Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Evolve: Word of the week 07/09/07

I've heard so many people talk about ideas or projects built on ideas that have grown and changed over time by saying "it evolved". I have always been annoyed by this use of the word, believing that it is inconsistent with the definition of the word and therefore utterly impossible.

My conclusion was based on this premise: ideas require thought. Evolution requires the absence of thought. Therefore, "the evolution of an idea" is an oxymoron. Honestly, I may have been driven in part by the feeling that use of the word gives assent to the theory.

However, the words evolve and evolution were not invented by Darwin. As a result, they both have meaning beyond his debunked theory and beyond biology.

In addition to providing enlightening definitions for both words, The American Heritage Dictionary also handles quite elegantly the word evolutionism.

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