Ambiguous, circular and polysemous: students' definitions of the “balance of nature” metaphor

@article{Zimmerman2007AmbiguousCA,
  title={Ambiguous, circular and polysemous: students' definitions of the “balance of nature” metaphor},
  author={Corinne Zimmerman and Kim Cuddington},
  journal={Public Understanding of Science},
  year={2007},
  volume={16},
  pages={393 - 406}
}
The “balance of nature” metaphor has been used to explain the functioning of natural systems from ancient times and continues to be invoked in popular culture, in spite of controversy regarding its use in the scientific community. We demonstrate that undergraduate students in the United States believe this term is descriptive of real ecological systems, and continue to do so after instruction in ecological science. A content analysis of students' definitions of the “balance of nature” and its… 

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