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GLOSSARY
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Parallel Distributed Processing

From cognitive science, whereby information is handled more efficiently by the use of many modular processing units connected in parallel. Also applies to many simpler computers conntected together to accomplish a more complicated data processing task.

Phanerozoic Era

The later of the two principal divisions of Earth history which span from the Precambrian some 540 million years ago to the present.

Phenotype

The observable characters of a specific organism - macromolecules, cells, structures, metabolism, energy utilization, tissues, organs, reflexes and behaviors. Their manifestation is dependent upon genotype and environment.

Phylogeny

The full range of evolutionary stages involved in the formation of a species.

Phylum

A taxonomic category in classifying animals composed of groups of related forms and classes. These constitute the major subdivisions of the animal kingdom.

Power Law

A mathematical relationship between the intensity and frequency of an event or pattern whence the greater the intensity, the lesser the frequency. Examples are earthquakes or networks.

Processualism

A name from the field of Archaeology to describe its approach from the 1960's to engage a modern. scientific methodology. Dissenters now propose a "post-processualism" that is more inclusive and diverse.

Prokaryote

A bacterial cell without a distinct nucleus.

Protein

An organic macromolecule formed by amino acids joined by peptide bonds.