FACTOID # 3: South Carolina has the highest rate of violent crimes and aggravated assaults per capita among US states.
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 


FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:



(* = Graphable)



Encyclopedia > Etiological myths

Etiology (alternately aetiology, aitiology) is the study of causation. It is derived from the Greek meaning 'concerned with causes', and so can refer to myths as well as to medical and philosophical theories. It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ...


Origin and usage of term

Look up etiology in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

The term (deriving from the Greek words αἰτίον aition, plural aitia = cause/causes and λόγος logos = word/speech) is used in philosophy, physics, psychology, government and biology in reference to the causes of various phenomena. It is generally the study of why things occur, or even the reasons behind the way that things act. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court. ... The first few hydrogen atom electron orbitals shown as cross-sections with color-coded probability density Physics (Greek: (phúsis), nature and (phusiké), knowledge of nature) is the branch of science concerned with the discovery and characterization of universal laws which govern matter, energy, space, and time. ... Psychology (from Greek: ψυχή, psukhÄ“, spirit, soul; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is an academic / applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior of humans and animals. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

In medicine

In medicine in particular, the term refers to the causes of diseases or pathologies. An example of the usage can be found in Ref. [1], which discusses the etiology of cleft lips and explains several methods used to study causation. medicines, see medication and pharmacology. ... The term disease refers to an abnormal condition of an organism that impairs function. ... Pathology (from Greek pathos, feeling, pain, suffering; and logos, study of; see also -ology) is the study of the processes underlying disease and other forms of illness, harmful abnormality, or dysfunction. ...

Etiological discovery in medicine has a history in Robert Koch's demonstration that the tubercle bacillus (Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex) causes the disease tuberculosis, that Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax, and that cholera is caused by Vibrio cholerae. This line of thinking and evidence is summarised in Koch's postulates. Proof of causation in infectious diseases is limited, however, to individual cases that provide experimental evidence of etiology. For the American lobbyist, see Bobby Koch. ... Binomial name Mycobacterium tuberculosis Zopf 1883 Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the bacterium that causes most cases of tuberculosis[1]. It was first described on March 24, 1882 by Robert Koch, who subsequently received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for this discovery in 1905. ... Tuberculosis (abbreviated as TB for Tubercle Bacillus) is a common and deadly infectious disease that is caused by mycobacteria, primarily Mycobacterium tuberculosis. ... Binomial name Bacillus anthracis Cohn 1872 Bacillus anthracis is a Gram-positive, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacterium of the genus Bacillus. ... Cholera (frequently called Asiatic cholera or epidemic cholera) is a severe diarrheal disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. ... Binomial name Vibrio cholerae Pacini 1854 Vibrio cholerae is a gram negative bacterium with a curved-rod shape that causes cholera in humans. ... Kochs postulates (or Henle-Koch postulates) are four criteria designed to establish a causal relationship between a causative microbe and a disease. ...

In epidemiology, several lines of evidence taken in aggregate are required to infer causation. Sir Adrian Bradford-Hill demonstrated a causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer, and summarised the line of reasoning in the epidemiological criteria for causation. Dr. Al Evans, a US epidemiologist, put forward the Unified Concept of Causation, a synthesis of the predecessors' ideas.

Etiological research in medicine has required further thinking in epidemiology - we may distinguish what is seen to be associated or statistically correlated, as due to several possible relationships. Things may be associated in observation due to chance, or due to bias or confounding, as well as due to causation (or reverse causation). Careful sampling and measurement are more important in teasing out causation from chance, bias or confounding than sophisticated statistical analyses. Experimental evidence, involving interventions (providing or removing the supposed cause) gives the most compelling evidence of etiology.

Thus etiology may be one part of a chain of causation. An etiological agent (sine qua non) of disease may require an independent co-factor (necessary but not sufficient), and be subject to a promoter (increases expression) in producing a disease. An example of all the above would be the late recognition that peptic ulcer disease may be induced by stress, requires the presence of acid secretion in the stomach, and have primary etiology in Helicobacter pylori infection. Many chronic diseases of unknown cause may be studied in this frame of reference to explain multiple epidemiological associations or risk factors which may or may not be causally related, and to seek the actual etiology. Peptic ulcer is a non-malignant ulcer of the stomach (called gastric ulcer) or duodenum (called duodenal ulcer). ... Binomial name Helicobacter pylori ((Marshall 1985) Goodwin 1989) Helicobacter pylori is a helical shaped Gram-negative bacterium that colonises the mucus layer of gastric epithelium in the stomach, and also the duodenum when it has undergone gastric metaplasia. ...

In mythology

An etiological myth is a myth intended to explain a name or create a mythic history for a place or family. In Biblical criticism, etiologies give theological explanations for names or occurrences. The word mythology (from the Greek μυολογία mythología, from μυολογείν mythologein to relate myths, from μύος mythos, meaning a narrative, and λόγος logos, meaning speech or argument) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ...

For example, the name Delphoi and its associated deity, Apollon Delphinios, are explained in the Homeric Hymn which tells how Apollo carried Cretans over the sea in the shape of a dolphin to make them his priests. While there is an actual etymological connection between Delphoi and delphis (delphus means "womb"), many etiological myths are based on popular etymology (the term "Amazon", for example). In Virgil's Aeneid (published circa 17 BC), many places are given mythical histories, but more importantly the then ruling Julian Family are related back to the mythical hero Aeneas through his son Ascanius, whose second name was Iulus (since I and J were interchangeable Iulus become Julus and thence the Julians). Another example might be that of the setting of the rainbow in the heavens as a sign of God's covenant with Noah - and through him all mankind (Genesis 9); or in the story of Lot's wife in Genesis 19 (specifically 26) explains why there are pillars of salt in the area of the Dead Sea. [2] Delphi (Greek Δελφοί, [ðe̞lˈfi]) is an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in a valley of Phocis. ... Lycian Apollo, early Imperial Roman copy of a fourth century Greek original (Louvre Museum) In Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo (Ancient Greek , Apóllōn; or , Apellōn), the ideal of the kouros (a beardless youth), was the archer-god of medicine and healing, light, truth, archery and also a... The anonymous Homeric Hymns are a collection of ancient Greek hymns. ... For the famous World War II battle, see: Battle of Crete For other uses, see Crete (disambiguation). ... Genera See article below. ... A fake etymology is an invented explanation (etymology) for the origin of a word. ... The Amazons (in Greek, Αμαζόνες) were an ancient nation of female warriors or a society dominated by women, at the edges of Scythia in Sarmatia (Herodotus). ... Aeneas flees burning Troy, Federico Barocci, 1598 Galleria Borghese, Rome The Aeneid (IPA English pronunciation: ; in Latin Aeneis, pronounced — the title is Greek in form: genitive case Aeneidos): is a Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BCE (between 29 and 19 BCE) that tells the legendary story... Gaius Julius Caesar [1] (Latin pronunciation ; English pronunciation ; July 12 or July 13, 100 BC or 102 BC–March 15, 44 BC), was a Roman military and political leader and one of the most influential men of classical antiquity. ... Aeneas flees burning Troy, Federico Barocci, 1598. ... Covenant, in its most general sense, is a solemn and bilateral promise to do or not do something specified. ... Noahs Ark, Französischer Meister (The French Master), Magyar Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest. ... It has been suggested that Lut be merged into this article or section. ... The Dead Sea (Hebrew: , translated as Sea of Salt); (Arabic: ) is a salt lake between the West Bank and Israel to the west, and Jordan to the east. ...

An etiological myth may also supply a rationale for an observed phenomenon. Hyginus writes, in Poeticon astronomicon of Pleione's daughters, the Hyades Two pages from the Ratdolt edition of the Poeticon astronomicon showing woodcuts of the constellations Cassiopeia and Andromeda. ... Pleione is in Greek mythology, an Oceanid, daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. ... Hyades can refer to the mythological Hyades the open star cluster Hyades the italian thrash metal band This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

"When Pleione once was travelling through Boeotia with her daughters, Orion, who was accompanying her, tried to attack her. She escaped, but Orion sought her for seven years and couldn’t find her. Jove, pitying the girls, appointed a way to the stars, and later, by some astronomers, they were called the Bull’s tail. And so up to this time Orion seems to be following them as they flee towards the west."

The purpose of this etiology is simply to provide an "and so" for the apparent placement of the star cluster; thus the myth is easily decoded. In this case, no other known connection in Greek myth or ritual links Orion and Pleione. Pleione is in Greek mythology, an Oceanid, daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. ... // Orion was a hunter in Greek mythology. ... Look up taurus, Taurus in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

See also

A just-so story is a term used in academic anthropology, biological sciences, and social sciences for a narrative explanation for a cultural practice or a biological trait or behavior of humans or animals which is unverifiable and unfalsifiable. ...


  1. ^ Greene, Joanne, The three C's of etiology, Wide Smiles website
  2. ^ notes in Oxford Annotated Edition, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, 1973



Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m