applications include cryobiology, cryosurgery and the cryopreservation of biological samples. Some hopeful terminal patients have also been placed in cryonic suspension, involving deep freezing of their bodies or brains for future resuscitation in an era of more advanced medicine. (See CRYOBIOLOGY, CRYOGEN, CRYOPRESERVATION) (MP)

CRYOGENIC ENGINEERING: A section of engineering to study operations of engineering devices at a very low temperatures- cryogenic engines in space flights. (JA)


CRYOPRESERVATION: A hi-tech methodology involving the use of liquid nitrogen to preserve living organisms/parts (sperms/eggs/embryo) with a possibility of revival to life at a later date. A method of preserving cells, tissues and organs in a viable state by freezing. The basis of the technique is to allow cooling to take place at a carefully controlled rate in the presence of cryoprotective agents; that is, antifreezes such as dimethylsulphoxide with the aim to subject, an embryo for example, to controlled desiccation thus preventing fatal damage by the formation of ice crystals. Once deep-frozen the gametes/embryos may be stored indefinitely in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of minus 196 degrees Celsius. Cryopreservation is particularly important in the context of the preservation of endangered species (See CRYOBIOLOGY). (IP+JA)

CRYOSPHERE: The Earth’s snow and ice masses (see BIOSPHERE, EXOSPHERE, HYDROSPHERE). (IP)

CRYOTHERAPY: A condition of hypothermia created during major surgical operations so as to decrease the oxygen requirement of a patient. (JA)

CRYPTIC: (Greek: kryptos 'hidden') 1. something secret or concealed 2. in the medical sense pertaining to a disease of unknown cause such as in cryptogenic infection - caused by pathogenic microorganisms of unknown origin 3. in the biological sense the cryptic appearance of an animal, the chameleon for example, refers to the resemblance of it to some part of the environment which helps it to escape detection by predators (Greek kryptos hidden). (IP).

CRYPTOGRAPHY: Crypto = hidden, graphy = writings. With the use of coded language, secret messages can be sent and the codes are deciphered to read the actual message. (JA)


CSIRO: Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (Australia).

CUCKOLD: Derogatory term for a man whose wife or partner has committed adultery; an allusion to the surreptitious parasitic nature of the cuckoo, whose eggs are raised in the nest of another bird. (See ADULTERY, OPEN MARRIAGE) (MP)

CULTIVAR: An international term denoting certain cultivated plants that are clearly distinguishable from others by one or more characteristics and which when reproduced retain those characteristics. A cultured variety of plant. In the USA "variety" is considered to be synonymous with cultivar (derived from cultivated variety). Cultivars are also called ^straqin^. In closely related species although a few genetically disctiinct features can be recognized, the differences are not strong enough to consider them as two different species. This word is commonly used in plant breeding and in the culture of microorganisms. (DM, JA).

CULTURAL EVOLUTION: Culture evolves and technology progresses, with cultural evolutionary mechanisms analogous but different to those of biological evolution. Investigators of evolutionary aspects of culture have included philosophers (e.g. Lewis Morgan, Arnold Toynbee, James Baldwin, Thomas Kuhn, Daniel Dennett, Jared Diamond), social Darwinists (Herbert Spencer), linguists (Noam Chomsky, Steven Pinker), environmentalists (E.F. Schumacher), biologists (Richard Dawkins), sociobiologists (F.T. Cloak, E.O. Wilson) and technologists (Eric Drexler, Marvin Minsky). Cultural evolution differs from biological evolution in its fast rate, directedness, and Lamarckian ‘copy the product’ inheritance among other things. The comparison with genes has been facilitated by the concept of the meme, or cultural replicator, and its associated field of study, memetics. Ideas and cultures compete for survival, evolve, have different fecundity, copying fidelity and longevity, and may go extinct. Many languages, cultures and traditions are being lost to the uncompromising march of modernization, globalization, westernization and urbanization. More ‘modern’ may not equate with ‘better’, as in the case of indigenous peoples uprooted from an eco-centric tradition and absorbed into the slums and shanty-towns of big cities. Although excessive cultural diversity allows for fundamentalism and inequality, excessive globalization results in the dilution and homogenization of world culture. A tolerant, multicultural middle path is preferable. (See ETYMOLOGY, GLOBALIZATION, INDIGENIZATION, MEME, MEMETICS, MIDDLE WAY, MODERNIZATION, MULTIMODAL COMMUNICATION, PARADIGM, SEMIOTICS, SOCIAL DARWINISM, TECHNOLOGY, WESTERNIZATION) (MP)

CULTURAL HERITAGE: Cultural heritage sites include the significant monuments, architecture, artistry, archaeology, artifacts and other human works of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science. The conservation of cultural heritage is achieved at a local level with organizations such as the National Trust of Australia, and internationally as outlined in the 1972 UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The less tangible forms of cultural heritage - beliefs and practices handed down by generational transmission, must be conserved by recording indigenous knowledge into permanent written form, and by maintaining cultural diversity itself. (See HERITAGE, NATURAL HERITAGE, WORLD HERITAGE) (MP)

CULTURAL IDENTITY: The cultural background and behavioral distinctiveness an individual tends to be associated and identify with. Cultural identity is a mixture of history, social mores, cultural values and spiritual belief. Using the Australian example, Aboriginal culture may identify with life on the land, local community, respect for elders, and the ancestral Dreamtime. Members of the ‘stolen generation’ adopted into white families have had their cultural identity lost or fragmented between two worlds (cultural identity-crisis). Another Aussie identity is strongly influenced by a culture of mateship, egalitarianism, the outdoors, and an easy-going, no-bullshit attitude, stemming from a history of convict settlement, bushrangers, outback exploration, the ANZAC legend and multiculturalism. (See BOAT PEOPLE, CULTURE, MINORITY GROUPS, MULTICULTURALISM, STOLEN GENERATION) (MP)

Share with your friends:
1   ...   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   ...   59

The database is protected by copyright © 2019
send message

    Main page