from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The doctrine of purposelessness in nature.
  • noun Purposelessness in natural structures, as manifested by the existence of vestigial or nonfunctional organs or parts.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The science of rudimentary or vestigial organs, apparently functionless or of no use or purpose in the economy of the organism, with reference to the doctrine of purposelessness.
  • noun Any evasion of the functional aim or end, as where an insect punctures a nectary from below without coming into contact with the anthers, thus frustrating the end of cross-fertilization.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Biol.) The doctrine of purposelessness; a term applied by Haeckel to that branch of physiology which treats of rudimentary organs, in view of their being useless to the life of the organism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun philosophy The view that existence has no telos or final cause from purposeful design.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • JM can't see the purpose for the dysteleology!

    August 18, 2010