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Sep 23, 2014
This week's theme
Words made with combining forms

This week's words
fissiparous
teleology

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

teleology

PRONUNCIATION:
(tel-ee-OL-uh-jee)

MEANING:
noun:
1. The belief or the study of design or purpose in nature.
2. Such design or purpose.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek tele- (far, end) + -logy (study). Earliest documented use: 1742.

USAGE:
"We have all encountered parents who view their child's education as a kind of reverse teleology, beginning with the 'right' kind of top job, working backwards through elite university, through school, even into the nursery playground."
Ed Smith; Left Field; New Statesman (London, UK); Aug 23-29, 2013.

"Believers search for a crumb of comfort or teleology in Darwin, but what looks promising always turns out to be poisoned. At the end of 'The Origin', for instance, Darwin feints toward reassurance, suggesting that life will 'tend to progress' over time. But his insistent, immediately adjacent point is that the future in which that progress may happen will be like the past -- a vast stretch of geologic time, unstructured by plan or purpose."
Adam Gopnik; Rewriting Nature; The New Yorker; Oct 23, 2006.

See more usage examples of teleology in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Our conscience is not the vessel of eternal verities. It grows with our social life, and a new social condition means a radical change in conscience. -Walter Lippmann, journalist (1889-1974)

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