[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Martian fossils (Martiobiota)

Ken Kinman (kinman@hotmail.com) wrote:
<Terra-, as in terrestrial, usually refers to "dry" land as
opposed to a water environment (e.g., a terrestrial fauna vs. a
freshwater or marine fauna).  Ge-, Geo-, Geos-, refer to Earth 
as a whole, as in geology (study of the Earth as a whole). That
is why I chose Geobiota.>

  My take on this is thusly:

  geo- < Gaea (Grk. myth, goddess of nature [not the earth
itself]), whereas the Greek used _kosmos_ to indicate the world
and the universe itself (a variation, _kosmon_ is used for the
people, "all the world's people," etc.).
  terre- < terra (Lat. the earth, the ground, etc.) also used to
refer to the world. Variations on the stem tend to refer to "of
the ground" as opposed to the sky, rather than the globe.
Understanding that concepts of the world that we hold today are
not those of the classical past.

  In using "Mars" (and the inevitable stem _marti-_ by usage,
one is using the Roman name for the brilliant red star, which we
now know as a planet, but it was not known as such back then.
Kim Stanley Robinson has made popular account of using the greek
name for the God of War as the basis for a stem in compounds,
hence "Areoforming" as opposed to "Terraforming," and so on.

  I'm not quibbling, just giving history of usage and stems....
Mars versus Terra, or Kosmos versus Ares would work. Precedence
is on Terra- and Geo-, and this is also the common usage for the
stems in astronomy, as in "geosynchronous," thus geo- and terra-
are probably the easiest to conceive. If we want to so wrangle
semantics, we would be flying in the face of precedence, which
should be held for the sake of lack of profusion in taxonomy.
Not that these two groups neccesarily needed names, as at the
time, people were doubting the rock's content as biological in
nature anyway, as has been published (I believe).

Jaime A. Headden

  Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Pampas!!!!

Do You Yahoo!?
Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.