Dominant group/Intellectual Merit

For the term dominant group, the intellectual merit “is chiefly concerned with scientific merit as judged by scientists”.[1]

Here a female gorilla demonstrates the intellectual quality of beneficial tool use. Credit: Thomas Breuer and Vicki Fishlock.

With respect to grant applications to the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), "[k]nowledgeable persons outside NEH will read each application and advise the agency about its merits. NEH staff comments on matters of fact or on significant issues that otherwise would be missing from these reviews, then makes recommendations to the National Council on the Humanities. The National Council meets at various times during the year to advise the NEH chairman on grants. The Chairman takes into account the advice provided by the review process and, by law, makes all funding decisions."[2] Bold added.

Dominant group edit

Here, the evidence needed is that which demonstrates the concepts embodied in the term dominant group, and its synonyms, explored through research, specifically, original research about these, have intellectual merit or quality.

Intellectual as a word may be an adjective or a noun.


  1. "Belonging to, or performed by, the intellect; mental or cognitive; as, intellectual powers, activities, etc."[3]
  2. "Endowed with intellect; having the power of understanding; having capacity for the higher forms of knowledge or thought; characterized by intelligence or mental capacity; as, an intellectual person."[3]
  3. "Suitable for exercising the intellect; formed by, and existing for, the intellect alone; perceived by the intellect; as, intellectual employments."[3]
  4. "Relating to the understanding; treating of the mind; as, intellectual philosophy, sometimes called "mental" philosophy."[3]
  5. "(archaic, poetic) Spiritual."[3], as an adjective,

is called an intellectual applicant or application.


  1. "An intelligent, learned person, especially one who discourses about learned matters."[3]
  2. "(archaic) The intellect or understanding; mental powers or faculties."[3], as a noun,

is called an intellectual.

Merit edit


  1. "Something deserving positive recognition."[4] "His reward for his merit was a check for $50."[4]
  2. "Something worthy of a high rating."[4]
  3. "A claim to commendation or reward."[4]
  4. "The quality of deserving reward."[4], as a noun,

is called a merit.


  1. "To earn or to deserve."[4]
  2. "To be worthy or deserving."[4]
  3. "(obsolete, rare) To reward."[4], as a verb,

is called to merit. The results of the review have been encouraging enough to merit further investigation.

Quality edit


  1. "Level of excellence"[5]
    "This school is well-known for having teachers of high quality."[5]
    "Quality of life is usually determined by health, education, and income."[5]
  2. "A property or an attribute that differentiates a thing or person."[5]
    "One of the qualities of pure iron is that it does not rust easily."[5]
    "While being impulsive can be great for artists, it is not a desirable quality for engineers."[5]
    "Security, stability, and efficiency are good qualities of an operating system."[5]
  3. "(archaic) High social position."[5]
    "A peasant is not allowed to fall in love with a lady of quality."[5]
    "Membership of this golf club is limited to those of quality and wealth."[5]
  4. "The degree to which a man-made object or system is free from bugs and flaws, as opposed to scope of functions or quantity of items."[5]
    "To identify quality try asking, "what does it feel like?"."[5] as a noun,

is called a quality.

  • "Adjectives often applied to "quality": high, good, excellent, exceptional, great, outstanding, satisfactory, acceptable, sufficient, adequate, poor, low, bad, inferior, dubious, environmental, visual, optical, industrial, total, artistic, educational, physical, musical, chemical, spiritual, intellectual, architectural, mechanical."[5] as a usage note.

Def. "Being of good worth, well made, fit for purpose."[5] as an adjective,

"We only sell quality products."[5]
"That was a quality game by Jim Smith."[5]
"A quality system ensures products meet customer requirements."[5]

is called a quality applicant or application.

Sciences edit

Def. "[o]ne whose activities make use of the scientific method to answer questions regarding the measurable universe"[6] is called a scientist.

"A scientist may be involved in original research, or make use of the results of the research of others."[6]

Def. "[a] method of discovering knowledge about the natural world based in making falsifiable predictions (hypotheses), testing them empirically, and developing peer-reviewed theories that best explain the known data"[7] is called a scientific method.

Scientific method is a two-word scientific term.

Humanities edit

Even in a science, there are questions that endure after centuries, millennia. Intellectual merit or quality is not limited to scientists. Humanity may have created the concepts behind dominant group for only self-interest or composed them in response to something thrust upon us in ancient times.

"Evaluators [for NEH] are asked to apply the following criteria when judging the quality of applications."[2]

1. Intellectual quality

Does the proposed course explore an enduring question that lends itself to sustained and open inquiry?
Does the proposal make a persuasive case for the historical persistence of the question?
Is there a well-articulated relationship between the enduring question to be considered and the works to be studied by the faculty member(s) in preparing the envisioned course?
Are intellectual pluralism and balance evident in the question to be considered and in the works proposed for the course?
Does the approach to the question suggest more than one plausible answer?
Does the course draw on works from a range of historical periods?
Does the course emphasize extensive reading?
Is the proposal clear, free of jargon, and accessible to nonspecialists?

2. Feasibility

Does the course development plan require the faculty member(s) to read extensively from a body of primary and scholarly literature that reaches significantly beyond their current expertise?
Is the plan of work well designed?
Does the course development plan enable the faculty member(s) to teach the course without relying on guest presenters (including any project team members)?
Is the envisioned course well suited to its intended audience?
Are the envisioned core readings ambitious but realistic for undergraduates at the applicant institution?
Are ancillary activities, if any, well conceived?

3. Impact

Is the proposed course new?
Does the course have the potential to foster intellectual community—anchored in an enduring question—among students in the course?
Has the institution committed to having the course offered at least twice during the grant period by each faculty member involved in developing it?
Are the dissemination plans appropriate?

Advancing knowledge and understanding edit

“How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields?”[8]

The current activity is exploratory in nature and is resulting in an advance of knowledge and understanding about the term dominant group and its uses within various fields. The identification of its own field may result; thereby, in allowing differentiation of other fields so as to determine how knowledge is advanced across those different fields. It's like differential equations. Although differential equations is a subject within mathematics, it's spread to other subjects such as physics with ensuing use advances knowledge within physics. Differential equations is a two-word scientific term.

The proposed activity consists of finding the origin of dominant group or one of its relative synonyms, defining the two-word scientific/technical term perhaps from context (lexical pragmatics) (or perhaps rigorously), determining why scientists outside biology (especially evolution or entomology) use the term, and verifying its divergence and radiance by examples.

The field of dominant group appears to be regions, or the science of regions. Within a region in any science, including the social sciences, there may be a dominant group. Each region is defined by its limits. These limits in turn may allow for a dominant group. Change the limits (characteristics) for any region and the dominant group may go extinct. If a regional genome in biology lacks the potency to take advantage of any change in regional characteristics, there will be no dominant biological group.

Advancing knowledge in each field of use edit

Part of the proposed activity is to determine how dominant group advances knowledge and understanding within each field which may be considered its own field or across all these different fields.

Dominant group is already being used as a scientific/technical term to advance knowledge and understanding across a great many fields.

"How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within each of the fields or across these different fields?"

In theory, dominant group in any field may have at least two uses: (1) a group of field-based entities, sources, or objects, or (2) a dominant group in some way associated with that field.

In practice, depending upon the scientist's intent, dominant group may be the bad group that engages in monopolistic practices, or socially negative behavior such as discrimination, abuse, punishment, and additional possible criminal activity against other demographic groups.

It can also serve as an empirical identifier in observations. At one extreme, it is 100 % of the effect or phenomenon under study. At the other, it is a minority group effect that perhaps has some natural or artificial unfair advantage. In a society a dominant group often has an unfair advantage such as numbers, military power, or assets and money.

Evolution edit

Hypothesis: As an evolutionary process, a dominant group may be a force for extinction by driving a number of groups to extinction and a force for speciation when spatial or temporal dispersion creates diversity and isolation which may eventually produce new groups. As a force for extinction a particular dominant group may also through its actions on other groups ultimately produce its own extinction event. This departure from a zone then allows other groups to fill the niche.

Changes in the characteristics or properties of a region may force the dominant group into extinction; thereby, making room for the next dominant group. However, some changes may not allow a dominant group to emerge. Additionally, properties of dominance may be appearance only. No competition for resources may have occurred.

Lexical pragmatics edit

From a metadefinitional point of view each use of dominant group has a relationship between members of the dominant group, a population from which the dominant group is a subset, a criterion for dominance, and a region, range, distribution or "in their own country". But, each of these four structures may have their meaning in the context within which the author or speaker places the two-word humanities or scientific/technical term.

Oldest two-word terms edit

It may be one of the oldest two-word terms. Some of its synonyms predate 1826: for example, the phrase “die Dominanten Religionen von ganz Europa”[9] occurs in 1726.

Origins edit

The proposed activity consists of finding the origin of dominant group or one of its synonyms. The fundamental concepts encompassed by the totality of synonyms may have very early origins in primitive languages.

1826 (Kirby): "Groups, according to their range, may be denominated either predominant, dominant, sub-dominant, or quiescent."[10]

1840 (Shuckard): "The Ants and the Staphylini have been supposed to represent each other in the tropical and temperate zones. In the temperate zone, and especially in our own country, the Staphylini are a dominant group, and the ants a secondary one."[11]

1857 (Tocqueville): “The fact that a group is egoistic and dominant proves that it is well formed and that it approaches the make-up of a man.”[12]

1859 (Darwin): The earliest use is on page 343, “The dominant species of the larger dominant groups tend to leave many modified descendants, and thus new sub-groups and groups are formed.”[13]

1860 (Darwin): “Under the many conditions of life which this world affords, any group which is numerous in individuals and species and is widely distributed, may properly be called dominant" [a dominant group]. [Letter 110. To W.H. Harvey, August, 1860][14]

1944 (Simpson): "In the history of life it is a striking fact that major changes in the taxonomic groups occupying various ecological positions do not, as a rule, result from direct competition of the groups concerned in each case and the survival of the fittest, as most students would assume a priori. On the contrary, the usual sequence is for one dominant group to die out, leaving the zone empty, before the other group becomes abundant."[15]. "GG Simpson's so-called evolutionary species concept contains undefinable criteria and is useless in praxis.[16]

1960 (Huxley): "Improved organization gives biological advantage. Accordingly, the new type becomes a successful or dominant group. It spreads and multiplies and differentiates into a multiplicity of branches. This new biological success is usually achieved at the biological expense of the older dominant group from which it sprang or whose place it had usurped."[17]

1971 (Travis): The earlier theory of evolutionary progressivism (Social Darwinism) puts forth several concepts including "dominant group".[18]

2001 (Mayr): "Other previously dominant groups of organisms that also became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous are many marine taxa, such as most nautiloids and the ammonities, both of whom had been previously highly successful organisms."[16] Page 320: "Ernst Mayr is the biologist largely responsible for shaping the modern synthesis of genetics and evolutionary theory."[16]

Own field edit

The first question to answer is "What is dominant group's own field?"

It is a scientific or technical term, specifically a two-word scientific or technical term. Its overall field is linguistics, or technical language, terminology. It is and refers to an entity. An overall field allowing application to other fields is regions or the science of regions, usually spatial, but not necessarily always spatial. Spatial science or the science of space may be the appropriate field for dominant group.

Proposer qualifications edit

“How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of prior work.)”[8]

Much of the explorational data for reviewer evaluation sits within the resource structure and substructure of the dominant group research project displayed in the template entitled "Dominant group" near the bottom of this page. Possible organizational conformity may increase the probability of positive reviewer comment.

Initial efforts using the scientific method may be found within the effort to demonstrate proof of concept.

Transformative concepts edit

“To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?”[8]

Def. "research that has the capacity to revolutionize existing fields, create new subfields, cause paradigm shifts, support discovery, and lead to radically new technologies”[19] is called transformative research.

"[T]wo-word glossary items are the most common technical terms".[20] Dominant group is a likely two-word glossary item captured by data mining algorithms. A first-principle's demonstration that dominant group is a two-word scientific/technical term yields one test standard for data mining algorithms to find.

Dominant group serves as an indicator that original research has been conducted, especially when it appears in a primary source.

As a two-word scientific/technical term, is dominant group a member of the dominant group of two-word scientific/technical terms?

This exploratory investigation into dominant group and its usage has the potential to demonstrate that dominant group

  1. when identified is a causative force for change that by its nature requires further investigation,
  2. should be no longer used as a scientific/technical term because its meanings are unclear and vague, or
  3. identifies an inhibiting or moderating force that works against 'high-risk, high-reward' "research with an inherent high degree of uncertainty and the capability to produce a major impact on important problems in biomedical/behavioral research"[21], or in other scientific/technical fields.

Conception and organization edit

“How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity?”[8]

This exploratory effort uses the template system (the dominant group template is near the bottom of this page) to organize and keep readily available the efforts already begun and those still needed.

Access to resources edit

“Is there sufficient access to resources?"[8]

Part of the challenge of this type of experimental inquiry is that authors of today or even in the 1800s are likely to use dominant group to describe the past when the term itself was actually not used by an earlier author.

University level access, including its medial research center, (both of which are available local to the principal investigator, PI) to much earlier original documents may be required to confirm the term earlier than 1826, its current date of specific use in English by Kirby. Local availability for interlibrary loan of needed resources also exists.

As Google scholar, for example, displays older and older manuscripts or books, especially before 1826, the probability increases of finding the term or eliminating its use by specific authors.

Web-based resources (including e-mail) are available to the PI.

Hypotheses edit

  1. Dominant group may have as much merit as original research itself.

See also edit

References edit

  1. J. Britt Holbrook (November 2005). "Assessing the science-society relation: The case of the US National Science Foundation’s second merit review criterion". Technology in Society 27 (4): 437-51. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Staff of Enduring Questions (August 13, 2013). "Enduring Questions Guidelines (PDF)". Washington, D.C.: National Endowment for the Humanities. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "intellectual". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. August 16, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 "merit". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. August 17, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 "quality". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. August 19, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "scientist". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. July 5, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  7. "scientific method". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. June 1, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 NSF (August 17, 2011). "Chapter III - NSF Proposal Processing and Review". Arlington, Virginia, USA: The National Science Foundation. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  9. Johann Jacob Scheuchzer; Anton L. Keller; Moritz Anton Cappeller (1726). Lucerna Lucens Alethophili: "Eines Catholischen Priesters Schreiben An Aretophilum Seinen lieben Freund und Mit-Capitularen”. Frenstadt. pp. 128. Retrieved 2012-04-10. 
  10. William Kirby; William Spence (1826). An Introduction to Entomology: or Elements of the Natural History of Insects, Volume IV. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, Paternoster Row. pp. 474-492.'s+system%22+entomology+dominant&hl=en#v=onepage&q=dominant&f=false. Retrieved 2011-11-30. 
  11. W.E. Shuckard (1840). "XXII.—Monograph of the Dorylidæ, a family of the Hymenoptera Heterogyna". The Annals and Magazine of Natural History Series 1 5 (30): 188-201. doi:10.1080/00222934009496804. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  12. Alexis de Tocqueville (September 2001). Francois Furet and Francoise Melonio. ed. The Old Regime and the Revolution: Notes on the French Revolution and Napoleon, prepared between 1853 and 1857. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 257. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  13. Charles Robert Darwin (1859). On the origin of the species by means of natural selection: or, The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. London: John Murray. pp. 516. 
  14. Charles Robert Darwin (October 1902). Francis Darwin and A. C. Seward. ed. More Letters of Charles Darwin A Record of his Work in a Series of Hitherto Unpublished Letters Volume I.. Cambridge. Retrieved 2011-11-18. 
  15. George Gaylord Simpson (1944). Tempo and Mode in Evolution. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 237. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Ernst Mayr (2001). What Evolution Is. New York: Basic Books. pp. 336. ISBN 0-465-04425-5. Retrieved 2012-02-12. 
  17. Stephen Jay Gould (2002). The Structure of Evolutionary Theory. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. 1433. ISBN 0-674-00613-5. Retrieved 2012-02-12. 
  18. Janet L. Travis (September 1971). "A Criticism of the Use of the Concept of "Dominant Group" in Arguments for Evolutionary Progressivism". Philosophy of Science 38 (3): 369-75. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  19. [1]
  20. Youngja Park; Roy J Byrd; Branimir Boguraev (2002). Automatic Glossary Extraction: Beyond Terminology Identification, In: "Proceedings of the Nineteenth International Conference on Computational Linguistics". Morristown, New Jersey. pp. 772-8. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  21. Austin, F.C. (2008). High-Risk High-Reward Research Demonstration Project, presentation given to the NIH Council of Councils. Available at:

Further reading edit

External links edit

{{Dominant group}}{{Linguistics resources}}

{{Semantics resources}}{{Terminology resources}}